Day Trip - Winelands Tour (SC6)
South Africa’s Winelands are renowned for its crisp white and classic French-style red wines but the area is also a treasury of rural beauty and vast estates shaded by giant oak trees. This tour consi... [continued]
At a Glance
South Africa’s Winelands are renowned for its crisp white and classic French-style red wines but the area is also a treasury of rural beauty and vast estates shaded by giant oak trees. This tour consists of the country’s principal wine route exploring Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, with a stop en-route for lunch (for own account).
Our day starts with a visit to Paarl where you will be smitten by the charming valley, endless vineyards and the Pearl of Paarl, a granite mountain overlooking the area. Paarl made headlines when President Mandela was freed from the Groot Drakenstein prison on the outskirts of the town. We enjoy a wine tasting and cellar tour at one of the local estates.
From Paarl, we’ll continue north-west to the scenic village of Franschhoek, near the Drakenstein Mountains, which was established in 1688 by French immigrants fleeing the Huguenot religious persecution in Europe. A monument in the town commemorates the arrival of these early settlers who helped develop wines which were sought after by Napoleon, Bismark and royalty such as Edward VII, the Prince of Wales. Here we will stop for lunch (at guests' own expense) and another wine tasting at a vineyard.
We’ll then head to Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa and the historic heart of the country’s wine region. In 1679, Dutch East India Company governor Simon van der Stel noticed the fertility of this long valley on the banks of the Eerste River as ideal for vineyards. Van der Stel’s foresight led to the growth of one of the world’s best wine regions. An elegant mix of 18-century Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings is noticeable as you head down Dorp Street, where huge oaks still shadow original water furrows. Enjoy a final wine tasting before returning to Cape Town.