So just how popular is wine? Well, in 2016 wine lovers of the world drank 242 million hectolitres of wine. To those not in the wine or beer industry, that is the equivalent of twenty-four billion, two hundred million litres of wine. This means that wine lovers drink over 66 million litres of wine a day! Who can blame them? At the end of the day, everybody loves a good glass of wine.
The Western Cape is home to Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. Starting in Cape Town and traveling up the east coast to Port Elizabeth, this route spans some 850 kilometres. The first 50 kilometres of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek winelands alone contain over 700 wine farms.
With such great distances and so many farms to experience, we thought we would make it easy for you by selecting our top 5 ways to experience the winelands around Cape Town.
Scroll down to check out the list below.
1. Full Day Wine Tour
A full day wine tour is the perfect all-inclusive way to experience the winelands. Departing from Cape Town city daily, this tour takes you through both the world famous and the truly unique artisan wine farms of Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek. With wine tasting, chocolate pairing, cheese tasting and a traditional lunch all included, this is the best and easiest way to experience the winelands.
Cost: R800 per person
Pros: All inclusive, small groups, experienced guide.
Cons: This is a scheduled tour so the route and times are set.
2. City Sightseeing Bus – Purple Route To Constantia
The hop on hop off bus is recognised worldwide. It offers self-guided tours worldwide including London, Paris, New York and of course Cape Town. The open top buses provide independent travellers a great way to experience an area for themselves. The Purple Route in Constantia is an offshoot of Cape Town’s famous Blue Route and takes you to the very first wine farms to be established in South Africa.
Cost: R170 – R290 per person depending on route and days.
Pros: Combined with the Blue Route this is an excellent full day Cape Town experience.
Cons: Tastings not included. Only includes 3 farms.
3. Cycle The Winelands
Exercise and wine? Sounds like a bit of a strange combination, but I promise you it’s not. What better way to experience the Stellenbosch winelands than by cycling through wine farms, surrounded by beautiful mountains and nature, with a couple of stop offs for some wine tastings in between? This combination of wines and bicycles is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Pros: Unique experience, perfect for nature lovers.
Cons: Only 2 farms visited.
4. The Franschhoek Wine Tram
Franschhoek is a quaint little town situated 85 kilometres north of Cape Town. Directly translated as French Corner, this was the first area in South Africa to produce quality wine. There is A Unique Wine Tram for Franschhoek to help you get around. A combination of specially designed buses and rail trams, modelled after the open sided trams of the late 1800’s, transport you to a variety of local farms. This offers you the opportunity to experience an amazing combination of history, wine and beautiful landscapes.
Cost: R170 – R220 per person depending on route.
Pros: A completely unique experience that is fun for the whole family.
Cons: Wine tastings and transfers to Franschhoek not included.
5. Move To The Winelands
A bit drastic? Maybe! But for those who love wine, nature, hiking, mountains and quaint little towns – why would you not want to move here? The areas surrounding Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are safe, peaceful and beautiful. You won’t even need to go on any of the above excursions to visit the winelands when you are actually a member of this excellent community.
Cost: You can use this nifty mortgage repayment calculator to work that out.
Pros: You will be living the dream.
Cons: A tad more expensive than a day tour.
The above options are just hitting the tip of the iceberg. So why not come down to Cape Town and experience it all for yourself.
**This article was commissioned by Private Property, but all opinions are our own.