South African Wine Country
South Africa is a country that just keeps on giving. With well-known national parks that are teeming with wildlife, and stunning metropolitan cities filled with culture, this African country is a mecca for incredible safari holidays. In addition, South Africa is home to some of the best wines in the world, with perfect grape growing weather and vineyards located all around the country. So make South Africa your ultimate base for a fun-filled African bush adventure followed by a relaxing time in the vineyard with a glass of Cape Chardonnay.
Just a short hour and a half drive away from Cape Town are the fame Winelands where rugged mountains surround lush valleys dotted with rolling vineyards. As wine tasting is an experience, a useful tip is to schedule a maximum of three vineyards in a day and never rush from one to another. To get the most out of your trip and truly experience South Africa’s wine culture and superb culinary flare, most visitors opt to spend a couple of nights in this verdant and beautiful region.
Wine tasting at Cape wineries is very good value for money and you can often order wines to be sent directly to your home as well as take some bottles away to enjoy during the rest of your holiday.
The closest wineries to Cape Town are in Contantia, which is just 15 minutes away from the city centre. The valley is home to lush greenery as well as eight award-winning wine estates. Visit Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate, to sample their high-quality red wines and to take part in a guided tour of their wine cellars. Head to Steenberg Farm for a luxury introduction to South African wines; with a golf course, spa and two first-class restaurants, Steenberg offers much more than just your typical wine tasting experience.
The origin of South Africa’s wine making fame, the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch, is home to some of the oldest and most famous wine estates. With over 148 wineries to choose from, offering a wide range of top quality wines, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Kanonkop, Rust, and Vrede are well-known wine estates recognised for their wines worldwide, so hop on a wine tasting tour and sample your way through.
For fans of white wine, head to the Spier winery and try their internationally acclaimed 21 Gables Chenin Blanc. On this sprawling estate, you’ll find amazing African art showcased, a large rose garden, a birds of prey rehabilitation centre, manicured lawns perfect for a picnic, as well as world-class restaurants offering exotic African cuisine and entertainment.
Bonnievale Cellar is one of the largest wine estates in the area. Located on the banks of the Breede River, this vineyard offers splendid views of lush greenery that can be seen from its stylish white and black tasting room. There are plenty of wine options to choose from, with entry-level, premium, and flagship wines on offer, each of which can be paired with local cheeses. Start by enjoying a glass of their 2012 Chardonnay that offers hints of citrus and tropical fruits, before moving on to the full-bodied 2010 Vertex Shiraz, which offers spice, coffee, and fruit notes.
For those who prefer wine of the sparkling variety, Montpellier, an estate founded in 1714 in the charming town of Tulbagh, is the place to be. The Brut Rose Method Cap Classique, with tasting notes of strawberries and black cherries, is their crème de la crème. Montpellier also offers excellent Ports, with their Shiraz Port being a winner in cooler weather, providing hints of Christmas cake and raisins. The 2010 Spyseniersberg is also a must-try, with notes of truffles, blackcurrant, and eucalyptus. Not only are the Montpellier cellar tours fascinating (by appointment only), but their charcuterie and cheese platters are renowned for being beautifully presented and heavenly to taste.
The L’Ormarins Wine Estate has outstanding scenic views, with its enviable position on the slopes of Franschhoek. Here, you will be received by passionate and knowledgeable staff at the Terra del Capo tasting room. Wines to look out for include the Brut Classique L’Ormarins, and their Terra del Capo range includes a Pino Grigio with hints of apples and honey, as well as the red Sangiovese with notes of nutmeg and cherries.
As an added bonus, Franschhoek has a hop-on hop-off Wine Tram that can take you around the valley, stopping at some of South Africa’s most notable wine estates. This is the perfect way to discover the beauty of the Franschhoek wine valley without having to worry about driving yourself.
Take a sip
For more information on how you can combine a great glass of wine with an incredible South African safari adventure, call us today on 020 8423 3000 to speak to one of our experts.