For NON WINE DRINKERS (and that includes Kids), the Winelands is also a Must See Experience because it is about much more than just wine.
Our Wine-lessWinelands Tour is the chance to experience our history, culture, arts, nature, wildlife, activities and food.
Our Winelands are among the most beautiful areas in the country. They offer panoramic views of majestic mountains, historic towns and homesteads, lush green countryside, farms and much more.
You choose from the list below and we’ll design your tour:
Winelands usually refers to the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, although there are many different wine regions near to Cape Town.
- Stellenbosch, the second oldest town with the most historic buildings of any in South Africa. It’s a must to take a pleasant stroll through its oak lined streets and to visit a museum where you can walk into four beautifully restored old houses of different styles.
- Franschhoek, is a quaint town almost fully surrounded by mountains. The Huguenot Memorial is an impressive backdrop for the main street with its many great shops and restaurants.
- Paarl, the place with the Pearl Mountain also offers beautiful old buildings, interesting history and original wine estates.
MUSEUMS: The Khoi, the Dutch, the French and the British all had roots in this region and they all make up the fabric of South Africa today. We’ll show you museums with great exhibits detailing our diverse past.
Nelson Mandela ended his Long Walk to Freedom after 27 years of incarceration, at the Groot Drakenstein Prison in Paarl, 20 years ago. It marked the turning point, which ended the dark days of apartheid and began a new era of democracy and reconciliation in South Africa.
Be photographed by his life-sized statue in front of the prison, the exact spot where he walked out as a free man on 11 February 1990.
FOOD IN THE WINELANDS:
Culinary delights await you at every turn and the freshest ingredients with which they are made, are right on your doorstep.
Franschhoek is considered the Gourmet capital of this region because of its many fine restaurants. Paarl and Stellenbosch also offer many great culinary experiences:
- You’ll find fusion, contemporary and nouvelle cuisine mixed with some of the best South African food chefs can offer.
- Try traditional Cape Cuisine in an authentic Cape Dutch house where you might try Karoo lamb, bobotie or Bushveld Sushi.
- Cape Malay Cuisine, as authentic as any found in the Bo Kaap.
FARM FRESH FOOD
The best place to buy this is at one of the Fresh Food Markets or at one of the many farms where they are made.
Dairy and wine farming go hand in hand and wonderful selections of Jersey and Goatsmilk cheeses are available at various shops and wine estates.
Some cheeses have won awards internationally, taste them and see why.
Olive Growing and Tasting:
There is a natural association between the vineyard and the olive grove and in our Mediterranean Cape Climate, olive production is increasing in leaps and bounds.
We are developing an olive stylewhich is uniquely South African:
- Some of our Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Oils have already won international awards.
- Varieties include: leccino, frantoio, mission and blends.
- Fresh olive types are: Calamata, Mission and Green with great, added flavours like rosemany, garlic and smoked.
Berry farming offers the most amazing assortment of fresh, bottled, frozen and dried berries.
- Strawberry picking is a fun activity, especiallywith the kids in summer.
- Hanepoot Grapes are a unique Cape flavour. They are our sweetest grapes with a hint of smoky flavour. They are available in season at a roadside stall or from the farm.
Bread making: Another fun thing to do as you spend the whole day kneading, twisting and shaping different breads.
If you are in the Winelands around the end of February or early March, join one of many activities and festivities celebrating Harvest Day.
The next best thing to a safari, near to Cape Town.
Let Cape by Design Tours organise a day where you get close to some of Africa’s magnificent creatures:
- Lion Park with magnificent specimens of Africa’s great cat.
- Cheetah Outreach brings awareness of this endangered animal.
- Raptor Rehabilitation Centre.
- Monkey Town, mingle freely with some close relatives.
- Game Park with a variety of plains game.
- Giraffe Park, wildlife awareness centre.
- Crocodile Park, home to a thousand crocs!
The mountains, farms and rivers of the Winelands offer fantastic activities:
Our approved service providers make possible an exhilirating and different way to experience the Winelands:
- Fly Fishing in crystal clear trout streams.
- River rafting, a non white water experience.
- Mountain biking in a nature reserve or on a farm.
- Quad biking, a fun thing for the whole family.
- Hiking nature trails for any level of fitness.
- Horse Riding on a farm or in the fynbos.
- Golf, a huge choice of stunning golf courses.
- Ballooning, arise at sunrise for this magical experience.
ART AND CRAFTS:
The Winelands is also a centre for the visual arts and crafts and we’ll show you the best on offer:
- Contemporary Africa Art showcasing some of the best up-and-coming local artists.
- Workshops and shops with quality indigenous crafts.
- Craft workshops with an artist-in-residence.
- Stellenbosch is home to one of our oldest universities and many cultural events are staged and hosted in the town.
COMMUNITY TOURISM: GIVING BACK TO THE FARM COMMUNITIES:
In the Winelands there is a history of alcohol abuse, lack of education and poverty. Many wine farms are seeking to address the needs of their workers by building creches and schools and by creating supportive initiatives for disavantaged local communities.
Cape by Design Tours would love to show you some of the heart warming and uplifting work that is being done.
There’s no better example of a wine farm that embodies community tourism. They offer several interesting tours, which do not necessarily involve drinking wine.
Solms Delta in Franschhoek:
- Solms Delta has an amazing social responsibility programme and they believe in real empowerment of their workers.
- They offer a first with their Social History and Wine Tour,
- The Archaeology and Wine Tour tells of the Slave and earlier stoneage history of the area.
- The little known rural folk music of the Cape is the focus of their Cape Music and History Tour.
- Sunset Supper Concerts are a wonderful way to listen to the special music of the rural Cape.
Tours should never be a matter of choosing off a list - they should be created to suit the desires of the tourist.