Nissan competition: Wine Route


Win a Nissan Livina X-Gear worth R193 700! 

When you’re in the Cape you nee d to take a drive to the winelands to experience some of the best wines in the world. You can drive around for days and explore hundreds of wine estates of all shapes and sizes. Being a red-blooded man, Jan Braai loves a good red wine.

Winemaking in the Western Cape goes all the way back to Jan van Riebeeck who produced the first wine in the country, and the winelands have been in business ever since. Arriving in the Nissan Livina X-Gear rather than a ship, I can be assured of a smooth driving experience even Jan van Riebeeck would’ve been jealous of!

We’re making our way to the iconic Stellenbosch wine farm, Neethlingshof. A wine tour through the Boland is a great way to spend a summer’s day, whether you’re entertaining tourists from abroad or simply hanging out with your mates. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and the Livina X-Gear is as smooth as silk. The car handles like a dream on the highway and is also extremely quiet.

It’s on scenic drives such as this I really appreciate the interior of my car; it’s refined and comfortable. People sometimes think it’s a great job braaiing all day long, but standing on these wine farms I think the farmers here have a pretty sweet deal as well. With its higher ground clearance the Livina X-Gear is tough on dirt roads, and my braai gear in the back isn’t fazed by the twisting and turning through the corners. This car is seriously slick on the road and even my passengers don’t mind the twisty turns. The 15-inch alloy wheels mean that whether moving around the suburbs or on gravel the Livina X-Gear is as energetic as it looks.

The drive gives us time to listen to some music on the Livina X-Gear’s sound system. I like music but my two mates Etienne and Etienne (Du Preez and Le Roux respectively), who both hail from Bellville “Rock City”, are in charge of the music when we’re on a road trip. With a CD shuttle that holds six discs, we’re assured everyone gets what they want. I’m not mentioning any names, but Etienne likes Justin Bieber, while Etienne is a fan of trance music. At least they have great taste in friends and cars. They also both have movie-star looks so it really elevates the coolness level to take them along.

The weather is the opposite; it’s so hot in Stellenbosch I wonder if I could cook some meat on a rock or perhaps even on the bonnet of the car. Luckily the Livina X-Gear has an awesome air conditioner, meaning we’re as cool as cucumbers. Arriving at Neethlingshof you realise the Livina X-Gear is like a fine wine – it’s an experience best shared with friends.

Much like a mature red wine, the car is refined and suits my taste. Driving onto the estate you’re greeted by some more breathtaking scenery – think rolling gardens, a stunning mountain backdrop and lush vineyards. The best part is I can spot some perfect places to set up the braai kit I have in the very spacious boot of my Livina X-Gear.

We’re starting the tour at the farm in the vineyards. The tour takes us from the fermentation process to bottling and finally to the store where I can pick up my favourite bottles by the crate. It never fails to fascinate me how much it takes to make wine. I’m no chemistry student so some of the process escapes me, but while sitting on the terrace of the Neethlingshof building looking out at the vineyards it’s a bit bizarre to think we’ll be drinking these grapes in a few years. This is a special part of the world; I never get tired of coming out to the wine farms not just for the wine but to see the passion that goes into making it – it inspires me.

After the wine tour we’re ready to do our own tasting – this time of the rump steaks and garlic butter sauce. The rump is a particularly tender piece of meat with just the right amount of fat and when done medium rare it’s perfection. I once had a guest ask for his steak well done... once. He soon learnt the cook (that is, me) knows best when I handed him a plate with just a bone and a piece of parsley. And speaking of revenge, I have a surprise for the two Etiennes who always play tricks on me – it’s payback time. I’ve marinated their steaks with spicy chilli; I can’t wait to see their faces.

Some more of my mates have joined us and our hosts at Neethlingshof have been gracious enough to let us set up a braai spot on their sprawling lawns. I’ve got my full braai setup meaning I’ve got space to cook these succulent rump steaks to perfection. The braai smells so good it’s a pity you can’t also bottle it and take it home with you! The other great thing about a farm is that there’s usually a good supply of braai wood.

At the end of the evening we pack the gear and the bottles of wine we’ve bought into the back of the Livina X-Gear and head home through the scenic mountains of the Western Cape. Hopefully the two Etiennes can forgive me for the chilli incident by the time we get home. There really is no better place in the world to watch a sunset while driving.

Next week I’m back with a recipe and adventure that are going to blow your mind; thankfully I have the Livina X-Gear to get me to all these wild places. If you can’t wait till next week you can check out my past adventures and recipes on Facebook. Until then, may the wors be with you!

For more information on the Livina X-Gear visit

To stand a chance to win a new Nissan Livina X-Gear read this article as well as next week’s advertorial (in the issue of 13 December) to find the answers to the questions.

This week’s question: What size alloy wheels does Jan’s Nissan Livina X-Gear have?

SMS Livina1, your answer and name to 34923 or go to to view Jan's recipes and to register to stand a chance to win a Nissan Livina X-Gear.

Each SMS costs R1,50. The competition closes at 5 pm on 19 December 2012. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition is closed to employees (and their immediate families) of Media24, the sponsor and their advertising agencies. Prizes are not transferable and will not be exchanged for cash. The sponsor is responsible for delivery of the prize. Entrants must be 18 years or older. This competition is only open to South Africans and people who have permanent residence in South Africa. The winner must have a valid South African drivers licence.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24