The Cape Winelands is one of Cape Town’s must-see places for visitors. Located within the Boland region of the Western Cape, the Cape Winelands is home to breathtaking landscapes, from vineyards to beautiful mountains and valleys. Situated just 50km from Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek make up the famed Cape Winelands, which also features the largest wine production in the Cape.
GUEST POST BY BRITTANY HAWKINS
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What’s the best time to visit the Cape Winelands?
With much on offer all year around, and the beauty of the region simply changing its colour pallet, choosing the ideal time to visit could be based on where else you’d like to go while visiting the Cape or what events you’d like to attend while here.
With guaranteed warm weather from November to the end of February, with temperatures rising 5 degrees higher than the city centre, the Cape Winelands sees an influx of tourists during this time.
If you’re more inclined to enjoy the cooler weather, visiting during the winter months can be a phenomenal experience, as well. This time of year shows a lot of promise as there are a number of well-known events taking place, such as the Wacky Wine Weekend, the Good Food & Wine Show, the Old Mutual Trophy Wine show as well as the Wedding Expo. Enjoying a full bodied red wine over a hearty traditional stew while watching the rain drizzle down will warm up the body, soul and mind!
a Few facts about Cape Winelands
Home to some of the Cape’s best wine estates such as Boschendal Estate, Spier Wine Estate, Neethlingshof and Babylonstoren, the Cape Winelands produces nearly one million liters of wine every year. It also contributes significantly to South Africa’s economy, offering some of the Cape’s finest dining experiences.
One Day in The Cape Winelands Itinerary
Planning to get the most out of your holiday can be a daunting task, so we’ve put together a perfect day for your family when visiting the Cape Winelands. Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Cape Winelands.
Start your day off at Spier Wine Estate
Take a guided tour of Spier Wine Estate on a Segway and explore everything the estate has to offer. There’s also a craft market on the estate that beautifully captures the curio shop culture of Cape wine estates. Spier Wine Estate is also the home to Eagle Encounters, a team specializing in rehabilitating various birds of prey, and offers an up close and personal interaction with them.
Bites and Sites Food Tour In Stellenbosch
If you are feeling peckish, book the Bites and Sites food tour which’ll take you on a food tour of the different food cultures starting in Stellenbosch. From Cape Malay, kasi cuisine and Afrikaans food, there’s a lot to learn about the different cultures.
Take a Short Drive To Neethlingshof Wine Estate
Situated in Stellenbosch, stop off at Neethlingshof Wine Estate and enjoy a Flash Food, Slow Wine pairing. The winemakers at the farm carefully pair up the estate’s wines with bite-sized portions of fast foods.
Visit the Franschhoek Motor Museum
The Franschhoek Motor Museum is self-guided and takes roughly one hour to navigate. There are four different warehouses that house 20 vehicles, offering the opportunity to take a look back over 100 years in the motor industry.
Take a Workshop at Babylonstoren Garden
With so much to do at Babylonstoren, start off by signing up for a workshop and learn some new skills to try out in your garden. The workshop covers everything they have learned so far and gardening in general. To ensure the workshops are fun and informative, guest speakers are invited to collaborate with guests and share their success stories.
End your day off with a fine dining experience at Rust en Vrede
As the tour ends around dinner time, wrap up the day with a fine dining experience at Rust en Vrede Restaurant in Stellenbosch. Voted Travelers Choice for 2017 by Tripadvisor, it leaves little room for disappointment.
Where to stay in The Cape Winelands?
If you’re looking for the full experience of the Cape Winelands, why not book your accommodation within the wine region, to allow for ease of access to the various activities you will be doing? Be it business or pleasure, the Cape Winelands offers accommodation to suit the needs of many people. Of course, your accommodation will also be based on the duration of your trip but here are our top recommendations.
Franschhoek Travellers Lodge
15 Akademie Street, 7690 Franschhoek
The Franschhoek Travellers lodge is in the centre Franschhoek and is within walking distance of most activities there. Offering accommodation that’s suitable for both business as well as leisure, the lodge can accommodate the needs of schools, youths, families as well as business conferences. Some of the facilities include: wireless internet, DSTV, an outside braai area as well as a large dining hall.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Franschhoek
33/34 Huguenot Road, 7690 Franschhoek
With breakfast included, staying at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Franschhoek will be a great experience, as this hotel is in high demand. Also within walking distance from most things in Franschhoek, the hotel has a well-known restaurant, conference facilities and a swimming pool. They also offer outdoor activities which include, golf, trout-fishing as well as horse-riding.
Asara Wine Estate & Hotel
Polkadraai Road, 7599 Stellenbosch
Asara Wine Estate and Hotel is situated right in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Based in Stellenbosch, the award-winning wine estate offers of the finest food and wines the Cape has to offer. Their facilities include a restaurant and bar area, a deli, the vineyards, as well as a treatment room should you wish to make use of it.
Extra tips for visiting The Cape Winelands
The Cape Winelands must be one of the most tourist-centric and friendly regions of Cape Town. While it’s geared towards giving tourists a great time, there are still a few things you can do to maximize your enjoyment when visiting the region. Here are a few helpful tips to make the most of your visit:
- – Get the App: the Platter’s App is a digital version of South Africa’s most comprehensive wine guide, providing you with unparalleled access to trusted ratings, tasting notes, and producer notes on over 7 000 South African wines.
- – Pedal power: A great alternative to the expected commute is cycling around the Winelands. It’s so popular that there’s even a Stellenbosch cycling tour, which isn’t too strenuous and guides cyclists along pretty back roads for wine tastings at many of the most celebrated estates.
– For more information on South African Wine farms and how to visit them when in South Africa, Explore Sideways has all the information you will ever need.
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What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
Brittany’s passion for food and wine began in her hometown, Napa Valley, California, where she grew up immersed in the wine industry. After receiving a degree from DePauw University, she began her career in Silicon Valley in the advertising and marketing industries. Brittany moved to Cape Town 3 years ago where she launched Explore Sideways and has since been able to marry her interests in food, wine, travel and tech to create transformative experiences around the world.