The Cape Winelands
One of the best Cape Town Tours is the tour of the winelands. The Cape is famous for its extensive winelands which stretch for many kilometers around Cape Town.
Stellenbosch is one of the oldest and most well established wine producing regions in the Cape winelands. Altogether there are over 300 wineries 44 of which offer cellar tours and wine tastings. The cellars of the wine route are situated along the four main roads leading into Stellenbosch effectively providing the option to do four different smaller tours if one should choose to. Besides touring the winelands Stellenbosch also has many other attractions to offer. It is a very beautiful town with a rich history and well preserved examples of Victorian, Georgian and Cape Dutch architecture. The Stellenbosch Village Museum gives one the opportunity to take a tour through the history of the town as they tour through four carefully preserved and restored buildings each depicting a different era in Stellenbosch’s history. Stellenbosch is a must stop location for any Cape Town tours.
Cape Town Tours for those staying in Cape Town and wish to experience the Cape winelands without travelling far is to do a tour of the Constantia winelands. Constantia is a suburb of Cape Town but it is also the Cape’s oldest wine producing region and is the only wine district located within a city. It is the smallest of the Cape winelands with only 11 vineyards, 8 of which are open to the public for wine tastings and cellar tours. The Constantia winelands span the south eastern slopes of Table Mountain and are renowned not just for their great wine but also their splendid scenery and great views. The area is also known for its great restaurants as well as numerous farm stalls, shops and galleries. For those interested in the history of the region you can take a tour of Simon Van Der Stel’s original manor house museum which is a great example of original Cape Dutch architecture, or take a tour of the Groot Constantia Wine Museum which is open daily.
The biggest town in the Cape winelands district is Paarl which is 50 km north east of Cape Town. Along with Stellenbosch and Cape Town, Paarl is one of the oldest European settlements in South Africa. Paarl was first farmed by Dutch settlers who soon discovered that the region’s Mediterranean climate was perfect for growing vineyards and the regions successful wine industry grew from there. The Paarl winelands are particularly famous for the award winning red wines that the area produces. In addition to touring the winelands the town of Paarl itself has many attractions. One could take a tour of the Paarl museum or go see the ‘Afrikaanse Taalmonument’ (Afrikaans language monument) which is the only existing monument to a language or one could simply take a walk around the town to admire the Cape Dutch architecture, beautiful gardens and oak lined streets.
Franschhoek (literally ‘French corner’) is a small town in the Cape winelands which was founded by a group of French Huguenots over 300 years ago. The town is as equally well known for its French heritage as it is for its beautiful scenery and picturesque feel. The Franschhoek winelands consist of over 40 different wineries most of which are open for cellar tours and wine tastings. Many of the estates also have top restaurants on them as Franschhoek has become increasingly well known for its great food and boasts 8 of the top 100 restaurants in the country. Franschhoek’s high street has a great collection of antique and boutique shops as well as coffee shops and galleries. Those interested in the history of the town can take a tour of the Huguenot museum or go see the Huguenot monument. Best wine tours willamette valley