Visit The Wine Farms
The world’s most wonderful wines await just around the corner from your Cape Town accommodation. Just 30 minutes from Cape Town a wealth of wine farms is available to connoisseurs and day-trippers alike. With so many new and varied activities to enjoy while in the wine lands, there is no excuse to give this worthwhile excursion a miss during your visit to the Western Cape.
The wine farms are locked into fierce competition for patrons these days, with their standards of wine production elevated to such a high degree that it seems each wine is more excellent than the next. In order to attract customers, a wide range of extra activities are now offered on or near the farms such as live entertainment, spas, bird watching, brandy tasting, cheese-making, fly-fishing, game drives and horse riding. In addition, the old faithful – cheese, is experiencing competition from upstarts like olives, chocolate , nuts and even nougat as an accompaniment during wine tasting events.
Not to be outdone, some of South Africa’s most well-known and highly-rated restaurants are to be found in the area and are regular hosts for South Africa’s Masterchef competition.
There are four wine routes in the wine lands, namely:
The Constantia Valley Wine Route
Said to be the birthplace of South African vintnery, the Constantia Valley is the site of some of the oldest wine farms in the country and is home to the famous Vin de Constance. This is where Simon van der Stel started growing wines on Groot Constantia in 1685, during his reign as governor of the Cape.
Over time, Groot Constantia was divided into four and together with a few newer estates, forms the Constantia Valley Wine Route just 20 minutes from the Cape Town CBD.
Grand old Groot Constantia is an exquisite homestead and a fine example of Cape Dutch architecture. Furnished with beautifully preserved antiques, Groot Constantia has two excellent restaurants on its property and offers wine tours every day of the week.
The other estates in the Constantia cluster are:
- Constantia Glen
- Constantia Uitsig
- Eagles Nest
- High Constantia
- Klein Constantia
Stellenbosch Wine Routes
The Stellenbosch Wine Route holds the title of oldest formal wine route in South Africa and was founded in 1971. Over 200 winemakers and grape farmers belong to the Stellenbosch Wine Route and they are further divided into smaller sub-regions as follows –
- Greater Simonsberg
- Stellenbosch Berg
- Stellenbosch Hills
- Bottelary Hills
- Helderberg (Somerset West) – originally a wine route on its own, Helderberg with its 20 estates has recently been incorporated under the Stellenbosch banner.
Very fine port, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are produced here.
Durbanville Valley Wine Route
A fairly new kid on the block, the Durbanville Wine Valley incorporates 12 wineries and is about 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. Wonderful restaurants are located in this area. From exclusive dining to country bumpkin, the Durbanville Route has fine fare to suit the whole family.
Franschhoek Wine Route
One of the most beautiful of all the wine routes, Franschhoek boasts spectacular mountain views and lovely architecture. About 40 wine farms and over 28 restaurants can be found here, and it is no wonder that Franschhoek is known as the culinary capital of South Africa.
A sparkling wine (Cap Classique) route has been added to the Franschhoek Valley offering for those with a sweeter tooth.
Whether you choose to visit the wine farms for fine dining, delectable wines, outdoor activities or just for the spectacular scenery, you are sure to come away with memories and experiences to enhance your Cape Town experience even further.