This 17N: Self Drive Cape Town Winelands Route self drive can be modified to a part self drive and guided package.
The wine routes are very well developed and quite honestly,you could spend weeks,or even months roaming around happily and never get to the end of it.
This 17N: Self Drive Cape Town Winelands Route takes you to the heart of that beautiful scenery,meandering at your own pace.
Well, it sounds great but very few people have that kind of time so you should really choose one and then spend a day or two happily exploring.
If you really are a wine fundi, you could visit a number of them.
They are listed below in a circular route, which is far too long for anyone to do, but in this 17N: Self Drive Cape Town Winelands Route ,it gives you an idea of the kind of routing you can do.
You,d probably be wise to leave out at least half of them. But which half?Ah, that,s the tough one.
Start in Cape Town and head up the N7 to Malmesbury in the Swartland.This is one of the less fashionable winemaking districts but Capetonians in the know treasure it for excellent value for money wines of a good quality.There are about a dozen wineries in this region.
Head towards the coast and visit some of a mere handful of new quite innovative wineries near Darling.
Day 3 to 5 Explore
Head back inland to Citrusdal. You could visit a few wineries here but the Craig Royston Winery is your best bet.
Its not a vineyard,its an old store which has been turned into a wine tasting and sales center for the whole Olifants River region, which tends to concentrate on richer fortified wines, but not exclusively.
There are less than ten wineries in this spread out region.
Then head off to Upington and explore the Orange River region which, as well as producing some great fortified wines,also grows wonderful export grapes and dates.
There are only a handful of wineries here.
Drive to Beaufort West and spend the night there.Any wine tasting here will have to be in the local pub.
Who knows what you might discover, though.
Drive through Meiringspoort to de Rust, which is part of the Little Karoo region, and where you can try some lovely characterful reds,some fortified wines and a few others.
Look out for the ridiculously packaged Tickled Pink, a non-serious sparkling wine.
There are about a dozen cellars spread out over this large area.
Go through Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp,where you will find a great selection of port.
Continue through Barrydale and Montagu, which are still part of the Little Karoo region.
Montagu has hot springs,Brandy tasting, and fantastic dried fruit.
Then tour some of the wineries in the Robertson area, and consider an optional detour to McGregor,which is a lovely little town with one small winery.
This is starting to get into classic wine country, and this region has about 30 cellars.
Head across to the N2 and then to Caledon, from where you?ll travel through the Hemel & Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley to Hermanus.
The small number of vineyards here make up the Walker Bay region and are the most southerly in Africa. Try the southern right pinotage , there can,t be too many wines named after a whale.
Head back to the N2 via Botriver, where you should pop in to Beaumont and try their awesome red blends.
Head back across the N2 through Villiersdorp and Franschhoek, and into the more traditional wine growing regions. Franschhoek is named for the many French Huguenots who settled here when escaping persecution in France, and who pretty much founded our wine industry.
Its a lovely town with about 20 great wineries.
On to Paarl,which is also one of the older wine growing areas.
Here you will find excellent Methode Cap Classique sparkling wines and a whole range of excellent stuff on offer.
This is in the heart of wine country and there are about 50 cellars in this region. Many wineries here also make cheese, or grow olives.
Head west towards Worcester, which has a good selection of wineries, and then through the Hex River Mountains to Tulbagh which is one of the lesser known regions with only about ten or so cellars,although it is quite a historical wine growing area.
If you headed back towards the Swartland,you would go through Wellington, which is tucked away in a small valley. Even though there are only a dozen of so cellars,you couldn’t see them all in a day.
Head back to the center of gravity of the winelands, Stellenbosch,with almost a hundred wineries would keep you going for weeks if you tried to see them all.
Close by is the town of Somerset West, which is the centre of the Helderberg region. Once the ugly stepsister to Stellenbosch, this region is now producing some excellent wines from its 20-odd vineyards.
¨From there you could head back to Cape Town and the Constantia winelands.
This is the oldest wine growing area in the country,and there are only a handful of surviving cellars ,but they are most definitely worth visiting.