The South African Winelands
South African wines are becoming world renowned, what is less well known is that the setting in which the wine is produced is as worthy of admiration as the wines themselves. Our guide to the South African wine country will help you to explore this stunning region at the centre of South Africa's wine producing industry.
View a short streaming video of South African wine country in autumn:
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South Africa Wine Country
The South African wine country is for the most part set in valleys nestled between rugged mountains. The climate of the Cape is unique in Africa, it is a Mediterranean climate - meaning that it has warm dry summers and experiences its rainfall during the mild winter months.
The Climate and the varied soils found in this region combine to create a multitude of opportunities for the skilful vintner
Almost since the first European settlers arrived, the cultivation of grapes and production of wine was attempted. In 1688 French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland settled in the cape and brought their expertise in viniculture with them. This boosted the efforts of the Dutch farmers and the region has never looked back.
The South African wine country region has many fine wine estates offering wine tasting and cellar tours as well as gracious farm accommodation and hidden restaurants.
Some of the Attractions:
- Stellenbosch, at the heart of the wine country is South Africa's second oldest town and well worth a visit. Famous for its Cape Dutch architecture and oak line streets this historical town is an ideal point to start your exploration of the area.
- Franschhoek (literally French Corner) is the town originally settled by the Huguenots, and is as renowned for its many restaurants and fine cuisine as for its excellent wine estates
- Paarl Is home to the KWV cellars (The largest in the world)
- Wine tasting
- Wine cellar tours
- Wine estate picnics and restaurants
- Hiking in the scenic mountains
Useful Telephone numbers:
Franschhoek Valley Tourism: +27 21 876 3603
Paarl Tourism Bureau: +27 21 872 3829
Stellenbosch Tourism: +27 21-883 3584
Cape Winelands: www.capewinelands.org