Western Cape Attractions
The Cape Winelands are a major tourist attraction in South Africa with numerous wine routes on offer illustrating South Africa's status as a wine producer since 1659. The area is known for its wonderful natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and world-renowned wines. Just a 45-minute drive from Cape Town will put you in the Winelands with its marvellous mountains providing an inspiring backdrop to the plentiful vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history.
We recommend that you experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Robertson in the Breede River Valley. Stop and visit some of the many wine farms, or perhaps stroll down one of the beautifully restored streets in the historical town centres.
The excellent wines produced in this area are transported world wide and enjoy a world-renowned reputation. The Winelands is an ideal base from which to explore Cape Town and its surrounding area. The accommodation is this area caters for all tastes so indulge yourself at one of the exclusive boutique hotels, or enjoy the hospitality of one of the many splendid guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments common throughout the area.
If you contact the Cape Town Tourism Office its possible to book a horse-drawn carriage tour through the Constantia winelands. En-route you can stop for refreshments, tours, or tastings at wineries such as Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia or Buitenverwachting. Remember to spend some time at the Old Cape Farm Stall where you can buy fresh goods and gourmet foods.
This wine route is the oldest and largest, having the most estates, wineries and cooperatives as well as wine and cultural museums. You will need to allow plenty of time to explore this area - probably a whole week or several weekends. You can buy a map of the farms on the route from the Information Centre in Stellenbosch.
This is South Africa's second-oldest wine route and offers self-conducted tour of the historic Backsberg Estate's cellars and brandy pot stills but don't be tempted as you are being watched on camera! Alternatively take a guided tour of the sprawling KWV cellars. Further along the route are Zandwijk, where South Africa's only kosher wines are made, and Fairview farm, famous for its cheeses.
This historic route with its museums and old churches is the centre of this "off-the-beaten-track" route, exemplified by the small, family-run wineries. At Bovlei you can even have your own wine label designed and made for you. North of Wellington is the lovely Brian's Kloof Pass.
Klein Karoo Wineland
Believe it or not this is the route to see ostriches and vines side by side. Viticulture has boosted the economy of this hot, arid region between the Langeberg and Swartberg mountains, and is practised at farms round Oudtshoorn, Calitzdorp, Swellendam, Ladismith and Montagu. Don't miss the excellent quality flagship ports of Boplaas Estate.
This picture postcard village is known as the food and wine capital of the world boasts 8 out the top 100 restaurants in South Africa. The farms of the Vignerons de Franschhoek, as the producers along this French-influenced wine route are properly known, lie in a beautiful valley and many have historic homesteads, such as Boschendal, La Motte and L'Ormarins. If you are short on time then you can always taste the Franschhoek Vineyards Cooperative wines at the wine-tasting centre in Franschhoek.
This triangular route stretches from Villiersdorp in the south to Woseley and Worcester in the North. Along the way you will discover wineries such as the Brandvlei and Merwida cooperatives. Worcester it self offers many other attractions such as museums and galleries, and the Karoo National Botanic Garden situated just four kilometres outside the town.
The lime-rich soils of the region play an important part in producing the well-balanced wines of the Robertson Wineland including those of Van Loveren, Weltevrede, Zandvliet and the Rooiberg Cooperative. This mountainous region is covered by hiking trails best enjoyed in the spring. It's also famous for being the birthplace of some of the country's greatest racehorses and a nursery for roses.