Skip the crowded group tours and enjoy a more personalized experience of some of South Africa’s best wineries on a private tour of the Cape Winelands. Oenophiles and nature lovers alike are in for a treat on this private exploration of the Cape Winelands. Not only do you visit three esteemed wine farms for fine wine tastings and phenomenal pairings with cheese and chocolate in the Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek regions; the extraordinary scenery along the way will also transport you back to yesteryear to reminisce among white gabled buildings and impressive manor houses flanked by the soaring mountain ranges.
Firstly you'll visit the cheese haven of Fairview for a tasting selecting of their wines with local produce. Venture onwards to Franschhoek to explore the town and then travel onwards to Bebylonstoren where the paddock-to-plate partnership between winemakers, chefs, artisans and local producers rounds out today’s sensory journey. Here, in arguably South Africa’s most picturesque wine growing area, the day continues amongst the rustic fruit orchards and country gardens of Babylonstoren Estate where heady, herby smells are carried on the breeze and plump fruits hang ripe on trees. Groups of ducks quack their way underfoot as guests tentatively explore the manicured farm grounds. In stark contrast to the water-colour-picture setting, the tasting room is a thoroughly modern affair and the wines add to the whimsical feel. You'll get a chance for a curated sampling of some of their best wines that pairs beautifully with any South African sunny day.
For lunch, you'll get some free-time to experience the self-proclaimed culinary capital of South Africa, Franschhoek and end your meander along the Winelands with sweet port-style dessert wine and chocolate pairing at the heritage-rich Muratie wine farm before heading back to Cape Town region late afternoon.
Unwind with edgy wine in hand amid Babylonstoren's Cape Dutch farm-to-plate philosophy gardens.
Indulge with a cosy pairing of Muratie's port-style wines with decadent chocolate.
Tease your tastebuds along Franschhoek's charming streets in the gourmet capital of South Africa.
Enjoy some of Fairview's best as you taste a selection of fine wines paired with curated cheeses or local produce.
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town or Stellenbosch. Set off in the fresh morning air to the south-western slopes of the Paarl mountain range, to awaken your senses to spectacular views and even better wines. Your first stop of the day offers a uniquely curated pairing of wine with their cheese to get your taste buds raring. Fairview by name and fair view by nature, this commercial winery boasts an onsite cheesery that churns out delicious artisanal cheeses. The farm offers stunning country gardens and a relaxed but thoroughly modern tasting experience. Laughter and chatter fill the room as knowledgeable staff guide you through the process, impart their wine wisdom and provide gourmet tips on the perfect pairings.
As lunch time nears, South Africa’s epicurean capital, Franschhoek, with its multitude of eateries is a must-do for gourmands. You’ll have time to soak up the history of the French Huguenots who arrived in the Seventeenth Century, maybe catch an impromptu church choir performance in the street, shop for knick-knacks and bric-a-brac along the main street or savour a charcuterie plate and tasty local delicatessen creations.
After Franschhoek, venture on with a stopover at Babylonstoren. Like its namesake Babylon, this winelands is nestled on fertile land amongst the foothills of the Simonsberg mountains. With its historic Cape Dutch architecture dating back to the 17th century and a dedication to preserving all-things organic and a farm-to-fork focussed philosophy, this is renowned for its unpretentious wine selection. Slip into the daily rhythm of farm life as you meander down manicured pathways and immerse yourself in a small snippet of their eight-acre fruit and vegetable gardens and over 178 acres of rich farmland that’s under vine.
After a brief stroll through the gardens, the real enchantment unfolds in their tasting room. Here, you can savour their flagship Bordeaux blends featuring berry flavours, a buttery Chardonnay with subtle notes of citrus and a hint of vanilla and indulge in a glass of MCC sparkling wine, the perfect accompaniment to a leisurely day in the winelands.
Just north of Stellenbosch tucked in a picturesque corner of the Knorhoek Valley lies one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, Muratie, dating back to 1685. Wine tasting in historic Muratie, the very winery that made the first Pinot Noir in South Africa, shows yet another contrast to end off your day… as does their perfect pairing of sweet-toned port-style wines and decadent chocolate. Wine lovers cosy up in the estate’s old wine tanks during this sweet tasting experience. The marriage is simple but effective and aims to harness the similarities (of the fruity flavours) or exploit their differences (sweetness versus bitter) and excite the palate.
*Subject to availability, alternative wine experiences can be booked if your preferred option is not listed.
End with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town or Stellenbosch accommodation.
This trip's transport will run exclusively for you. Included activities and transfers may join other groups.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Private transfers to included tour highlights.
There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
You can purchase meals + drinks on tour.
Optional activities can be paid and booked during your journey as per price listed in the itinerary.
If some wines, farm or wine pairing options are unavailable during certain times of the week or season, we reserve the right to offer a similar type or value alternative.
Click terms for more details.
A non-refundable deposit is needed to reserve a booking and full amount payment required at least 31 days before a tour to confirm a booking.
Read the full terms online at https://hotspots2c.co.za/agent#terms
Cancelaltion fees are calculated on the total amount of the booking.
Children are welcome on private tours. Some activities will have age limits and alcohol may only be served to adults over 18 years of age.
11 official Languages Spoken
Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa
How to say hello?
Molo – Xhosa
Sawubona - Zulu
Hallo - Afrikaans
Dumela - SeSotho
Electricity – Volt & plug
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.
WiFi/Internet Access on tour
WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.
When to go
South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.
Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.
Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather.
Best time to go
Jun-Jul = Safari
Jan-Feb = Beach
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 Jan||New Year's Day|
|21 Mar||Human Rights Day|
|30 Mar||Good Friday|
|2 Apr||Family Day|
|27 Apr||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 Jun||Youth Day|
|9 Aug||National Women's Day|
|24 Sep||Heritage Day|
|16 Dec||Day of Reconciliation|
|17 Dec||Day of Reconciliation Holiday|
|25 Dec||Christmas Day|
|26 Dec||Day of Goodwill|
Visa & Travel docs
Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).
Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries
What to pack
We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:
Health & Safety
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.
The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.
South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.
There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.
From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.
Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.