wine route

Autumn harvest: getting your grape on

Autumn marks the start of the wine harvest in South Africa and an opportunity for you to get both your hands and feet dirty. Whether you choose to meander by yourself, or experience complete immersion in the process, be prepared for a whole lot of fun.

It’s always a difficult task to single out specific regions or estates to visit, especially when you’re talking about a country with a winemaking history dating back to 1659 and 18 official wine routes.

There are 18 official wine routes in South Africa. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are 18 official wine routes in South Africa. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

The vines are literally planted across the Western Cape as far as the Hemel-en-Aarde valley in the Southern Cape, Bamboes Bay on the West Cape coast, Hartswater in the Northern Cape and Rietrivier in the south western Free State. Unofficially, South Africa’s northernmost vineyards are in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria in Gauteng!

And then, of course, there are the magnificent range of varietals and copious numbers of awards and medals one should take into account.

The Manor House at Vergelege estate in Somerset West. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

The Manor House at Vergelege estate in Somerset West. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

Thanks to a climate that’s quite similar to the Mediterranean, the Western Cape is extremely fertile with perfect wine (and farming) land. Here are a few estates that stand out for us across the region that you could pop in to on your own: Vergelegen (Somerset West), Meerlust and Tokara (Stellenbosch), Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town), Hamilton Russell Vineyards (Hermanus), Thelema Mountain Vineyards, La Petite Ferme and Haute Cabrière (Franschhoek), KWV Cellars (Paarl), Nabygelegen (Wellington) and Cederberg (Clanwilliam).

Stunning views from Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hermanus. Photo  credit: www.nobleroute.com

Stunning views from Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hermanus. Photo credit: www.nobleroute.com

You might want to consider joining a fantastic winemaker interaction tour instead though. Think ‘up close and personal’ with the makers of their favourite tipples rather than big group tours that can sometimes feel a little impersonal. Check out Adamastor and Bacchus tours or Vineyard Ventures, the oldest and most established wine tour company in the Cape.

 

Join an interactive tour and find out about the wines directly from the grower or vineyard owner. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Join an interactive tour and find out about the wines directly from the grower or vineyard owner. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

If you’re more of a compassionate wine tourist however, consider a tour with Wine Desk where you’ll be introduced to The Pebbles Project, a charity supporting children living in the winelands, as well as experience traditional tasting sessions at three wine farms.

And finally, if you’re a wine ‘newbie’ and are feeling a little daunted at the prospect of the whole vineyard experience, we have something for you too. Thanks to www.wines.co.za, you can skill up by watching a few videos on the basics, like ‘What is wine?’, ‘Varieties & Cultivars’, ‘How wine is made’, ‘Types of wine’ and ‘How to taste wine’. No doubt, you’ll feel much more comfortable with the wine lingo by the time you visit.

Wines from the Western Cape are some of the best in the world. The vineyards are pretty special too! Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

Wines from the Western Cape are some of the best in the world. The vineyards are pretty special too! Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

A common Stellenbosch sight that's difficult to tire from. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

A common Stellenbosch sight that’s difficult to tire of. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

 

Autumn harvest: getting your grape on

Autumn marks the start of the wine harvest in South Africa and an opportunity for you to get both your hands and feet dirty. Whether you choose to meander by yourself, or experience complete immersion in the process, be prepared for a whole lot of fun.

It’s always a difficult task to single out specific regions or estates to visit, especially when you’re talking about a country with a winemaking history dating back to 1659 and 18 official wine routes.

There are 18 official wine routes in South Africa. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are 18 official wine routes in South Africa. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

The vines are literally planted across the Western Cape as far as the Hemel-en-Aarde valley in the Southern Cape, Bamboes Bay on the West Cape coast, Hartswater in the Northern Cape and Rietrivier in the south western Free State. Unofficially, South Africa’s northernmost vineyards are in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria in Gauteng!

And then, of course, there are the magnificent range of varietals and copious numbers of awards and medals one should take into account.

The Manor House at Vergelege estate in Somerset West. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

The Manor House at Vergelege estate in Somerset West. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

Thanks to a climate that’s quite similar to the Mediterranean, the Western Cape is extremely fertile with perfect wine (and farming) land. Here are a few estates that stand out for us across the region that you could pop in to on your own: Vergelegen (Somerset West), Meerlust and Tokara (Stellenbosch), Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia (Constantia, Cape Town), Hamilton Russell Vineyards (Hermanus), Thelema Mountain Vineyards, La Petite Ferme and Haute Cabrière (Franschhoek), KWV Cellars (Paarl), Nabygelegen (Wellington) and Cederberg (Clanwilliam).

Stunning views from Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hermanus. Photo  credit: www.nobleroute.com

Stunning views from Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hermanus. Photo credit: www.nobleroute.com

You might want to consider joining a fantastic winemaker interaction tour instead though. Think ‘up close and personal’ with the makers of their favourite tipples rather than big group tours that can sometimes feel a little impersonal. Check out Adamastor and Bacchus tours or Vineyard Ventures, the oldest and most established wine tour company in the Cape.

 

Join an interactive tour and find out about the wines directly from the grower or vineyard owner. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Join an interactive tour and find out about the wines directly from the grower or vineyard owner. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

If you’re more of a compassionate wine tourist however, consider a tour with Wine Desk where you’ll be introduced to The Pebbles Project, a charity supporting children living in the winelands, as well as experience traditional tasting sessions at three wine farms.

And finally, if you’re a wine ‘newbie’ and are feeling a little daunted at the prospect of the whole vineyard experience, we have something for you too. Thanks to www.wines.co.za, you can skill up by watching a few videos on the basics, like ‘What is wine?’, ‘Varieties & Cultivars’, ‘How wine is made’, ‘Types of wine’ and ‘How to taste wine’. No doubt, you’ll feel much more comfortable with the wine lingo by the time you visit.

Wines from the Western Cape are some of the best in the world. The vineyards are pretty special too! Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

Wines from the Western Cape are some of the best in the world. The vineyards are pretty special too! Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

For more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

A common Stellenbosch sight that's difficult to tire from. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

A common Stellenbosch sight that’s difficult to tire of. Photo credit: www.wikipedia.org

 

Wining and dining in South Africa

South Africa is home to some of the world’s exquisite cuisine and wine regions.

The food and wine route in South Africa offers culinary experiences which will awaken and excite.

Cape Winelands has 18 official wine routes and two brandy routes which are nestled among the most scenic and historic wine estates which date back centuries. The Cape is a premier Western Cape visitor attraction offering tours ranging from wine tasting to wine making. There is also excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively creating an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Stellenbosch

The Stellenbosch Wine Route, which is South Africa’s oldest, was founded in 1971 and is known to produce a world-renowned sparkling wine. It is located in Cape Winelands and has been awarded the Best Wine Destination in 2012 by Trip Advisor and just like a fine wine, the  town has only gotten better with age. There are a range of wineries to visit ranging from large estates to smaller independent wineries.

For elegant alfresco dining under the oaks, splendid vineyard views and sublimely prepared seasonal fare, try Terroir restaurant at Kleine Zalze wine. Similarly, the restaurant at Jordan winery offers panoramic views of Table Mountain, False Bay and Stellenbosch, with a daily blackboard menu to complement Jordan’s acclaimed wines.

Stellenbosch WineryIf your palate prefers white wine, we recommend visiting the town of Franschhoek which is commonly referred to as South Africa’s gourmet capital boasting dozens of award winning wineries and restaurants which source local produce to create their menus.

Franschhoek Valley

What makes this food and wine route in Franschhoek special is you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The heritage can be felt in this picturesque town and, yet, it’s only 45 minutes from Cape Town! The main road is lined with restaurants, some run by award-winning chefs like Reuben Riffel of Reuben’s Restaurant and Margot Janse van Vuuren of Le Quartier Francais, where it’s well worth trying to secure a table.

Franschhoek

In addition to its wine, the Wellington region in The Cape is famous for its brandy. The Schalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht Estate in this area is owned and run by former and current international rugby players, Schalk Burger snr and his son of the same name.

There are many beautiful wineries in The Cape which will steal your heart with amazing hospitality, delicious cuisine and beautiful drops of red, white or sparkling!

Restaurants

Terrior Restaurant at Kleine Zalze
Phone: +27 (21) 880-8167
Email: info@wineorders.co.za

Jordan Restaurant
Phone: +27 (21) 881 3612
Email: restaurant@jordanwines.com

Reuben’s Franschhoek
Phone: +27 (21) 876 3772
Email: reservations@reubens.co.za

Le Quartier Francais
Phone: +27 (21) 876 2151
Email: res@lqf.co.za

Wining and dining in South Africa

South Africa is home to some of the world’s exquisite cuisine and wine regions.

The food and wine route in South Africa offers culinary experiences which will awaken and excite.

Cape Winelands has 18 official wine routes and two brandy routes which are nestled among the most scenic and historic wine estates which date back centuries. The Cape is a premier Western Cape visitor attraction offering tours ranging from wine tasting to wine making. There is also excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively creating an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Stellenbosch

The Stellenbosch Wine Route, which is South Africa’s oldest, was founded in 1971 and is known to produce a world-renowned sparkling wine. It is located in Cape Winelands and has been awarded the Best Wine Destination in 2012 by Trip Advisor and just like a fine wine, the  town has only gotten better with age. There are a range of wineries to visit ranging from large estates to smaller independent wineries.

For elegant alfresco dining under the oaks, splendid vineyard views and sublimely prepared seasonal fare, try Terroir restaurant at Kleine Zalze wine. Similarly, the restaurant at Jordan winery offers panoramic views of Table Mountain, False Bay and Stellenbosch, with a daily blackboard menu to complement Jordan’s acclaimed wines.

Stellenbosch WineryIf your palate prefers white wine, we recommend visiting the town of Franschhoek which is commonly referred to as South Africa’s gourmet capital boasting dozens of award winning wineries and restaurants which source local produce to create their menus.

Franschhoek Valley

What makes this food and wine route in Franschhoek special is you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The heritage can be felt in this picturesque town and, yet, it’s only 45 minutes from Cape Town! The main road is lined with restaurants, some run by award-winning chefs like Reuben Riffel of Reuben’s Restaurant and Margot Janse van Vuuren of Le Quartier Francais, where it’s well worth trying to secure a table.

Franschhoek

In addition to its wine, the Wellington region in The Cape is famous for its brandy. The Schalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht Estate in this area is owned and run by former and current international rugby players, Schalk Burger snr and his son of the same name.

There are many beautiful wineries in The Cape which will steal your heart with amazing hospitality, delicious cuisine and beautiful drops of red, white or sparkling!

Restaurants

Terrior Restaurant at Kleine Zalze
Phone: +27 (21) 880-8167
Email: info@wineorders.co.za

Jordan Restaurant
Phone: +27 (21) 881 3612
Email: restaurant@jordanwines.com

Reuben’s Franschhoek
Phone: +27 (21) 876 3772
Email: reservations@reubens.co.za

Le Quartier Francais
Phone: +27 (21) 876 2151
Email: res@lqf.co.za