The Cape's most tasteful escape

For a countryside escape that doesn’t skimp on taste and luxury, head out of Cape Town for the nearby Cape Winelands. The terroir of these small towns and their surrounds have made them ideal for wine production, and many of the region’s wineries boast a history over 300 years.

The Constantia Wine Route is a 20-minute drive from Cape Town and home to the country’s oldest wine estate: Groot Constantia. Further afield you’ll find Franschhoek, a little village that has been dubbed the ‘food-and-wine capital’ of South Africa and boasts several top-notch restaurants and over 50 internationally-acclaimed wineries. The historic towns of Paarl and Stellenbosch are both celebrated for their cabernet sauvignon – with port and Pinotage (a distinctly South African combination of pinot noir and cinsaut) among the popular produce.

Moving further inland towards the Karoo, you’ll find the Breede River Valley, the largest fruit and wine-producing valley in the Western Cape. While wines like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are signature cultivars here, the valley also marks the first leg of the South African Brandy Route. When in small towns of Tulbagh and Robertson, be sure to try the Methode Cap Classique wines (South African sparkling wines made in the traditional champagne-style) and local dessert wines.

Highlights

  • The Constantia Wine Route is a convenient 20-minute drive from Cape Town
  • Franschhoek is South Africa’s ‘food-and-wine capital’ and will please even the pickiest gourmand
  • Sip on red wine, brandy, and port in the historic town of Paarl
  • Stellenbosch, the second-oldest town in the country, is known for its cabernet sauvignon and Pinotage (a signature South African cultivar)
  •  The Breede River Valley is a cornucopia of fruit, brandy, sparkling wine, and local dessert wines
  • Best time to go:
  • Best
  • Mixed

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