It’s no secret that the Cape is home to some of the most beautiful wine estates on the planet, dotted around the peninsula beckoning wine lovers to come and savour the world-class nectar they produce.
With more than 300 wine farms in the Western Cape – spanning Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, Constantia, Paarl and Hermanus – wine-loving visitors might feel burdened by the agony of so many options.
Which is why we recommend putting the decision-making into the hands of the experts, and touring the winelands with a knowledgeable guide.
Whether you’re after a privately driven tour in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle or you’re more partial to a festive open-air tram ride with a bunch of strangers and friends – or something in between – there’s sure to be a wine tour for you.
If you know of an amazing wine tour that you believe deserves to be on our list, please let us know in the comments below.
Top wine-tasting regions in the Cape
South Africa’s second-oldest town lies amid lush winelands where you’ll find over 100 wineries, many of them grand old estates with charming Cape Dutch buildings that stand testament to the passing of centuries. An intoxicating mix of culinary delights and rich cultural heritage epitomises this, the country’s oldest wine route.
1. Tuk-Tuk through Stellenbosch
After a glass or three of the good stuff, it’s not a good idea to drive, which is why we recommend Tuk Tuk Stellies, whose affordable rates make this an appealing option. Tuk Tuk Stellies offers full-day (six hours) and half-day (four hours and fifteen minutes) tours, with set itineraries, so all you have to do is sit back, relax and savour every piece of the second-oldest town in Southern Africa.
Wine estates you’ll visit Die Bergkelder, Muratie Wine Estate, Simonsig Estate, and L’Avenir Estate.
R1 100 (Full-day tour)
R780 (Half-day tour)
Times Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Where to find it Mark Street, Stellenbosch
2. E-Bike Through Stellenbosch
The power of an electric motor makes it possible to bike over rough terrain and even up hills – something you’ll need when exploring the majestic Jonkershoek Valley. The tour departs from Stellenbosch Central, follows Eerste River, then goes past some historical buildings before heading into the nature reserve, ending at two esteemed wine estates: Lanzerac (one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1692) and Stark-Conde.
Experienced guides are on-hand to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment, and wine tastings, snack platters and coffee are included.
Wine estates you’ll visit Lanzerac and Stark-Conde.
Cost R850 (adults); R550 (children 3 – 9 years)
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 9am & 1.30pm
Where to find it Stellenbosch Tourism Information Centre, 36 Market Street, Stellenbosch
Founded by French Huguenots in 1688, Franschhoek is certainly the Cape’s “French Corner”. Many of the farms were named after areas in France from which their founders originated, and the Gallic influence is unmistakable, not least in the region’s culinary gems. With lush vineyards and majestic mountains as the backdrop, the Franschhoek experience is a celebration of life, as the French would have it.
1. Tuk-Tuk Through Franschhoek
This easy, convenient (and affordable) way to get around the Franschhoek Valley ticks all the boxes because, let’s be frank, nobody wants to get behind a wheel when there are wine farms to visit, nectars to sample, gourmet restaurants to eat at, and picnics to be devoured. Rather, let the experts at Tuk Tuk Franschhoek be your personal chauffeur for the day.
Each tuk-tuk seats a maximum of four people, and can be booked for anytime of day.
Wine estates you’ll visit La Motte, La Petite Ferme, Haut Espoir, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, and Chamonix.
Full-day tour: R380
Half-day tour: R220
Times Daily, 9am – 10pm (October – April)
Daily, 10am – 6pm (May – September)
Where to find it 32 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek, Western Cape
2. Do a Scooter Tour of Franschhoek
Starting off at La Couronne Wine Estate, these non-motorised scooters are an exciting way to explore the magic wonder of the winelands, be it with family, co-workers, or a group of friends. In addition to soaring through the picturesque landscapes of Franschhoek, these guided tours offer guests the opportunity to visit a number of popular wine farms.
You’ll also have the option of adding a chocolate-and-wine pairing to your experience, featuring four Huguenot Fine Chocolates’ artisanal chocolate truffles, paired with four local wines, at R80 per person.
Why we love it Chocolate, wine, and free-wheeling through vineyards? Need we say more? And there’s minimal skill required – you’ll just need to be able to balance as you would on a bike.
Good to know Those more savoury-inclined can opt for the La Couronne Captain’s Picnic Basket: a selection of three local cheeses, olives, chicken liver pâté, a homemade beef frikkadel, cocktail sausages, fruit kebab, crackers, freshly baked bread, a French baguette filled with ham, cheese and lettuce, and a glass of red or white wine.
There’s also a Sailor’s Basket for kids: a boerewors roll, fruit kebab, Flings, a sweet surprise and a juice.
Cost R590 (adults); R290 (children)
Add Chocolate-and-wine pairing: R80
Captain’s Picnic Basket: R195
Sailor’s Basket: R90 per basket
Times Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 11am; 11.30am – 1.30pm; 2pm – 4pm; 4pm – 6pm
Where to find it La Couronne Wine Estate, Robertsvlei Road, Franschhoek
3. E-Bike Through Franschhoek
Bicycles have always had a special place in French hearts, so where better to ride one than through the countryside of the Cape’s “French corner”? Founded by French Huguenots in 1688, Franschhoek offers lush meadows and majestic mountain ranges, and exploring its beauty is made easier on an e-bike.
The three-and-a-half-hour tour starts at the River Café in the village, where you’ll enjoy a cup of coffee as the guide shows you how to use the bikes. Then you’ll head off into the winelands, avoiding main roads and stopping at three or four wine estates of your choice along the way. Wine tasting at two of the estates us included.
Why we love it The spectacular scenery and charming French countryside feel of Franschhoek is unique.
Cost R850 (adults); R350 (children 3 – 9 years)
Times Tuesday – Saturday, 9am & 1.30pm; Sunday, 10am
Where to find it River Cafe, 29 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek
4. Do a Bespoke Wine Tour of Franschhoek
The Cape’s “French corner” is home to over 50 wine farms, each with their own unique histories and experiences. With so much choice, it helps to have an expert guide along for the journey, to help you choose the destinations that best suit your tastes.
These bespoke three-and-a-half-hour wine tours allow you to choose three wine farms as well as a variety of food-and-wine pairings available on each. All this, while your guide provides insight into the history of this fascinating region. You even have the choice of travelling by mountain bike or car, making it a tour that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts and more laid-back wine connoisseurs alike.
Wine estates you’ll visit Guests may choose from the Large Farm route which includes Grande Provence, Rickety Bridge, Leopards Leap and La Motte, or the Small Boutiuque Farm route which includes La Couronee, La Bri and La Bourgogne.
Times Daily, 10am & 1pm
Where to find it Franschhoek Adventure Centre, 62 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek.
5. Explore Franschhoek on a Bicycle
Explore the breathtaking Franschhoek Valley, mountain-biking through vineyards. You’ll enjoy a wine-tasting en route, ending the trip with a picnic lunch under the trees at one of the beautiful wine estates. No need to stress about organising anything; the tour will collect you from anywhere (from Cape Town city centre and surrounds), and supply you with a mountain bike, helmet, water and a trained guide. The cost includes a wine-tasting and picnic lunch.
Why we love it Exploring nature, drinking wine and a delicious picnic lunch all in one day, what could be better?
Cost R1 500 per person (minimum of four people)
Times Daily, 8am – 5pm
Where to find it Pickups available in the city centre and surrounds.
The cooler climate makes for unique wine-growing conditions in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, as the ocean breeze cools the vineyards and lends the wines their special flavour. Walker Bay is famous for the southern right whales that gather off the coast during breeding season (June to October), but the wealth of wineries to be found within the Hermanus region are an attraction in their own right.
1. Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tour of Hermanus
These unique tours of the Hermanus Wine Route start and end at the Village Market (on Market Square Street) and cost R250 for the day (R110 for children under 18). You’ll have the opportunity to visit up to eight wine farms in the Hemel-en-Aarde region from the comfort of a safari-style van. Known as Hermanus Wine Hoppers, these green vehicles follow a set route that allows passengers to hop on and off as they please. There are different routes according to the day of the week you choose – it’s worth checking out the route beforehand.
Wine estates you’ll visit Hermanuspietersfontein, Whalehaven, Bouchard Finlayson, La Vierge, Sumaridge, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, Creation, Spookfontein, and Domaine Des Dieux.
Cost R250 (adults); R110 (children 0 – 18 years)
Times Monday – Friday, 9am – 12pm (every 30 minutes)
Saturday – Sunday, 9.40am; 10am – 12.30pm (every 30 minutes)
Safari vehicles drop off and pick up passengers at wineries along the route every 30 minutes.
Where to find it Stall 18, Village Market Stall, Market Square Street, Hermanus, Western Cape
Just a short drive from the centre of Cape Town, the garden suburb of Constania is home to several renowned wineries, including South Africa’s oldest wine-producing farm, Groot Constantia, which was founded by the Cape’s first governor, Simon van der Stel. The slopes of the Constantiaberg Mountains and the cool ocean breeze from False Bay combine to create unique wine-cultivating conditions that produce a particularly sweet vintage.
1. A Tailor-Made Wine Tour in Constantia via Chapman’s Peak Drive.
The organisers of these customised tours go out of their way to ensure you have the best possible experience, tailoring the trip to your tastes and preferences. Tours begin at 1pm, when you are collected from either the Westin Grand Hotel or Detour Africa, in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle. You will then be taken on a scenic adventure to the Atlantic Seaboard via the iconic Chapman’s Peak Drive, ending in the Constantia Valley, stopping at three wine farms along the way, and tasting up to 15 world-class wines. The cost of the tour covers collection, wine-tastings and drop off.
Cost R695 (adults)
Times 1pm – 6pm
Where to find it Westin Grand Hotel: Convention Square, Lower Long Street, Foreshore, Cape Town
Detour Africa: 303a Long Street, City Centre, Cape Town
2. Fly Across the Cape Peninsula to Constantia
See the Cape’s oldest wine region, the Constantia Wine Valley, in a whole new way: from the great viewing vantage point of a helicopter! In Constantia you’ll be able to do a spot of wine tasting as well as enjoy a light lunch or late breakfast before enjoy a glass of bubbly as you fly over Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point where you can enjoy some more wine tasting before heading back to Cape Town City Centre.There are also flights available to the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch region and always includes a personal experience and your own tour guide.
Wine estates you’ll visit Schedule dependant.
Cost from R7 900
Times Daily, 7am – 5pm
Where to find it Pickups available in the city centre and surrounds.
On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain lies this lesser-known wine route, with many hidden gems to reward those who take the path less travelled. In fact, you’ll find some of the country’s most illustrious wine estates in this region, where high-quality red wines can be enjoyed amid immaculate gardens and mountain scenery.
1. Walk Along Somerset West Vineyards
There’s something about walking through nature that rejuvenates the soul. Add the smell of grapes on the vine, the fresh mountain air and some of the post prestigious wine estates in Somerset West and it’s a walk you’ll never want to end. The best part? You’ll be able to enjoy a spot of wine tasting (or two) along the way.
Wine estates you’ll visit Waterkloof, Onderkloof, Idiom, Wedderwill, Journey’s End, and Ongegund
Cost R1 110 (R1 310 with wine pairing)
Times 10.30am – 12.30pm or 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Where to find it Waterkloof Wine Estate, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West, Western Cape
2. Take a Flight to One of Cape Town’s Most Prestigious Wine Estates in Somerset West
Fly across some of the Cape’s most rugged and breathtaking in-land landscapes to Waterkloof Wine Estate where you’ll enjoy a seven-course degustation wine-paired meal (you’ll even get to meet Chef Gregory Czarnecki!). After the delicious meal you head back to Cape Town will full bellies, any wines that you purchase and gift packs.
Wine estates you’ll visit Waterkloof Wine Estate
Cost R19 200 per person (for three seater helicopter, includes wine pairing, degustation lunch and gift pack)
R15 900 per person (for six seater helicopter, includes wine pairing, degustation lunch and gift pack)
Please note This flight must be booked seven days in advance.
Times Daily, 11am – 3pm
Where to find it Cape Town International Airport, Matroosfontein, Cape Town
1. Go Off the Beaten Path
These bespoke, privately guided wine tours take you on the road(s) less travelled, where you’ll visit either three or five boutique wineries between Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch. Hosting a maximum of six guests, you’ll be immersed in breathtaking scenery, historical tales, and a wonderful selection of homegrown wine along the way. Designed to suit your individual tastes and preferences, these Off The Beaten Path Tours are a must for aficionados looking for something new.
Why we love it You’ll get to experience a number of smaller, boutique wineries in the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl region that are often overlooked by other wine-tour operators.
Cost R1 500; R1 400 per person for groups of three or more; maximum six people
Times 8am onwards
Where to find it Cape Town
2. Chauffeur-Driven Through the Winelands
These personalised chauffeured tours of the Franschhoek Valley (and the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions as well, if you wish) are limited to small groups of passengers, meaning the time frames are more flexible, and the atmosphere more leisurely. The guide can modify your itinerary on the fly, and the tour ends when you say so.
Why we love it It’s has all the comfort and intimacy of a family road trip, but with a knowledgeable guide on-hand to curate your experience.
Wine estates you’ll visit Guests can choose any of the wine estates in the Franschhoek Valley and surrounding areas, the most popular ones of which are Anthonij Rupert, Stoney Brook, Lynx, La Bourgogne, Dieu Donnè, Moreson, La Chataigne, Glenwood and Stark Condè.
Cost R1 800 (adults); free (children 0 – 17 years)
Please note The initial price is for a three-hour time slot, but you can choose to continue for longer, and pay the guide for the additional time once the tour is concluded.
Times Daily, 9.30am; 1.30pm
Where to find it You are picked up and dropped off at your hotel, or at a location of your choosing in Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or Paarl.
Research by Alicia Chamaillé, Kente Cloete, Matthew Flax and Annabel Short
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