Dreamcatchers Alternative Winelands Tour, Western Cape
Did you know?
The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the longest in the world (though you can select to do parts of it rather than all of it).
The celebrated vinelands of the Western Cape produce some of the best wines in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people embark on wine routes every year, touring through Cape Town, Paarl, Robertson, Stellenbosch and beyond.
But what is the back story? Who were the labourers who made all of this possible? Now you can go on the Dreamcatchers Alternative Wine Route Tour to find out.
The wine tour, accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, has its 1st stop at the Lwandle Migrant Labourer Museum in Somerset West. Here you’ll learn about the now long-illegal ‘dop’ system, where labourers were paid part of their wages in alcohol. The museum documents how people lived, the present communities and living conditions, and how tourism is providing an uplifting influence.
Then you’ll go on to Fairview Wine Estate outside Paarl. Here farmworkers have been empowered to produce their own wine, labelled Fair Valley. It’s so good that almost all of it is exported. The farmworkers’ wives, meanwhile, have been taught the art of cheese making. So your wine and cheese-tasting comes from a real grassroots initiative.
Then comes a treat you’ll never forget – lunch with Kamamma (Kamamma means ‘mothers’). At Stellenbosch’s township, Khayamandi, you'll meet a group of Xhosa women who will provide you with lunch. It’s not just a meal, though. It’s a full immersion experience. You’ll step into their lives, help them cook, find out the finer points of making ‘pap’ (a kind of local polenta), or 'morogo' (a kind of indigenous wild spinach) or whatever’s on the menu for the day.
You can ask the women anything you like about their lives, their experiences, their cuisine. In return, expect to be quizzed right back.
You’ll also meet Yellow, the wire-worker. Yellow has San origins and left his home in the arid Northern Cape to earn money here as a migrant labourer. Now he finds his skill with wire brings him in more money and satisfies his creativity.
He’s also a mentor for Dreamcatcher Kids, teaching them to make toys and utensils from objects that would normally just be discarded.
After the lunch with Kamamma, you’ll go on a guided walking tour through Khayamandi, taking in the sights and sounds and gaining a further insight into the lives of this lively township.
Almost all the money you pay for the tour goes directly to the people involved in it.
The Dreamcatcher Foundation was created to help uplift people in impoverished circumstances, to transform their socio-economic situation in a sustainable way.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Dreamcatcher Winelands Tour
Cell: +27 (0) 76 497 9306
Tel: +27 (0) 28 754 3469