Just a short hop from Cape Town, venturing into the ‘uplands’, you'll find yourself in the heart of South Africa's superb wine making region, the oldest wine industry outside of Europe.
Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek make up the core of the Winelands, nestled in the magnificent and rugged Cape Fold Mountain ranges, where the verdant valleys provide ideal micro-climates for the vines. Here you can enjoy the slower pace of life as you sample the grapes at quaint farmsteads and vineyards against the spectacular mountainous backdrop. These areas are particularly well-known for the high-quality tastings of South Africa's renowned Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, but you should also look out for the new producers who have expertly blended Bordeaux with great results.
If you like to pair gourmet foods with your wines, then head to South Africa’s gastronomic centre, Franschhoek, where you can find fine dining and innovative cuisine overlooking idyllic vineyard views. You can also explore this unique region aboard the Wine Tram, a combination of tram and tram-bus, which transports you around a loop of stops to experience the activities each vineyard has to offer such as wine tastings, cellar tours, picnic lunches or simply to stroll through the beautiful vineyards. For those interested in more than just the vineyards we highly recommend a visit to the Franschhoek Motor Museum with its collection of vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles dating back over 100 years, this is sure to captivate even those not-so-keen motorists.
Stellenbosch is another age old established wine town, which has an elegant colonial vibe with some interesting cultural museums to punctuate the quaffing of seriously good wines. There’s been a colonial settlement here since the end of the 17th century when the Dutch first founded the town. We recommend you spend a few days in this region, staying in a romantic farmhouse or a boutique hotel to round off your day in luxury.
Features in the following itineraries
- A blockbuster journey through Southern Africa’s sizzling hotspots – Cape Town, Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls
- Ampersand's Unusual Escorted Journey to the Western Cape
- Classic South Africa - A Wildlife and Wine-lovers Tour
- Gourmet South Africa - Cape, Winelands and Garden Route
- South Africa in Style - Cape, Kalahari and Safari
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka