Cape Town is very close to some of the most amazing wine, which the world forgot during the boycotts of the seventies and eighties. At Ashanti backpackers we can hook you up with some amazing wine tours or you can self-drive through car hire. Go to our travel desk and we can hook you up with what suits you. Just remember even though you are in Africa you do need a designated driver who doesn’t indulge :-).

Why we can even give you a few insights into the local wine scene in the bar upstairs at the Gardens. As Blondie said “Picture This”………….. you, looking at that mountain, newly arrived in the Mother City, on the deck upstairs in the Gardens Ashanti bar watching that the clouds and listening to the United Nations chatting around you, while you partake in a bit of tipple which at home you would pay and arm and a leg for and here .. well goodness it’s like lemonade prices.

So why are our wines so good? Our wines have been around for a good time. The first wines were grown in the 1600s around the corner from Cape Town city in a suburb called Constantia. If you go there you can even shout yourself a wonderful meal and one of the lovely restaurants like La Colombe. Other places that have a strong wine culture include the villages of Stellenbosch and Franschoek, Paarl and Woster. The wonder of our wines is that our vineyards have vines that came from European vine stock, vines that Europe lost in some cases centuries ago through war or blight. Europeans can get snobby about their wines but the reality is our wines are made with real old vine stock 😉

And like all new world countries we don’t have hang ups about who, where and when. If its good wine its mighty fine wine and its grown in the southern hemisphere! So what are the must dos on a wine tour? Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are lovely historic villages proud of its Huguenot ancestry. If you are a wine buff it’s probably worth staying a night or two down that way. I would recommend perhaps doing a wine tour for a start and then go on from there. Cap Classique is the local name for better quality sparkling champagne like wines.

There are some really good ones that you will be amazed how inexpensive they are like Simonsig and Pomgracz. South Africa doesn’t have the same sparkling red wine tradition as say Australia but it is getting into the rose market and making some mighty fine wines. Our reds are wonderous and the best ones are Meerlust ) For a boring old chardonnay .. get your socks off with a Spier Chardonnay – for a cheapie, it’s brill!

Contributor: Allison Finley-Bissett