Picking a wine farm to visit in Cape Town and the Western Cape is tricky – especially if you’re on a tight schedule. There are dozens of estates in the region worth visiting, and many offer a unique selection of things to see, do, eat, and drink to ensure they remain relevant.
The sheer diversity and world-class nature of most wine estates in the Cape means there’s no universal answer to which is the best wine farm in Cape Town. Instead, you should be asking what key things make a good wine farm? Because if they get these core things right, chances are you’ll have a memorable experience.
Of course, our advice is always to visit more than one wine estate when in Cape Town, preferably on an organised wine farm tour. This removes all of the stress of selecting which to visit and doesn’t require you to organise logistics of getting between each and home at the end of the day after you’ve had a few too many glasses.
Here are six things that make a good wine farm:
Obviously, you want to visit a wine farm that’s renowned for its winemaking. Even if you’re not a massive wine connoisseur, a farm that makes good wine will talk you through their varietals and give you a new appreciation for the product. Fortunately, in Cape Town, it’s not hard to find an estate celebrated both here and abroad – and we’ll take you to some that have received prestigious accolades.
A good glass of wine is excellent, but drinking it with an epic backdrop makes it that much better. Western Cape wine farms are not short of spectacular vistas, whether you’re a fan of mountains or sweeping vineyard views. Some champion these from their restaurants and tasting rooms, while others will let you take a walk between the vines and up onto the nearby trails and mountains.
Restaurant and food options
Most wine farms in South Africa have in-house restaurants that are among the best in the country, if not the world. Although many of these restaurants are traditionally high-end fine dining, more are starting to introduce variety in their food offerings that cater to more palates and different budgets. If you’re not after a full meal, many estates offer wine pairings with delicacies like chocolate and biltong, which will keep you satisfied until you find your next meal.
Unique things to do
The non-wine drinkers will celebrate the diversity of wine farms that offer more than just staid indoor tastings. More and more estates now provide a range of things to see, do, and buy. Some allow you to observe daily farming practices, walk their manicured gardens, take a picnic on the lawns, go for spa treatments, or do activities like trail running and mountain biking. Although some estates offer all of the above, it’s also sometimes worth finding one that does your favourite activity particularly well.
Historical or modern architecture
The Cape’s best wine farms are famous for their architecture. Although historically, this may have been in the form of beautiful Cape Dutch buildings, more are starting to modernise with slick tasting rooms and restaurants designed by the country’s best architects.
A winter fireplace or summertime lawn
A good wine farm moves with the seasons. There’s no better way to spend a winter’s afternoon than sipping wine in front of a fireplace, just like there’s no better place to spend a summer’s afternoon picnicking than on the grass alongside a lake. Although more a nice-to-have than an essential, each will add a little extra magic to your wine farm experience.
Picking a wine farm in Cape Town is difficult, as are the logistics behind seeing more than one in a single day, which is why we’ve developed wine farm tours that leave all of the hard work to us – and all of the fun times and wine drinking to you.