Top Five Cape Town Wine Routes
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the wine routes offer visitors picturesque scenery, friendly hospitality and excellent wines. Most estates have daily wine tasting, cellar tours and sales – some by appointment only – and there are many choices when it comes to wine route tours. And because wine and food belong together, some of the world’s best restaurants can be found in the Cape Winelands.
Constantia Valley Wine Route
The Constantia Valley is said to be the birthplace of South Africa’s wine farming industry and home to the legendary Vin de Constance. It is the site of some of the oldest wine estates in South Africa thanks to Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape, who decided to cultivate and develop the land in 1685. Over the years, the original Groot Constantia farm was divided into four smaller ones and, with the addition of one or two newer estates, this cluster of award-winning wine farms forms the Constantia Valley Wine Route. Short of time but keen on wine tasting? This is your quick-fix. Constantia is a mere 20 minutes from the city centre.
Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes
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’s not surprising that it boasts almost 200 wine and grape producers. Since 2002 it has been called the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes and has been divided into these sub-regions:
- Greater Simonsberg
- Stellenbosch Berg
- Stellenbosch Hills
- Bottelary Hills
- Helderberg (Somerset West)
A meander through the historic town of Stellenbosch can be added to the itinerary too.
Helderberg Wine Route
The Helderberg Wine Route now forms part of the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes. It is slightly further away from Cape Town, in Somerset West, and includes more than 20 estates. The region is known for its reds and port, and is one of the largest private producers of port in South Africa. In recent times, it has also acquired a reputation for producing impressive white wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Durbanville Valley Wine Route
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, a mere 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 and intimate country kitchens in the region. Wines from the Durbanville area are usually intense and fruity.
Franschhoek Wine Route
The Franschhoek Valley is arguably the most beautiful of the wine routes. As you travel up the mountain on your way in, you are greeted with a spectacular view.
Many of the wine farms were developed by the French Huguenots centuries ago. Famed as a culinary region, as well as for its wine, Franschhoek boasts around 40 estates and over 28 restaurants. A new route has also been launched in Franschhoek called the Cap Classique Route (sparkling wine) which includes nine cellars. The village in Franschhoek also offers a wonderful selection of art galleries, antique shops and boutique hotels.
While you’re in wine country find out about...
Live performances, spas, birdwatching, brandy tasting, cheese-making, fly-fishing, game drives, horse riding, olives, wine and chocolate experiences, nougat and wine tasting or nuts and wine tasting.
Please do not hesitate to contact Cape Town Tourism for suggestions on what to see and do, where to eat, how to get around and where to stay. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 (0)21 487 6800.