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3 Favourite Wine Routes to Take in on Cape Town Holidays


No matter whether you are a serious connoisseur of fine wines, an enthusiastic amateur or are merely partial to sampling a drop of the local 'plonk', a visit to any of the world's wine-producing regions can certainly be a trip to remember - and this applies especially to Cape Town. Holidays in South Africa's second most populous city provide easy access to the wealth of award-winning estates and popular wine routes which lie in the surrounding area. They are explored by thousands of dedicated wine lovers every year.

From Shiraz to Sauvignon - Constantia Valley Has It All

As Cape Town holidays are often based in the city itself, many like to begin their exploration of the region's wineries in the Constantia Valley which, although only minutes' drive from the city centre, feels like a million miles away from the noise and bustle and offers spectacular scenery. Situated at the centre of the Cape Peninsula, the valley boasts wine-growing traditions which date back to the 17th century, and indeed some of the most famous wines in the country originate from this area. Although known for its sweet white wines, the vineyards which cover the valley and reach up on to the mountainside are now home to Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties. The Constantia Wine Route features eight wine producers which are all of excellent quality - Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Constantia Uitsig, Constantia Glen, High Constantia, Eagles Nest, Buitenverwachting and Steenberg.

Stellenbosch - The Gastronome, Historian And Wine-Lover's Delight

Lying to the east and within approximately 45 minutes' drive of the city is Stellenbosch, another of the area's most renowned centres for wine production, and a town rarely missed during Cape Town holidays. A charming university town which offers a plethora of museums, galleries, restaurants and gift shops, it is surrounded by wine farms which offer cellar tours and tasting sessions. More than 200 wine and grape producers fall within the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, including the Saxenburg, Delair, Neethlingshof and Welmoed estates, so be sure to allow ample time for your visit or plan on making a few return trips.

Franschhoek - The Flavour of France In Cape Town

A little further east of Stellenbosch and some 50 kilometres from Cape Town Airport lies the town of Franschhoek, a real must for those on Cape Town holidays who appreciate fine wine, good food and antiques. Nestled in the valley of the same name, the town has the Franschhoek and Drakenstein mountains as its backdrop, but actually much of its style is owed to the French Huguenots who settled there some 300 years ago. Indeed, Franschhoek still celebrates the annual Bastille Day festival on the 14th July to this day. Most of the wineries in the area were developed by the French, and visitors will find that many of the names of the estates reflect their origins. The Chamonix, Cabriere and La Motte estates are just three of those that can be found on the Franschhoek Wine Route.

It Doesn't Stop There...

Although the Constantia, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Wine Routes are the closest ones to Cape Town, holidays in the area do also put you within relatively easy reach of those at Paarl and Wellington. With so many to explore, it is certainly worth making your stay as long as possible, especially if you want to fit in some of the other sights too!

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