Cape WinelandsCape Winelands
A great way to take in the splendour and beauty of the Cape and the surrounding areas is to spend some time visiting the Winelands. A half to full day visiting the exquisite farms and sampling the delicious wines on offer is a must while in the Cape. The Cape winelands region is one of breathtaking views and majestic mountain backdrops and is steeped in rich culture and history. Rolling vineyards, quaint Cape Dutch homesteads and award-winning wine estates await the visitor.
Just 45-minutes from Cape Town, the winelands are divided into different regions, each offering their own 'wine route'. The most popular and well-known are the routes of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, both of which offer a multitude of wine estates with delicious wine and beautiful views. A visit to a farm offers visitors the chance to sample fine wines, enjoy a cellar tour and perhaps meet the winemaker himself. Take a stroll through quaint and historic towns, visit whitewashed Cape Dutch homesteads and enjoy a leisurely meal or picnic at one of the many excellent restaurants while immersed in the magnificent surroundings of the various valleys and mountains. Well organized easy to read maps are available from the local tourism offices or can be downloaded, and supply the opening times and days and the location of the different farms.
Closer to Cape Town, and not to be forgotten are the highly acclaimed wine estates in the Constantia Valley. The fertile Constantia Valley, with its moderate climate and rich soil, is home to the oldest wine estates in South Africa and boasts award winning wines. This is the area that Simon van der Stel, first Governor of the Cape, chose to cultivate and develop in 1685. Groot Constantia is the oldest wine farm in South Africa - the original Manor House and Cloete Cellar both display interesting items from the early years of Groot Constantia and the buildings themselves are beautiful examples of early Cape Dutch architecture.
There are also organized tours available where a driver will take guests to a prearranged selection of vineyards and then return them to their hotel after lunch.