Cape wine estates: Exclusive wine tours of South Africa’s leading regions

Cape Town is a must travel destination for many wine enthusiasts, both beginners and connoisseurs, courtesy of its close proximity to some of the oldest and most well respected wine estates in South Africa.

The so-called Cape Winelands, which include internationally acclaimed regions such as Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constantia, are basically in Cape Town’s back yard – making the city an ideal base for the country’s ever growing wine tourism trade.There are currently 17 ‘official’ Cape wine routes, most of which are easily accessible within an hour from the country’s most popular city. These include traditional wine routes dating back centuries, as well as special interest routes such as the Cape Wine Route 62, said to be the longest wine route in the world, the Western Cape Brandy Route and the Green Mountain Eco Route – the world’s first biodiverse wine route.

At Wine Paths, our local expert can arrange exclusive tours of Cape wine estates across the region that can include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, incredible dining experiences and unique activities.

All of our private tours can be tailormade to meet your exact requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the finest wines from the southern hemisphere amid a spectacular backdrop of lush vineyards fringed by mountain ranges. With so many wine estates in Cape Town’s surrounding area, we have selected several recommended tours in four of the most prominent regions as an inspirational guide.

Of all Cape Town wine estates, Stellenbosch is deservedly regarded as the capital of South Africa wine, with a history of producing world class styles including Cabernet Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and the country’s signature Pinotage.

Among the tours that we recommend is a private tasting at the famed Kanonkop estate, which been described as South Africa’s equivalent of a Premier Cru and has been showered with international awards over the last decade. A visit to the estate includes meeting the owner or cellar master and private tastings of the current five vintages as well as three older Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Paul Sauer vintages.

Constantia lays claim to the country’s first vineyards, Cape wine estates here were once renowned for their eponymous sweet dessert wines – former French leader Napoleon Bonaparte was so enamoured by Constantia wine that he allegedly refused anything else from his death bed. For a wine tour experience on a smaller scale, a visit to the region’s beautiful boutique winery Constantia Glen includes a guided tour of the Cape wine estate’s vineyards and cellar, premium tastings paired with a cheese and charcuterie platter and a bottle of the winery’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Franschhoek is not only home to several premier Cape Town wine estates, it also happens to be the culinary capital of South Africa with a collection of award-winning restaurants to indulge in after a tiring day’s tasting. The scenic Cape wine estate also produces the sparkling wine variety Method Cap Classique, which can be sampled along with several other premium still wines and a gourmet meal in the grounds of the Haute Cabriere Estate – before taking a winelands game drive.

Finally, the Elgin Valley features 18 Cape Town wine estates 70km east of the city and produces quality wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Wine Paths’ tour of the Elgin Valley visits two of the region’s premier wineries: the Almenkerk Wine Estate and Oak Valley Estate for tastings, cellar tours, blending demonstrations and gourmet meals.

Visit our South Africa destination page for more inspirational ideas before planning a visit to the best wine estates Cape Town and its surrounding regions have to offer.

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