Within an hour outside of Cape Town, the urban skyline gives way to the quaint villages and bucolic estates of the Winelands. The Winelands in South Africa’s Western Cape are vast, stretching from Cape Overberg in the Southwestern Cape into the Northern Cape, with wine routes that are among the most scenic in the world. The Cape Winelands region has a long history of wine production with the first local wines produced in 1659. Because of its Mediterranean climate, soils, and the air from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the area is ideal for growing grapes and has received countless awards and accolades for its finished product. In the Stellenbosch region alone—the first wine region to establish a wine route—there are close to 200 wine and grape producers. Expect to find spectacular Cabernet Sauvignons, the regions’ most widely planted grape, as well as some beautiful Bordeaux Blends, a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.
While South Africaʹs fertile Winelands valleys are world famous for their crisp white and classic French‐style red wines, the area is also a treasury of rustic beauty and sprawling estates. The backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads, and the oak‐lined streets and lanes all blend together to give this place a charm that visitors hold onto for a lifetime. The estates of Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek are only a few of the quintessential stops along the Cape’s wine route, where classic cellar tours and wine tastings take place in picturesque valleys and French Huguenot towns. Foodies will not want to miss the fabled culinary skills of the Franschhoek chefs, who have collectively earned the town its billing as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa. The best way to imbibe the atmosphere of this charming French colonial town in the “Valley of the Huguenots” is by tasting its classic champagnes and artisanal chocolates while meandering down its main street flanked by galleries, boutiques, antique shops, bistros, and cafés.
Talk to your Ker & Downey travel expert to include the Cape Winelands region in your handcrafted South Africa journey for an unforgettable experience.