1 Day Helderberg Winelands Taste Journey - 1day Waterkloof Morgenson Vergelegen Lourensford Winelands Private Tour | Hotspots2c
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Helderberg Valley Taste Journey

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from

R1,300

per person
Duration of tour
1 day

Trip Type

Private

Transfer Types

Mini-coach / SUV
Guaranteed to depart
Everyday

Overview

Tucked away on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountain range is a small pocket of wine estates that are often overlooked. This journey sets out to uncover these hidden gems of the Helderberg, on the fringe of the Stellenbosch Winelands, as your senses are delighted with vast beauty, sensational tastes and fascinating tales of old. 'Helderberg' quite literally means "mountains with a clear view" and on a cloud-free day, you'll enjoy panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the Cape Peninsula and the imposing Table Mountain in the distance.

It all began in 1700 when Willem Adriaan van der Stel, succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as governor and ventured far out to choose for himself a plot of the finest land he could find. He stumbled upon the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountains and claimed what he believed to be the most beautiful, fertile and best-positioned land. He named it “Vergelegen” meaning remote - aptly so, as it was so remotely situated it was a three-day ox wagon journey from Cape Town - and began farming the land. Over three hundred years later, this land has been subdivided and has changed hands many times, giving us today four world-class wine estates, Vergelegen, Morgenster, Lourensford and Waterkloof. With the cool sea breeze producing the ideal climate for vines, views that are second to none and a passion for quality winemaking, it’s no wonder we have chosen these farms as the ultimate indulgence in history and wine.

Set out on a historic yet innovative taste journey to discover the view from above and taste the crisp flavours of the Helderberg region. From a wine and olive oil pairing to decadent chocolate delights and a summer picnic lunch beneath 300-year-old trees, this journey offers surprises that will leave you in awe of the legacy of historic explorers and modern-day innovators.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Start

Cape Town
End

Cape Town
 

view on map
Distance
±
150
km
Tempo
Medium pace
Ideal For
Couple
Family

Why You’ll Love It

  • Indulge in a sensory experience among Vergelegen’s historic gardens.

  • Pair vintage Bordeaux-style wines with internationally acclaimed olive oil at Morgenster's tasting rooms.

  • Be enchanted by Lourensford's chocolate and wine pairing on the lush estate.

  • Taste the sense of origin in each sip of Waterkloof's fine minimalistic wines.

  • Picnic alfresco or dine in oppulent decadence at Vergelegen.

Itinerary

This private tour itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to spend more time at the tour's highlights that interest you the most.
Day 1
Helderberg Winelands
±150km

Savour the rich history and fine wines on offer at what is known as the gateway to the Cape Winelands. The Helderberg is one of the oldest wine growing regions in the country and today you’ll be able to experience the same beauty that captured the hearts of the Dutch settlers some 300 years ago.

Begin with a light and innovative pairing of three of Morgenster’s premium wines with their award-winning extra-virgin olive oil. While this may be a more widely accepted pairing nowadays, Mongenster was the pioneer of this type of pairing in South Africa in the 1990s. When owner Giulio Bertrand took over the farm in 1992 he introduced a crop of Italian olive trees and began the artisan process of pressing fine olive oil. At the time there were only 100 hectares of olive trees used for olive oil in the entire country. Today, you can reap the benefits of this pioneer as you unpack the flavour notes of one of the world’s best olive oils, along with balsamic vinegar, olive pastes and olives to compliment the wine.

Now that the wine is freely flowing and your taste buds have been awoken, travel up ancient oak tree-lined paths, to the decadence of Lourensford Estate. After a saunter through the lush gardens, you’ll be treated to a pairing of fine dark chocolate with some of their best wine offerings. Chardonnay teamed with orange dark chocolate, Merlot with cherry chocolate, Shiraz with hints of chilli and other artisan chocolate flavours. If time allows, check out the coffee roastery - just follow the aroma of a fresh batch of beans being roasted; the Abru beer brewery hidden behind the weekend food market spot; and the quirky deli, packed with freshly baked goodies and local produce.

Next up, prepare to be transported in time through the gardens of Vergelegen. Bearing the name of the original estate claimed by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, Vergelegen now pays homage to its long and deep history, with many fascinating tributes throughout the estate. Wander under the “Royal” Oak – planted from the last acorn of King Alfred’s oaks in Oxfordshire; the Old Oak – believed to be the oldest oak tree in Africa; and the popular camphor forest, planted in 1700 by Governor van der Stel himself. The residential homestead is marked as a heritage site, and the 18 historic gardens have been restored to reflect the historic eras of the farm. All in all, this magical garden makes for the perfect spot for an optional alfresco picnic lunch beneath the Camphor tree forest or fine dining in one of the two estate restaurants.

Then head up the mountain, high in the sky, to witness a touch of modern innovation married with centuries-old tradition for a union that delights the senses and taste buds alike. Waterkloof’s unique approach to winemaking is sure to wow your palate as you relax in the sleek tasting room, offering breathtaking views of the valley below through the modern glass promontory. The hands-off approach of their “honest" winemaking process produces wines that emphasize restraint, elegance and integrity. Sample six of the estate's organic wines from the Circumstance, Seriously Cool, and Circle of Life ranges paired with an indulgent cheese platter boasting typical local flavours. The perfect pairing and a well-rounded end to the day.

Set course for Cape Town by late afternoon inspired by the beauty, intensity and individuality of this often-overlooked area.

End with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town accommodation.

 

Included

Private tour

This trip will run exclusively for you.

Local Guide

Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.

Transport

Private transfers to included tour highlights. 

Pick-up + Drop-off

There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.

Included Activities
  • Morgenster Wine & Olive Oil Pairing
  • Chocolate & Wine at Lourensford
  • Wander Vergelegen's Historic Gardens
  • Organic Wine & Cheese Pairing at Waterkloof

Excluded

Flights

Local and international flights are excluded.

Travel Insurance

You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.

Meals + Drinks

You can purchase meals + drinks on tour. Restaurant bookings need to be made in advance and availability is not guaranteed.

Optionals

Optional activities can be booked and paid for on tour as per price listed in the itinerary.

  • Summer picnic or lunch at Vergelegen
Optional Transport Upgrade

from ±R1200 per day

A surcharge to travel in a luxury SUV vehicle. Maximum 3 people per car.

FAQ

Need more information?
Contact me if you have any questions.
Benita Stroebel
Tailor Made Journeys

Since the beginning, working as a guesthouse manager 13-years ago, I have been involved in creating personalised experiences for people in the travel industry. It has grown into my work passion and I love being able to create tailor-made experiences for people that they will remember for the rest of their lives. In between doing that, I create my own memories and experiences by spending time with my family (usually on the beach), attending festivals and capturing it all with my camera.

ask me

Terms & Conditions

Click terms for more details.

Payment Policy: 100% deposit to confirm

Full amount required to reserve or confirm a booking.

Cancellation / Refund Policy: Free cancellation - 7 day full refund
  • If you cancel 7 days or more before the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel between 3 and 6 days before the scheduled departure, there is a 50% cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100% cancellation fee.
Child Policy: Child Friendly

Children are welcome on private tours. Some activities will have age limits and alcohol may only be served to adults over 18 years of age. 

Standard terms apply

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Know Before You Go

 what to expect

 

South Africa

  

11 official Languages Spoken

Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa

How to say hello?

Molo – Xhosa

Sawubona - Zulu

Hallo - Afrikaans

Dumela - SeSotho

 

Electricity – Volt & plug

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.

Measurements 

Metric System

 

WiFi/Internet Access on tour 

WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.

 

When to go

South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.

Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.

Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather. 

Best time to go

Jun-Jul = Safari 

Jan-Feb = Beach 

 

Public Holidays

With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.

1 Jan   New Year's Day
21 Mar   Human Rights Day
30 Mar   Good Friday
2 Apr   Family Day
27 Apr   Freedom Day
1 May   Workers' Day
16 Jun   Youth Day
9 Aug   National Women's Day
24 Sep   Heritage Day
16 Dec   Day of Reconciliation
17 Dec   Day of Reconciliation Holiday
25 Dec   Christmas Day
26 Dec   Day of Goodwill

 

Visa & Travel docs

Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).

Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

 

What to pack

We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:

  • For the summers, bring clothes that are cool and comfortable, along with an umbrella or rain jacket, as this is when most of the country gets rain. A light jacket or wrap is a good precaution. Don't forget a swimming costume.
  • The winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers. But we do get some days when temperatures plummet, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg (some nights go below 0ºC), so be prepared with jerseys and jackets. If you are going to the Cape, rain gear will be needed in this season (your average here will be between 10-20ºC).
  • Always bring a hat - the sun can be strong even in the winter months. Make sunglasses, a hat and sunblock a firm part of your skin care kit.
  • Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.
  • For game viewing, a couple of neutral-toned items will be useful, but there's no need to go overboard and kit yourself out like David Livingstone, out to explore Africa for the first time.
  • For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, go the smart-casual route. If you are simply going out to get a bite to eat, a general “no shirt, no shoes - no service” rule applies, so as long as you are fully clad, your attire should not be an issue.
  • When travelling with Hotspots2c we encourage reasonably sized bags for multi-day tours and we are able to accommodate bags that are on average under 20kgs. For one and two day tours, a light backpack is encouraged. 

  

Health & Safety

There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.

The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.

South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.

 

Getting Around 

South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.

There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.

From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.

 

Money 

Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping. 

Tipping

  • Restaurants and Bars - Tipping in restaurants is the norm and is customarily kept at 10% of the total shown on the bill. Many restaurants will add a 10% service charge to a bill if the number of guests exceeds six or ten.
  • Petrol Stations and Car Parking - Petrol station attendants may be tipped a few Rands if they wash the windscreen, and offer to check oil and water and the tyres. Car-guards or parking-attendants are usually given R2 - R5. Car parks and areas around many popular tourist spots are populated by locals in day-glo yellow vests who offer to direct you to a space or to "look after your car for you." They are not threatening and you do not have to pay them, but giving them a few Rands may stop them from turning to petty crime. Cape Town has recently instituted a more formal parking attendant system in the downtown area, where uniformed attendants with handheld machines take payment for parking.
  • Tour Guides and Drivers – Tipping on tour is neither expected nor compulsory, However, should you wish to tip, the recommended tip is usually R10 per person on a day tour and R15 per person per day on multi-day tours. For private tours, R50 per person per half-day tour and R80 per person per day for a full-day tour is the norm.
  • Hotels - At hotels you may choose to leave money for housekeeping, this is often between R10-R50 per person per day but is in no way compulsory. It can also be done at the end of your stay
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