Popular Winelands Routes
The Winelands in Cape Town
When one thinks about the magnificence of the Cape - abundant green valleys, rocky mountains, indigo seas and sky - then the Cape’s winelands are usually top of the list. The Cape winelands are some of the most picturesque in the world and wine tourism is one of South Africa’s fastest growing industries.
Traditionally, when referring to the Cape Winelands, you will think of the cellars around Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek. South African wine has undergone an exciting new energy, it has come of age and is now competing on the world wine stage. A whole new creation of winemakers has appeared and there has been a shift from grape farming to wine growing.
There are many wine routes of the Cape, some of which are an easy drive from Cape Town, such as the Constantia, Durbanville, Darling and Walker Bay winelands. Most of South Africa’s vineyards are found in the Western Cape near the coast. The weather is ideal for growing grapes - rainfall measures up to 40 inches a year, the mild Mediterranean weather provides the perfect climate and the ground is mainly sandy and rough.
The Cape’s winelands stretch from the coast to the plains of the Little Karoo.There are currently some 560 wineries and 4 400 primary producers of vineyards in the Cape, divided by the Wine of Origin Scheme into 4 main regions: The Breede River Valley, The Little Karoo, Coastal and Olifants River.
Popular Wine Routes of the Western Cape
Cape Agulhas Wine Route
Most of the vineyards of this, the southern most point of Africa, are found in the little village of Elim. The pretty village is a national monument in its entirety and lies on a peninsular washed by two oceans – The Atlantic and the Indian.
Breedekloof Wine Route
The youngest wine route in South Africa and just 90 km outside of Cape Town, the Breedekloof wine route lies in the Breede River Valley, which stretches from Gouda in the west, McGregor in the south, Montagu in the east and the Tankwa-Karoo National Park in the North.
Constantia Wine Route
Just minutes outside of a city, the Constantia wine route includes five producers, each with a wealth of history and winemaking experience that dates back to late 1600s.
Cape Point Wine Route
The Cape Point Vineyards are still relatively new on the tourist itinerary. It was only in 1998 that the new Cape Point Wine District was declared. They were established in 1996 with the first vines on the Noordhoek wine estate, overlooking Noordhoek beach with the first Sauvignon Blanc vines planted in 1997.
Darling Wine Route
Usually part of the Swartland, Darling is now a demarcated wine district and home to her own wine route, including five wine cellars all of which take advantage from the cool breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and the long, hot summers to produce some delicious wines with concentrated flavour, depth and passion.
Durbanville Wine Route
Some nine estates lie on the beautiful, rolling Tygerberg hills, producing a wide variety of wines. The Durbanville wine route is only 20 km north of Cape Town – so very close to the mother city.
Franschhoek Wine Route
Franschhoek is part of the Four Passes Fruit Route and is just 50 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and the heart of the one of the oldest and most beautiful wine routes in the Cape. It is also just half and hour’s drive from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Somerset West wine routes.
Elgin Wine Route
Traditionally an apple-growing region, Elgin lies, surrouned by the Hottentots Holland Mountains, 45 minutes’ drive from Cape