Jun 29, 2006

GOATFATHER AND THE FAMILY TREE
CAPE TOWN, South Africa –  Today we drink wine. First in the elegant Cape-colonial surrounds of Vergelegen, then at Fairview vineyard.

Seven-year-old Liam and I wander outside, despite the goblet-sized raindrops. Because nothing could dampen the hilarity of goats on a tower.

Several billies munch hay on a ramp, which spirals around a fairytale-esque folly. "Goats and castles are my family's crest," I tell Young Liam. "You know how knights wore coats-of-arms? Each family had a different heraldic symbol. Except ours is bogus, because Castlemans were just servants. So this is extra funny."

"Goats are always funny," he replies, then hurtles on to a more exciting topic. "Hey, I found a goldfish in the fountain. It's stuck."

No, kiddo. The bloated, bleached critter is clearly deceased. I dread the explanation, the waterworks, the grim premonitions of mortality shadowing his sunny soul.

"I think it's dead, honey," I say.

"Oh," he frees the carcass from a small weir. "Well, I'd better wash my hands, then, I guess."

***

Inside, I sample Goats du Roam, Bored Doe and other pun-tastic blends (the Goatfather, unfortunately, isn't available yet). While the Pinotage Viognier is quite excellent, I know my fate lies in another direction.

Castleman Family Crest Beer Steins. Who could resist?

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