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Follow South Africa’s famous wine route

Megan Wilkins

Contributor

From luxurious wine estates to unique and enriching wine tasting experiences, South Africa’s Western Cape is famously known for its incredible vistas, unique climate, and delicious wine varieties. Sample the spicy Pinotage, buttery Chardonnay, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, playful Riesling, or smooth Semillon, all unique and refreshing wines native only to the region, because no visit to South Africa is complete without exploring the famous wine route.

Find a hidden pot of gold at Rainbow’s End - Stellenbosch

This family-owned wine estate is nothing short of special. From the minute you drive through the gates, up the winding vineyard path, and to the wine maker’s house, you are left feeling like you’ve found a hidden gem. Situated high on the slopes of the Jonkershoek Mountain, the scenery is beyond breath-taking, but also lends itself to spectacular winemaking. Tastings take place at the Malan family’s home, where they invite you in with the warmth and excitement owed to a long lost friend. You are taken on a tour of the cellar, which sits below the house, and told tales of how the vineyard came to be.

Once your tour is complete, you are seated on the house veranda, where a member of the family hosts your tasting. Bottle after bottle of their finest wine is presented, each accompanied by a special tale or anecdote. The level of personal care and attention is nearly as spectacular as the views. If you look carefully, you may even see a Cape leopard chasing a baboon on the mountainside. Rainbow’s End is so exclusive, you need to book tastings in advance. They are well-known for their luscious red wines but may surprise you with their whites.  

While away the hours at the unique Babylonstoren Estate - Simondium

Babylonstoren is so much more than a simple wine estate. As one of the oldest working Cape Dutch farms, they are embracing winemaking in a new and exciting way. Unlike a regular vineyard, where you spend a few hours tasting wine and looking at views, Babylonstoren offers exciting activities for the whole family. It is the perfect place to spend the day. From guided tours of the farm to meanders through the orchards, every inch has something new and exciting to see. With top-notch accommodation and spas, to award-winning cuisine in one of their two restaurants, your stay will be simply heavenly.

Take a stroll through their gardens, meet the leopard tortoises, or stay and watch the geese as they waddle through the farm, munching on snails as they go. But don’t forget to sample their delectable wines, even if everything else is calling to you. Their tastings are conducted in one of the refurbished barns, maintaining the rustic chic that they have become known for. They even use their farm produce in the winemaking process, highlighting the fruity flavours of celebration.  

Underground candlelit tastings at Weltevrede Wine Estate - Bonnievale

If you are looking to take the road less travelled on the wine route, look no further than Weltevrede. Owned and operated by the Jonker family for more than a century, the history of this estate is astounding. They have decided to honour the old methods of winemaking by offering a unique tasting experience. 

If you are looking to take the road less travelled on the wine route, look no further than Weltevrede. Owned and operated by the Jonker family for more than a century, the history of this estate is astounding. They have decided to honour the old methods of winemaking by offering a unique tasting experience. 

Step back in time at Muratie Wine Estate - Stellenbosch

Keeping in the trend of historical estates, Muratie Wine Estate takes the celebration of the ‘old’ to another level. Their philosophy is such that the past should be honoured for all that it has brought. Love of history exudes from every corner of this remarkable estate. The winemaker uses traditional French Oak barrels and a bit of intuition to create their sought-after wines.

The tasting experience seems something out of a fable, as you are transported back in time. Cobwebs cover the walls and ceiling, imbuing a sense of mystery. As they’ve explained, there is a certain historical magic in cobwebs, which have the same right to be there as the building does. Their wines are equally magical and they celebrate everything good about South African viticulture and tradition. Complete your visit with a tour of the farm and hear about the love story that started it all. You will soon begin to realise why historical keepsakes are so important.

Adventure hikes and organic wine at Silvermist - Constantia Nek

Adventure enthusiasts and wine lovers unite at this stunning vineyard. As the only certified organic farm on the Constantia wine route, Silvermist showcases all the beauty that this region of the Cape has to offer. From a hike through the fynbos, to zip-lining down the mountain, Silvermist’s spirit of fun is evident from the moment you enter. While still traditional and picturesque, you are sure to find the right activity to suit your mood.

The tasting room overlooks the spacious vineyard, with vistas all the way out to False Bay. The tranquil mountains give a sense of wonder and security while you sip on some of the best that Silvermist has to offer. Watch as the squirrels scamper around the old oak trees and breathe in the fresh mountain air. The Cape truly is the jewel of South Africa. 

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