Cape Winelands takes you on a visual tour through some of the Cape's most enchanting wine estates and spectacular scenery. Filled with practical information on what to see and where to go, this guide will enable you to plan your trip to the wine estates of your choice, thereby ensuring a memorable day. With its breathtaking photos and evocative text, Cape Winelands will be read and enjoyed by visitors as well as locals - indeed, by all those who have a love for wine and travel.
published by David Philip Publishers (Pty) Ltd, a division of New Africa Books Ltd.
click image to buy a copy from Longitude Books
an extract of the introduction:
WELCOME TO THE CAPE WINELANDS
The wine farms at the foot of Africa nestle beneath dramatic mountains. Their history is long and fascinating; the culture eclectic; the architecture unique; the scenery breathtaking. And the wine: the wines are legendary.
The winelands of the Cape are beautiful and overwhelming, both for their setting and for the sheer number of estates. This guide has been conceived in response to the questions I am often asked: 'Where do we go? Which estates should we visit?' These are daunting questions to answer, not least because it is so difficult to know the experience each person is seeking. Is it the wine? What type? What style? Is it the atmosphere of the winery? Or the tour? Or the family touch? The flamboyant winemaker? The technical winemaker? The vast cellars? The intimate cellars? The architecture? The gardens? The food? The breathtaking views? The combinations are endless but the goal is common: to have a pleasant and memorable day.
With well over 300 wineries, it is vital to have a foretaste of what you want to experience - or you could find yourself spending most of the day in the car! Unlike Napa Valley and most regions of France, the Cape winelands cover a vast expanse of the Western Cape. Technically, there are twelve districts spread over hundreds of kilometres. Fortunately from a touring perspective, there are five areas close to Cape Town where much of the estate wine is grown and produced. These are Constantia, Durbanville, Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Because of their proximity to each other as well as Cape Town, it is possible to enjoy a pleasant drive touring several of the areas in one day. Those interested in venturing further afield for a few days should refer to some of the books listed towards the back of this guide.
The wines of the Cape have been heaped with rave reviews and it is difficult to go wrong on a touring day. But there is more to the winelands than wine alone. In the Cape, there are magnificent examples of architecture in truly sensational mountain settings, creating an atmosphere not to be found in any other wine region of the world. Unlike other wine guides, Cape Winelands features winery tours organised by region, architecture, cultural interests, season, technical orientation and other special interests. The estates selected in this guide are known for their wonderful wines. Each is visitor-friendly. Each has also a special character to make your day enjoyable.
Cape Winelands is not a technical treatise on winemaking or a professional critique on wine quality. Nor is it an exhaustive review of all the wineries in the Cape. It gives you a glimpse of wineries and their regions, animated by their colourful histories and warmed by their individual stories. The wineries featured in this guide are those which I have recommended to friends and family over the years depending upon their specific points of interest. My list is limited so as not to be overwhelming for the day-tripper. There is much more to the winelands of the Cape, and by all means explore them as much as you can. They are special places that bloom with beauty every time you visit them.
A nicely illustrated, informative guide to the Cape Winelands featuring 40 hand-picked estates, each with a double-page spread. A selection of pictures from the book below - click on image to enlarge.