The Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands

South Africa is today one of the major producers and exporters of wines worldwide.

The Cape Winelands

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Constantia, Paarl and Wellington

The Cape Winelands are just beautiful. Think green rolling hills packed with endless rows of vines, all drenched in bright sunshine. These are wonderful spots for a rural retreat full of long lazy lunches and rosy-cheeked afternoons of wine-tasting. After some heavy duty sightseeing (not to mention shopping) in cosmopolitan Cape Town, the Winelands will be a scenic breath of fresh, crisp air. If you're a wine lover or a grape nut, you'll be in complete heaven amongst these lush valleys and highlands.

Grapes on a vineSouth Africa is the oldest wine producing region beyond Europe and the Mediterranean. Grapes have been ripening here happily since the middle of the 17th century and today, South Africa is a major player in the world of wine, exporting gallons upon gallons each year. The first vineyard in South Africa was planted by Jan van Riebeeck in 1655, and the very first wine was pressed in 1659.

Equally, when the Protestant French Huguenots fled persecution in the 17th century, they found an idyllic rural refuge in the valley of Franschhoek with its rich, fertile soil and temperate climate. The Huguenots quickly realised that this small slice of South Africa was perfect wine-growing territory and set about planting vineyards which are still thriving today. A whole new heady, intoxicating industry was born.   

The climate in the Cape Winelands is delightfully mild and near-Mediterranean, with cool rainy winters and long, warm summer days. This makes it a wine-grower's dream. A huge variety of vines flourishes here and the wine estates are all set against a spectacular backdrop of mountains, slopes and valleys. It really is as pretty as a picture - the perfect place to get lost in a pastoral daydream for a few wine-soaked days.

The major wine-producing pockets of the Cape Winelands include Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Wellington and Constantia. These areas are liberally scattered with rows of vines that stretch as far as the eye can see. Dotted between these vines, you'll find boutique wine-estates offering wine-tastings and guided cellar tours. There are established wine routes to explore in each of these places, weaving in and out of several wine estates for tastings and tours along the way.

The Cape WinelandsYou'll also find a handful of restaurants on each route, where you can stop for a spot of lunch with a panoramic view and a glass of local Pinotage. This a wonderful way to while away a few sunny hours. Most of the estates are open daily for people passing (or staggering) by, but it's still best to check first, as a few of the smaller producers book tours by appointment only. We certainly wouldn't want you to be left disappointed - and thirsty!

Slightly further afield, yet still only 2 hours from Cape Town, you'll find Swellendam and the sweeping wineries of the Robertson Valley. Although this lovely valley, backed by the Langeberg Mountains, is not ‘strictly' part of the Cape Winelands, it is currently being hailed the rising star on South Africa's wine scene. This makes it a great place to sneak a look, and a generous sip, of the future of South African wine.

Whichever wine-growing region you choose to drop in on during your South Africa holiday, you'll be in for a sublime, sunny and slightly tipsy treat. If you spend a couple of nights in one of these valleys, you can try your old favourites, go on a vine-voyage of discovery to seek out new sips and soak up your beautiful surroundings. It's a superb area to slow your pace and spend some time indulging in the simple things - good conversation over a great meal and a great glass of wine (or two).

Wine aside, there's plenty more to see and do in the Cape Winelands. The hills and valleys are perfect picnic territory - brilliant for hiking, cycling and horse riding,. The wine-growing towns and villages come with their own fascinating histories attached, from the French heritage of Franschhoek to the stately tree-lined avenues of Stellenbosch, complete with class Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture.

As the Cape Winelands are just a stone's throw from Cape Town, they are a wonderful place to  break up a busy itinerary with a few days of relaxation in a rural idyll. Alternatively, if your trip is ending in Cape Town, it's a simply lovely way to spend your last couple of days in South Africa. You'll only be an hour from Cape Town International Airport, so you can sit back in the sunshine with a crisp glass of South Africa's white and look back over the trip of a lifetime. Perfect.

 
 
 

Residence Klein Oliphants Hoek

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 based on 13 ratings

Renata Gaggio welcomes guests to this lovely renovated 1888 Missionary station, which has an elegant yet homely ambiance. There are 8 well-appointed en-suite bedrooms and suites, some of which open onto private patios and gardens, and one which has its own private sun deck.


 

La Fontaine

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 based on 27 ratings

Situated in a quiet street just a few minutes stroll to the many excellent restaurants in the village centre, La Fontaine offers guests comfortable and individually decorated en-suite rooms. The suites, which are set in the peaceful garden, are ideal for families.


 

Summerwood Guest House

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

This unique mansion, originally built in 1904, was designed by an Italian architect and has been lovingly restored and furnished to make your stay here extremely comfortable and enjoyable. If you are looking for peace and quiet, then Summerwood is the place to come.


 

The Spier Hotel

Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 based on 6 ratings

The Spier Hotel comprises 32 double-storey buildings grouped around 6 private courtyards, each with its own pool and entertainment area. It offers guests 155 spacious rooms, all simply, yet elegantly, appointed in traditional country style.


 

Kleine Zalze

Lodge / Inn

Guest Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

Tucked away under centuries old oak trees, Kleine Zalze offers panoramic mountain views, overlooking vineyards and a world class golf course. This 4* lodge forms part of the Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, which offers award-winning wines, as well as the magnificent Terroir restaurant featuring Provencal classics blended with some local influence and traditionsChildren are welcome and they will find lots of things to do in the extensive gardens and playground.


 

Devon Valley Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Hidden away in a shady, green and peaceful corner of the Stellenbosch Winelands lies the Devon Valley Hotel. Throughout its history, dating back to 1947, the hotel has rewarded visitors with an oasis of relaxation.


 

River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa

Boutique Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

River Manor with its National Monument status comprises of 2 historical houses across from the Eerste River and within walking distance to the village.Each of the 16 rooms have been stylishly furnished with antiques and are equipped with modern conveniences.


 

Oude Werf Hotel

Hotel

Guest Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 based on 7 ratings

Since 1802, the Oude Werf Hotel, the oldest inn in South Africa (and formerly called d'Ouwe Werf Hotel), has been welcoming guests with its unique charm and character. The 50 individually decorated en-suite bedrooms and apartments combine traditional Old Cape atmosphere with modern comforts and conveniences, and beautiful authentic antiques and faithfully copied reproductions are in all the rooms.


 

Protea Hotel Dorpshuis & Spa

Boutique Hotel

The elegant Victorian Protea Hotel Dorpshuis & Spa Hotel in Stellenbosch is a fusion of vintage and modern sophistication.  Within walking distance to the centre of Stellenbosch, the hotel offers a classic ambience and quiet atmosphere, and guests areas include an antique lounge with a log fire and deep sofas.


 

Protea Hotel Franschhoek

Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

The Protea Hotel Franschhoek overlooks the majestic mountains and famous vineyards of the historical village of Franschhoek. The hotel has a rich history, with one section dating back to the 1880s.


 

Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards

Hotel

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

Nestled on the slopes of the majestic Franschhoek Mountains, the 5* Mont Rochelle is a Cape-Dutch style property, offering 22 bedrooms and suites, which span over 3 separate wings, giving guests the privacy and atmosphere of a boutique hotel. There is also a swimming pool, Wellness facility, sauna, and gymnasium for guests enjoyment.

 
 

 

Lanzerac Manor

Hotel

Guest Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

Exclusivity is the key to an unforgettable stay here.For this reason, accommodation is limited to 48 spacious rooms, including 5 Junior Suites, the luxurious Royal Pool Suite with its own private swimming pool and the Presidential Suite.


 

Akademie Guest Houses

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

Vreugde Guest House has a small kitchenette and French doors that open onto a wide verandah with a beautiful garden and small pool. The large and spacious Uitsig Suite is completely separate, and has its own balcony with lovely views.


 

Le Franschhoek Hotel

Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 based on 7 ratings

The impeccably appointed Le Franschhoek Hotel offers unequalled views of the spectacular Franschhoek Mountains located in the equally splendid world famous vineyards of the Western Cape. Le Franschhoek follows the architectural style of the Cape Winelands.


 

Le Quartier Francais

Hotel

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

Guests can choose from a range of accommodation. The Auberge Rooms are all individually styled, and the Grande Rooms are ideal for honeymooners.


 

The Last Word Franschhoek

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

Six luxurious double rooms, each with their own traditional Cape charm, open onto private patios and small, shaded gardens. All have marbled en-suite bathrooms, and air-conditioning and satellite TV.

 
The Last Word Franschhoek: Stay 3 nights for the price of 2
Valid:   1 April 2014  -  20 December 2014.
 

 

La Residence

Boutique Hotel

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

La Residence lies at the heart of a private 30-acre working farm, complete with vineyards, plum orchards, a dam and fragrant manicured gardens. The majestic mountains that surround the idyllic Franschhoek Valley, provide enchanting views in every direction.

 
Stay 7 nights for the price of 6
Valid:   1 August 2014  -  14 December 2014.
 

 

Caledon Villa

Guest House / B&B

Guest Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

A listed National Monument, Caledon Villa is a lovely Edwardian era villa which offers comfortable accommodation and hospitality in the heart of Stellenbosch.All the rooms are classically furnished, and each room also has satellite TV.


 

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

Hotel

Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 13 ratings

The original Franschhoek Country House offers a choice of accommodation, including the charming Standard Rooms, Luxury Rooms and Garden Cottages. Whichever you choose, the accommodation on offer is designed with your comfort and luxury experience in mind.


 

Rusthuiz Guest House

Guest House / B&B

Rusthuiz offers 7 nicely appointed and comfortable en-suite bedrooms, all of which have satellite TV and a mini bar. 2 of the rooms have a shared balcony where breakfast can be served, and an interleading door, which makes these an ideal family room.


 
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The Cape Winelands

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