Constantia, the leafy southern suburb, is home to Cape Town’s very own wine region, embracing nine farms on its official route. From 333-year-old heritage properties to the modern styling of the newer farms, this wine region can boast being the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The farms of Constantia honour their inheritance with breathtaking scenery, perfect tributes to the opulence of modern history. Foodies will revel in the various dining options available, including several top award-winning restaurants such as La Colombe, The Greenhouse, and Chef’s Warehouse.
Stellenbosch, a 45-minute drive from Cape Town and you’re in the heart of the “City of Oaks”, which has bragging rights to more than 170 wine farms. Enjoy a short stroll through the historical part of the city, with its al fresco dining and oak-lined streets.
Some commendations include Tokara for views, Delaire Graff for dining, Spier for picnics and Segway tours.
The third of the Cape settlements is Paarl, aptly named after early explorers likened the round granite rock that sits high above the town to that of a pearl.
It’s a rather scenic drive up the mountain: leave your car at the final car park, and if you’re not afraid of heights, use the chain to climb to the top for astounding views of the town.
Some farm recommendations are Spice Route Destination, Fairview, Nederberg, Landskroon and more.
Another place to visit is Franschhoek. It is hailed by many as the food and wine capital of South Africa, this quaint village must surely be one of the most beautiful in the land. The town is securely nestled in a picturesque valley, flanked on three sides by Cape Fold Mountains.
In winter, it feels as if you’ve stepped into a little European village, sans the snow. You’ll also hear a variety of foreign accents, as Franschhoek is a popular tourist stop.
The name Franschhoek means French quarter, as the Cape government granted amnesty to French protestants who were fleeing religious persecution. Since they were renowned for being keen agriculturalists, they were given land, and so birthed the French influence that is still characteristic of the area.
A stop at the Huguenot Memorial Museum in town will help tell more of the story. My recommendations are Dieu Donne for views, Haute Cabriere for an underground cellar tour, Lynx Wines for a boutique experience, Boschendal for beautiful gardens, and Rupert & Rothschild.