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A typical Wine Tour in Cape Town

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SPECIALIZED TOURS & EVENTS GREAT WINE CAPITALS BEST OF WINE TOURISM ITINERARY

 

Day 1:

Arrival Cape Town International Airport.

Depending on time of arrival - depart to Table Mountain, which we ascend by cable car (weather permitting). Your ascent to the top of Table Mountain takes just under 10 minutes and offers you a 360 degree view of the city. Once on top there are over 2km of pathways leading you to views over Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island the Cape Flats and the Cape Peninsula. Table Mountain is famous for its extra-ordinary floral biodiversity, mainly fynbos. Table Mountain alone has over 1500 species of plants, roughly the same number as are found throughout the entire British Isles. Table Mountain National Park is the richest corner of the Cape Floristic Region and richest single floristic area in the world.

 

After the descent from Table Mountain, proceed to the Constantia Wine Valley, to visit Steenberg Vineyards, 2011 Best Of Wine Tourism (overall winner in Wine Tourism Services, and national winner in Architecture, Parks and Gardens category).

With its cool, sea-facing slopes and majestic granite ridges, this vineyard has developed a worldwide reputation for producing excellent Cape wines. Its vineyards cling to the slopes of Steenberg (Stone Mountain), part of the Table Mountain range, and within the footprint of the Cape Floral Kingdom – a World Heritage Site. Since 1990, some 68 ha have been planted, comprising of a number of cultivars including its flagship cultivar Sauvignon Blanc as well as Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Nebbiolo.

On arrival at the Tasting Room, you will be welcomed with a glass of Steenberg Methode Cap Classique and given an overview of Steenberg’s operations. A guided tour of the cellar follows. Steenberg’s tasting facility features incredible views into the winery, allowing guests to experience the wine making process in the cellar. For a more interactive experience, you will be taken on a guided walk through the Winery and Maturation Cellar to see how grapes are turned into our legendary wines. Hereafter enjoy a guided walk through the vineyards to take in the unique terroir of this historical wine farm. Return to the tasting room for a conducted tasting of the Steenberg Flagship wines. Enjoy lunch at Bistro 1682.

 

We continue on directly to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. At the tip of the Cape Peninsula is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve - possibly one of the fairest places on earth. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve covers an area of 7 700ha of coastal shrubland and incorporates 40 km of coastline. The Reserve forms part of the Cape Peninsula Park and is managed by the South African National Parks. The Nature Reserve is recognized globally for its extraordinary land formation, rich and diverse fauna and unique flora. Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and such rich biodiversity exist almost within a metropolitan area - the thriving and cosmopolitan City of Cape Town. The Flying Dutchman funicular takes passengers 238 metres above sea level to the old lighthouse – for the more energetic, there are steps that lead up to the lighthouse viewpoint.

Return to the southern suburbs for overnight at The Vineyard Hotel.

 

DAY 2:

Breakfast and check out.

We head out of the city, towards Hermon, Ceres and Porterville. The drive will take us through the scenic Nuwe Kloof Pass to Waverley Hills on the Tulbagh wine route.

Waverley Hills Organic Wines (2011 Best Of Wine Tourism winner in the sustainable wine tourism practices category), is the first organic wine producer to achieve the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) Champion status.

Over 16ha of land, including critically endangered veld types such as Breede Shale Renosterveld, Breede Alluvium Fynbos and Breede Shale Fynbos, has been set aside for conservation at Waverley Hills. The indigenous Flora and Fauna are protected, and all alien vegetation is removed from the estate. Natural predators are introduced in the vineyards to combat unfriendly insects and pests. The farm also has family of white ducks which make sure that the snails are kept to a minimum. All Waverley Hills' wine and olive products are organically certified by SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance) - the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company - that stipulates that no pesticides or herbicides may be used, in order to protect the environment and to produce grapes and olives as environmentally-friendly and healthy as possible.

At the cellar, enjoy tasting the organic wines, proceed to the tasting room to sample olive products and visit the fynbos nursery. We then explore more of these beautiful plants on a short hiking trail – accompanied by Waverley Hills’ environmental officer Johann van Biljon who will explain about the philosophy of farming in harmony with nature, with no conventional pesticides and chemical fertilisers being used, and the complimentary conservation and environmental awareness activities underway on the farm.

Departing Waverley Hills, we head for to Wellington and visit Doolhof Wine Estate. Roughly 40 of the farm’s 380 hectares are planted to vine. Soils, growing conditions and microclimates vary considerably across this large expanse (which reaches up into Bain’s Kloof), and each grape varietal is faithfully wedded to its ideal terroir. Two white varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, are grown, with a substantial number of reds. They include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Pinotage and Shiraz. At the estate, in addition to your wine tasting and cellar tour, you are able to visit the Labyrinth. When Settlers first set sight on the Estate in the early 18th Century they noted the many hills and vales and aptly named it Doolhof, which means labyrinth in Afrikaans. Today, this labyrinthine topography is put to use in the placement of our vineyards, thereby taking advantage of the many micro-climates and terroirs which are ultimately expressed in the Doolhof Estate wines.

Overnight at the The Grand Dedale Country Lodge, located on the Doolhof estate. Enjoy dinner at the lodge.

 

DAY 3:

Breakfast and check out.

Depart towards the well-known areas of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. We visit Delaire Graff Estate 2011 and 2012 Best Of Wine Tourism Winner in accommodation category, for a tour of the magnificent art and gardens, as well as tasting the award-winning wines.

The estate is situated on the slopes of a peak of the Helshoogte Pass named Botmaskop. The name refers to the historic use of the peak as a lookout point for ships entering Table Bay harbour. When the sentry would give his signal, the Franschhoek farmers would know to begin carting their produce to the harbour.

The cellar has been accredited with major accolades; the superlative restaurant and deluxe wine tasting lounge have set new standards for on-estate tasting and dining; the impressive art collection continues to attract local and global attention; the grounds enjoy over 300 indigenous, water-wise, plants, trees and flowers and the exclusive, 5-Star, 10-suite lodges and spa is amongst the best in the world. The estate installed a spectacular cellar, one of the most advanced in the southern hemisphere with every possible aid and resource that a wine maker could possibly need for extracting the ultimate potential from every vintage, and ensuring consistent world-class standards. The grounds were designed both as a feature in itself, as well as a fascinating florid backdrop to the Estate’s art, architecture and ambience. Walking through the aesthetically charged spaces and grounds on the estate enables one to view a collection of paintings and sculptures from acclaimed artists, many of whom are African.

We then travel across the road to Tokara Wine estate for a conducted tasting. Tokara is a picture perfect destination which offers visitors a unique combination of award-winning wines, brandy and olive oils, a gallery of fine art, a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs, as well as a delicatessen. The farm was purchased in 1994 by GT Ferreira for residential purposes, but it wasn’t long before the great potential for planting vineyards was recognised and explored. Classic varietals were planted on the 400m above sea-level slopes. The cool air and low temperatures contribute to the excellent quality of Tokara Wines.

The Tokara Restaurant (2012 and 2013 Best Of Winner in the Wine Tourism Restaurant category), situated 400 meters above sea level on top of the Helshoogte Pass outside Stellenbosch, offers its guests terroir focused contemporary cuisine, award-winning wines and dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay. The building housing the restaurant is a Cape architectural icon utilising glass, steel and stone. The restaurant, established in 2001, was renovated and came under new management in 2010. Multi-awarding winning chef Richard Carstens now leads the kitchen team. Richard, a former EatOut SA Chef of the Year, is inspired by pure flavours and tantelising textures. Each plate of food offers the diner a sense of the natural environment where the restaurant is situated and also the current season through the ingredients used.

Continue in to the village of Franchhoek itself. The main street is the heart of this vibrant village, lined with shops and specialist stores it is always buzzing. Visit all the Franschhoek arts and crafts studios and galleries – you are bound to find that something special you weren’t even looking for.

Proceed to Grande Provence Heritage Estate, winner of 2011 and 2013 Best Of Wine Tourism award in the Art and Culture category.

The Estate is home to Grande Provence’s award-winning wines and its passionate wine making team. Following harvest every year, carefully selected wines leave the Estate to compete in some of the world’s most prestigious competitions – the number and frequency of the awards bears testament to their success. A sophisticated destination in its own right, Grande Provence proudly presents superb cuisine at The Restaurant, fine wines at The Tasting Room, some of South Africa’s finest art at The Gallery & The Shop, receptions and boutique conferences at The Jonkershuis and 5-star accommodation at The Owner’s Cottage.

Years of heritage and great wine-making have produced the likes of the award-winning Grande Provence range and the popular lifestyle Angels Tears range. The wines are created using classic cultivars of the highest quality. The distinctive vintages that are produced reflect the passion and enthusiasm of the wine-making team at Grande Provence. The Grande Provence range consists of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Enjoy a wine tasting and a guided tour of the Gallery, before dinner at the superb restaurant.

While the 18th Century Manor House and The Owner’s Cottage reflect their Huguenot heritage, The Restaurant and wine-tasting area of Grande Provence project a chic industrial presence. Steel joinery, galvanised metals and skylights distinguish this design approach.

Overnight at Grande Provence in the magnificent Owners Cottages.

 

DAY 4:

Breakfast and depart to

La Motte Wine Estate (2012 and 2013 overall Best Of winner and national winner in categories of Art and Culture and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices).

Situated in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, La Motte is home to the finest wines, recognised internationally for exceptional quality. With its picturesque setting, traditional cuisine and historic charm, La Motte is an enchanting destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

La Motte’s completely redesigned and refurbished tasting facility, featuring a large fireplace for cosy winter tastings, has been highly commended for the inviting and friendly ambiance. Here, a wide variety of La Motte’s award-winning wines can be sampled and purchased in a stylish and relaxing atmosphere. Seated at hand-made tasting tables, a welcoming tasting counter or on comfortable sofas, visitors have an unimpeded view of the working and maturation cellars through large glass panels. Tastings are enjoyed amidst original works of art by acclaimed South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, after whom La Motte’s Pierneef Collection of premium wines is named. Well-informed wine ambassadors are on hand to advise visitors about La Motte’s current vintages, theme tastings as well as older vintages that are available.

We head to the Paarl wine route to dine at Babel, located at Babylonstoren. Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall.

Stroll out onto the farm of 200 hectares and see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned – depending on the season. Enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden. Enjoy a stroll along a clivia lined stream and then sample some of the excellent wines grown on the slopes all around the Simonsberg. Lunch will be enjoyed at Babel, where meals are creative though always clear in structure. Vegetables and fruit gathered daily from the garden are often served with their skins on. Helpings are generous and meals may be taken either in the glass enclosed restaurant or under the trees in the courtyard, depending on the weather.

The afternoon is completed with a visit to Solms Delta. Located 15km outside the village of Franschhoek in the heart of the Cape Winelands, the magnificent wine estate produces classical wines with a difference… In fact everything about Solms-Delta is different. Visit the museum that explores the slave heritage of the area, and take part in one of the six special interest guided wine farm tours that exceed the conventional wine tasting experience.

The estate offers nine innovative wines in two ranges, Solms-Delta and Solms-Astor, the former with varying quantities of desiccated (vine clamped and dried) grapes to create wines with different intensities and distinctive styles. In keeping with the estate’s rich heritage, all the wines have names which commemorate historical links.

Overnight in the town of Stellenbosch at Ouwde Werf Hotel.

 

DAY 5:

After breakfast, explore the rich heritage of the 'Village of the Oaks' as you stroll along shady oak avenues bordered by the water furrows of the Mill Stream. Admire the charm and harmony of Cape Dutch Architecture. Perhaps you will meet an angel at the 'angel factory' or a ghost in the graveyard of the 'Moederkerk'.

Depart mid-morning to the spectacular Waterkloof Estate (2012 and 2013 Best Of Winner in the Architecture and Landscape category), where lunch and wine tasting is enjoyed.

Schapenberg (Afrikaans for ‘Sheep Mountain’) nestles almost in the centre of the embrace of the Hottentots-Holland and Helderberg mountains. Its highest point is 300 metres above sea level and a scant four kilometres from the False Bay coast. It used to be the hill where former Cape Colony Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel grazed his sheep, but it was also his lookout post to identify visiting ships, allowing him to race into town and sell his produce before the competition could. These days however, more and more vineyards are being planted in the area, already known as being the coolest in the Stellenbosch wine growing region. Although grapes were planted on Waterkloof since the early 1970s, the production of fine wines originated when the farm was planted, with some of the best material available, in the mid-1990s. Paul Boutinot took over the property just before the 2004 harvest, but the first vintage bottled under the Waterkloof name was from the 2005 harvest.

A modern space featuring spectacular vistas, Waterkloof Wine Estate’s signature restaurant is literally taking quality Winelands dining to new heights. Gorgeously appointed in a glass promontory, the restaurant extends from the chic wine tasting lounge and gravitational cellar. Within its walls, French chef Gregory Czarnecki whets the appetite with contemporary classics, complemented by the estate’s elegant wines. The restaurant’s open-plan kitchen emphasises the Waterkloof winemaking philosophy of openness and transparency. Although contemporary and stylistically diverse, each of the Waterkloof wines carries a strong core of elegance and integrity, and that is exactly what the food is all about – classical cuisine with a modern French twist.

Following lunch, we visit Waterford Wine Estate (Best Of Wine Tourism Award winner in 2006 for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences, 2010, 2012 and 2013 in Wine Tourism Service). Nestled in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, in the world-renowned Stellenbosch region, this 120-hectare property boasts ancient citrus groves, rolling lawns, water features and fragrant lavender beds. Waterford Wines (Pty) Ltd was founded in 1998 when Jeremy and Leigh Ord purchased this prime Stellenbosch vineyard land (previously part of the Stellenrust Farm). Kevin and Heather Arnold were responsible for identifying this unique site, planning the new winery and resurrecting the existing vineyards and orchards, and have been instrumental in developing Waterford into the showcase estate it is today.  

The estate offers a variety of experiences – Wine and chocolate tasting - a unique flavour experience. Kevin Arnold and Chocolatier Richard von Geusau have created a series of dark and milk chocolates that, when paired with our Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Natural Sweet wines give you totally unique taste sensation.

Reserve vintage tasting - features a selection of Reserve Wines chosen by Kevin Arnold. This tutored tasting includes some experimental wines made in the early days of Waterford and culminates with a tasting of our Flagship Red wine "The Jem". Designed for the slightly more serious wine drinker this will give you an insight into the evolution of Waterford Estates wines.

Waterford Estate wine drive - a 2 hour trip through the 120ha Estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg in a safari vehicle.

Overnight in the town of Stellenbosch at Ouwde Werf Hotel.

 

DAY 6:

Breakfast and check out.

Depart to Hermanus, situated between mountain and sea, which has gained world-wide recognition as the world's foremost land based whale watching destination. This has resulted in the former fishing village showing a tremendous growth over the last few years.

Contributory factors to the success of the town are the natural scenic beauty, the mild climate, the range of outdoor activities available, and the close proximity to Cape Town, with Hermanus being a mere 140 km from the Cape Metrople. The ideal base from which to explore the

Western Cape and the Cape Overberg.

Hermanus has something for everyone. The Fernkloof Nature Reserve has over 40 km of walks, ranging from moderate to strenuous walks in the beautiful mountains which form an imposing backdrop to the town. The 14 km of unique cliff walks recently incorporated into the nature reserve boast a variety of coastal fynbos and birdlife.

Enjoy a visit, tasting and lunch at Creation Wines (2013 Best Of Winner in Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences). Situated in the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation Wines takes pleasure in inviting you to our little piece of paradise. Enjoy a Secret Food & Wine Pairing -titillating, stimulating and guaranteed to pamper and surprise your palate. Only we can't reveal the details, because it's veiled in mystery! Imagine four scrumptious entree-sized dishes paired with four superb Creation wines. Imagine an ever-changing 'menu', always presenting a delectable surprise. Booking is essential - and more we're not prepared to say!

Transfer to Cape Town International Airport.

End of Tour

SPECIALIZED TOURS & EVENTS

Specialized Tours & Events
Contact: Margi Biggs
P.O Box 49, Green Point
Cape Town, 8051 South Africa
Tel: + 27 21 418 2302
http://www.specialtours.co.za/
specialt@iafrica.com