Cape Winelands

South Africa steadily gains popularity as a wine making country over the last few decades. Also in British supermarkets you can no longer avoid the often excellent South African wines. When visiting South Africa you have a perfect opportunity visiting the wine farms where these wines are being produced. We highly recommend doing so: many of the farms are picture perfect and are situated in spectacular settings. On this page you will find an overview of the Cape Winelands' top attractions.

winelands south africa kaapstad

Not far from Cape Town in the hinterland lie the Cape Winelands. An essential destination for a day's outing when staying in the city, but also perfect for an overnight stay. In the Cape wine region you will encounter some friendly villages surrounded by vast wine farms on rolling hills. All this in a beautiful setting tucked away in valleys and surrounded by mountains, supplemented by some worldclass hotels and restaurants to make your stay all the more pleasurable.

There are over 120 farms located in the wine region, just an hour's drive from Cape Town. Explore the region and join a wine tasting, you are most welcome at most estates. Many of the wine estates have excellent restaurants where you can have lunch whilst enjoying a glass of wine from the estate. Wine tastings are often combined with tastings of locally produced cheese and chocolate. A real feast for the senses! The main villages on the wine route are Stellenbosch (known for its Cape Dutch architecture), Franschhoek and Paarl.

We ourselves believe that Stellenbosch, centre of the South African wine industry, is the most attractive village with its oak-lined avenues and Cape Dutch houses. It is definitely worth while strolling around the centre for an hour or two. Stellenbosch also has the largest amount of wine esates. As soon as you drive out of Stellenbosch you will see them all over. We do recommend foodies to drive to the charming village of Franschhoek. This small village, with loads of French character, has become a hotspot for the best restaurants in South Africa over the last 15 years or so. You will find something for everyone: from a light lunch on a terrace overlooking the vineyards, or a lengthy five-course dinner that will exceed your wildest expectations.


Our insider top tips for the Cape Winelands:

Wine, wine, wine!


wine tasting stellenbosch

With so many wineries, it may prove difficult to make a choice for which one(s) to visit. A good tip is to obtain some advise from the hotel of your choice: they often know the most beautiful and attractive places that suit your taste. Our recommendations? Boschendal is a true classic where you can relax in the tea garden under the shade of old oak trees. Boschendal is a typical example of a classic Cape Dutch farmhouse, complete with beautiful manor house and stables. Boschendal also has a interesting little museum in the old manor house. Travelling with children? We then recommend a visit to Spier Estate near Stellenbosch. Here you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the large lawn next to a large pond. Spier Estate also has some cheetahs and birds of prey that can be seen up close. For modern architecture, we are pleased to advise you to visit the impressive Dornier Wine Estate, also near Stellenbosch. Intend to visiting Dornier? Then book ahead and have luncg in its restaurant "Bodega" where we had an excellent meal.

Stroll through historic Stellenbosch


stellenbosch south africa

A stroll through Stellenbosch is also a walk through (Dutch) history, of which the remains are still very visible in Stellenbosch. The town was founded in 1679 by the then Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, who named the place after himself (near Cape Town is also Simonstad / Simon's Town, named after the same governor). Much of history is reflected in the white Cape Dutch houses that line the streets. There also is a beautiful Dutch Reformed Church in the center of the village. Also, the "kruithuis" (warehouse for ammunition) of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) can still be seen in the centre.

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cape town wine groot constantia

Settlers from Europe started producing wine in the 17th centrury already? Claims which estate started wine production differ a little, but the general assumption is that this would be Groot Constantia (Great Constatia) near Cape Town. It is believed that the first vines were planted here in 1685. Groot Constantia still is a working wine estate that can be visited easily when staying in Cape Town. It still produces excellent wines that you can also buy in Britain.

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