Africa South Africa Travel travel experience travel guide

The introduction you need for the Cape Winelands

car overlooking wine lands in the cape of south africa

In all honesty, I can barely think of a place more scenic than the Cape Winelands. And plus, it’s proven to becoming increasingly difficult to top the wine tasting experience if you’re not in South Africa. So, instead of the long guides I love to send your way, I’ll be dividing my posts for the Cape Winelands in a three part series to cover in-depth guides to Stellenbosch and Franschoek, respectively.

And now you’re probably: what’s the point of this post? Well, my dear friend, it’s to give you a what to expect when touring little towns along the winelands (there are so many!), and also how to make the most out of the wine tasting experience!

First off, this guide isn’t only for those who love to drink wine, okay. I happen to have been surrounded with non-alcohol drinkers in the tour group and everything still turned out fine. Another thing, the winelands are great towns to explore and to see what’s hidden in the Western Cape.

Due to the strong influence of both the French and the Dutch in these parts, Stellenbosch and Franschoek look like small towns from Europe instead of South Africa. But that’s just my take on it.

empty white chairs and tables brought together for wine tasting at the middle of garden under a big oak tree

The estates, villas, and the view

Nestled at least 3 hours away from the city of Cape Town, the winelands are adored with many villas which also house wine tasting sessions, lunches, and overnight quarters.

As the winelands are surrounded by mountains, it tends to be cooler in this side of the Cape. Plus, the food here is completely different from what you’ll usually see in the city as everything’s organic, and fit for vegetarians. Although there were also dishes designed for meat-lovers, you won’t see the usual steak selections. Rather, you’ll be greeted with lean meats and roasted pork. Yummmm

Admittedly, I was lucky enough to have gone wine tasting to one villa, one estate, and two separate vine yards which make the experience all the more worth it.

Top picks:

Estates

Stellenbosch Clouds Estate

$300/night

Where to find them: Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 7560, South Africa

DeKraal Country Lodge

$360/night

Where to find them: Helshoogpe Rd, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 885 1399

Orange-Ville Guesthouse

$160/night

Where to find them: Swart Street / Kylemore Road, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa
Phone: +27 21 885 1575

Villas

Franschhoek Country House & Villas

$560/night

Where to find them: Main Road, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 876 3386

La Residence

$540/night

Where to find them: Elandskloof Road, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 876 4100

Winelands Villa Guesthouse and Cottages

$100/night

Where to find them: 59 Old Stellenbosch Rd, Helena Heights, Somerset West, 7130, South Africa
Phone:+27 82 268 8267

ceiling view of chandelier inside the lanzerac wine estate tasting room

The wine tasting experience

You’ll have an entire day dedicated to trying wine at different vineyards where each one will have the opportunity to show you why they’re the best. In particular, the Lanzerac Wine Estate will tell you how they process wine and fill you in on which chocolate works best for it too.

Like many wine tasting adventures, you’ll have white wine first then pink before trying out the reds. Although there’s going to be a unique twist per wine estate just like Lanzerac’s, they’re the original producers of a Pinotage. If you’re wondering, the wine is blended smoothly and to make it taste a little sweeter. It actually comes close to the taste of a Cabernet-Sauvignon Shiraz.

Whereas trying the wine at Boschendal Estate in Franschhoek, you’ll be taught how to pair your drink with toasted bread, different African cheese, and their special jam.

Other estates or villas simply offer you food and choose which wine pairs with what you’ve ordered. Either way, the entire experience can only be labeled as gastronomical! And is really up to you on how you’ll be able to pair each one.

But let me tell you this – your entire view and experience with wine will surely change. Your taste will become more refined and your palette a little more colourful.

photo of instax of 3 girls inside lanzerac wine estate drinking

What do you think of this introduction? Are you excited for the other two guides?

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  • I’ve never visited South Africa before but I’ve heard great things about the Cape Winelands! How long would you recommend visiting the area for? Maggie xx

    • Hi Maggie! I had the opportunity to go around the entire day. If you love small towns, great food (the best!), and amazing wine…Then probably 3 days would do you great before heading back to Cape Town 🙂

  • Wow this looks so beautiful! I’d love to visit South Africa.

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