The Cape Winelands are, as their name implies, famous for the wines that are produced in this picturesque part of the Western Cape. However, the region boasts a number of other wonderful industries and features, not least of all the cheeses that make for excellent accompaniments to the fine cuisine and excellent wines of the area. So once you’ve booked you accommodation in the Winelands, explore the estates that offer cheese and wine pairing.
Cheese makers in the Cape Winelands are renowned for their fantastic, unique approach to making humble favourites and extravagantly modern varieties alike. The ready availability of fresh ingredients and the international vibe of the Western Cape combine to ensure that this is a veritable hotspot for all things delicious … Continue reading
The charming little town of Tulbagh is situated within the valley of the same name, and surrounded by the magnificent mountain ranges of the Western Cape. Summers are sweltering and winters are icy, but Tulbagh is picturesque and inviting all year round. This historical retreat lies about 90 minutes’ drive from the bustling hub of hotels in Cape Town, and enjoys being a convenient, nearby, getaway for locals, as well as a popular escape for international tourists.
Here are five of the top activities and attractions in Tulbagh, recommended for anyone visiting the town: Continue reading
Simondium is a little hamlet, barely more than a suburb. However, it remains one of the constituents of the world-renowned Cape Winelands. As such, it welcomes many tourists – both from around South Africa and abroad – to enjoy its scenic backdrops and explore its many hidden gems. Being as centrally situated as it is, Simondium benefits from the many attractions and activities of the larger towns around it such as Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Due to its positioning, encircled by the lush green mountains of the Cape, Simondium can become extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. Therefore, the best times to visit for those that want to hike, walk or cycle would be in spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May). Continue reading
Wellington is famous for its wines and brandies. Its excellent soils and climate conditions yield wonderful grape varieties that are ideal for producing world-class flavours and award-winning labels. While Wellington is one of the smaller members of the Cape Winelands, there remains plenty to see and do within its borders, particularly for those that value the splendour of the outdoors.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Tour The Estates
The wine and brandy estates of Wellington are not only abundant, but they are set within stunning surrounds that make visiting them quite spectacular. Nestled against the backdrop of the Groenberg Mountain and on the banks of the Kromme River, the picturesque retreat of Wellington makes for very special tastings of different brandy and wine varieties as well as tours of the cellars. Continue reading
Stellenbosch is known for its history and university, as well as its status as one of the main towns of the Cape Winelands in the Western Cape Province. There is so much culture here, creating an almost tangible buzz. While the local wine farms and estates are, without a doubt, some of the most popular attractions to those visiting Stellenbosch, there is plenty more to see and do.
After a tour of the local wine farms, the following five attractions are also well worth a visit … Continue reading
Franschhoek is known as a slice of France in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Having been established by the French Huguenots centuries ago, it retains much of the ambience of the unspoilt French countryside, with clear African influences and inspirations throughout, creating a unique destination to explore.
Paarl is one of the oldest towns in the country and an important part of the Cape Winelands. This charming, sometimes even quaint, region also plays a major role in celebrating the foundations of the Afrikaans language. Therefore, it combines a fascinating history with wonderful wines and spectacular scenery, leaving no shortage of things to do in Paarl.
Here are some of our favourites … Continue reading
The four star De Kleijne Bos Country House which nestles in the heart of the Drakenstein valley, features the well known winelands region. Situated on the outskirts of the Paarl Village, only 3km from the main town it is an ideal base to indulge tastes for fine wines and world class cuisine.
The original De Kleijne Bos Country House offers eight well equipped rooms including six luxury rooms and one standard room which are all designed with comfort in mind, offering charming accommodation and expected services for guests to relax and unwind. All en-suite rooms are individually appointed and have comfortable lush duvets with embroided percale cotton linen. Continue reading
SA-Venues.com™, a premium online travel resource for South Africa, has launched yet another feature to cater to the growing needs of the local and international tourist market. Easy-to-use maps of the wine regions (including the Cape Winelands, Karoo, Northern Cape, etc…) now feature on the website, and allow those planning a visit to the country to plot their route and explore the various estates from the comfort of their home.
The maps are detailed, with icons indicating which farms are open to the public and which are open by appointment only, or not at all. Each icon is clickable, taking the user to a page dedicated to that specific wine farm. This page includes all of the contact details, the address, opening hours and a description of the estate and its facilities. Most also contain information on available tours and tastings. Continue reading
Franschhoek Rond en Bont is a community tourism route that showcases the fascinating history and culture of this part of South Africa’s Western Cape Province. The goal of this very special route is to expose the diversity of the community of this picturesque valley and to share a glimpse into their lives and loves. Continue reading
The Western Cape is known for the array of world-class wines that it produces from rolling vineyards that stretch through Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson and the Karoo. However, this area is also acclaimed for producing some of the finest cheese in the country and, arguably, the world. These dairy delights are the perfect complement to the variety of wines, rounding off any Cape Winelands experience to perfection. Continue reading
The town of Paarl is literally on my doorstep. I’ve driven past it on the N1 numerous times and yet not visited. But this weekend was an exception. I needed to right a wrong and take a look at a town that more than met my expectations and, in fact, left me spellbound by its gorgeous architecture, history, perpetual vistas of vineyards, and quaintness. Continue reading
The temptation to play with the word ‘fair’ when applied to Fairview Wine Estate is great – it more than lives up to its name. The Wine and Cheese farm, just off Suid-Agter Paarl Road, lies in one of the ‘fairest’ settings possible, set behind Paarl’s ubiquitous ‘rock’, its parking area littered with pretty, shady trees and its entrance utterly dominated by a fairly ingenious tower complete with spiral staircase, featuring three of their Swiss Saanen goats – that on this particular Sunday, looked very much the way I felt, considering it was probably 40 degrees in the shade, of which there was not much in their domain … Continue reading
Stellenbosch Fresh Goods Market is an authentic Slow Food Market. As opposed to ‘fast food’, slowfood is the output of producers who have sourced, grown, raised, harvested, caught, preserved or transformed the food themselves. Continue reading
Bikes ‘n Wines is a novel and exciting approach to Winelands Tourism that appeals to the young-spirited seeking an off-the-beaten-track experience. Explore several superb estates of the Stellenbosch Winelands, situated 50 kilometres outside of Cape Town, through the use of ‘slow tourism’.
The full day tour begins by meeting our guides at a café on the famed Long Street in the city centre of Cape Town, followed by a brief historic walk down through the picturesque Company Gardens to central station at the bottom of town. Board the local trains in first class here and begin the journey to the Stellenbosch Winelands. Continue reading