One of the highlights of any trip to Cape Town is a visit to the Cape Winelands. From the Constantia Valley region, which is only a stone’s throw from The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, to the secret delights of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus, the picturesque beauty of Paarl, and of course the Cape’s most well-known wine regions, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, the choice is endless. We have compiled some of our favourites – all of which not only offer outstanding wines, but also special features and experiences that make a winelands so worthwhile!
Bouchard Finlayson, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
One of our sister properties, Bouchard Finlayson is a boutique cellar dedicated to the quality production of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. ‘Pinot Pioneer’ Peter Finlayson is widely credited with having established the elusive grape to South Africa, making a taste of the vineyard’s Galpin Peak Pinot noir and Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot an absolute must. The winery’s proximity to Hermanus makes it perfect for a combined wine tasting and whale watching trip. Bouchard Finlayson’s fine vintages feature on The Twelve Apostles Hotel wine list and are available in Azure Restaurant or The Leopard Bar.
Steenberg Vineyards, Constantia Valley
Steenberg holds the distinction of being the oldest farm in the picturesque Constantia Valley, dating back all the way to 1682. With its cool, sea-facing slopes, majestic granite ridges and state-of-the-art modern winery, the vineyard has developed a worldwide reputation for producing exceptional Cape wines. A championship 18-hole golf course, wine tastings and buzzy lunches at the popular BistroSixteen82 are all part of the appeal.
Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia Valley
Groot Constantia may be South Africa’s oldest wine producing estate, its approach to art is thoroughly modern however. ART @ CONSTANTIA is a permanent exhibition in the tasting and sales hall on the Groot Constantia Wine Estate, and is also featured at the modern day cellar and tasting room. Visitors can explore works of art produced by local artists in South Africa, giving them a true sense of the spirit of Africa.
Waterford Estate, Stellenbosch
Guests visiting Waterford Estate can experience a different type of safari, jumping on a Game Viewing Land Rover for a two-hour trip through the 120ha estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg. This is best followed by the Estate’s ‘Wine & Chocolate’ experience – winemaker Kevin Arnold and chocolatier Richard von Geusau have created a series of dark and milk chocolates that, when paired with Waterford Estate’s Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Natural Sweet wines, offer a unique taste sensation.
Warwick Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Warwick is renowned for its Gourmet Picnics, comprising the highest quality ingredients from locally sourced artisanal suppliers. There are several picnic areas to choose from, for the perfect family day out in the country. The ‘Big 5 Vineyard Safari’ takes visitors on a mountain journey through Warwick’s vineyards, where explorers of all ages can get to know the wine farm’s ‘Big 5’ grape varieties.
Solms Delta Wine Estate, Franschhoek
Visitors to Franschhoek who wish to learn more South Africa’s slave heritage should visit this estate for an inspection of its Van de Caab Museum, which tells the story of Delta Farm through the subjective viewpoints of individual people. The wine farm also offers six special interest tours, offering rare personal insight into the vineyards, farm workers’ lives, and the cultural and musical heritage of Solms-Delta and the surrounding Cape Winelands.
La Motte, Franschhoek
Tastings at La Motte are enjoyed among original works of art by acclaimed South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, after whom La Motte’s Pierneef Collection of premium wine has been named. The artist’s creativity in portraying the beauty of the South African landscape is echoed in the wine farm’s Restaurant Pierneef a La Motte, which specialises in traditional cuisine with a modern interpretation.
Fairview not only produces excellent wines, but is equally known for its award-winning cheeses. The Fairview Vineyard Cheesery produces a range of over 20 cow’s milk and goat’s milk artisanal cheeses, with goat’s milk supplied by the resident herd of over 1000 goats. A range of artisanal cheeses, including white mould, blue mould, feta and cream cheese styles, is also available. Visitors may enjoy these cheeses and other delicacies in the Goatshed restaurant, or stock up in the Fairview Cheese Shop.