The Cape Winelands, origin of some of the world's most popular wines, are a premier Western Cape visitor attraction.
Wine tasting, winemaking tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.
South Africa's winelands stretch from the Cape Overberg in the south-western Cape, through the Little Karoo and the West Coast into the adjacent province of the the Northern Cape. There are also wine farms in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and even Gauteng. The Cape Winelands are the most well-known, and include the Route 62 wine route, said to be the world's longest wine route.
Most Cape wine estates are characterised by classic Cape Dutch-style buildings and massive vineyards with picturesque mountains as a backdrop. There is also a distinct European influence in number of regions, thanks to the arrival of French Huguenot, Dutch and German settlers during the 18th century.
Various routes lead to the winelands, however the most popular route is along the N1 from Cape Town towards Stellenbosch and beyond.
There are various wine tours departing from the Cape Town CBD, but having your own vehicle would allow you to explore the winelands according to your own schedule.
There are many wine festivals held in the Cape every year. For more information visit the Western Cape Winelands Tourism website.
Many wine estates offer luxury accommodation. Otherwise stay in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Paarl or any of the towns along Route 62.
Many wine estates offer accommodation specials during the winter months between May and October.
Spier Wine Estate has one of the Cape's the oldest wine cellars, dating back to 1767. The estate continues to produce world-class wines to this day.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route, South Africa's oldest, was founded in 1971. JC Le Roux, a world-renowned sparkling wine, is produced here.
The town of Robertson, two hours' drive east of Cape Town, is home to the acclaimed Robertson Winery, winner of numerous international awards for its Shiraz, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay varietals.
In addition to its wine, the Wellington region is famous for its brandy. The Schalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht Estate in this area is owned and run by former and current international rugby players, Schalk Burger snr and his son of the same name.
Paarl, the third-oldest town in South Africa, is home to the internationally renowned Nederburg Wine Estate, as well as numerous other premier brands.
Constantia, a 20 minutes' drive from Cape Town, is the closest wine region to the Mother City.
The Franschhoek Wine Valley is also famous for its food and is acknowledged as the ‘gourmet capital of South Africa'.
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