Cheers to, the Winelands

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Wellington, Robertson, Tulbagh, Ceres, Montagu, the list is almost never ending! From whites to reds, pinks and all the bubbles in between, the many winelands along the Western Cape will ensure that your cup will runneth over.

The Cape Winelands, also known as the culinary capital of South Africa, are located about 40 km to the east of Cape Town, lying in the shadow of a continuous belt of the Cape Fold Mountains. These mountains create an incredible scenic backdrop for a myriad vines, but they are also one of the reasons wines do so well here. Their geological compositions provide unique soil conditions that directly affect the character of wine. A series of generous valleys bursting with plush and succulent vines will have your taste buds doing cartwheels and your senses running wild.  While sipping on some of these delicious nectars you can also enjoy locally produced cheeses, olives and export quality fruit and organic produce. There are also a handful of Craft Beer Breweries for those less partial to the grape.

Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh, and Wellington form the backbone of the Cape Winelands. These valleys are the largest winemaking region in the country with grape cultivation that dates back to the 1600s. With the Franschhoek Wine Tram taking you back on a 300 year old history. This hop-on hop-off tram tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley, her picturesque vineyards, breathtaking scenery, the warm hospitality, world-class cuisine and of course fine wines. The tour takes you right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, enjoy complimentary wine tastings and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards or simply meander through the plantations.

There is more to the winelands than tasting exquisite wine or gorging yourselves on decadent foods. Try donkey and horse-and-carriage rides through the vineyards, picnics next to a dam as ducks and swans float by gracefully. Visit the quaint town of Stellenbosch and the cheetah outreach programme where you can interact with the fastest big cats. Restaurants, gift shops, art galleries, amphitheatres, spa and wellness centres, nature and game reserves, world of butterflies, the famous lion and Crocodile Park – the list is endless.

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