Travel Guide to Experience the Best of Cape Winelands


The perfect luxury trip to South Africa isn’t complete without a day or two spent exploring Cape Winelands. With hundreds of world-class wineries, innovative restaurants helmed by world-renowned chefs, and beautiful boutique luxury hotels, all just a short distance from Cape Town, both wine connoisseurs and amateur tasters will find themselves enchanted with this beautiful part of the Western Cape. The best way to experience South Africa’s wine region is either a guided day trip with a private car and driver, or if you have more time, a few days spent indulging in the best Cape Winelands has to offer.

First, a geographical guide to this part of the Western Cape: the region is split into different towns including Stellenbosch, Franshhoek, and Constantia Valley, to name a few. Constantia Valley is just on the other side of Table Mountain from Cape Town, barely a 15- minute drive from Cape Town proper, and is home to Groot Constantia, the very first South African wine farm, established in 1685. In Stellenbosch, a town just about a 1-hour drive outside of Cape Town with beautiful Dutch architecture, there are over 150 wineries backdropped by lush green mountains. Franschhoek is a town with its own charm that lies just east of Stellenbosch.

The vast number of excellent wineries and restaurants with incredible food in Cape Winelands makes it difficult to name a few and call them the best, but some favorites include Haute Cabriere (Franschhoek), La Petite Colombe (Franschhoek), Overture (Stellenbosch), Terroir (Stell) and Jardine (Stell). It’s possible to visit the Cape Winelands as a day trip but to really immerse yourself in wine culture and explore you can stay at a number of gorgeous properties. Two favorites are Leeu House (Franschhoek) and Delaire Graff Estate (Stellenbosch).

A visit to Cape Winelands is best paired with a luxury South Africa safari, and of course a few days spent in Cape Town. In addition to tasting wines, the Western Cape has other cultural attractions, like the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden with its lifelike wildlife creations. There are also several museums and art galleries in the towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

Unlike other wine regions in the world, South Africa wine country is a year round destination, with high season in the warm and dry summer between November and May - the best time to imbibe a crisp Sauvignon Blanc during a sundrenched picnic. But in wintertime a glass of the region’s famous pinotage next to a roaring fire is tough to beat.

If you have a few days in Cape Town, visiting this uniquely beautiful region is a must, and whether you prefer a one day trip to taste the best South African Wines or want to make it a focal part of your trip to South Africa, advance planning makes for the best possible experience in this beautiful part of South Africa.

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