45 minutes inland from Cape Town is a little corner of South Africa called Cape Winelands, one of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. It’s one of the oldest settlements in South Africa and one of the main wine growing regions in the country, how could we miss a visit?
When thinking of South Africa, we had never thought of wine or mountainous landscape. We never heard of the Cape Winelands before, but as soon as we stepped foot in the first winery we realised that it was going to be one of the highlights of our South African trip. The first region we visited was Stellenbosch where we stopped for wine tastings and delicious food in three different wineries. The vineyards here were some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen – don’t forget I am Italian – and most importantly,the wine was pretty good too. Driving up a beautiful valley we reached the small colonial French village of Franschhoek.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are two of the most famous regions of the Cape Winelands, but there are many other valleys and wineries worth a visit. For example the Groot Constantia, the oldest wine producing estate in South Africa, located only about 20 minutes outside of Cape Town in the Constantia Valley.
DAY TRIP IN THE CAPE WINELAND: THE WINERIES
Our first stop was at Uva Mira Mountain Vineyard, the little gem of the Cape Winelands. Located near Stellenbosch this tiny winery offers incredible views of False Bay and Table Bay. They specialize in six varieties of grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our wine tasting included a selection of three wines, ZAR 60 and an artisanal cheese & savoury meat platter, ZAR 250. Their wines are absolutely delicious so if you’d like to try more you can choose the tasting of five wines at ZAR 100.
Driving up the Helshoogte Pass, just outside Stellenbosch, we reached the elegant Delaire Graff Estate. This botanical paradise is surrounded by majestic mountains and overlooks the vineyards of Stellenbosch. This estate also boasts over-the-top luxury lodges, spa and a great wine menu: Bordeaux, Chardonnay, rosé and sparkling Bruts.
Our third stop was the Tokara in front of the Delaire Graff Estate. In this wine estate we discovered award-winning wines, brandy, olive oils and a gallery of fine art and some good South African food. The unique soil of the Tokara’s lands, predominantly Table Mountain sandstone, gives a delicate and light scent to their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. We had lunch in the sunny veranda of the Tokara Restaurant where we tasted amazing Pork belly and the fish of the day.
The last winery on our list was Boschendal, a picturesque 300 year old Cape Dutch farm located in the Franschhoek Valley. The estate was so beautiful that we couldn’t resist a walk around the vegetable garden and a visit to the restaurant located inside the refurbished wine cellar of the original Manor House. At Boschendal a wine tasting is a must. After that, you can try some of the many activities offered by the estate such as horseback riding in the South African countryside or relaxing in the spa surrounded by vineyards.
As the sun started to dip towards the horizon we made our way back to Cape Town, sad to say goodbye to a region that tugged at our hearts!
MAP OF OUR SELF DRIVEN ITINERARY IN THE CAPE WINELANDS:
For a better experience of your wine tasting in South Africa’s Winelands we recommend taking a private car so you can handpick where you go and arrange for private wine tastings. Go for a laid-back tasting. Sip slowly and try to figure out every scent and more importantly don’t drink and drive, in South Africa you can easily end up in prison for this. If you want to know more about the road rules, check out our post Driving in South Africa.
In the Franschhoek region you can also move around with the The Franschhoek Wine Tram, a hop-on hop-off tram that will take you to various vineyards. If you are planning to stop in Franschhoek for one or a few nights, we recommend staying at the Klein Oliphants Hoek. Built as a Mission Station in 1888, the colonial-style guesthouse has an outdoor pool overlooking the beautiful mountain range and a relaxing veranda. Some of the rooms have access to a private swimming pool too!
➳ Find all: Hotels in Stellenbosh
To save money on your stay in the Cape Wineland click on the discount code link below and you will get redirected to Booking.com. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS COMPLETE THE BOOKING. AFTER YOUR STAY YOU’LL GET 15€ BACK!