Classified as ‘New World’ in wine terms but the country’s winemaking tradition goes back over 300 years! In reality though the wine industry is just 30 years old, having changed out of all recognition since the fall of apartheid. It’s now one of the most exciting and dynamic in the world. Cape Town, one of the world’s greatest cities is the starting point for any wine adventure. And there’s so much more – stunning mountain scenery, game reserves, and wonderful gastronomy. No wonder it’s our most popular long-haul destination!
Constantia, effectively a suburb of Cape Town; Durbanville just north of the city with stunning views back to Table Mountain; Hermanus and Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the whale-watching coast; Swartland, the enterprising region to the north; Robertson with it’s famed sparkling wines; Franschhoek, the gourmet capital of the country; and last but not least Stellenbosch which has the biggest concentration of wineries spread over the sub-regions of Somerset West, Devon Valley and Simonsberg.
Stand out white is Chenin Blanc, or Steen as it’s known locally, with the world’s biggest plantings of this grape. The other dominant whites are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Colombard. Pinotage is the ‘local’ red, actually a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, created in 1937. Other significant red plantings are of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah and Merlot, not forgetting the wonderful Pinot Noirs grown in the cooler areas.
The hot Mediterranean climate (long hot summers, cool wet winters) is moderated by the Benguela current from the Antarctic. Inland regions are semi-arid. South Africa boasts some of the oldest viticultural soils in the world, traceable back to the first super continent some 1 000 million years ago. There is a huge variety of soils, mostly granite, sandstone, shale. Within the Stellenbosch region alone, there are more than 50 unique soil types.
Past tours to South Africa
Our tour captured all the drama of Cape Peninsula in one tour. We took in the singular and stunning beauty of Cape Town, where nature and culture come together. We enjoyed wine tastings in several different wine regions including Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Durbanville and Hermanus. One of the unforgettable highlights was a two-night stay on a private game reserve: it was the Africa of our dreams. Throw in fabulous settings for meals, jaw-dropping landscapes and coastal views. And you have the tour of a lifetime.
Join us on an upcoming tour
South Africa WINE TOUR
17-26 February 2023
South Africa has some of the most beautiful scenery of any wine region of the world and late February is the perfect time to visit. This tour offers the highlights of the Cape Peninsula – the sights and spectacular setting of Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world; wine tastings in several different wine regions including Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Robertson and Hemel-en-Aarde; a two night stay on a private 5-star game reserve, plus fabulous settings for meals, varied and dramatic landscapes, and unforgettable coastal views. The Western Cape is all about wine, food and scenery. You won’t want to leave…