Three Wine Districts Tour
THEME: HISTORY, CULTURE, NATURE & WINES FROM 3 WINE DISTRICTS.
R 1,400 pp. minimum 2 persons – Duration 6-8 hours
This day begins with scenic drive to the charming Paarl valley, with its “Pearl”, a granite mountain dominating the area. Nelson Mandela was freed from the Groot Drakenstein prison on the outskirts of the town. The valley is surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges.
The Berg River is the life-giving artery of the Paarl wine-producing area and provides necessary supplementary irrigation in the hot growing season before the harvest.
We’ll continue South East to the scenic village of Franschhoek established in 1688 by French immigrants fleeing religious persecution in Europe. These early settlers helped develop wines which were sought after by Napoleon, Bismarck and Edward VII, the Prince of Wales.
The Franschhoek valley is enclosed on three sides by towering mountains. Streams flow into the valley floor to form the Berg River, fast flowing in winter when snow caps the peaks and a mere stream in summer. We will stop for lunch and for a wine tasting at a local vineyard.
We’ll then head back to our own historical town, Stellenbosch with some of the finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture, and the historic heart of the country’s wine region. In 1679, Dutch East India Company governor Simon van der Stel noticed the fertility of this long valley on the banks of the Eerste River, as being ideal for vineyards. This foresight led to the growth of one of the world’s best wine regions. Naturally we will stop and taste at a Stellenbosch winery.
Stellenbosch includes some of the most famous names in Cape wine. The ‘town of oaks’, is also the educational and research centre of the Winelands. Stellenbosch University is the only university in Africa, which offers degrees in viticulture and oenology, and it has many of the country’s most successful winemakers as alumni.
The district, with its mix of historic estates and contemporary wineries, produces excellent examples of almost all the noble grape varieties and known for the quality of its blended reds.