Winelands of the Cape
Whether it is its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage or its world-renowned wines, the Winelands Region is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer. A 45-minute drive from Cape Town brings you to this area where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history. Come experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, & Franschhoek. The diversity of the Winelands will capture every heart.
Follow in the footsteps of our ancestors as you stroll along the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in the country. Our colourful history comes to life in the splendidly restored Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings in each town. Monuments such as the Huguenot Memorial and Afrikaans Language Monument and the many outstanding museums provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
The excellent wines produced in this area are world-renowned You will be spoilt for choice between small, boutique wineries and the larger, more commercial wine estates. Taste the fruit of the vintner’s labour in the magnificent surrounds that are so characteristic of the Winelands, or join the winemaker on a tour of his cellar where the precious harvest is lovingly transformed into every wine lover’s delight.
Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. This is the food and wine heartland of the country, where splendid wines are grown and our top chefs create international cuisine. Here breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world class cuisine and the finest wines all combine to create lasting memories.
Spectacular vineyards cover these mountain slopes settled more than 300 years ago by the Huguenots, who brought with them their age-old French wine and food culture. This is a valley rich in history centered around a picturesque village of friendly, welcoming people.
The wonderful spectrum of visitor accommodation ranges from internationally renowned auberges and guest houses to self-catering cottages on wine farms and much more besides.
In the village you will find wonderful crafts, art and antique shops and galleries. The main street is lined with coffee shops and restaurants.
The town of Paarl has a unique character, not least because vineyards still grow in between residential neighbourhoods maintaining a country feel to a town virtually the size of a small city, but also because it is here that the struggle to gain recognition for Afrikaans as a written language was achieved. Today the Afrikaans Language Museum bears testament to this accomplishment and there is a monument to this unique language on the slopes of Paarl Mountain.
Main Street Paarl is a colourful collection of beautifully restored Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings and includes the oldest Dutch Reformed Church in the country – the Strooidak Church – and the Paarl Museum, housed in a u-shaped Cape Dutch house and home to an in-depth look at the town’s history, starting with early man and dealing with European colonisation and slavery.
A large variety of grapes are grown in Paarl, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc and the Paarl Wine Route is also known as the ‘Red Route’ because of this. Over 25 wine cellars include Backsberg Estate, KWV, Nederburg, Nelsons Creek, Simonsvlei and Avondale that make up the popular wine route.
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