Winelands

Experience the Cape Winelands
South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography

Experience the Cape Winelands

South Africa boasts a number internationally acclaimed wines, and a visit to the Cape Winelands is a treat for wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike.

18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Enjoy a delicious glass of wine at one of South Africa’s many wine estates. Image courtesy of jose romeu de abreu, aka Jose Romeu, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

A tour of the Winelands can easily be incorporated into a holiday to Cape Town – or visiting wine estates can be the main focus of the holiday.

Here is a selection of some wine-tasting venues…

Spier wine estate (pictured below) is situated in the Stellenbosch region. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options (one of which is a children’s grape-juice tasting), view contemporary art, enjoy a Segway tour through the vineyards, learn about agricultural practices, enjoy a meal at Eight restaurant, and more. Delicious food platters to pair with your wine tasting are also available. Besides producing award-winning wines and being one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa (its history can be traced as far back as the late 17th century), Spier is concerned with sustainable tourism practices – evident in the fact that it is recognised by a number of fair trade and sustainable tourism organisations, including Fair Trade Tourism South Africa.

If you’re looking for award-winning South African sparkling wine, then look no further thanThe House of JC Le Roux in the Devon Valley near Stellenbosch. Here you can choose from four wine-tasting options, one of which is a tasting in which sparkling wines are paired with nougat and turkish delights. Another option is pairing of sparkling wines with a variety of marshmallow and meringues. Le Venue, the restaurant at The House of JC Le Roux, serves breakfast and lunches.

In the Robertson Wine Valley you will find the Graham Beck Robertson estate (there is also a vineyard in Stellenbosch and offices in Franschhoek, but tastings are only available at the Robertson estate). Here you can enjoy a wide selection of award-winning Graham Beck wines, including its world-class Cap Classique. Cellar tours are also available by appointment, so remember to book ahead of your wine tasting.

The Nederberg wine estate in Paarl is also a popular wine-tasting venue. Choose from a variety of wines to enjoy in beautiful and lush surroundings (pictured below). You can enjoy one of its cellar tours, which outline the history of Nederberg wines, the wine estate and more. Tours take place daily from Monday to Saturday. From July 2014 the estate will be open on Sundays too. The estate also offers food and wine pairings, and the Red Table restaurant, located in the Cape Dutch-style Manor House, offers Bistro-style dining. It is best to pre-book for tours and to make reservations for the Red Table to avoid being disappointed.

The well-known region of Franschhoek offers a number of great vineyards, restaurants and accompanying views. A visit to Franschhoek, even a short trip, will quickly make it clear why this region is so loved. The views in Franschhoek are magnificent, the wines are delicious, and the food exquisite. Try the  Boschendal Wine Estate – here you can indulge in some delicious wine and chocolate pairings, as well as cellar tours. Between November and March you can also enjoy vineyard tours. Booking for the vineyard tours is essential.

Image courtesy of Patrick Meier, aka herr meier aus frankfurt, shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group

Why not try some of these, and other, estates in the  Cape Winelands. You’ll be glad you did.

Image taken in Franschhoek. Image courtesy of Jon Reid, aka Nomadic Vision Photography
Gone glamping: The best ways to camp in style in South Africa

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Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 2

Last week the four friends experienced Johannesburg and Soweto, this week they head out of the city and along the Garden Route.

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Four Friends, Ten Days and Twenty Unforgettable Experiences – Part 2

Last week the four friends experienced Johannesburg and Soweto, this week they head out of the city and along the Garden Route.

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Top 5 Best Places to visit in South Africa

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5. Hermanus

A popular seaside down situated two hours from Cape Town on the Western Cape, Hermanus is most famous for being a whale watchers dream. Between August and November, whales can be seen every day along the coastal area of the town. If whale watching is too serene for your tastes, try your hand at cage diving with Great White Sharks on the nearby Dyer Island!

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4. Garden Route

One of the most beautiful scenic routes in South Africa, the Garden Route is located on the south-eastern coast between Mossel Bay and Storms River. The route is home to ten different nature reserves that house almost 300 species of birds as well as seals, dolphins and whales. The best way to experience the trip is to hire a car, although you could also catch a ride on Africa’s last remaining passenger steam train, the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe.

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3. Kruger National Park

Kruger is Africa’s oldest wildlife park, established in 1898. If you’re after a classic safari tour, the park boasts the highest variety of wildlife in Africa including hippos, giraffes, cheetah, crocodiles and more. If you’re after a camping experience, there are plenty of camp sites and bushveld camps to set up at or if you’re looking for more civilized accommodation, a chalet or cottage could be your ticket.

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2. Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch was established in 1679, making it the second oldest town in South Africa. One of the main reasons it made this list was due to the incredible wine route it contains – 44 cellars can be found in what has been dubbed ‘Cabernet country’. If you’re a fan of wine, be sure to stop by some of the cellars to experience tastings and fine dining within the beautiful gardens.

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1. Swartland

Tucked away within a secluded stretch on the Western Cape, Swartland houses one of the most extensive and pristine beaches in South Africa. The area is also well known for its vast vineyards and the sparse fields that burst into wild flowers during the spring, which have become something of a tourist attraction.

Top 5 Best Places to visit in South Africa

Photobucket

5. Hermanus

A popular seaside down situated two hours from Cape Town on the Western Cape, Hermanus is most famous for being a whale watchers dream. Between August and November, whales can be seen every day along the coastal area of the town. If whale watching is too serene for your tastes, try your hand at cage diving with Great White Sharks on the nearby Dyer Island!

 Photobucket

4. Garden Route

One of the most beautiful scenic routes in South Africa, the Garden Route is located on the south-eastern coast between Mossel Bay and Storms River. The route is home to ten different nature reserves that house almost 300 species of birds as well as seals, dolphins and whales. The best way to experience the trip is to hire a car, although you could also catch a ride on Africa’s last remaining passenger steam train, the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe.

 Photobucket

3. Kruger National Park

Kruger is Africa’s oldest wildlife park, established in 1898. If you’re after a classic safari tour, the park boasts the highest variety of wildlife in Africa including hippos, giraffes, cheetah, crocodiles and more. If you’re after a camping experience, there are plenty of camp sites and bushveld camps to set up at or if you’re looking for more civilized accommodation, a chalet or cottage could be your ticket.

 Photobucket

2. Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch was established in 1679, making it the second oldest town in South Africa. One of the main reasons it made this list was due to the incredible wine route it contains – 44 cellars can be found in what has been dubbed ‘Cabernet country’. If you’re a fan of wine, be sure to stop by some of the cellars to experience tastings and fine dining within the beautiful gardens.

 Photobucket

1. Swartland

Tucked away within a secluded stretch on the Western Cape, Swartland houses one of the most extensive and pristine beaches in South Africa. The area is also well known for its vast vineyards and the sparse fields that burst into wild flowers during the spring, which have become something of a tourist attraction.

South African Wine Regions

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There  is more than meets the eye in South Africa. The safaris and the scenery are beautiful but it’s sometimes a hidden treasure that can really steal your breath. South Africa is increasingly making it’s name for the popular wine regions. The wine regions are primarily nestled in the valleys between the mountains which makes for perfect scenery.


South Africa may be considered a ‘new region’ for wine but grapes for harvest have been grown in the wine country since the first European settlers arrived. In 1688 French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland settled in the cape and brought their expertise in viniculture with them.

There are so many regions to visit, your hardest job will be picking where to go! If you are limited for time the two most popular locations are Stellenbosch & Franschoek.


Stellenbosch

Tourism Stellenbosh’s website says:

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“Stellenbosch is without doubt one of the prettiest little towns in the whole of South Africa. Situated at the head of the Eerste (First) River Valley, it was one of the first valleys to be settled in. The area is full of charming scenes and rich in history.

This visual effect of Stellenbosch is of course, compounded by the fact that the town is surrounded by spectacular mountains and some of the world’s most famous vineyards adding to the town and region’s attractiveness to the local and international tourist.”

Franschoek

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The Franschoek valley is a small but significant region, inland (to the west) of Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the spooky-sounding Drakenstein mountains, the wide variety of soils and relatively high rainfall permits production of a wide variety of wine styles. It’s a hotter region than Stellenbosch, and with its profusion of trendy restaurants it can rightfully claim to be the gourmet capital of the winelands. An easy day trip from Cape Town.

Remember that drinking and driving is a heavily fined offense in South Africa. If you plan on tasting and drinking alot, rather opt for a guided tour with a driver.

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South African Wine Regions

Photobucket

 

There  is more than meets the eye in South Africa. The safaris and the scenery are beautiful but it’s sometimes a hidden treasure that can really steal your breath. South Africa is increasingly making it’s name for the popular wine regions. The wine regions are primarily nestled in the valleys between the mountains which makes for perfect scenery.


South Africa may be considered a ‘new region’ for wine but grapes for harvest have been grown in the wine country since the first European settlers arrived. In 1688 French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland settled in the cape and brought their expertise in viniculture with them.

There are so many regions to visit, your hardest job will be picking where to go! If you are limited for time the two most popular locations are Stellenbosch & Franschoek.


Stellenbosch

Tourism Stellenbosh’s website says:

Photobucket

“Stellenbosch is without doubt one of the prettiest little towns in the whole of South Africa. Situated at the head of the Eerste (First) River Valley, it was one of the first valleys to be settled in. The area is full of charming scenes and rich in history.

This visual effect of Stellenbosch is of course, compounded by the fact that the town is surrounded by spectacular mountains and some of the world’s most famous vineyards adding to the town and region’s attractiveness to the local and international tourist.”

Franschoek

Photobucket

 

The Franschoek valley is a small but significant region, inland (to the west) of Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the spooky-sounding Drakenstein mountains, the wide variety of soils and relatively high rainfall permits production of a wide variety of wine styles. It’s a hotter region than Stellenbosch, and with its profusion of trendy restaurants it can rightfully claim to be the gourmet capital of the winelands. An easy day trip from Cape Town.

Remember that drinking and driving is a heavily fined offense in South Africa. If you plan on tasting and drinking alot, rather opt for a guided tour with a driver.

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Three Steps to Blagging it in the Cape Winelands

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Be an instant ‘wine expert’ with our guide to sorting out the cigar box from the gooseberry nose

Ah, wine – the sweet elixir of Capetonian life, gloriously tasty and frightfully dangerous after the second bottle – is the modern-day drink of choice enjoyed as an aperitif or as an integral part of lunch and dinner. That’s all very well and good but when you’re surrounded by wine enthusiasts making horrible slurping noises the tipple suddenly becomes a mine field of leather cigar box and gooseberry noses.

Relax. We’ve teamed up with Warwick’s Sales and Marketing Manager James Dare and Black Pearl Wine’s Assistant Chief Winemaker Dr Lance C Nash to bring you three easy steps to blag it in the world of Cape wine. After all, they reckon that wine is open to interpretation so you’re free to make up your own mind. More →