18 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

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.

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 than The 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

Category: Attractions, Food & Wine

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