The Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands, with its lush green valleys and rugged mountain ranges is truly a sight to behold. This is the biggest wine producing region in the Western Cape and every so often you will pass one of the many fruit orchards where award winning grapes are being transformed into some of the most sought-after wines in the country.
Wine tours and wine tasting are some of the major activities to enjoy in the Cape Winelands. Visitors get the chance to sample a variety of wines including red, white and sparkling wines. Tours to the local cellars also offer travellers the opportunity to meet the winemakers and gain some knowledge about the different production methods used across the region.
Each town in the Cape Winelands has its own unique charm and an interesting history, with numerous art galleries, top class restaurants, shops and markets to explore in between the daily wine tours and private tastings. There are many other activities to enjoy like hiking, walking trails, fruit picking and even horse cart rides through the vineyards.
Many fine-dining establishments are located in and around the Winelands, especially in Franschhoek, which is considered a top destination for food lovers. Franschhoek, also known as the “valley of the Huguenots,” became home to a community of French Huguenots who had to flee from their country to escape religious persecution. The Huguenots realised that the valley had very similar weather to their own wine growing regions in France and today, over 300 years later, the Franschhoek Valley wine region is regarded as one of the Western Cape’s most exclusive retreats.
Wellington lies on the banks of the River Kromme at the foot of the Groenberg Mountain. It was once known as Limiet Vallei or frontier valley, the last outpost of civilisation in the Cape. Before entering unfamiliar territory wagons would stop here to receive attention before they continue on their difficult journey.
The Wellington Wine Route was introduced in the mid 1990’s and is one of the youngest routes in the Cape. The wine route is short and cellars are close to each other, so visitors enjoy a more personal experience. Wellington offers visitors fabulous shopping opportunities, boasting two leather factories that produce stunning, top quality products like shoes, handbags, belts, book covers and many other smaller articles. There are also glassware gift shops, art galleries, bookshops and antique furniture stores to rummage through!
- Explore the beautiful countryside
- Ride the Franschhoek Wine Tram
- Go horse riding in the natural settings of the Cape Winelands
- Do some shopping
- Enjoy a round of golf
- Go on a wine safari
- Explore the wine route
- Travel around in a hot air balloon
The best time to visit the Cape Winelands is during the summertime between December and February, as well as springtime, which starts in September and lasts until November. Autumn is quite enjoyable and from March to May, the days are warm with very little rain. The winter months between June and August are cold with heavy rainfalls.
- Exquisite cuisine
- Art galleries abound
- Wine farms galore
- A warm friendly atmosphere
- Endless rows of vines in the countryside