How to spend three days touring wineries around Capetown, South Africa


It could consider yrs to discover the quite a few wines of South Africa’s Western Cape. For tourists with only a number of days on their arms, Cape Town is an excellent foundation for discovering not only the surrounding wine country, but the city’s wine bars and entire world-class restaurants.

Spread above 40,000 sq. miles, the Cape Winelands incorporate several locations, every with its personal distinctive landscapes, terroirs and wine routes studded with gracious estates. Closest to Cape City is the leafy suburb of Constantia, the country’s oldest wine region Groot Constantia estate is 332 a long time old this yr.

Cape Town has hundreds of wine estates inside of driving length.

Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Further than Photography

Following that, the historic districts of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Robertson, Wellington and Franschhoek are equally famous. But for those in the know, the scaled-down-scale, normally young winemakers of other areas these types of as the Swartland are developing some of the country’s most thrilling wines, generally with an emphasis on organic output approaches.

And that is only element of the story.

Aside from the Western Cape, South Africa’s ever-increasing viticulture business proceeds all the way up into the Northern Cape, the Orange Free of charge Point out and even the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.

Strategies ahead of you taste

There are 900 estates producing much more than 9,000 labels annually in the Western Cape.

As a South African who has been discovering the country’s wine areas considering that the 1980s, this is a quick listing of my particular favorites:

  • Boschendal Brut, a delectable chardonnay pinot noir blend that beats the pants off lots of a French Champagne
  • The Chocolate Box, a decadently silky syrah from Boekenhoutskloof vineyard in the Franschhoek Valley
  • Meerlust Rubicon, an elegant Bordeaux mix from the Stellenbosch region
  • Vin de Constanz, the perennially preferred and by natural means sweet muscat blanc à petit grains (a white grape varietal) from Constantia

South Africa’s Western Cape.

WLDavies

Most South African wine estates are set up to get everyday readers. On the web booking is generally attainable, but rarely required. Travelers will likely uncover a warm welcome from properly-knowledgeable personnel with a passion for their merchandise.

Some estates continue to offer no cost tastings, even though other individuals demand a nominal charge it is really just about anything from 30 to 100 South African rand (all around $2 to $6.50) to sample quite a few labels. And take it easy — there’s no tension to buy.

Pouring tends to be a lot more generous than in California’s Napa Valley or Western Australia’s Margaret River. While major connoisseurs who choose to merely style and spit could possibly employ a vehicle and push by themselves, a far better possibility for the rest of us is to be part of a wine tour that will decide you up from your hotel or apartment. And if you have mapped out an itinerary, it is correctly possible — and most likely less expensive — to get about by Uber.

Working day 1: Touring the wonderful Cape Winelands

For an introduction to the Cape Winelands, drive 40 minutes east from Cape Town alongside the N1 motorway to the atmospheric university city of Stellenbosch with its evocative lanes, artisanal boutiques and 18th-century colonial Cape-Dutch architecture.

From Stellenbosch it truly is a 10-moment generate together picturesque Helshoogte Street to Delaire Graff Estate. Formerly owned by wine-and-meals buffs John and Erica Platter — the annual “Platter’s South African Wine Guidebook” is a nearby bible — Delaire was obtained in 2003 by Englishman Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds and has been remodeled into a fantastic spot for artwork, superior-conclusion retail, magnificent hospitality and wine appreciation. The Wine Lounge presents a relaxed and exquisite tasting knowledge, both indoors or alfresco.

A wine tasting in the Western Cape.

Petri Oeschger

Across the way on the slopes of Simonsberg mountain is Tokara, a favored of wine connoisseurs. It can also be frequented by an Airbus helicopter that departs from Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, in which scenario it would be silly not to make a working day of it with lunch at the wonderful-dining Tokara Restaurant.

Following door to Tokara is Thelema Mountain Vineyards, most famous for its abundant cabernet sauvignon. Listed here you can also flavor wines from the cooler Elgin region in which Thelema winegrower Gyles Webb owns a further estate.

From there, abide by the R45 to Groot Drakenstein and cease at Boschendal — if only for a photograph of its circa-1812 homestead, an evocative case in point of Cape-Dutch gabled architecture. What is actually much more, its chardonnay pinot noir MCC (or Méthode Cap Classique, referring to the bottle fermentation course of action) is eminently quaffable.

Cape Dutch architecture can be identified on Cape Highlands’ wine estates.

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With several wine-tasting sessions below your belt, it is possible time for lunch. Continue on to the enchanting village of Franschhoek, at first settled by my individual ancestors — French Huguenots who fled France in the 17th century to escape religious persecution for their Calvinist Protestant beliefs and who subsequently made an important contribution to wine creation in the place.

The city is house to the magnificent Reuben’s, positioned in a dazzling and spacious transformed warehouse. Celebrated chef Reuben Riffel (born in the spot) owns quite a few eateries around the region and opened this a person in 2017 he has a different in nearby Chamonix, the place he slash his culinary tooth.

Go away some area for a tasting at award-successful L’Ormarins Wine Estate, now owned by billionaire Johann Rupert and still part of the Anthonij Rupert wine steady. Right before returning to Cape Town, acquire the R45 to Simondium to reach a single of the oldest and most historic Cape-Dutch farms, Babylonstoren. It presents a 30-minute tour of its wine cellar and olive press as nicely as a restaurant, tasting area and an inspirational fruit and vegetable garden.

Day 2: An outing to Constantia

Just a 20-moment journey from downtown Cape Town, Constantia’s wine estates are ideal for a tasting or two (or 3), followed by lunch. Luckily, the area’s most celebrated dining places are positioned in just the wineries. 

Chef Ivor Jones in the herb backyard at the Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia.

Claire Gunn

Pair some of Constantia’s greatest wines with the exceptional delicacies at Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia, continuously rated among the South Africa’s best 10 places to eat. Lunch is greatest for appreciating its amazing winery views.

Ivor Jones (previously head chef at Examination Kitchen) commands a formidable open up-kitchen area procedure that serves up a tapas-design adventure. Think linefish sashimi larb, smoked coconut and toasted rice coal-seared tuna with barbecue turmeric dressing beef tartare with port and herb jellies and a rye and onion crisp — and that is just the to start with 3 of 8 courses.

Beef tartare at Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia.

Claire Gunn

La Colombe Restaurant on Silvermist Wine Estate in Constantia Nek is an additional of South Africa’s major fantastic eating establishments, presenting French-Asian influenced tasting menus in a delightful treehouse-type dining area. Or try Bistro Sixteen82, a peaceful cafe in the beautiful location of Steenberg Estate.

Working day 3: The wine bars and dining establishments of Cape City

Just a couple of Cape Town’s numerous highlights involve using the cable auto to the leading of Desk Mountain for stupendous sights, buying for pan-African souvenirs at Greenmarket Square, and getting the picturesque coastal travel from Camps Bay to Llandudno earlier the Twelve Apostles mountain range to the charismatic fishing village of Hout Bay.

All this is hungry and thirsty do the job. Fortuitously, Cape Town has hundreds of eating places with a huge selection of cuisines and wines at exceptionally affordable selling prices for the intercontinental traveler. But reputations increase and slide with time, so be warned: a randomly-picked eatery on the touristy V&A Waterfront may confirm disappointing.

Pork scratching, pint of Guinness, celeriac salt and vinegar at The Take a look at Kitchen area.

Courtesy of The Test Kitchen area

The Examination Kitchen area in the suburb of Woodstock is helmed by U.K. chef Luke Dale-Roberts and was rated as one particular of the world’s Top rated 50 places to eat in 2019. Or test Fyn (pronounced “Fain”), the new downtown restaurant by chef Peter Tempelhoff that is serving kaiseki-style fusion food items and receiving rave evaluations. For dinner and a present, get a seat at the kitchen counter and enjoy the chefs at get the job done.

Villa 47 is a relaxed bistro the place chef Clayton Bell presides around tasty Italian fare this sort of as carpaccio of octopus and the lightest tortellini this facet of Bologna. For old-faculty Italian with traditionally dour provider, Seapoint’s La Perla continues to be a prime hangout for Capetonians. 

Whilst in this location, pop into friendly Frogitt & Vonkel wine bar for a pre- or write-up-meal glass. The bar serves a variety of wines from estates about Cape Town, but also South Africa at significant as very well as Namibia.

Prawn nigiri with sesame soy gel, refreshing fig tartlet with hazelnut cream and foie gras ganache, and daikon maki roll at Fyn.

Hein

For sublime modern Indian curries served tapas-design, Thali belongs to the secure of restaurateur Liam Tomlin of Chef’s Warehouse fame. And, The Bungalow is at trendy Clifton Seashore, serving sushi and additional with stupendous coastal views.



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