The winelands, east of Cape Town, are synonymous with fine wines and gourmet cuisine. The area has a distinct Cape Dutch heritage and character.
The wine tasting using the Wine Tram at Franshoek was such great fun in some beautiful settings.
Indulge your tastebuds during a holiday in the winelands of the Western Cape. Wine has been produced here since the 17th century and many wineries offer guided tours and tastings, allowing you to enjoy present day vintages. The high quality of the wine is matched by the region’s cuisine and luxurious accommodation. Wildlife lovers can visit nature reserves and there are opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.
- Wine tours: No visit to the Winelands is complete without a wine tour. Many estates offer you the chance to observe the process at first-hand from vine to glass culminating, naturally enough, in a wine tasting. Children are offered alternatives such as chocolate, so no-one feels left out. Make journeying between vineyards part of the fun by using the Franshhoek hop-on hop-off wine tram or travelling by bike, scooter or even a Segway.
- Fine dining: Lovers of wine tend to be gourmands and there’s plenty of choice in the Winelands when it comes to dining out. From haute cuisine restaurants to casual outdoor eateries, traditional farmhouse fare to packed picnic hampers, you can take your pick and families are well catered for. Many wineries have their own restaurants where food and wine are carefully paired allowing you to educate your palate.
- Cape Dutch heritage: The Cape Dutch preceded the British in South Africa and their heritage lives on notably in their architecture. The gabled farmsteads with wooden shuttered windows and white-washed outhouses are typical of this style and can be seen across the region. The towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl have great examples of this architecture and Swellendam’s Drotsdy Museum comprises several buildings including the old gaol and farms.
- Nature: This is a beautiful area and nature reserves enable you to enjoy it to the full. At Marloth in the Swellendam Mountains you can go hiking, biking and horse riding among fynbos and forest and view birds such as fish eagle and Cape vulture. Paarl Mountain Reserve has many walking and cycling routes and a wildflower garden full of proteas plus opportunities for fishing and great views of the Drakenstein Valley.
- A choice of accommodation: Whether you choose to stay at a traditional Cape Dutch homestead, a sophisticated boutique hotel, a cosy auberge or historic townhouse you can be assured of a consistently high level of accommodation, amenities and hospitality.