The Winelands Region samples the best that the Cape has to offer, gently tosses it in a naturally beautiful landscape, seasons it with a rich cultural heritage and serves it with a magnificent backdrop of majestic mountains and a side-platter of hospitality. And naturally, one would not expect any but the very best of wines to accompany such an experience.
A 45-minute drive from Cape Town brings you to this beautiful area, where traditional gabled homesteads can be seen amongst lush vineyards that turn golden-red in autumn. The hospitality, beauty and history that surround Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek will certainly capture your heart.
Retrace the footsteps of our ancestors with a walk down the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch, the second-oldest town in South Africa. The history of the country lives on within the old Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian style houses seen in every town. The Huguenot Memorial in Franschhoek and the Afrikaans Language Museum in Paarl, not to mention the diversity of fine museums offer a fascinating glimpse into the colourful past of this area.
The superb wines produced in the Winelands are renowned worldwide. Choose between small, exclusive wine boutiques and larger commercial wine estates. Formal wine tastings are available at many of the wine farms. Let the vintner's fruit delight your taste buds while inhaling the crisp country air of these fairy-tale surroundings, or accompany the winemaker on a tour through his cellar, where his knowledge and passion transform the season's harvest into fabulous wines to delight every wine lover.
Another exciting avenue to explore is the Brandy Route. Paarl is the seat of the popular KWV and Paarl Rock Brandy Cellars, and there are many other fine cellars to visit. Some even offer fascinating demonstrations of the brandy making process.
The Wine Routes:
- Stellenbosch Wine Route
- Paarl Vintners
- Wellington Wine Route
- Vignerons de Franschhoek
- Brandy Route
To complement the choice of wines, the Winelands offer a variety of excellent winefarm restaurants and coffee shops, some of the best in the Cape. From tea and scones to formal dinners ranging from traditional fare to exotic cuisines, the opportunities for fine dining seem endless. The area is also well known for a host of other culinary delicacies - cheese, olives, herbs and berries are just a few of these delights.
With its mighty mountains and fruitful valleys, the Winelands are a nature lover's paradise. Enjoy a peaceful hike through one of the many nature reserves, and marvel at the unique fynbos flora characteristic of the Cape. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose between the adrenaline rush of tearing down the hillside on a mountain bike, the tranquillity of a serene river setting while catching trout, the exhilarating view of the famous 'pearls' of Paarl Mountain from a hot-air balloon, or the breathtaking beauty of riding into the sunset on horseback.
No matter your age, your tastes or your preferences, the Winelands promises a world of enticing experiences that will surpass your every expectation.