Cape Wine Routes
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.
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.
For additional info about South African Wines you may find these articles useful:
South African Wine
"Pop your Cork"
Popular Wine Routes of the Western Cape
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
destinations / attractions in the western cape