wine tasting

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

 

Romantic South Africa

Whether you and your significant other enjoy sipping wine together at sunset or adventure activities, we’ve compiled a list of romantic experiences to suit all couples.

Hot air ballooning through the Pilanesberg National Park, is the most scenic and relaxing method of experiencing the game reserve which is home to the Big Five.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris is the only Hot Air Balloon Company which launches from within a national park, offering a truly unique experience. Tours depart early morning and offer a 4-5 hour experience including hotel pick-up, 45-minute ride, a sparkling wine celebration on landing and full English breakfast.

The Bachelor Australia embarked on this breathtaking journey over the National Park, drifting over the lush terrain with one lucky lady during his time in South Africa.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safari’s

Image source: Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris

A helicopter trip with your partner in South Africa is guaranteed to be a spectacular experience, the only difficulty is choosing a region! The Bachelor Australia treated one lucky lady to this 5-star experience at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town which offers a luxurious package including private helicopter ride, lunch and wine tasting at an award winning restaurant.

Helicopter Ride - 12 Apostles

Image source: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

If you and your partner are into adventure activities, South Africa is one the few countries in the world which allow cage-free diving tours with Tiger sharks in Protea Banks. Participants will need to have completed a diving course before the dive. This is a unique experience, which will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

SharkExplorers in Cape Town offer a range of cage diving experiences as seen on The Bachelor Australia. The White Shark adventures which take place in False Bay, which is a 30-minute drive from Cape Town is a Great White Shark hotspot. The tour starts out before dawn and you’ll be able to experience the strength of the Great White Sharks launching out of the water to catch its seal prey safely from the boat.

Tiger Shark Diving

Cape Winelands which are located in the Western Cape gives you and your partner the opportunity to sit back and relax with a wine in hand and watch the sun set in this picturesque region of South Africa.

Whether you’re in a couple or travelling with friends and family, the Cape has 18 official wine routes and 2 brandy routes which offer the 3 S’s; Scenery, Serenity and Splendid wines.

Wine tasting, wine making tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Cape Winelands

This region was featured on The Bachelor Australia when Blake romanced one of the final three lucky ladies taking her to the stunning Delaire Graff Estate.

If you’re overcome with the beauty of the Cape and find yourself on one knee proposing to the love of your life, you’ll be glad to know the Cape is a popular location to celebrate your nuptials. Cape Winelands offer breathtaking backdrops, world class food & wine, accommodation, all in a romantic and historical setting.

After a big day of activities, whether it be hot air ballooning, diving with sharks or enjoying a glass of red while the sun sets over the Cape Winelands, there are plenty of luxurious hotels for you to lay your head down…in style!

Pilanesberg National Park is a fascinating location, born out of a crater of a long extinct volcano. The Ivory Tree Game Lodge as featured on The Bachelor Australia is located in the heart of Pilanesberg and offers excellent service, range of amenities and stylish interiors for a night of rest and relaxation. The lodge has a range of activities for you to take advantage of during the day including archery, quad biking and of course, safari.

Ivory Tree Lodge

Image source: Ivory Tree Game Lodge

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is a unique Garden Route boutique resort which can be found in the treetops, as the name suggests. This five-star luxury resort offers unique lodges in the remote wilderness, wrap around decking and private infinity pools which offer birds eye views of the forest.

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Image source: Tsala Treetop Lodge

If you’re looking for a luxury safari lodge, Singita Ebony located in the Kruger National Park has incredible views of the river where wildlife bathe and drink with all the features of a five star lodge. Each room at Singita Ebony has a private pool, open fireplace, indoor/outdoor shower and game-viewing deck.

Singita Ebony

Image source: Singita Ebony

Follow the links below to book your romantic experience in South Africa.

Hot Air Ballooning

Mankwe GAMETRACKERS
Tel: +27 14 552 5020
Email: suncity@mankwegametrackers.co.za

Helicopter Ride

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 437 9000
Email: horst@12apostles.co.za

Shark Diving

SHARKEXPLORERS
Telephone: +27 82 564 1904
Email: info@sharkexplorers.com

African Dive Adventures (include Tiger Shark Diving adventures)
Tel: +27 (0)39 317 1483
Email: afridive@venturenet.co.za

 Accommodation

Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Tel: +27 11 781 1661
Email: res3@anthology.co.za

The Tsala Treetop Lodge
T : +27 (0) 44 501 1111
F : +27 (0) 44 501 1100
res@hunterhotels.com
www.hunterhotels.com

Singita Ebony
Tel: +27 (0)21 683 3424
Fax: +27 (0)21 671 6776
Email: enquiries@singita.com
http://singita.com/

Romantic South Africa

Whether you and your significant other enjoy sipping wine together at sunset or adventure activities, we’ve compiled a list of romantic experiences to suit all couples.

Hot air ballooning through the Pilanesberg National Park, is the most scenic and relaxing method of experiencing the game reserve which is home to the Big Five.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris is the only Hot Air Balloon Company which launches from within a national park, offering a truly unique experience. Tours depart early morning and offer a 4-5 hour experience including hotel pick-up, 45-minute ride, a sparkling wine celebration on landing and full English breakfast.

The Bachelor Australia embarked on this breathtaking journey over the National Park, drifting over the lush terrain with one lucky lady during his time in South Africa.

Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safari’s

Image source: Mankwe Gametrackers Balloon Safaris

A helicopter trip with your partner in South Africa is guaranteed to be a spectacular experience, the only difficulty is choosing a region! The Bachelor Australia treated one lucky lady to this 5-star experience at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town which offers a luxurious package including private helicopter ride, lunch and wine tasting at an award winning restaurant.

Helicopter Ride - 12 Apostles

Image source: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

If you and your partner are into adventure activities, South Africa is one the few countries in the world which allow cage-free diving tours with Tiger sharks in Protea Banks. Participants will need to have completed a diving course before the dive. This is a unique experience, which will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

SharkExplorers in Cape Town offer a range of cage diving experiences as seen on The Bachelor Australia. The White Shark adventures which take place in False Bay, which is a 30-minute drive from Cape Town is a Great White Shark hotspot. The tour starts out before dawn and you’ll be able to experience the strength of the Great White Sharks launching out of the water to catch its seal prey safely from the boat.

Tiger Shark Diving

Cape Winelands which are located in the Western Cape gives you and your partner the opportunity to sit back and relax with a wine in hand and watch the sun set in this picturesque region of South Africa.

Whether you’re in a couple or travelling with friends and family, the Cape has 18 official wine routes and 2 brandy routes which offer the 3 S’s; Scenery, Serenity and Splendid wines.

Wine tasting, wine making tours, excellent cuisine and magnificent scenery collectively create an irresistible attraction for international and local travellers alike.

Cape Winelands

This region was featured on The Bachelor Australia when Blake romanced one of the final three lucky ladies taking her to the stunning Delaire Graff Estate.

If you’re overcome with the beauty of the Cape and find yourself on one knee proposing to the love of your life, you’ll be glad to know the Cape is a popular location to celebrate your nuptials. Cape Winelands offer breathtaking backdrops, world class food & wine, accommodation, all in a romantic and historical setting.

After a big day of activities, whether it be hot air ballooning, diving with sharks or enjoying a glass of red while the sun sets over the Cape Winelands, there are plenty of luxurious hotels for you to lay your head down…in style!

Pilanesberg National Park is a fascinating location, born out of a crater of a long extinct volcano. The Ivory Tree Game Lodge as featured on The Bachelor Australia is located in the heart of Pilanesberg and offers excellent service, range of amenities and stylish interiors for a night of rest and relaxation. The lodge has a range of activities for you to take advantage of during the day including archery, quad biking and of course, safari.

Ivory Tree Lodge

Image source: Ivory Tree Game Lodge

The Tsala Treetop Lodge is a unique Garden Route boutique resort which can be found in the treetops, as the name suggests. This five-star luxury resort offers unique lodges in the remote wilderness, wrap around decking and private infinity pools which offer birds eye views of the forest.

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Image source: Tsala Treetop Lodge

If you’re looking for a luxury safari lodge, Singita Ebony located in the Kruger National Park has incredible views of the river where wildlife bathe and drink with all the features of a five star lodge. Each room at Singita Ebony has a private pool, open fireplace, indoor/outdoor shower and game-viewing deck.

Singita Ebony

Image source: Singita Ebony

Follow the links below to book your romantic experience in South Africa.

Hot Air Ballooning

Mankwe GAMETRACKERS
Tel: +27 14 552 5020
Email: suncity@mankwegametrackers.co.za

Helicopter Ride

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 437 9000
Email: horst@12apostles.co.za

Shark Diving

SHARKEXPLORERS
Telephone: +27 82 564 1904
Email: info@sharkexplorers.com

African Dive Adventures (include Tiger Shark Diving adventures)
Tel: +27 (0)39 317 1483
Email: afridive@venturenet.co.za

 Accommodation

Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Tel: +27 11 781 1661
Email: res3@anthology.co.za

The Tsala Treetop Lodge
T : +27 (0) 44 501 1111
F : +27 (0) 44 501 1100
res@hunterhotels.com
www.hunterhotels.com

Singita Ebony
Tel: +27 (0)21 683 3424
Fax: +27 (0)21 671 6776
Email: enquiries@singita.com
http://singita.com/