Cape Wine Routes

/ The Wine Routes of the Western Cape Cape Winelands well known and newer Cape wine routes South Africa.
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Cape Wine Routes

Cape Wine Routes
Cape Wine Routes, Western Cape

When one reflects on the splendours of the Cape - lush green valleys, rugged mountains, azure seas and sky - then the Cape’s winelands are usually top of the list. Visitors pour into the Western Cape to experience our viticulture, restored Cape Dutch farmsteads with their distinctive gables and thatched roofs, and the mountains that form the dramatic backdrop to all of this. The Cape winelands are some of the most scenic in the world and wine tourism is one of South Africa’s fastest growing industries. South Africa also has the largest number of Fairtrade certified wineries in the world and the biggest single Fairtrade accredited project worldwide was recently launched at Du Toitskloof Cellar in Rawsonville in the Western Cape.

Traditionally, when referring to the Cape Winelands, one called to mind the cellars around Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Franschhoek. However, South African wine has undergone a whole new momentum. An emerging ethos has taken the local wine industry into the global arena. South African wine has come of age and is now competing on the world wine stage. A whole new generation of winemakers has appeared and there has been a shift from grape farming to wine growing.

Wine Routes of the Western Cape
Wine Routes of the Western Cape
One would thus be remiss if one did not include the many wine routes of the Cape, some of which are an easy drive from Cape Town, such as the Constantia, Durbanville, Darling and Walker Bay winelands. Most of South Africa’s vineyards are found in the Western Cape near the coast. The weather is perfect for growing grapes - rainfall measures up to 40 inches a year, the mild Mediterranean weather provides the perfect climate and the ground is mainly sandy and rough.

The Cape’s winelands stretch from the coast to the plains of the Little Karoo, where grapes are also grown in the riverine valleys. There are currently some 560 wineries and 4 400 primary producers of vineyards in the Cape, divided by the Wine of Origin Scheme into 4 main regions: The Breede River Valley, The Little Karoo, Coastal and Olifants River.

For more information about the Wine Estates of the different wine routes, see Wine Estates sorted by regions and viewable on maps.

Additional Reading:
For additional info about South African Wines you may find these articles useful:
South African Wine
"Pop your Cork"

Cape Wine Routes

Popular Wine Routes of the Western Cape

Breedekloof Wine Route

Where to Stay: Breede River Valley Accommodation

The youngest wine route in South Africa and just 90 km outside of Cape Town, the Breedekloof wine route lies in the Breede River Valley, which stretches from Gouda in the west, McGregor in the south, Montagu in the east and ... more information

Cape Agulhas Wine Route

Where to Stay: Cape Agulhas Accommodation

Most of the vineyards of this, the southern most point of Africa, are found in the little village of Elim. The pretty village is a national monument in its entirety and lies on a peninsular washed by two oceans ... more information

Cape Point Wine Route

Where to Stay: Noordhoek Accommodation

It was only in 1998 that the new Cape Point Wine District was declared and the Cape Point Vineyards are still relatively new on the tourist itinerary. They were established in 1996 with the first vines on the ... more information

Constantia Wine Route

Where to Stay: Constantia Valley Accommodation

One of the very few appellations in the world just minutes outside of a city, the Constantia wine route includes five producers, each with a rich history and winemaking that dates back to late 1600s. The original Constantia ... more information

Darling Wine Route

Where to Stay: Darling Accommodation

Although traditionally part of the Swartland, Darling is now a demarcated wine district and home to her own wine route, including five wine cellars all of which benefit from the cool breezes off the Atlantic Ocean and the ... more information

Durbanville Wine Route

Where to Stay: Durbanville Accommodation

Only 20 km north of Cape Town, the Durbanville wine route, like Constantia, is very close to the mother city but frequently overlooked. Some nine estates lie on the beautiful, rolling Tygerberg hills, producing a wide variety of wines ... more information

Elgin Wine Route

Where to Stay: Grabouw Accommodation

Traditionally an apple-growing region, Elgin lies, embraced by the Hottentots Holland Mountains, 45 minutes’ drive from Cape Town in the Cape Overberg. The Elgin Valley is exquisite, with long stretches of forest and endless ... more information

Franschhoek Wine Route

Where to Stay: Franschoek Accommodation

Franshhoek is just 50 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and the heart of one of the oldest and most beautiful wine routes in the Cape. Just half an hour’s drive from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington and Somerset West wine routes, Franschhoek ... more information

Helderberg Wine Route

Where to Stay: Somerset West Accommodation

A sub-route of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the Helderberg route is only 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s airport and is near the town of Somerset West. These vines lie on the slopes of the Helderberg and combine the influences of ... more information

Little Karoo Wine Route

Where to Stay: Karoo Accommodation

A little surprising, perhaps - that grapes can grow in a semi-arid area - but grow they do in this region, renowned for its extremes in soils and climate. Despite the low rainfall for the area, viticulture happens in the riverine ... more information

Olifants River Valley Wine Route

Where to Stay: Citrusdal Accommodation

Olifants River wine route starts at Citrusdal, 180 km outside of Cape Town and meanders along the river for 120 km until it reaches Lutzville and the country’s most westerly vineyards. This area around Lutzville is regarded as one ... more information

Paarl Vintners

Where to Stay: Paarl Accommodation

The town of Paarl, named so because of the large granite outcrop - the most prominent of which looks like a large dome or pearl - lies only 50 km outside of Cape Town and within easy reach of the mother city. Paarl Vintners has ... more information

Robertson Wine Route

Where to Stay: Robertson Accommodation

Only 1.5 hours’ drive from Cape Town and in the heart of Route 62 - the longest wine route in the country - Robertson Wine Valley lies surrounded by majestic mountains in the Breede River Valley. With a minimal annual rainfall and ... more information

Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Where to Stay: Stellenbosch Accommodation

Bottelary Hills lies on the slopes of the Bottelary Mountain range with most of its vineyards facing north thus producing excellent red wines. This area is considered at the forefront of viticulture and viniculture when it comes ... more information

Swartland Wine Route

Where to Stay: Malmesbury Accommodation

The vineyards lie along the banks of the Berg River and in the foothills of a number of imposing mountain ranges that lie in the Swartland, producing a constant blue and black backdrop to the beauty of the vineyards. Initially ... more information

Tulbagh Wine Route

Where to Stay: Tulbagh Accommodation

The Tulbagh valley has some of the most natural beauty in the Cape and wine has become a focus of attention recently, particularly due to the string of national and international awards taken by a number of estates and private ... more information

Walker Bay Wine Route

Where to Stay: Hermanus Accommodation

Grapes grown in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley are influenced by the cold Atlantic Ocean and the temperate conditions and clayey soil produce wines similar to those of Northern France. The valley, which stretches some 6km from Hermanus ... more information

Wellington Wine Route

Where to Stay: Wellington Accommodation

Only 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, the Wellington wine route is one of the youngest wine routes in the Cape, although the viticultural heritage dates back to the French Huguenots of the late 1600s. Officially launched in the mid ... more information

Worcester Wine Route

Where to Stay: Worcester Accommodation

The Worcester winelands incorporate over 250 years of winemaking knowledge to produce, amongst other cultivars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and Columbar to national acclaim. The town of Worcester lies in the Breede River ... more information

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South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in Atlantic Seaboard!.
The Wine Routes of the Western Cape and Cape Winelands
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