Cape Town wine routes

Cape Town is known internationally for the fine wines produced by its many vineyards. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town city centre, the wine routes offer cultural and agricultural heritage, beautiful undulating vineyards, as well as excellent wines and an inviting mix of restaurants.

Most wine farms offer daily wine tasting, cellar tours and sales – some by appointment only – and there are many reputable choices when it comes to wine route tours.

The Constantia vineyards are said to be the birthplace of South Africa’s wine farming industry and are home to the legendary Vin de Constance by Klein Constantia. The Constantia Wine Route is the traveller’s quick-fix as Constantia is a mere 20 minutes from the city centre.

The Durbanville Wine Valley is fairly new wine country, but is fast becoming a destination of choice. The route includes 12 wineries situated in the Tygerberg Hills, 30 minutes' drive from Cape Town’s city centre. Historically a grape growing area, these estates are complemented by some of the best fine-dining restaurants and intimate country kitchens in the region.

Wines to come out of the Durbanville area are usually intense and fruit-driven, yet graceful.

The Stellenbosch Wine Route was founded in 1971. This was the first wine region in South Africa to establish a route along an organised network of wineries. As the oldest formal wine route, it boasts almost 150 wine and grape producers, and has been divided into sub-regions.

The Helderberg Wine Route, now part of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, is at a slightly further travelling distance from the city centre, heading in the direction of Somerset West. It includes just over 20 estates offering original varietals of wine, an amiable atmosphere and awe-inspiring scenery. The Helderberg region has always been known for its red and port-style wines, and is one of the largest private producers of port-style wines in South Africa.

The Franschhoek Valley is further away from Cape Town. Many of the wine farms here were developed by the French Huguenots centuries ago and thus have a distinctly French feel. Famed as a culinary and wine-producing region, Franschhoek boasts around 40 estates and 30 restaurants. The latest route to be launched there is called the Cap Classique Route (a sparkling wine tour) and includes cellars intent on sharing the methods of making Cap Classique and sipping the pleasing results.

Cape Town’s many fine wines can also be found at top wine retailers such as Vaughan Johnson’s Wine at the V&A Waterfront, Vino Pronto and Wine Concepts, where knowledgeable staff will assist you and arrange for shipping if required.