Stellenbosch, Constantia, Paarl, Franschhoek and Somerset West are some of the more well-known towns or villages within the wonderful Cape Winelands which sit between the west coast and Overberg regions.
The area is punctuated by beautiful and historic wine estates with a backdrop of mountains. The grand Cape Dutch homesteads are surrounded by lush gardens and acres of vines. Visitors can enjoy outdoor picnics, wine tasting, gourmet dining and vineyard tours. There are 18 official wine routes including Route 62, the world's longest wine route, and the Stellenbosch wine route, the oldest. There are also two brandy routes in this picturesque region.
Constantia is the closest wine estate to Cape Town - just a 20 minute drive. Franschhoek is considered the most pretty village and is also the 'gourmet capital of South Africa'.
We think you needs a few days to explore this area and get the most from it - self-drive is easy, routes are well-signed and there are literally dozens of places to visit. Our tip is to let us recommend somewhere traditional to stay - on a wine estate or in a Cape Dutch homestead, where you can park the car, have a fantastic dinner and indulge in the wines which make this area famous - Grand Roche in Paarl is a very good place to celebrate a special occasion for instance - the tasting menu on the verandah of the house looking over the vineyard was superb when we visited. In Franschhoek, we know several lovely places to stay within walking distance of the main street.