South Africa: Winelands Back to South Africa

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Courtesy Babylonstoren

The Cape Winelands have always had remarkable wines; now the region is the center of a dynamic new culinary movement, with a slate of superb farm-to-table restaurants, and innovative wineries that are experimenting with innovative tasting methods.

Cheat Sheet

  • Stay…with the family in a five-bedroom cottage at Grande Provence Estate
  • Savor…a picnic on the lawn outside Pierneef à la Motte
  • Experience…contemporary art and an incredible vineyard at Delaire Graff Estate
  • Visit…the historic towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl
  • Splurge…on a night at La Residence, originally conceived as a private home
  • Eat…a meal at the Tasting Room, one of the world’s top restaurants
  • Drink…velvety Shirazs paired with chocolate at Waterford
  • Know…how to plan a bike or horseback-ride through the vineyards
  • Indulge…in the farm-to-table splendor of Babylonstoren

Newly Added:

Leeu House

Lay of the Land

No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a trip to the Winelands, just 45 minutes east of the city, and an astoundingly beautiful region of mountains sheltering green valleys and vine-covered slopes. It is also home to the historic towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl, each with its own wine route where member wineries open their estates to the public.

Each winery has a tasting room, in which you can sample different wines for a nominal fee, and many have restaurants or sell picnic hampers to enjoy on the grounds. There is not much of interest in the towns themselves, which are lined with wonderful examples of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture, and luxury hotels and excellent restaurants abound. If your time is limited, pick one area and focus on two or three estates. Meerlust in Stellenbosch and Fairview (on the Paarl wine route) are favorites.

Need to Know: Entry Requirements

Entry requirements to South Africa have changed and now require birth certificates for all minors. They must be the originals and state the names of both parents.

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Beyond… South Africa: Winelands

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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