As Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “wine is bottled poetry.” Poetry aside, the beauty of the Wine Lovers Wander lies not in the wine itself, but in the fact that connoisseurs and novices can join together to appreciate the art of fine wine making and to share great conversation over some of South Africa’s finest drops. Each palate, as individual as its owner, will detect subtle nuances in the flavours, and other senses will inhale the heady aromas or feast on the colour, body and quality of the wine… but each is open to individual interpretation and that’s just fine with us.
On this full-bodied day out, no question is out-of-bounds and the wine experts will steer you to the answer that’s best for you. Should red wine be served at room temperature? Are screw-capped wines inferior? Does an expensive bottle ensure good quality?
Explore some of the back roads in and around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, wander the wine route and while away hours in some the region’s best wine farms. It’s a tour for all tastes and palates and, for those that aren’t wine-mad, it’s a sneak peek into South African wine country - the produce, the people, the heritage, the wine dogs and the passion infused in their produce.
Exotic names like Kanonkop, Eikehof, Haute Cabriere and Rust en Vrede will roll off the tongue as you visit four of the country’s premium estates and sample over 20 of South African’s finest varietals. Estate staff members are on hand to gift as much or as little knowledge as you want and, when the wine starts flowing, it’s easy to relax into the day and just immerse yourself in the sheer beauty of the experience.
This tour is perfect for wine lovers and those that savour the mastery of the vintners. If you think wine appreciation just isn’t for you, allow us the opportunity to change your mind as we share how this fruity elixir has shaped the heritage and heart of our wine industry. It’s also a great opportunity to stock up on a bottle or two of award-winning wines during your stay.
And, when you feel like you’ve consumed your weight in wine, you turn tail and head back to catch another of Cape Town’s glorious sunsets.
Sample some of the best reds in the World at Kanonkop
Indulge in a little Vitamin Me at Eikehof Wine Estate.
Wine tasting with a touch of theatre at Haute Cabriere.
Taste one of the world's best red blends at Rust en Vrede.
Guffaw over some of the greats of motor history at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town.
Today’s forecast: 100% chance of wine! The decadence of a private guide perfectly complements your hedonistic day out in the Cape Winelands and allows you freedom to relax into the day’s tasting adventure. You’ll sample Franschhoek and Stellenbosch’s viticultural hotspots and sample over 20 fine South African wines from four premium wine farms. And best of all, it’s set against an exquisite backdrop of fruits on the vine and moody mountain ranges.
The view of the ever-imposing Table Mountain will keep you company as you leave the early morning bustle of Cape Town behind and head towards the Simonsberg Mountain range and the historic Stellenbosch wine region. Here, on the lower slopes, you’ll find Kanonkop, a fourth-generation wine estate, and the first stop on your wine lovers tour.
South Africa’s signature variety, the Pinotage, is just one of five premium red wines that will warm the soul and is the hero of this wine farm. Kanokop is is one of, if not THE premier Pinotage producer in South Africa, so expect outstanding reds, even and easy drinking Pinotage Rosé with luscious berry aromas! If you tasted this blind, you’d never realize that it was Pinotage as it doesn't fit the stereotypical smoky profile.
But this whistle-stop is not just about the wines, get a chance to soak up the history in the estate’s oak-maturation-cellar-cum-art-gallery where modern and classic masterpieces combine. From the cellars of Kanonkop take your taste buds to Eikehof Estate. Like all in the region, the team at Eikehof is incredibly passionate about what they create, and are generous with their knowledge about viticulture, the five wines you taste and others in their cellar and about the estate in general.
If Stellenbosch and surrounds set the scene for your wine lovers’ tour, then Franschhoek is the perfect accompaniment. The self-proclaimed gourmet capital of South Africa, Franschhoek draws on the fertile fruit bowl landscape to inspire innovative wines and menus and blends both with a little French Joie de vivre… making it the perfect lunch stop.
Incredibly, Haute Cabriere Estate is built into the side of Franschhoek Mountain and boasts exquisite views across the Franschhoek valley and historic town. Drawing from the style of the Champagne region, you’ll taste five fine wines capped off with a little dramatic flair as their wine master uses his French cavalry sabre to open bottle after bottle.
As the afternoon draws on, save the best for last with a stop at Rust en Vrede, a 321-year-old estate that has, for the past two decades, specialised in producing robust reds. Here you’ll enjoy a master tasting of seven of the estate’s finest, including their 2012 flagship red blend wine. Comprising 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Shiraz and 11% Merlot, their flagship blend was named in the Top 100 Wines in the World five consecutive times by the folks at Wine Spectator.
Like a good wine that is savoured, but gone before you know it, so to your day ends with lazy camaraderie and a leisurely drive back to Cape Town just in time to see the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.
End with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town accommodation.
This trip will run exclusively for you.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Private transfers to included tour highlights.
There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
You can purchase meals + drinks on tour.
Franschhoek Motor Museum ±R80
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.
Click terms for more details.
Full amount required to reserve or confirm a booking.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.