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Wine Tasting in Cape Town

The wine region of the Western Cape is notorious for their picturesque landscapes, mountainous climate, and most importantly, their vast selection of some of the best wines in the world. Now we don't make that kind of statement lightly. A couple wine enthusiasts ourselves, we've been wine tasting in Napa Valley, New Zealand, France and Italy. We wouldn't go as far to label ourselves as experts necessarily, however, we can now confidently distinguish a red wine from a white.

We enjoyed our time in the wine region of the Western Cape so much that we decided to take a part of it home with us. That's a light way of saying that we woke up the next morning to a delivery confirmation of 18 bottles of wine after a foggy week of wine tasting.

A visit to Cape Town's wine region, the source of many of South African's finest selection of wine, is a a great way of immersing yourself in the oenophile drinking culture. Thanks to the region's dry, mountainous climate, it's home to over 300 vineyards that all cultivate specialty wines favorable to the area. Although not entirely "impossible", (your average drunkie could rise to the occasion), going to all of the vineyards is incredibly difficult. We've narrowed it down to two main regions; Stellenbosch and Franschoek.

Less than an hour's drive from Cape Town in the Boland region of the Western Cape is where you will find yourself surrounded by the South African wine lands. We recommend a few nights stay in order to make the most of your time here; we spent an entire week between the two regions. If you don't have the time, there are always ways to plan out day trips by hiring a cab driver for the day or organizing your transport through a tour.

Stellenbosch Vineyards

This Dutch colonial town located in the heart of the wine region is the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town. You will be excited to find that most nice restaurants in Africa will have a Stellenbosch option on their wine list. The town itself is a beautiful place to spend the day and is full of numerous boutiques, galleries, cute cafes and gourmet food markets on the weekends!

1.Delaire Graff Estate

It would be a crime not to begin our vineyard tour at Delaire Graff, the epitome of luxury and one of the most well-known estates in Stellenbosch. Nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, it was easily the most beautiful estate we had visited. Many people opt to go "Vineyard Hopping" (word play on bar hopping) through Stellenbosch and don't stay at each place for more than an hour, but you can easily spend the entire day here.

We highly suggest booking a lunch here, but be sure to make your reservation in advance. Take your time walking through the estate to see original art from Laurence Graff's personal collection. The incredible views provide the perfect backdrop to their outstanding restaurants, state-of-the-art winery, destination Spa and luxury boutiques. We were so impressed with our overall experience that I think we bought 6 bottles of their award-winning rose on our way out.

Suggested Tastings

Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Reserve

Delaire Graff Summercourt Chardonnay

Delaire Graff Cabernet Franc Rose

2.Spier Wine Estate

One of South Africa's oldest wine farms, Spier Wine Estate has been cultivating wines since 1692. Here, you can sign up for a wine tasting or take a guided SEGWAY tour of the traditional old estate. Yes that's right, you can literally Segway your way through the vineyard. Spier also puts together beautiful picnic baskets together full of wine and snacks for you to take to the estates lawn and enjoy a picnic of your own.

Suggested Tastings

Spier Signature Collection Chenin Blanc

Spier Signature Collection Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Spier Signature Collection Pinotage


Home to the world's first bottled Pinotage and one of the oldest heritage farms in the Westrern Cape, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon. We suggest sampling their Heritage Range of wines as well buying a bottle of Pinotage to take home. Not only is it a vineyard, it also hosts an elegant hotel, restaurant, and spa. We started our day at Lanzerac and treated ourselves to breakfast in the garden to accompany our wine tasting.

Suggested Tastings

Lanzerac Heritage Methods cap classique

Lanzerac Heritage Mrs English 217

Lanzerac Heritage Le General

Lanzerac Heritage Prof 2016

4.Boschendal Estate

We came to Boschendal on a separate occasion with our South African friends for an afternoon of a cheese, charcuterie boards, and some of the best wine pairings in Franschoek. Designed similarly to the gardens of the Versailles palace, the Boschendal Estate lies between the Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains. The name Bos-en-dal means wood and valley which is fitting being that it is located in a beautiful valley basin.

Suggested Tastings

Boschendal 5 Signature Wine Tastings

Boschendal 5 Historic Wine Tastings

Franschhoek Vineyards

One of our favorite areas for wine tasting, Franschhoek is full of breath taking scenery, world class cuisine and the most amazing wines. There are a variety of cellars from small boutique wineries to large callers that offer organized tours and conducted tastings. We were able to sample (and take home) many rich reds, elegant whites and delicious sparkling wines from the region. Franschoek is known as the Wine & Gourmet Capital of South Africa and has several award winning chefs in their many restaurants.

What's unique about the Franschhoek Valley Vineyards is it's Franschhoek Wine Tram tour. This hop-on hop-off experience is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the valley and its picturesque vineyards. This was such a leisurely way of seeing the valley as we rolled through the vineyards in an open-side tram stopping in at some of South Africa's most distinguished wine estates.

How it works

Book online or purchase tickets at the Franschhoek wine tram ticket office! A tram will take you and your party around a loop of stops allowing you to hop off at each stop and experience the vineyard and it's offered wine tastings, cellar tours, and dining options. When you think you've seen enough of the vineyard and want to venture on to the next one, simply hop back on the tram and continue on with your tour. The tram stops in each vineyard every half hour, so you can spend as much time as you'd like in each place. The tram takes you right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with unparalleled views of the vineyards and a narration focusing on wine cultivation in the valley.

-There are eight tours available-

-Red Line-

-Yellow Line-

-Blue Line-

-Green Line-

-Purple Line-

-Orange Line-

-Grey Line-

-Pink Line-

With over 26 estates in Franschhoek, each line brings you to a different set of eight vineyards. It is up to you if you would like to go to all eight, although don't expect to be able to walk straight towards the end of the tour! With a full week here, we decided to book a gold curated tour and a pink line tour.

Gold Curated Tour

Our first tour booked in Franschhoek was the gold curated tour which consists of a private tour of three estates with a lunch. The day starts with a journey by tram to an estate where our knowledgeable wine guide weaver the facts, figures and scientific aspects of winemaking into interesting stories about Franschhoek's history of wine and culture. We had the opportunity to sample the wines as well as learn about the local grape varieties unique to Southern Africa

1.Rickety Bridge Vineyard

Overlooking the Wemmershoek Mountajn Range was the 50 hectare wine estate and our first stop, Rickety Bridge Vineyard. Upon arrival we were taken through the vineyard and given a brief history about the foundation of the Rickety Bridge Manor House.

Their beautiful tasting room, located right in the cellar full of barrels of wine is where we were able to sample their superb selection of wine. The restaurant served us a magnificent lunch paired with a glass of wine of our choice.

Suggested Tastings

Rickety Bridge Chardonnay sparkling

Rickety Bridge Sauvignon Blanc, Franschhoek

Rickety Bridge Wooden Chardonnay

Rickety Bridge Pinotage, Coastal Region

Rickety Bridge Shiraz, Western Cape

2.Grand Provence

Our second stop was the Grand Provence Estate, which was a destination in itself. The entry road was framed with rows of vineyards and led to a beautiful manor and outside tasting area offering award winning wines at the winery and a gallery full of works from South African artists and artisans. The gallery and sculpture garden is considered to be one of the most highly regarded galleries in the Cape and is definitely worth strolling through.

Suggested Tastings

Grand Provence Sauvignon Blanc

Grand Provence Chardonnay

Grand Provence Cabernet Sauvignon

Grand Provence Shiraz

3. La Bri

Our last and final stop of the curated tour was at the La Bri Estate. Recently renovated, their cellar had a unique circular design with a gravity fed winemaking process. At this wine pairing venue, we were given a choice of chocolate, turkish delight, or biltong to pair with our given wines.

Suggested Tastings

La Bri Merlot

La Bri Shiraz Syrah

La Bri Cabernet Bordeaux Affinity


On our second day of wine tasting, we decided to take the reigns on our tour and take one of the tram lines to take on a real hop-on hop-off experience. Starting as early as 9:30 in the morning, the pink line stopped at Leopard's Leap, Mõreson, Eikehof, Pasarene, Franschhoek Village, Haute Cabrière, Le Lude and Franschhoek Cellar.

Of course, you don't have to go to all of the vineyards, and oftentimes if you do, you will only have 30 minutes in each location in order to make all of the tram times.

Stop 1: Leopard's Leap

With more of a modern take on architectural design, Leopard's Leap offered a versatile range of affordable wines for tasting. The estate offers wine tasting, a restaurant, a gift shop and wine and food pairings every Friday at 12pm.

Suggested Tastings

Leopard's Leap sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Leopard's Leap Chenin Blanc Chardonnay

Leopard's Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir

Leopard's Leap Pinotage Rose

Leopard's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Leopard's Leap Pinotage Special Edition

Stop 2. Môreson

One of our favorite selections of wine, Môreson had some of the best wines and food we experienced. We spent over an hour at this beautiful and simple garden estate. The award winning wines could speak for themselves and had us over the roof. We ordered a cheese and charcuterie board to accompany our wine pairings. We loved the wine so much that we actually hired a car to take us to the estate the next day just so that we could order 6 bottles to take home with us.

Môreson has wine tastings, a restaurant, a take away picnic, garden, and shared platters that they offer their guests along with occasional bread making courses and craft gin pairing.

Suggested Wine Tastings

Môreson Pink Brut Rose

Môreson Mercator Chardonnay

Môreson Pinotage Widow Maker

Môreson Magia Cabernet Sauvignon

Môreson Moran's Klaas Magfa

Stop 3. Pasarene

Although it wasn't necessarily our favorite selection, what Pasarene lacked in wine they gained in location scenery. The beautiful cellar was located right on the water, offering their wine tastings with a stunning view.

Pasarene offers wine tastings, picnics and platters to all that enter their modern cellar.

Suggested Wine Tastings

Pasarene Chardonnay

Pasarene Shiner

Pasarene Union

Pasarene Marathon

Stop 4: Haute Cabrière

One of the most beautiful vineyards in Franschhoek, Haute Cabrière was surrounded by beautiful lakes, mountains and of course, their lush vineyards. Haute Cabrière grew to encompass a beautifully serene underground cellar built into the side of Franschhoek Mountain. Their wines are made using two cultivars; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Famous for their Méthod Cap Classique, we got to sample bubbly the whole afternoon! Surrounded by beautiful scenery, we decided to stay here for lunch and were treated to their four course tapas menu with some of the best food we've had!

Suggested Wine Tastings

Haute Cabrière Brut Méthod Cap Classique

Haute Cabrière Belle Rose Méthod Cap Classique

Haute Cabrière Tranquility

Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir

Suggested Food Pairings

Curry dusted squid with garlic, saffron, chilli mayo and pickled cucumber

Horseradish marinated beetroot and goat's cheese with a cured venison salad

Garlic and thyme confit cherry tomatoes and whipped feta bruschetta

Beef sir loin cubes in a black pepper and garlic sauces with smoked onion bread

Stop 5: Franschhoek Cellar

Our final stop on our pink line wine tram was the infamous Franschhoek Cellar, located conveniently five minutes from town. Catering to large parties or small groups, the Franschhoek Cellar's wine range is expansive and vividly tells the stories of the Franschhoek Valley and its finest vineyard sites. They offer wine tastings, a fantastic restaurant, light meals and are well known for their curated Pinotage Experience, wine and chocolate pairings and wine and cheese pairings!

Suggested Wine Tastings

Franschhoek Cellar Chenin Blanc

Franschhoek Cellar Sauvignon Blanc

Franschhoek Cellar Chardonnay

Franschhoek Cellar Merlot

Franschhoek Cellar Shiraz

Franschhoek Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon

We had an absolute blast experiencing the beautiful areas of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch during the course of a week. With the best restaurants for fine dining and hundreds of vineyards to choose from you will find yourself fully booked for the next few days of your stay. If wine is not really your forte, Stellenbosch has a few of the best breweries in the country that are well worth a visit.


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