The Paarl Winelands
Did you know?
The Paarl Wine Route is known as the Red Route for its legendary red wines.
The Paarl Winelands are framed by the majestic Groot and Klein Drakenstein and Franschhoek mountains. Running through the Paarl wine estates is the Berg River, which sustains the winelands in Paarl as the area is dependant on irrigation.
Paarl is the third oldest town in South Africa. Founded in 1687 when Dutch settlers were given farms along the Berg River, it quickly established itself as a centre for fine wines, many of which are considered amongst the best in the world.
This route includes more than 40 estates among them Fairview (where you can sample cow's milk and goats cheeses) or eat at the Goatshed restaurant which serves mediterranean style fare and has an al fresco area..
Then there's one of the oldest farms in the area located within the town precinct, Laborie, which was granted to French Hugenot Isaac Taillefert in 1691. Here you can sample wines or dine at the restaurant called Harvest.
Also on the route is the historic Nederburg, famous for the annual Nederberg Auction which is considered a must for discerning wine buyers.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Paarl Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)21 872 4842
How to get here
Paarl is easily accessible by road and some of the drives boast amazing scenery. Hire a car to get to the winelands or speak to your tour operator.
Best time to visit
Paarl experiences winter rainfall so if you prefer lots of sunshine visit in spring, summer or autumn rather.
Paarl is well sign-boarded and there are brochures and maps readily available to show you the various routes.
What will it cost
Depends on how much red wine you glug!
Length of stay
Give yourself at least a day. Better still, make a weekend out of it.
What to pack
Comfortable clothes and walking shoes. In summer it is very hot so dress lightly. Winters can be cold and wet, so warm clothes and an umbrella.
Where to stay
Paarl has numerous quality establishments from budget guesthouses to award-winning hotels.
What to eat
There are great restaurants in the old town and on most of the wine estates.
Why not take the Paarl Wine Route, which is a great way to see the area. There are also scenic drives over the many passes that connect the Paarl winelands to the rest of the Cape.
What else but wine!