TRAVEL BETWEEN: 1 January 2021 - 30 September 2022
Cape Town, Winelands, Stellenbosch, 9 Wine Regions, 25 Wine Farms, Heritage, Art, Cape Dutch Architecture, Safari and Whales Guided Tour
11-Day Cape Town, 9 Wine Regions, 25 Wine Farms, Heritage, Art, Cape Dutch Architecture, Safari & Whales Guided Tour
The Cape has so many wine routes on offer, some of them very popular, other less known. This 11-day Cape Town-Wine-Tasting-Safari & Whales tour will introduce you to the rich history of our Wine industry, make you aware how the terroir and climate have an impact on the nose and palate of the same wine in different regions. You will visit 9 Wine Regions which include big corporate owned wine farms to small Boutique farms, often run by the family (mother, father and sons).
During this trip, you will also enjoy a Safari experience where you will be able to see the BIG 5, go on a Whale watching experience in Hermanus and taste the local cuisine from Cape Malay to African origin dishes (all with complimentary wines from South Africa).
South African wine, a quick overview:
- our wine history dates back 350 years, to 1659
- today we export over 450 million liters of wine
- a little over 10 years ago, most of our wine was distilled into brandy
- SA wines are of the best valued red and white wines
- there are 100 000 hectares under vine across the country
- 56% of this is white wine, 44% is red
- the oldest fruit bearing vine in the southern hemisphere is a Crouchen Blanc variety, planted around 1771 at the Cape Heritage Hotel in Cape Town
- we are the 9th largest wine producer in the world
- our most popular grape variety is Chenin Blanc, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Colombard
- a white label with a red key and Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) logo, indicates the wine is of the best (it was sold at a CWG annual auction and you’ll find it in top restaurants and cellars in SA)
Day 1: Cape Point, Cape Point Wine Route and Constantia Wine Route (B, L & D)
After breakfast, depart on a scenic trip to Cape Point via Chapmans Peak and the picturesque town of Hout Bay. In 1859 the first lighthouse was completed at Cape Point; it still stands at 238 metres above sea-level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralised monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa. Access to this historical building is by an exhilarating three-minute ride in the wheelchair-accessible Flying Dutchman funicular that transfers visitors from the lower station at 127 metres above sea-level, to the upper station.
Day 2: Cape Town – Durbanville Wine Route (B &L)
Only 20 km north of Cape Town, the Durbanville wine route, like Constantia, is very close to the mother city but frequently overlooked.
Some nine wine estates lie on the beautiful, rolling Tygerberg hills, producing a wide variety of wines.
The terroir is vastly different from one cellar to the next, and whilst some farms are influenced by the cool Atlantic Ocean, deep soils and night-time mists, those within the interior valley are snugger and warm. The result – a vast range of fruit-driven and stylish wines, some of whose history dates back as far as the late 1600s.
The wine growers too range from the more traditional to the ultra-modern and visiting the estates makes for a busy but rewarding day.
Day 3: Cape Town – Swartland/Tulbagh Wine Route (B, L & D)
After breakfast, take the cable car up Table Mountain, overlooking the Cape Peninsula and Robben Island in the distance.
After the breathtaking view leaving for Riebeeck Kasteel, picturesque little town known for wine, export fruit and olives.
After visiting 3 wine farms, leave for Riebeeck Kasteel and check into your hotel. Enjoy a glass of wine on the verandah of this colonial hotel and watch the sun sets; take walk in the little village and visit one of the many wine bars or just relax next to the pool until dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Day 4: Riebeeck Kasteel – Tulbagh Wine Region – Safari (B, L & D)
Today will be filled with art, wine and safari. Driving through the Nuwekloof Pass you reach the town called Tulbagh. It is surrounded by the Obiqua Mountains to the west, Winterhoek Mountain to the north and the Witzenberg Mountains to the east, with peaks that rise to over 1,500 metres. Before wondering the streets of Tulbagh, a visit to Saronsberg Wine Cellar (https://www.saronsberg.com/) will introduce you to “Nature Meets Art Meets Wine”… Enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery, a collection of contemporary South African art before indulging in local Shiraz (among other wines – wine tasting).
Nestled at the foot of the mountain after which it is named, Saronsberg wine estate is a contemporary addition to the rich heritage of Tulbagh valley – an ancient wine region situated 120 kms north-east of Cape Town, and the site of South Africas greatest ever earthquake in 1969. When the winery – with its avant garde design and art-rich grounds – was established in 2003, it was with a revolutionary outlook.
Winemaker Dewaldt Heyns, who has been head winemaker since 2003, is passionate about every aspect of the winemaking process, which is unique and quite labour intensive. Handpicking, intensive sorting of the berries, a gravity-fed fermentation cellar and focus on attention to detail are key to the phenomenal success Saronsberg wines have consistently enjoyed since the maiden vintage in 2004. This consistent performance has led to Dewaldt being nominated and accepted as member of the prestigious Cape Winemakers Guild in 2008. Very well known for their Shiraz.
After Saronsberg, a brief stop in the Tulbagh town center will allow you time for a light lunch (not included) and sourcing local produce. At 14h00 you arrive at Aquilla Game Reserve. A typical day on safari: A welcome drink will await your arrival whilst you relax at either one of the swimming pools in summer, or whilst enjoying a roaring log fire in our lounge in winter. Enjoy lunch in the restaurant and check into your room at 14h00. Depart for your game drive with one of the experienced rangers and enjoy sparkling wine served at one of various look out points en-route. Return to the lodge and restaurant for an authentic African dinner or traditional South African braai (BBQ) . After dinner join the ranger next to the open air boma on a star safari or relax in the lounge area with a nightcap.
Day 5: Safari – Robertson Wine Route (B, L & D)
Wake up to the sound of wild animals followed by an early morning game drive and a full buffet breakfast. Check out 10h00. Drive through the beautiful valley of vineyards of De Doorns mountain range, stop at a local farm store. Stop for a coffee and wine tasting at “Nuy On the Hill”.
- Nuy Winery
- Graham Beck Method Cap Classique
- Van Loveren Family Wines
- Viljoensdrift Wine Farm
Day 6: Montagu – “Hemel-en-Aarde” Wine route (B & L)
Fancy a splash of world acclaimed Pinot Noir? Or perhaps a refined Chardonnay? Whichever your choice, you can do no better than those found in the little explored but much celebrated Hemel-en- Aarde valley. Just outside of Hermanus, this easily managed 20-km wine route with 15 farms makes for a perfect day in a terroir that not only produces our country’s best cool-climate wines but also offers some of the most dramatic views of the Overberg region. But where to quaff your Pinot, Chard, Viognier and bubbles?
- Hamilton Russell Vineyards
- The Fynbos at Bouchard Finlayson Boutique Wine Estate
- Creation Wine Estate
- Ataraxia Wine Estate
- Domaine Des Dieux
Day 7: Hermanus – Elgin Wine Route to Franshhoek (B & L)
Wake up to the sound of Whales just off the shore. Take a “whale” trip and view them from closer.
Traditionally an apple-growing region, the Elgin valley lies, embraced by the Hottentots Holland Mountains, 45 minutes’ drive from the heart of Cape Town in the Cape Overberg. The Elgin Valley is exquisite, with long stretches of forest and endless mountain peaks surrounding fruit orchards, and indeed Elgin is part of the Four Passes Fruit Route.
The wines that have begun production here are predominantly fruity, and Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Shiraz do particularly well. Elgin is regarded as a cool climate terroir, which means that grapes grown here potentially ripen slowly.
- IONA Wine Estate
- Almenkerk Wine Estate
Arriving in Franschhoek in the late afternoon, just in time for a sundowner wine or relaxing time next to the pool.
Day 8: Franschhoek (B & L)
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley – picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300 year history.
Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in a vintage style railway tram and open-air tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.
A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to continue the tour.
The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.
Curated Wine Experience
Franschhoek Wine Farms Experience, the day starts with a journey by tram to a local wine estate where a knowledgeable wine guide weaves the facts, figures and scientific aspects of winemaking into interesting stories about Franschhoek’s history of wine and culture.
During this engaging and interactive experience, guests will be guided through, and have an opportunity to sample, the subtle tastes of terroir, as well as learn about the local grape varieties, cultivars and the aspects of viticulture which are unique to Southern Africa.
A tour of the estate wine cellar will be followed by a specially curated three course lunch at the estate restaurant.
In the afternoon, guests will visit two additional Franschhoek wine estates, enjoying a premium wine tasting at each estate.
At the end of the experience, guests will leave feeling more knowledgeable and connected to the local wine culture and ready to discover the Franschhoek Valley further.
Day 9: Franschhoek – Stellenbosch (B & L)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Babylonstoren Wine Estate
Visit the beautiful gardens of Babylonstoren Wine Estate. (https://www.babylonstoren.com/). Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that boasts one of the best-preserved farmyards in the Cape. Beloved for its magnificent garden that is laid out over 3,5 hectares (8 acres), the garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise fruit, vegetables, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens, and more. A secluded path runs along the stream where thousands of clivias flower in spring. The garden also boasts a plethora of trees of historical and botanical import.
Boschendal Wine Estate
Visit Boschendal Wine Farm (http://www.boschendal.com/). one of the oldest farms in South Africa, founded in 1685, the farm has grown with the passing centuries into a cherished source of wholesome produce, great wines and happy memories. … Today, Boschendal is a Cape winelands icon and an acclaimed wine and food destination. The estate is crowned by the original Cape Dutch manor house, which is open to visitors. A light lunch is enjoyed in the beautiful gardens).
Given their exceptional winemaking heritage of almost 300 years, the Boschendal cellar masters meticulously balance rustic tradition and modern innovation to produce classic, fruity wines while upholding the ecological integrity that has become synonymous with our brand.
Each wine range, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz, is carefully crafted to deliver ultimate drinking pleasure, with dedicated red and white winemakers in separate cellars for focused expertise. It is this attention to detail that makes us a leader in the production of Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines and beloved brand in over 50 countries.
Enjoy a picnic in the beautiful garden before leaving for Stellenbosch town.
Arrive in Stellenbosch town in the late afternoon. Visit Rustenberg Wine farm for a wine tasting experience and quality time in the beautiful manicured estate gardens.
The Rustenberg Estate was founded in 1682 and is nestled in the valley of the Simonsberg Mountain in South Africa’s premium wine region, Stellenbosch. Rustenberg’s rich heritage and ethos has been informed by many centuries of human influence striving to understand and work with nature to produce wines of distinct character true to their terroir, variety and informed style. The Rustenberg Estate stands on an impressive 880 hectares against the iconic Simonsberg Mountain in Stellenbosch. When standing in the high vineyards of the Estate, the entire vista of Stellenbosch is revealed, with a glimpse of Table Mountain in the distance. Rustenberg was awarded National Heritage Site status in December 2004.
Of the 880 hectares making up the Estate, 110 hectares are under vine (with plans to plant some more vines in the next year or so), 200 hectares make up the beautiful pastures and farmland for our cattle to graze on, a portion hosts the historical farm and winery buildings and other structures, and the rest of Rustenberg is comprised of conservation land, made up of natural “fynbos” (the indigenous flora of the Cape) and a myriad of wildlife (including porcupines, caracals, and cape leopard).
Typifying the finest terrioirs of Rustenberg, the site specific range is comprised of two wines that emphasize the apex of varietal expression. Made in small quantities, these wines are well structured, full bodied and benefit from careful cellaring making them highly collectable.
The Estate’s three flagships are the Stellenbosch John X Merriman Bordeaux blend, the single-site sourced Buzzard Kloof Syrah, and the barrel fermented and matured Stellenbosch Chardonnay. They are an expression of the Estate and Stellenbosch’s finest vineyards blending various vineyard sites to create wines that are greater than the sum of their parts. All three of the wines benefit from careful bottle aging.
Day 10: Stellenbosch Wine Region (B, L & D)
After breakfast, you will meet your local tour guide and embark on a Walking Town Tour of Stellenbosch (1.5 hours). Stroll through Stellenbosch with a purpose on this guided walking tour. Learn about the Cape Dutch architecture and hear about the town’s history and culture through your guide’s in-depth commentary. You’ll learn much more than you would exploring on your own and ensure that you don’t miss any of the town’s highlights on this curated tour of highlights such as Mill Stream, the Eerste River, and Dorp Street. The tour ends at the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden is in the historical center of Stellenbosch and is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa. This compact Garden houses an enormous diversity of plants, both indigenous to South Africa and exotic.
Muratie Wine Estate
The farm itself dates back to 1685 when it was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel who was Governor of the Cape of Good Hope at the time. This makes Muratie one of the oldest estates in South Africa and along with that age comes many characters and truly fascinating stories. The Melck family has revived this rich heritage in an updated yet classical evolution of the brand, naming its range after many of these colourful characters. For example, the MCC bubbly is known as Lady Alice. She is joined by Ansela van de Caab (blended red), George Paul Canitz (Pinot Noir), Ronnie Melck (Shiraz), Alberta Annemarie (Merlot), Laurens Campher (blended white), Isabella (Chardonnay) and Ben Prins (Port).
It is not only the label that has changed. The wine itself has also undergone incredible changes in quality, under the creative hand of winemaker Hattingh De Villiers and his team. This has seen Muratie become a serious and respected player in the Bordeaux blend, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir stakes. Historically, Muratie has been known for being the first producer of Pinot Noir as well as fine ports.
Along with the development of other varietals, Muratie has elevated itself into a new appreciation amongst truly discerning wine lovers.
Waterford Wine Estate
Waterford Estate is situated in one of the world’s most visually arresting pockets of paradise. Nestled in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, in the world renowned Stellenbosch region, this 120 hectare property owned by Jeremy and Leigh Ord and managed by partner and Cellar master Kevin Arnold. The Estate boasts old citrus groves, rolling lawns, water features and fragrant lavender and rosemary beds. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of Provence or the Spanish countryside, with your first glimpse of this enchanting realm. However, we are immensely proud of our uniquely South African location and the rich diversity of our indigenous flora and fauna.
The winery was styled along the engaging terracotta design and was the result of winemaker Kevin Arnold and architect Alex Walker teaming up to create the home of Waterford Estate wines. The centre piece of the magnificent courtyard is the Waterford Estate fountain. This feature has been immortalized in the Waterford Estate label and represents a fundamental component of our philosophy. We believe in the old adage of ‘less is more’. There is nothing pretentious or ostentatious about the estate, rather the visual impact is one of a seamless whole, which complements rather than detracts from the surrounding natural beauty. Welcome to our world, a world where the passing of time and the change in seasons only add rich layers of character and charm to the scene.
Day 11: – Stellenbosch – Cape Town International Airport (B)
Depending on the time of your flight, spend the morning browsing the curio shops in Stellenbosch, enjoy a last glass of wine, light lunch or just more time exploring the rich culture of Stellenbosch town before leaving for the Cape Town International Airport for your flight back home.
- Accommodation in 4-star facilities
- Meals as indicated
- Guide in the group’s home language
- All wine tastings
- All entrance fees where indicated
- Farewell Dinner Stellenbosch (excluding drinks)