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Taste and toast the Cape’s vineyards

Rolling vineyards amidst majestic mountains: a visit to the Cape wine country ensures a breathtaking experience. This is where the Cape wines originate. The Mediterranean climate is ideal for various types of grape such as chenin blanc, chardonnay and of course, pinotage, the national grape. You can sample these delicious Cape wines in characteristic Dutch estates near Cape Town.

There are various routes to the most famous wine regions: Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Constantia. A tour through Wynland is a journey through the rich history of the Cape. On 2 February 1659, Jan van Riebeeck wrote: ‘Today – God be praised – wine pressed for the first time from Cape Grapes!’ As the founder of the Cape trade post, he planted the first vines to provide exhausted sailors with wine. What’s more, the wine turned out to be an excellent remedy for scabies as well! Nowadays, Cape wine production is flourishing with some 400 million litres of wine bottled each year.

The Cape climate is perfect for viniculture

South Africa

Cape Town

From Stellenbosch to Franschhoek

The university town of Stellenbosch is about a 45-minute drive from Cape Town. Here you’ll discover vineyards from famous South African wineries such as Rust en Vrede and Meerlust. Less well-known but equally interesting is the stunning estate of Neethlingshof, which is open daily for tastings. After passing a driveway flanked by pines, you’ll see the mansion dating from 1705, built entirely in colonial Dutch style. Taste a selection of 5 wines in these romantic surroundings, or enjoy the Flash Food, Slow Wine package with delicious dishes to go with each wine.
Further east is Franschhoek. The French Huguenots settled in this region in the late 17th century after being persecuted in their motherland. Their wine expertise had a huge impact on viniculture in the Cape, and you’ll still see estates with French names such as La Motte, Provence and Le Dauphiné. A great way to discover the wines of this area is by tram. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of vast rows of vines while sampling delicious wines at the various wineries en route.
Franschhoek

Legendary wine from Constantia

The Constantia valley is hidden between Table Mountain and the southwest districts of Cape Town and is home to the oldest vineyards in the Cape. Simon van der Stel, the Cape’s first governor, started planting vines on a large scale in 1679 to produce the now legendary Vin de Constance. This dessert wine was extremely well-loved among European royalty in the 18th century, and Napoleon Bonaparte even ordered the wine when he was exiled on the island of St. Helena, nearly 3,000 kilometres away! We recommend enjoying a lovely picnic in the shade of the centuries-old oaks at the Buitenverwachting estate.

“Napoleon ordered the legendary Vin de Constance when he was exiled on the island of St. Helena.”

More about Cape Town

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