Wine tasting in a 200-year old Norfolk pine

Leon Visser

May 2013

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During the Explore the ancient Trees of Africa project of 2013, I received a lot of phone calls from various newspapers and other media. As it happened, just after climbing the majestic Dalene Mathee yellowwood, John Matham of 567 Cape Talk radio interviewed me. Afterwards I sent him an email thanking him for the opportunity, and asked him by-the-by if he would like to come tree climbing with me. He jumped at that!

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 So in time, I organized a climb up the 200 year old Norfolk pine with Simon and Cameron, 2 fellow Tree Addicts. This tree is the tallest in the centre of Stellenbosch at 45m. The day arrived – a beautiful autumn afternoon. John donned his gear but being unfamiliar with this activity struggled a bit up the huge tree and through the many branches. With some gentle persuasion and not a little huffing and puffing, he got up to about 20m which was high enough.!

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 Once comfortable, we un-packed some goodies and enjoyed a most amazing cheese and wine outing! – John brought some Starke Conde Three Pines cabernet sauvignon, Simon the cheese and biscuits, and I set up a floating table made of some London plane wood.

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 We chatted, listened to the noises of the bustling town below, and soaked in the awesome view while suspended in one of the oldest trees in the town. Wonderful!


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 John related his experience on the radio the next day, and said his arms were so pap he could hardly drive home…even struggling to squeeze the shampoo bottle in the shower!

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