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The 5 Best Wine Regions in South Africa (for Wine Lovers!)

 South Africa has a rich history of wine production and has even been producing some of the best bottles in the world as far back as 1659.

Wine production was established in South Africa as part of the Dutch East India Trading Companies colonization. With most of it is centred around the bustling coastal city of Cape Town.

The deep-rooted history of perfect wine production has led to many wine producing regions being based in and around the city as well as along South Africa’s famous garden route.

If planning a trip to South Africa you should take in the majestic views of its world-renowned Garden route.

Stop and savour some of the amazing wines from this haven of vineyards and world-class South African wineries.

To help you decide which is the best stop for you, we’ve created a list of the top-class vineyards and wine producing regions in South Africa!

 

1. Groot Constantia

No round-up of the best wine regions in South Africa is complete without mentioning the very first of them all: The suburb of Constantia.

Constania is located 15 kilometres out from Cape Town and is centred around the Groot Constantia winery.

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This vineyard was established back in 1685 and has been producing some of the best wines ever since.

The Groot Constantia Vineyard is a beautiful landscape of winding country roads surrounded by grapevines and breath-taking white marble from the Dutch Renaissance style manor home.

Activities at the manor include:

  • Tours of its stunning grounds
  • A visit to the famed Cloete Cellar where many of its prestigious wines are stored and bottled
  • Wine tasting experiences
  • A visit to the estate’s two museums

One of the museums focuses on the estate’s history of wines and the other looks at the culture and history of this magnificent South African winery.

Groot Constantia - Winery Regions in South Africa

There are two restaurants on the estate:

1) Jonkershuis Restaurant

This restaurant is nestled among the heart of the estate and surrounded by an ancient oak forest. The food here focuses on traditional sustainably sourced Cape Malay style eating.

2) Simon’s Restaurant

This restaurant serves some of the best traditional Cape-style BBQ meat in the entire region.

Here you can sample some of their mouth-watering burgers and lamb roasted cuts whilst being surrounded by the serene beauty of Africa’s Wine lands.

Groot Constantia is a winery that is filled with history, culture, and natural beauty and it always provides its guests with more than just a taste of its world-renowned wines.

2. Stellenbosch

Nestled at the foot of the Cape Fold mountain range is the town of Stellenbosch and its wine-producing valleys.

This town is famous the world over for its first-class wines that are enjoyed in wine lounges and Michelin starred restaurants across the world.

The town of Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa.

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There are many great Stellenbosch winery tours that you can do from Cape Town. Here are some of the most recommended experiences:

As you walk along its oak lined streets, you will feel like you’re taking a step back in time.

You’ll also notice that the streets and homes are all styled in the magnificent white framed Dutch architecture.

The streets of this town are filled with a vibrant atmosphere that embraces the old and the new.

With boutiques and cafes on every corner and a vibrant downtown area filled with local university students, you can tell Stellenbosch has an exciting and upcoming atmosphere.

The Mediterranean like climate makes this one of the most popular wine-producing regions in all of Africa.

Some of the best vineyards in South Africa are based in this region.

The old world feel that mixes with a modern and vibrant culture make Stellenbosch a must-see for any wine lover.

 

Notable wineries include:

These offer custom tasting experiences as well as first class dining.

 

Stellenbosch Wine Region - South Africa

3. Franschhoek

Settled in 1688 by French Huguenots the name of this town literally translates as “French Corner” in Afrikaans.

And for good reason…

An hour east of Cape Town, Franschhoek is surrounded by mountains which provide stunning scenery to a growing wine region in the heartland of South Africa.

The area has several Cape Dutch style estates spread throughout it and many have become prominent South African wineries and vineyards.

The town itself retains much of its original architecture due to local protections which encourage the preservation of the area’s homes and estates.

The preserved village architecture has made the area a popular tourist destination, with a museum and dozens of Bed and Breakfasts now available in town.

The river Berg is also a popular walking area for visitors and residents.

Franschhoek is notable for having some of the top restaurants in the country!

When combined with its rich French wine culture, many describe the town as the “food and wine capital” of South Africa.

There is also a huge variety of art galleries and exhibits as well as an array of boutique shopping experiences for visitors to enjoy.

If you are stopping by this world-class wine producing region then make sure to stop by the Huguenot Fine Chocolates store for some of the best-rated chocolates in the world.

Notable wineries in Franschhoek include:

If you’re interested in doing a wine tour within this wine region in South Africa, I’ve included some great options for you to check out below.

4. Paarl

Paarl is the former headquarters of KWV.

KWV was a historic government-sponsored wine co-operative that practically created the South African wine scene until its privatization in the 1990s.

The city of Paarl is larger than the others on this list but no less beautiful for it.

Its centre is built around the original Dutch Architecture settlement that it began as.

The town centre attracts scores of visitors every year, with an array of attractions and sights.

The town is known for its:

  • beautiful central buildings
  • fine dining restaurants
  • wine stores!
  • scenic beauty and mountain formations
  • most famous natural wonder: Paarl Rock

Paarl Rock is where 22 000 acres of grapes are grown every year.

The area around Paarl Rock is best known for its hiking trails amongst the many vineyards that cover these mountains.

 

Notable wineries in Paarl include:

Best Wine Regions for Wine Lovers - South Africa

5. Walker Bay

This area is a relatively new up and coming wine region in South Africa.

It is mostly famous for having some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.  However, that doesn’t mean the wine produced here is any less outstanding.

Helped by a cooler climate, Walker Bay grows some of the best grapes for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the world.

The stunning beauty of the area also attracts hundreds of visitors every day.

The bay’s main town is Hermanus which is famed for its five blue flag beaches and its whale and shark spotting opportunities.

The town located at Walker Bay offers visitors the chance to enjoy a laidback coastal lifestyle compared to the other wine regions of South Africa mentioned above.

Days here can be spent touring its many outlying wineries, spotting whales from one of its sandy beaches or for the more adventurous souls cage diving with sharks!

Notable South African Wineries in Walker Bay include:

In Summary:

The 5 Best Wine Regions in South Africa for Wine Lovers!

So, there you go.

Our round-up of some of the best wine regions in South Africa.

  1. Groot Constantia
  2. Stellenbosch
  3. Franschhoek
  4. Paarl
  5. Walker Bay

All are worth a visit for both their spectacular scenery and outstanding wines!

If you’re interested in visiting one of the stunning wine regions in South Africa, here are some great options you can check out below.

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