The Paarl Winelands are a magnet for wine lovers the world over. While they produce fine chardonnays, sauvignon blancs and rieslings, they are legendary for award-winning noble reds. That is why the Paarl Wine Route is affectionately known as the ‘Red Route’.

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
Email: info@paarlonline.com

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.

Get around

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.

What's happening

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.

Best buys

What else but wine!