Welcome to the second instalment of dk villas’ two-part blog series on the Cape’s stunning wine routes. Award-winning wine and beautiful food experiences are just two of the many, many attractions one can expect to experience on any foray into the Cape Winelands. Last week, we explored:
- Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, and
Now, let’s dive into Constantia, Durbanville, the Robertson Valley, Breedekloof, and the Helderberg wine routes.
The historic, near-legendary Constantia Valley offers visitors ten excellent reasons to visit is verdant, lushly carpeted valley and mountain slopes. 10 Beautiful wine estates, all of which deliver an intoxicating blend of wine, old world romance, history, delicious food, and heart-rending views. From the hallowed cellars at Groot Constantia (the Cape’s oldest wine farm) and Klein Constantia (the creator of the famous sweet wine, Vin de Constance) to Silvermist Vineyards, where you’ll find the award-winning La Colombe (voted one of the world’s best restaurants)…a trip to Constantia is a multi-sensory feast.
Top things to do (besides wine tasting and fine dining): Stunning forest and mountain hiking, zip-lining with SA Forest Adventures, nature viewing and birdwatching, luxury stays, picnics, bicycle vineyard tours, and more.
With unparalleled views of rolling hills, the Atlantic coastline, and Table Mountain, Durbanville is a lesser explored yet no less awesome wine route to check out! Here, you can expect to discover truly exceptional food, quality wine, and both boutique (Klein Roosboom) and major commercial wineries (Durbanville Hills) that offer guests hours of hedonistic leisure. Also, the area is a cool climate region—similar to Constantia and Elgin—owing to the onshore flow of cool maritime air from the Atlantic Ocean. This is why Durbanville carries a lofty reputation for growing Sauvignon Blanc!
Top things to do (besides wine tasting and fine dining): Parkrun at Meerendal Wine Estate, annual music and cultural festivals, olive products and beer tasting at Hillcrest Olive & Wine Estate, food pairing experiences, overnight stays, and more.
The Robertson Wine Valley is a gorgeous, mountain-embraced valley carpeted in lush vineyard and dotted with quaint towns. It’s also a stellar winemaking region that embraces 53 different wineries in the towns of Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor, and Robertson. Here, there is a definite culture of delivering wine experiences that allow visitors to take in and enjoy the area’s natural beauty, as well as its local culture, art, and food, from underground cellar tastings, and one-of-a-kind food pairings to blend-your-own-wine experiences, lawn games, and so much more.
Top things to do (besides wine tasting and fine dining): Historic cellar tours and tastings at Weltevrede Wine Estate and Esona Boutique Winery, annual festivals along the Brede River, antique shopping, river cruises and picnics at Viljoensdrift, wine blending at Excelsior, luxury stays, and more.
Slightly further afield of Cape Town, the Breedekloof wine route consists of 22 wineries—from humble boutiques to sprawling estates—scattered in and around Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini, and Breede River areas. Here, the vibe is distinctly more rustic and “country” with a plethora of luxury accommodations, wine and food experiences, and leisure activities and excursions. For example, at Slanghoek, guests can blend and bottle their own wines, while Jason’s Hill offers hiking trails in its gorgeous setting. Bergsig Estate is great for relaxed dining with spectacular vineyard and mountain views and Du Toitskloof Wines produces award-winning wines and craft beer.
Top things to do (besides wine tasting and fine dining): Biking and hiking, craft beer tasting, Ceres zip slide tours, farm stalls, fly fishing, garden tours, craft gin tasting, picnics, horse riding, luxury stays, and more.
One of the more neglected of the Cape’s wine routes lies within the Cape Helderberg basin; though tragically so because, here, you’ll find some of the most beautiful and special wineries, such as Vergelegen (one of the country’s oldest estates), Idiom (produces some unusual and delicious Italian varietal wine), Lourensford (hosts weekend markets, an art studio, and a coffee roastery), and Waterkloof (boasts stunning views over Gordon’s Bay and Strand). There’s also Morgenster, which offers olive oils tastings and chocolate pairings, and all of these wineries are set against the dramatic backdrop of the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland mountain ranges.
Top things to do (besides wine tasting and fine dining): Picnics in camphor forests at Vergelegen, weekend markets, art and culture, annual wine and food festivals, olive oil tastings at Morgenster, luxury stays, and so much more.