Tasting wine around Cape Town and visiting the spectacular wine farms is one of the top things to do in Cape Town. The Cape Winelands is is the largest wine-producing region in the country. Cape Town, sitting beneath the imposing Table Mountain is surrounded by a variety of spectacular wine regions.
The wine routes in each region is unique, famous for different wines and offering a variety of tasting experiences. These are some of our favorite wine farms to go tasting located close to the beautiful capital city of the Western Cape.
The Wine of Origin District ‘Cape Town’ contains a total of 30 wine farms and is divided into the wards Constantia, Durbanville, Philadelphia and Hout Bay. The Cape winelands is a nearby district containing the main wine regions; Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson and Wellington. Each of these wine regions have its own wine route, wine styles and are within driving distance from The Mother city. All awesome options for a great day trip from Cape Town.
Rent a car, self drive is the way to go in the Cape Winelands. Our favorite for car rentals in Cape Town
Wine Routes around Cape Town
Terroir is a combination of factors such as soil and climate that greatly influence the distinctive character of grapes and the wines produced. In the Cape winelands terroir varies a lot resulting in a variety of unique wine regions located relatively close to one another.
Constantia – the oldest wine region in South Africa, this is where wine making started in the country. Constantia is a spectacular suburb located close to the Cape Town city center. With some of the most beautiful farms and famous wines in the world wine tasting in Constantia is a fantastic experience. Visit the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens when driving to this area.
Stellenbosch – Surrounded by more than 150 wine farm the beautiful town with its Cape Dutch architecture, cafes, boutiques, and art galleries is the center of the best known wine route in South Africa. The Stellenbosch wine route was the first organized wine route established in South Africa. Amazing farms, top-quality wines, and affordable prices make the Stellenbosch wineries a wine tasting destination not too miss.
Franschhoek – Franschhoek (French Corner in Afrikaans) is located in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world. The town has eight of the top 100 restaurants in the country. Surrounded by about 30 jaw dropping farms visiting the ‘French corner’ is a gastronomic experience not too miss!
Durbanville – A residential suburb of Cape Town, the town Durbanville with its rolling hills and spectacular views of Table Mountain is home to some amazing wine farms with great food pairings, excellent estate restaurants and fantastic wines.
Wine tasting from Cape Town – how does it work?
Most wine estates in Cape town and the Cape winelands have a dedicated tasting room with knowledgeable, well trained staff to guide you during a wine tasting. Doing a wine tasting excursion you go from farm to farm usually tasting 3 or more different wines at each venue. Expect to pay around $4 for a tasting.
You can go wine tasting on a self drive trip, just have a dedicated driver! The other option is a wine tour, many tours will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.
Some tasting rooms offer interesting food wine pairings and some the wine farms also host world class fine dining restaurants and peaceful upper class accommodation.
Wine tasting tours from Cape Town
A full day wine tour will pick you up at your hotel in Cape Town or Stellenbosch and drop you off again. The tours are usually between 7 and 9 hours long, prepare for a long, fun day – excellent value for money. Full day Cape Winelands tours are the most popular and you usually visit five different wine estates in the Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek area. A light lunch is included in some tours.
If you pick a tour I will recommend that you select a tour with a large number of ratings and read some recent reviews. Here are some well rated tours by a reputable companies.
- Cape Winelands Full day tour – this popular tour will pick up and drop off at Cape Town hotel, explore 4 wine farms around Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch including several chocolate and cheese tastings.
- Stellenbosch wine tour from Cape Town – Explore the Stellenbosch wine region on a bus tour from Cape Town. Includes two wine tastings and a wine and cheese pairing. Go on a guided walking tour of the beautiful town. Get picked up at your accommodation in Cape Town.
Constantia Wine Route
Constantia is a lush green suburb of Cape Town at the foot of Table Mountain and the closest wine farms to the city center are located here. Groot Constantia is the oldest wine producing farm in South Africa, established in 1685.
Wine Farms not too miss in Constantia
Our favorite wine farms in Constantia are Beau Constantia and Constantia Glen. Groot Constantia is a must visit because of the history. See our complete guide to the Constantia wine route for details on all the wine farms that make up this beautiful wine route and what makes them special.
Groot Constantia – the oldest wine estate in South Africa, home to Constantia wyn is one of the top things to do in Cape Town with plenty of exciting activities. Visit the three tasting rooms or go on a guided or self-guided tour of the estate.
Beau Constantia – Beau Constantia is a boutique wine farm situated at the top of Constantia Nek with spectacular views of the Constantia Valley. The Beau Constantia tasting room is one of our favorite tasting venues in all of the Cape Winelands. The modern tasting room is really beautiful and well designed, blending in perfectly with surrounding natural environment.
Constantia Glen – Located on the slopes of the Constantia berg mountain, below Constantia Nek, Constantia Glen is another jaw dropping beautiful boutique wine farm with unreal views and fantastic wines. Close to Beau Constantia, these are two farms not too miss!
Wine Tours in Constantia
Best Wines to Taste on the Constantia Wine Route
The Constantia wine route is best known for excellent Sauvignon Blanc, red Bordeaux blends and dessert wines.
The sea breeze of the nearby Atlantic Ocean contributes to the excellent Sauvignon Blanc wines. The area is known for quality red Bordeaux blends created from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec grapes grown here.
Constantia Wyn, a dessert wine, was made by Simon Van der Stel put Constantia on the map in the late 1600s, it was loved by kings, emperors and celebrities such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Frederick the Great of Prussia, King Louis Phillipe of France to Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Modern day Grand Constance is still made at Groot Constantia. A special gift to take home.
Stellenbosch Wine Route
Beautiful historic wine farms, world class wines, and affordable prices make the Stellenbosch area a dream wine tasting destination. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest in South Africa and the number six tourist attraction in South Africa. This massive wine route with about 150 wine farms has been divided into 5 sub routes, see our Stellenbosch wine tasting guide for details on exploring this amazing wine area.
Wine Farms not too miss in Stellenbosch
Living and studying in Stellenbosch for years, picking a favorite wine farm here is basically impossible. Wine farms not too miss in Stellenbosch; Tokara, Spier, Waterford, Ernie Els and Fairview.
Tokara – The spectacular Tokara located at the top of the beautiful Helshoogte pass is definitely one of the wineries with the most beautiful location in South Africa. Beautiful tasting venue perfectly situated in the vineyards with stunning views. The estate is home to the acclaimed Tokara upmarket restaurant.
Waterford – One of our favorite wine estates located in the picturesque Blaauwklippen valley outside Stellenbosch. It is a beautiful winery that makes a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon and they have great chocolate and wine pairing.
Fairview – A wine and cheese farm located between Paarl and Stellenbosch. Very popular tourist destination it gets super busy in season. Fairview is famous for its goat tower, artisanal cheese tasting, and great red wines. Fairview is an excellent experience to visit for the whole family. The estate offers wine and cheese tastings, a bakery, deli, restaurant and the goats. The goats walking around the goat tower is a favorite with the kids.
Wine Tours in Stellenbosch
- Cape Winelands Full day tour – this popular wine tour includes pick up and drop off at Cape Town hotel. You will explore wine farms around Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch including several chocolate and cheese tastings.
- Hop on Hop off Wine estate tour – not a guided wine tasting tour, transport on the Stellenbosch wine route from farm to farm. You can make up your own itinerary spending as much time as you like at each farm. Cheaper than a guided tour, but does not include tastings.
- Stellenbosch Cycling Wine Tour – Cycle tour starting in the town of Stellenbosch, guided tour of the town, two wine farms, wine and chocolate tasting.
Best wines to taste on the Stellenbosch Wine Route
The hot, dry climate in the Boland is perfect for production of quality red-wine grapes. Most of the top red wines produced around Stellenbosch are Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab blends. Plenty of award winning Shiraz, Pinotage and Merlot wines come from the region. The Cool breeze from the ocean in False Bay results in excellent conditions for growing white wine grapes; Chenin Blanc is the most common cultivar, but Chardonnay is the top award winning wines in the area.
Pinotage is something special to taste here, a cultivar created by a professor at the local Stellenbosch University Oenology Department. A real South African cultivar with excellent Pinotage wines made in Stellenbosch.
Franschhoek Wine Route
Franschhoek with its tall oak trees, rolling vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture is known for the French influence, excellent wines and is the top place in South Africa to visit for fine dining. The French Huguenots brought the art and their influence on wine making here in 1688. The awesome Franschhoek wine tram, passing through the vineyards, visiting all the main wine estates is the way to explore this stunning wine family! Wine tasting and dining is the highlight here, see our favorite things to do in Franschhoek; wine tasting, hiking, chocolate tasting, MTB, visiting museums, art galleries, spas, scenic drives and more.
Wine Farms not too miss in Franschhoek
The spectacular Frensch corner of the Cape hosts many excellent wine farms, these are some of our favorite wine estates.
Dieu Donne – one of our favorite wine estates in the Cape Winelands The tasting room is breathtaking, the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about wines. We love their Wooded Chardonnay and always drive here to buy a couple of bottles and enjoy their cheese platter.
Babylonstoren – the spectacular farm at the foot of the Simonsberg is one of the most beautiful and unique wine farms in South Africa. The historic Babylonstoren has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, excellent accommodation and is a fantastic venue to eat. For excellent accommodation see the Babylonstoren luxury chalets.
Boschendal – one of the oldest farms in Franschhoek this beautiful estate surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes, lush gardens and vines produces fantastic wines. Home to luxurious cottages in the vineyards and fantastic restaurants. The stunning estate is a great place to combine wine tasting with a picnic. You can purchase a packed basket here. Love their Shiraz.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is a fantastic way to explore the picturesque vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley. The tram has 10 different wine routes, each line includes 8 wine farms. The routes are combinations of tram and bus to reach all the farms. Get to the tram from Cape Town: Franschhoek Wine Tram Hop-on Hop-off
Franschhoek Wine Tours
Best Wines to Taste on the Franschhoek Wine Route
Franschhoek is well known for delivering some excellent method cap classic wines (bubbly). When exploring this wine valley don’t miss the great Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz wines produced here. If you are a Pinot Noir enthusiast, definitely make a stop at the Chamonix estate.
The Durbanville Wine Route
Only about 30 minutes drive from the Cape Town city center the rolling hills of Durbanville, with fantastic views Table Mountain, is home to a wine route with beautiful estates producing excellent wines. The Durbanville wine route offered some of our favorite food pairings in the Cape Winelands.
Wine Farms not too miss in Durbanville
De Grendel – blessed with sea views, cool ocean breezes and misty nights; perfect conditions for producing top quality wine grapes. The relaxed, but upmarket venue hosts a great tasting venue and top fine dining restaurant with spectacular views of Table Mountain.
Klein Roosboom – a unique wine tasting experience not too miss! The wine tasting in old cement fermentation tanks turned into private little tasting rooms, beautifully decorated is a truly special wine tasting at this wine farm.
Durbanville Hills – the award winning estate is probably the best known winery on the Durbanville wine route, located only about 20 minutes drive from Cape Town’s city center. Award winning wines and a modern tasting room with fantastic views of Table Mountain, Table Bay, Robben Island and Cape Town.
Best Wines to Taste on the Durbanville Wine Route
The Durbanville wine route is best known for the excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux blends, and Pinotage wines made from grapes grown in this region with cool winds coming from the ocean.
Off the Beaten Track Wine Tasting from Cape Town
The Breedekloof wine route is a hidden gem relatively unknown to international visitors. This ‘off the beaten track’ wine route produces excellent wines and reminds me of tasting wine on the famous Stellenbosch wine route 20 years ago. The big commercial tourist industry has not yet reached Rawsonville. Here you can still have an intimate inexpensive or even free wine tasting, sometimes with the winemaker himself telling you about the wines.
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The strong half of Stingy Nomads, a nomadic aquaman that would be happy to spend all his life in the water diving, surfing and spearfishing but often has to compromise with Alya and go hiking instead. Campbell is responsible for all our marine adventures and following them with write-ups. He loves traveling, braai (BBQ in South Africa), red wine and spending the day in a wetsuit.
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