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January 09, 2012

Summer in the Cape Winelands

Take advantage of the Cape Winelands these summer holidays – most of the wine routes are less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. With endless options for daily wine tasting, cellar tours, sales and accommodation, we recommend selecting a wine route so as to experience as much as possible. Here are our notes on where to stay.

Constantia Valley

If you are a little short on time, the Constantia Valley, said to be the birthplace of South Africa’s wine farming industry, is a mere 20 minutes from the CBD. Stay at Ikhaya Safari Lodge with its African safari décor and you’ll forget that you are still in the suburbs. For pampering and luxury try the Steenberg Hotel in Tokai, lovingly restored to its former glory and now a national monument.

Ikhaya Safari Lodge, +27 (0)21 794 3463, www.ikhayasafari.co.za

Steenberg Hotel, +27 (0)21 713 2222, www.steenberghotel.com

Stellenbosch Wine Route

Stellenbosch was the first wine region in South Africa to establish an organised network of wineries, with the Stellenbosch Wine Route being founded in 1971. Since 2002 it has been called the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes. Stay at the five-star Asara Wine Estate and Hotel or the Wedgeview Country House and Spa, situated on a one hectare plot.

Asara Wine Estate and Hotel, +27 (0)21 888 8000, www.asara.co.za

Wedgeview Country House and Spa, +27 (0)21 881 3525, www.wedgeview.co.za

Helderberg Wine Route

 

The Helderberg Wine Route, now part of the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes, is in the Somerset West area and renowned for its red wines and port. Stay at the famous
NH The Lord Charles hotel in Somerset West, an estate with a rich local history, or stay at Lalapanzi Lodge on Sir Lowry's Pass, the ultimate mountain retreat hidden at the foothills of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.

NH The Lord Charles, +27 (0)21 855 1040, www.nh-hotels.co.za

Lalapanzi Lodge, +27 (0)21 858 1982, www.lalapanzilodge.co.za

Durbanville Wine Valley

 

The Durbanville Wine Valley is fairly new wine territory in the Cape but is fast becoming a destination of choice. The route includes 12 wineries situated in the Tygerberg Hills, 30 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. Stay at Feathers Lodge, a tranquil and tastefully decorated guesthouse and conference centre. Stop at the Durbanville Hills Eatery at the Durbanville Hills wine estate for a lunch made from fresh, local produce or for Friday evenings for a taste of Spain with tapas and wine.

Feathers Lodge, +27 (0)21 910 1078, www.featherslodge.co.za

Durbanville Hills Eatery, +27 (0)21 558 1337, www.durbanvillehills.co.za

Franshoek Wine Valley

 

The Franschhoek Wine Valley is the furthest wine route from Cape Town and also famous for being a culinary region. It recently launched the Cap Classique Route (sparkling wine). Stay at Dieu Donné Guest Farm, an elegant and peaceful rest stop or at the romantic Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa.

Dieu Donné Guest Farm, +27 (0)21 876 2131, www.dieudonne.co.za

Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, +27 (0)21 876 8900, www.lefranschhoek.co.za 

More to discover

 

The latest wine route to be launched is in Hermanus, stretching for 6.7km along the R320 through the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Other wine regions fairly close to Cape Town that can be explored include Paarl, Worcester and Robertson.

 

Events for 2012

The best of Cape Town’s summer is celebrated in the outdoors. Here are some recommended events incorporating wine:

-          March 21: Feast of the Grape, Durbanville Wine Route (dates tentative, still to be confirmed)

-          March 24: Franschhoek Oesfees

-          May 11: Franschhoek Literary Festival

-          May 25 & 26: TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival

-          June 2 & 3: Soup, Sip and Bread, Durbanville Wine Route

-          July 16 & 17: Franschhoek Bastille Day Festival

-          July: Stellenbosch Wine Festival (dates to be confirmed)

-          August: Hermanus Wine and Food Fair (dates to be confirmed)

-          September 3 & 4: Franschhoek Uncorked (dates tentative, still to be confirmed)

-          October 6 & 7: Season of Sauvignon, Durbanville Wine Route

-          October 14 to 28: Spring it on Constantia (dates tentative, still to be confirmed)

-          November 29 & 30: RMB WineX Cape Town 2012, Cape Town International Convention Centre

    

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