If you are a lover of fine wines, then South Africa is the ideal holiday destination for you.
With a proud history dating back to 1659 and recent access to international markets, South African wines are once again winning awards across the world. An added bonus is that wine is produced in the one of the most scenic parts of the country – the Cape Winelands, with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys and verdant vineyards. The Winelands are easily accessible, with the majority of wine estates only 1 hour’s drive from Cape Town.
The wine estates in each particular geographic area have joined together to form “wine routes” to make them even more attractive to visitors. There are 18 different wine routes, but the principal ones are the Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl Wine Routes, with the Hermanus, Worcester, Wellington, Darling and Robertson Wine Routes also featuring prominently. Each wine route has a wide range of wine estates and wineries: ranging from historical to avant garde and from garagiste to large scale producers. Many of the wine estates offer informative guided wine-tastings to the public as well as cellar tours or tours of the vineyards. Some of them also make cheese, chocolate and olive oil and offer tastings of these products alongside their wines. Many of them have on-site restaurants offering food that ranges from gastronomical delights to picnic hampers to enjoy under the oak trees.
You can do a daytrip to the Winelands from Cape Town, either self-drive or on a guided tour, or you can spend a few days staying in the Winelands following the various wine routes and stopping for tastings at wine estates along the way. You will have the chance to purchase and ship home some of the wines you have tasted. Alternatively, real oenophiles might like to make wine the main focus of their holiday and join a specialist wine tour led by a Cape Wine Academy graduate.