Explore South Africa's winelands

The winelands of South Africa are some of the most breathtakingly beautiful in the world. Many of the South African wine routes are within an hour or less easy driving distance from Cape Town.

Others will take visitors further afield, through constantly changing and spectacular landscapes. Cape Town and the surrounding South African winelands combine stunning beaches, and aqua-marine oceans, with a backdrop of vast mountain ranges and clear blue skies.

Travel to the winelands of South Africa

British Airways flies direct to Cape Town, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic also fly from the UK to Cape Town via Johannesburg. The flight lasts around 11.5 hours and, because there is only one or two hours time difference between the UK and Cape Town, there's no jet lag to recover from.

Hiring a car is one of the best ways to travel around the South African winelands, making it easy to visit a number of different wine producers and wine regions and explore the surrounding areas. If you are planning a day wine tasting, consider taking a private wine tasting tour, to ensure that you can relax and enjoy all the delicious South African wines without having to worry about driving. Many of the wine estates have superb restaurants and accommodation too.

Please note that new rules now apply if you’re travelling to South Africa or transiting through a South African airport with a child under the age of 18. You must now be able to produce the child’s full unabridged birth certificate. There are additional requirements if the child is travelling with only one parent, with neither biological parent, or unaccompanied. Find out more here and in this statement by the South African Department of Home Affairs and leaflet. You can also visit this website or contact the South African High Commission if you have any specific questions about your trip.

South African winelands activities

For the adventurous traveller South Africa offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences from shark cage diving and quad biking to horse riding in the vineyards, there's plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat.

For nature lovers, the South African wine regions are situated in the Cape Floral Kingdom, a biodiversity hot spot and home to more than 10,000 plant species, that's more than in the whole of the northern hemisphere. Many wine estates offer walking trails around the farms, where visitors can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings before enjoying a refreshing glass of one of South Africa's excellent white wines.

If all the adventure sounds exhausting there are plenty of world-class hotels and spas to relax in and, of course, South Africa's famed cuisine and wines can be enjoyed in the many spectacular restaurants.

Wine routes in South Africa

All the wine routes in South Africa have individual websites packed with information on visiting the regions. Simply select the wine route you'd like to explore to find out more about what awaits you on your South African adventure.

Enlarge map
Enlarge map

Plan a trip to South Africa to explore these wine routes yourself. Subscribe to the monthly Wines of South Africa newsletter for more information on planning your trip.

Newsletter sign up

From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

The interesting thing about wine is that you only get one chance a year to make it. So for the average winemaker, retiring at a normal age, you might get to make 40 or so vintages in your lifetime, unless of course you switch hemispheres in your winter and go to work somewhere else.   Wine is an expression of place; it's also an expression of a particular year. For the winegrower who also tends their own vines, there's a special significance to vintage time. From the time the vine buds, to the point where the flowering occurs, to the point where grapes begin developing, to the point of veraison when the skins soften and red grapes chance colour, to the point of deciding when to pick, the winegrower tracks the progress of vintage. That year is then something they try to capture in the wine, as the grapes enter the cellar. It's only after several months that they will really know the personality of the vintage they have just lived through, when the baby wines begin to show what they are about. Along the way, there are many things that can go wrong: frost, disease, pests, microbial disasters in the wine. It's a complicated business, but when it does well, it’s worth all the anxiety and toil.

Read More

In Jo's glass

I was recently in South Africa for Cape Wine and managed to taste several vintages of the delicious Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia. I usually opt for a sweet wine at the end of a meal instead of a pudding and The Vin de Constance is a perfect way to end a meal. It's rich and opulent with stone fruits, vanilla and a hint of spice yet it is also fresh, balanced and has a long, moreish finish. Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, highly rated both the 2011 and 2012 in his most recent report on South Africa which is available to download for £15 on timatkin.com.  

Latest videos

Loading...