Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to the best Cape Town wine tour. You might be thinking, how can she possibly know which is the best Cape Town wine tour? Has she literally been on every single wine tour of Cape Town? That can’t possibly be good for one’s liver.
Well, even though I haven’t literally been on every single Cape Town wine tour, I know quality when I see it. And I can hardly imagine a better wine tour than the one I took with African Story Wine Tours. The guide was knowledgeable and funny, the driving was safe, and the other tourists were delightful company.
While I can’t guarantee that your fellow travelers will be delightful, I can almost guarantee that a good time will be had by you if you go on this excursion sure to enchant any oenophile. Follow me and see why!
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
How to Get There
Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a beautiful box of South African wine. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you how to get from your home to Cape Town
But I can tell you that I used a lovely airplane to get from my hometown NYC to Cape Town, and I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Melbourne at the best time of day. It’s really easy to see all your options for flights by using their website. That’s how I learned it would save me money to take a round trip ticket to Johannesburg and then go to Cape Town, rather than doing a round trip from NYC directly to Cape Town.
Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out to Cape Town ASAP.
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
Where to Stay?
There are so many charming hotels in Cape Town for any budget. But I would always choose to stay at the lovely Cape Heritage Hotel, which has the perfect location. It’s in a safe and busy area, right near tons of attractions, and the 24 hour front desk is available to answer any questions.
Just look at this gorgeous breakfast! You know you want to eat it, don’t you? It’s the perfect way to fill up before heading out on the best Cape Town wine tour. On top of this, there’s turndown service every evening, and the toiletries in the room all smelled delicious and were locally made. Plus the hotel is home to the oldest vine in Cape Town!
Click here for a great deal on this hotel. Or if you’re looking for other options in Cape Town click here! Cape Town is one of the best cities for tourists in the world, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that will suit your style and budget.
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
What to Pack?
- Stylish and comfy sandals that are just perfect for a beautiful day in the South African countryside.
- Cute boots in case it rains. You can wear these from your Cape Town wine tour to a fine restaurant.
- A cell charger so you can keep taking pictures of the fabulous Cape Town vineyards.
- A rain jacket with a hood because it might definitely rain during your Cape Town wine tour.
- I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country without help. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by a pack of drunken tourists during your Cape Town wine tour.
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
Morning: Drink Some Wine
Our first stop on the best Cape Town wine tour will be Fairview, which is one of the most popular wineries in Cape Town. In fact, it’s a safe bet that even if you take a Highly Mediocre Cape Town wine tour, you’ll find yourself at Fairview. But you won’t be able to see it the way we did on this tour. We even got to go behind the scenes and see the giant vats where the wine burbles.
In fact, Fairview is an excellent place to start our…
Three Fun Facts: Best Cape Town Wine Tour
1) Does Wine Go Well With Cheese?
You’re new to wine, aren’t you, Internet Stranger? But that’s OK! We all have to start somewhere. At Fairview, we got to sample a special kind of pairing: six different wines with six different cheeses. You had a choice between Classic French or Unusual wines. (Which did I select? Obvs it was the Unusual. I always plump for the eccentric choice.)
We sampled both goat and cow cheeses, along with some scrumptious honey. Most of the cheeses were cow, even though Fairview is famous for its goats. You think I am joking? They even have a wine called Goats Do Roam. Here’s the proof:
2) What Type of Wines Can You Try?
We had one sparkling, one white, and four reds, which was a little surprising to me because I think of South African whites as being more famous. But the reds were yummy! My favorites were the Pegleg, which is made from grapes that all come from the same vineyard, and the Broken Barrel, which Fairview makes only once a year.
Just remember that South African winemakers can get very cranky about not being allowed to use French names for their wines. Obviously they can’t say Champagne, but there are other French wine names they’re not allowed to use. So any time South African booze beats French booze in a tasting competition, they’re always extremely proud.
3) What’s the Best Selling Wine?
I am not 100 percent sure what the best-selling wine at Fairview is, but our best Cape Town wine tour guide, whom I shall call Paul, said that the best-selling wine at any restaurant is always the second-least expensive wine.
Apparently people want to spend as little money as possible without actually stooping to choose the very cheapest wine. Makes sense to me! I always order the second-most expensive wine because ordering the most expensive is just tacky.
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
Afternoon: Drink Some More Wine!
So with all the wine and cheese and goats at Fairview, we ended up spending most of our morning at one location. The afternoon is a bit more energetic, and we’ll be hitting up three different wine tastings on the rest of our best Cape Town Wine Tour.
And of course, we can’t forget lunch! If we go all day with only wine and no lunch, they’ll have to roll us back to Cape Town, and that would be a terrible end to the day. And without further ado, join me for…
Approximately Top 5: Best Cape Town Wine Tour
Backsberg is actually owned by the cousin of the man who owns Fairview, where we spent the morning. So we’re really keeping this all in the family. Like Fairview, Backsberg is famous for its tasty wines. But unlike Fairview, Backsberg is also famous for its brandy. In fact, its 15 year brandy has won awards for being a high-quality good-value brandy. (Did I buy a bottle to take home with me? You bet your sweet bippy.)
Along with the brandy, which paired very nicely with chocolate, we tasted the two most popular South African varieties: the white chenin blanc and the red pinotage. Pinotage is a cross between the Hermitage (Cinsault) grape and the Pinot noir. Now Pinotage is made in other countries, but you’ve got to come to South Africa if you want the original!
2) Lunch Time!
Of course we’ll be having lunch at a wine estate called Le Pommier. This confused me because Le Pommier means apple tree, and wine is made with grapes, not apples, but maybe this is why I am not a wine scientist. Even though we don’t do a full wine tasting here, you can order some white, red, or rose from Le Pommier to enjoy with your lunch.
I recommend the hake salad because it was a hot Cape Town summer day in December, and on days like that, you’ll feel like something refreshing. Our guide had us order our lunches ahead, so we didn’t need to waste time waiting for our food at Le Pommier. That’s how you know it’s the best Cape Town wine tour!
Our next stop was at the more traditional Remhoogte winery, with its oh so Dutch name. I say more traditional because our guide said that they only open on one Sunday a year, at New Year’s. Also they served only water with the wine, not food, so we could get the pure flavors of the wine.
All of the wines indeed had a powerful taste and flavor. We went from a couple of Chenin Blancs to a Pinotage called Sir Thomas Cullinan. From now on, I vow to dub all of my alcoholic drinks either “Sir” or “Lady” something. It will seem much classier that way if I ever go on a bender.
The coolest feature of Remhoogte, aside from the wine, are the animals. They have six dogs and one pet zebra, whom you can appreciate as he luxuriates outside in the summer sun. Then enjoy the tiny zebras that decorate the winery. You simply can’t go wrong!
Our final stop on the best Cape Town wine tour was Muratie, which had the most popular wine of all with our group. Try not to judge too harshly when I say it was a sweet wine. The attendant at Muratie who served it to us said that it was like a Port, but they’re not allowed to call it that because it’s not from Porto. Wine is truly a cutthroat business.
Aside from the five yummy wines we sampled at Muratie, the most interesting feature of this winery is the cobwebs. According to the staff at Muratie, there was a woman who worked there named Annemarie who refused to get rid of them.
Maybe she was a big Charlotte’s Web fan and couldn’t bear the thought of hurting a spider? In any case, one of the wines we tasted was named Alberta Annemarie in her honor. And don’t worry about the cobwebs! They add just a touch of atmosphere, and I didn’t see even one spider hanging around.
Best Cape Town Wine Tour
Evening: Dinner at La Mouette
i’ve been to a lot of tasting menu restaurants in my time. Some people love a sport, some love music, but as for me, give me a 15-course menu with one tiny exquisite dish after another, and i simply couldn’t possibly be happier.
So believe me when I say that if you’re looking for an affordable tasting menu, La Mouette is probably the best in the world. There’s nowhere else you can get this kind of quality for under 100 US dollars, and that includes a beautiful wine pairing. The menu was organized on the theme of the five tastes.
The first course was salty, and you’re presented with two takes on salt. The first was fish balls that basically exploded in the mouth, and the second was duck buns with peanut sauce.
It was interesting to have two different types of protein represent the ‘salt’ course because it just reminds you how necessarily salt is for flavor in any dish. Plus, the peanut dish was sweeter than the fish balls, which showed off salt’s amazing versatility.
The sour course, of course, featured citrus. There’s no yummier way to get sour into your food. Plus it prevents scurvy. And what better way to enjoy citrus than with some tuna tartare one-bite tacos? Raw fish and citrus go so well together because the citrus “cooks” the fish a little bit.
At this point in the meal, i felt quite content with the portion size. i mean, they’d already given me three dishes, on top of all the booze and cheese and hake salad I had consumed on the best Cape Town wine tour, and I was still totally ready to eat more.
Up next was the umami course. (Umami is the Japanese word for savory. Up until rather recently, food scientists thought there were only four tastes, but they finally discovered the fifth. Let it never be said that knowledge can’t come from stuffing your face full of meat and cheese.)
Two foods that are full of umami, aside from meat, are Parmesan cheese and mushrooms. So what better to represent umami than some Parmesan gnocchi with thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms? It’s that Italian-Japanese fusion you never knew you needed.
You might be surprised to find that our main course is the bitter course. After all, bitter is usually considered the least pleasant taste. Were they just going to shove some coffee grinds in our mouth and call it a day?
No, instead you’ll be treated to a sweet duck served with bitter broccoli rabe. This is one of my favorite bitter greens, and it goes beautifully with a sweet piece of duck. After this dish, you’ll be saying bitter is your favorite taste.
At least, you’ll be saying that until you get to try the sweet course: the salted caramel ice cream with a palm sugar hat. Once again, this dish showed how contrast can make a flavor stronger because the salt in the salted caramel only made the sweet stand out that much more.
After you’re finished with this meal, you’ll have a ton of knowledge in your brain and delicious food in your belly, all for an insanely low price. Truly, Cape Town has it all.
That’s the Best Cape Town Wine Tour!
What was your favorite part of the best Cape Town wine tour? Have you ever seen a wine-drinking zebra in the wild? And do you think cobwebs are a) lucky, or 2) creepy? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Cape Town or ONLY do the best Cape Town Wine Tour when you are in Cape Town.