Long Breaks| 7 nights
In the morning, depart Cape Town for one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives from Strand to Kleinmond on the Faure Marine Drive. Drive high above the ocean on the edge of a mountain – on one side the slopes of the mountain rise steeply and on the other side, sheer cliff-sides plummet hundreds of feet to the crashing waves beneath. All along the azure ocean accompanies you with the distant haze of the Cape Peninsula in the background.
Arrive into Hermanus, the whale-watching capital of South Africa. Here visit the renowned Hamilton Russell Vineyards, one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea. It is located in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation. The Estate specializes in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the best in the New World. Have lunch at the Hamilton Russell Estate. After lunch, visit the Ataraxia Estate for its award-winning cool-climate chardonnays.
Then drive south to Stanford overlooking Walker Bay. Stay at a beautiful luxury lodge and conservation reserve for 2-nights, surrounded by the whale watching paradise of Walker Bay Beach and Overberg Mountains. Your retreat perfectly blends the glories of nature with country luxury and superb South African food and wine.
Places: Cape Town, Cape Peninsula, Walker Bay, Elgin Valley, Franschoek & Stellenbosch | Activities: Go up Table Mountain; visit Cape of Good Hope; wine-tasting and vineyard tours across the Winelands; stunning coastal self-drives; whale watching in Hermanus; and gourmet meals paired with fabulous wines; services of a wine guide
A wonderful week of wine-tasting, delicious food and scenic drives in the gorgeous vineyards and award-winning wineries of South Africa’s Western Cape.
In India, we’ve had heady exposure to Australian wines, but little do we know about that other Southern Hemisphere region rich in delicious wines – South Africa. The time is right to discover why South Africa is fast becoming the source of ‘top quality easy drinking wines’. The country has a long history of wine production going back 350-years, but largely confined to fortified wines grown in hotter conditions. Today, it is the cooler climate areas of the Cape Peninsula, Franschoek, and Walker Bay which are charging onto the world stage with their small single owner estates producing small but excellent vintages (and little variation) of Chardonnay, Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc. And equally interesting is the warmer growth areas of Montagu and Robertson, known for their fortified and dessert wines, where you will be swept away by the genuine warmth and affection of wine estate owners.
And on this one-week trip, you will get to visit all of these mouth-watering wine growing areas that offer great tasting opportunities. Add to this delicious gourmet food, glorious weather, combined with the style of Cape Town and its stunning coastline and mountains, and you have all the makings of a wonderful wine trail.
Depart Chennai after midnight and arrive into Dubai in the morning. Take a quick connecting flight from Dubai direct into Cape Town, arriving in the late afternoon. Pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel.
In the evening, visit the chic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to take in the sundown atmosphere of the city. Have an early dinner at a restaurant or back at your hotel.
In the morning, go up Table Mountain when the crowds are less and the air is clear and crisp. Take the cable car to the summit of South Africa’s most recognized icon for the most spectacular views of Cape Town.
Then go on one of the Cape Peninsula’s most scenic road trips. Drive down the winding road to the beautiful beach suburb of Camps Bay and continue onto the spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive. This road between Hout Bay and Noordhoek is one of the most stunning coastal drives anywhere in the world. Drive through the Table Mountain National Park into the Constantia vineyards and visit Buitenverwachting Estate for your first private wine tour and where you can have a picnic lunch or eat al fresco in their award-winning restaurant.
After lunch, continue round to Kalk Bay (Cape Town's "Notting Hill"), the trendy Bohemian fisherman's village with lots of cool bars, restaurants, cafes (Olympia) and antique shops.
Return to Cape Town in the evening.
In the morning visit the Kanonkop Estate, home to South Africa’s most loved red wines and winery of the year 2008. Do some wine tastings, enjoy a cheese platter outdoors under the oaks (in the summer) and visit their new art gallery.
For lunch, pass through beautiful Winelands and breathtaking mountains to the Tokara Estate located at the top of the Hellshoogte Pass, between Franschoek and Stellenbosch. Here enjoy lunch at the Tokara Restaurant from its outdoor wooden deck, with sweeping views of False Bay and Table Mountain.
After lunch, return to Franschoek to rest in the afternoon. In the evening, conclude your wine holiday with an extravagant but romantic dinner at one of South Africa’s finest boutique luxury hotels – the La Residence in Franschoek.
Couples & Families | Visit All-Year | Fly to Cape Town
Drive early from Stanford to Montagu, a quaint and well-kept town reminiscent of a bygone era at the heart of the Route 62. Nestled in a fertile valley, this pretty little town is steeped in history and is famous for its awe inspiring rock formations, orchards, vineyards, local herbs and healing hot mineral springs.
Then embark on the 52km Robertson Wine Route, possibly the most beautiful wine route in South Africa as the road has beautiful gardens of roses, cannas, bougainvillea and jacarandas all along the road, while the Breede River flows languidly alongside. Still uncommercialised, the farmers regard your visit as an honour to their estate. Here stop first at the Viljoensdrift wine estate, where you are taken on a huge raft on the Breede River after wine tasting. Carry a picnic lunch from the estate deli which you can enjoy on the boat. After lunch, set off to Van Loveren, best known for matriarch Jean Retief’s garden of memories, where she planted trees on occasions to be remembered. You can enjoy this splendid garden while bottles of wine are put on the table for you to taste to your hearts delight.
In the evening, take a walk through the many historical national monuments lining the streets of Montagu before dinner, guided by a pamphlet sketching the history of these homes.
Explore Franschoek’s marketplace and village. Pack your wine purchases carefully. And then transfer to Cape Town airport for your flight back to India.
The winemakers of Walker Bay specialize in highly individual, origin-expressive wines. Plantings are limited to grape varieties in soil types that will complement the terroir-driven style they aim for. As a result, the wines of Walker Bay are visited by those in the know, who come here to buy arguably the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir the Cape has to offer, and those who chance upon the cellars here, and feel like they’ve discovered a viticultural grail trail.
On the edge of the Hermanus Lagoon, Mosaic expands to a secluded part of the pristine Walker Bay Beach and Nature Reserve, the best place in the world for whale watching. Explore 933 hectares and almost 4 km of lagoon frontage for bird watching, flora, kayaking, hiking and quad bike tours.
In the afternoon, visit Springfontein Estate, located in the immediate neighbour hood. This estate has received world recognition for its white wines, as a pioneer in a unique limestone soil and cool climate terroir.
Leave Montagu and drive out to Franschoek, which has to be in our opinion, the prettiest town in the Cape Winelands. Tucked away into a deep valley surrounded by the mountains, this former 17th century settlement of French refugees is refreshingly compact, with its shops and restaurants located all along the main street. Thanks to the French influence, some of the country’s best vineyards are also in and around the town.
After a quick lunch at your hotel, visit the boutique Boekenhoutskloof Winery well-known for its outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and the whimsical Chocolate Block Label.
Then visit Cabriere Estate and have a lovely gourmet dinner paired with their fantastic wines. Comprised of two farms, situated on opposite ends of the breathtaking Franschoek Wine Valley, Cabriere is something extraordinary. A rich history, a whimsical setting, a seductive approach to wine and a magnetic proprietor ensure that it is a decadent affair for any visitor on a tasting tour here.