The Cape Winelands is a very scenic region about 40km from Cape Town in South Africa. This area has a Mediterranean climate which makes it perfect for growing grapes and producing wine. The region produces many varieties grapes including Sauvignon, Cabernet and a variety created in South Africa called Pinotage. World-class red, white, rose and sparkling wines called Method Cap Classique are produced.
The region can be visited on a day trip from Cape Town, but it is better to spend a couple of nights to get the most out of your trip. It is a good idea to book a tour with a local wine expert who will arrange cellar tours at boutique wine estates and give insight into the fine South African wines during wine tastings. We can arrange tours to wine farms which use eco-friendly production methods and the principles of biodynamics.
During a vacation in the Cape Wineland’s travellers can visit several picturesque historic towns and explore verdant valleys with scenic Cape Dutch architecture set against the backdrop of the mountains. There are several different wine regions to discover. There are over 500 wine estates, many of which offer wine tastings, good restaurants and fun activities for the whole family.
Constantia Wine Route
The Constantia wine route is a collection of 8 estates in the Constantia Valley. It is the easiest wine region to visit as it lies within the Cape Town city limits. This route has some of the oldest wine estates such as Groot Constantia, which produces a dessert wine called Vin de Constance which was the favourite wine of Napoleon Bonaparte and he had it shipped to him in exile on St Helena. Other estates include Buitenverwachting, Constantia Glen, Constantia Uitsig, Eagles Nest, High Constantia, Klein Constantia and Steenberg.
Stellenbosch Wine Route
The town of Stellenbosch is the centre of the Cape Winelands. Visitors to the area can spend some time exploring the streets of the old town centre with its oak-lined streets and some of the best-preserved Victorian and Georgian buildings in the country. There are many vibrant art galleries which showcase local and international artists to explore, cafes to stop and have a refreshing coffee and a bite to eat. Then spend some time browsing the many interesting boutique stores in the area. Stellenbosch University, the oldest university in sub-Saharan Africa is situated in the town and the many students wandering around give the town a vibrant feel.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest in South Africa and is where many world-class wines are produced. The region is divided into sub-routes which include the Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Berg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Bottelary Hills. There are 148 wine farms along the route, many of them historical farms with beautiful Cape Dutch manors houses, gardens, hotels and fine-dining restaurants.
The town of Franschhoek lies about 75km from Cape Town in the picturesque valley of Franschhoek, which was settled in 1688 by the French Huguenot refugees. This heritage can be explored at the Huguenot Monument and the Huguenot Memorial Museum. Franschhoek is known as the gourmet capital of South Africa with several global award-winning restaurants such as La Petite Colombe, Reubens and more. There are many interesting shops and galleries to explore along the main street.
There are many French-inspired wine estates to visit such as La Motte, Champagne, La Cotte, Cabrière and La Provence. Perhaps enjoy a picnic at Boschendal or set out to explore the vineyards
while on a Segway or bicycle tour.
Another major wine centre of the Cape Winelands is centred around the town of Paarl. In this region, you can sample world-class wines and brandy at Van Ryn’s or stop off at Spier wine farm which offers a host of activities. The Paarl wine route is known as the ‘Red Route’ for its well known red wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, port and Shiraz put the Paarl name on the global map. Well known estates to visit and enjoy sampling fine reds include KWV, Nederburg, Simonsvlei and Fairview.
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