The birth of the South African wine industry was in the Cape with the Constantia valley in Cape Town being the cradle of the wine industry and boasting the oldest wine farm in South Africa.
Wine tasting is an utterly charming way to pass the weekend. When paired with some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, century old architecture and awe-inspiring food, it becomes one of Cape Town’s most beloved activities for visitors and locals alike. There are too many to go into great detail here, but we've compiled a list of wine routes for you - cheers and good luck!
THE CONSTANTIA VALLEY WINE ROUTE - constantiawineroute.com
The Constantia Valley is the closest wine route to the city, no more than 20 minutes away. The magnificently beautiful region is home to some of the country’s oldest and most prestigious wine farms dating back to 1685. There is no doubt a trip to the Constantia Valley would be incomplete without a visit to its famous, sweeping vineyards. Boutique Cape wineries are found on its verdant mountain slopes and across its green meadows, offering wine tastings, art exhibitions and live music gigs. Lounge on the lawns with picnic baskets and a choice vintage or simply relax and take in the breath- taking views of the natural surroundings.
The wines of the Constantia vineyards are largely cool climate offerings, so look out for world class Sauvignon Blancs, delightful reds and infamous sweet wine offerings. Stroll through the area’s greenbelts before heading through to the father of the Cape’s wine estates, including:
THE STELLENBOSCH WINE ROUTES - wineroute.co.za
Boasting nearly 200 wine and grape producers, Stellenbosch was the first region to establish a formal route among the wineries, a route which has gone on to become one of the country’s six most popular tourist destinations. Too numerous to list, the 148 wine farms in this area decorate the vine-swept landscape, many of them historical farms with achingly beautiful Cape Dutch manors houses, gardens, hotels and fine-dining restaurants.
- Alto Estate
- Blaauwklippen Vineyards
- Delheim Wines
- Kanonkop Wine Estate
- Lanzerac Wines
- Meerlust Estate
- Lourensford Wine Estate
- Mulderbosch Vineyards
- Rust en Vrede
- Simonsig Wine Estate
- Thelema Mountain Vineyards
- Vergelegen Wines
- Zewenwacht Wine Estate
THE HELDERBERG WINE ROUTE - showme.co.za
The wineries that fall under the Helderberg Wine Route’s jurisdiction are all in and around the Somerset West area, a 30 minute drive from the city. Historic estates line up alongside cutting edge modern cellars, all producing a wonderful diverse array of wines. In recent times, it has acquired a reputation for producing impressive white wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Here are some amazing things to do in the area, as well as our easy how-to guide for getting there and getting happy. Don’t miss out on the utterly beautiful nature reserve while you’re at it.
THE DURBANVILLE VALLEY WINE ROUTE - durbanvillewine.co.za
A short drive 20-minute drive north of the city is all it takes to experience wonderful wine and dine pairings at any number of the Durbanville estates. One of the region’s many virtues is also the spectacular views back across the ocean towards Table Mountain. You can also dip your toes in the rivers of the nearby nature reserve on a pretty morning. The region creates intense, fruit-driven yet refined wines, as unique as the slopes they grew on and the master winemakers who crafted them.
THE FRANSCHHOEK WINE ROUTE - franschhoek.org.za
Another wine route with outrageously beautiful landscapes. With many of the wine farms sharing a French Huguenot heritage, expect to find enormous French influence here and not surprisingly a Champagne-inspired sparkling win sub-route, the “Cap Classique Route”. The gorgeously quaint village of Franschhoek abounds with art galleries, antique shops, restaurants and boutique hotels. Take the wine tram for a lovely bit of history. Again, there are over 50 wineries in this area, so it's impossible to list them all. Here are a few personal favourites:
- Anthonij Rupert Wyne
- Babylonstoren Wine
- Boschendal Wines
- Haute Cabriere – Home of Pierre Jourdan
- La Couronne Wines
- La Motte
- Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
- Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards
Pics: Cape Tourism