English, Afrikaans, Xhosa
The Cape Winelands are situated approximately 50 kilometers or 31 miles from the city of Cape Town. This area of rolling vineyards among dramatic mountain peaks is among the most scenic wineland districts in the world, and the region is also known as South Africa’s culinary capital. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington and Paarl form the main towns of the Cape Winelands, and its convenient location makes it ideal to combine with a Cape Town holiday.
The Cape Winelands are made up of historic towns, connected by rolling hills of vineyards. It is a place where visitors can explore an intense slave history and bustling cosmopolitan sidewalks all in a day’s walk. These historic towns are surrounded by impressive mountains, as the natural landscape lends itself to a variety of hiking and biking trails.
The winelands area is the largest wine producing region in South Africa. It is one of the oldest wine regions in the world, and also one of the only regions left where the process of wine making is not highly mechanized, ensuring that wines are crafted rather than produced. Many of the wine farms in this region are working farms; this means that guests staying on these properties get to experience century-old craftsmen traditions for themselves, making it the most authentic winelands experience in the world.
There is no malaria in the Cape Winelands, and its infrastructure is extremely well developed, making for a safe and easy self-drive holiday for couples and families alike.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
Food & Wine
Wine making is an art form in this region. Wine makers take great pride in their creations, which are still steeped in traditional methods. Numerous wines in the region are award winning, so embark on an exploration of the area's renowned estates. Sommeliers will share their expertise with you, as you visit each winery's cellars and tasting rooms.
While some estates charge a fee per tasting, many smaller vineyards will welcome travellers with a free tasting and a chat about the local area and their wines. Each estate has its own story, and its own unique approach to making wine. There are also several weekend markets on the wine farms that are worth checking out.
The Cape Winelands boasts several prestigious golf courses. These top class courses can be enjoyed as a single golfing holiday, or you can combine it with a Cape Town trip. Courses have spectacular views of vineyards and mountains, making them among the most scenic in the world.
If you are looking for a high quality luxury experience with a championship layout, De Zalze is the course for you. If you wish for a more Parkland course with open fairways and years of history, Stellenbosch Golf Club is a great course. Pearl Valley is a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course where major championships have been hosted. In Somerset West you will also find Erinvale, a beautiful golf course located on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains.
Visit Nearby Towns
Stellenbosch is a century-old university town, surrounded by some of the finest wine estates in the country. It is the second oldest and undoubtedly one of the most attractive and historically preserved towns in southern Africa. Colonial history is reflected and preserved in the neo-Dutch, and modern-Victorian architecture. Museums and restored slave houses take visitors back to a bygone era, whilst restaurants, bars and galleries combine to form a modern, yet laid back cosmopolitan paradise.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route currently enjoys over 200 members. In addition, Brandy, one of South Africa’s finest products, is distilled in many cellars throughout the winelands, with exceptional cellars in Stellenbosch.
Franschhoek is another member of the oldest towns in South Africa, and is about 75 kilometres, or 45 miles, from Cape Town. This remarkable village is known for its beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants. Franschhoek is a wine lover's delight, as some of South Africa’s oldest and most famous wine estates are found here. The village contains one culinary delight after the other, with more award- winning restaurants per square meter than anywhere else in the country. Many of the restaurants are internationally acclaimed, so guests are advised to make bookings during the busy season between October and February. Be on the lookout for Bastille Day, when the town celebrates its French Heritage with a festival of fine French food and wine held on the 14th of July each year.
When to Visit
The Cape Winelands enjoys a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The wet winter months fall between May and August. It rains quite a bit, although every now and then there are beautiful sunny days. It is particularly striking when the surrounding mountains are dusted with snow.
The best time to visit is between September and April, when the weather is warm and sunny. February is possibly the hottest month when temperatures can soar to above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Make sure to enjoy a long lazy lunch on a wine estate, there is a vast choice but make sure to book well in advance if you are planing to visit during the summer months. "
Owner & Founder - Alexandra von Knorring
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Stay on a working wine estate in Stellenbosch