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Holidays in Cape Town: Wine Route

If you're a connoisseur of fine wines, the perfect holiday awaits you if you decide to go on a wine route tour when you're in Cape Town. Historically speaking, wine-production in the Cape dates back to the 17th century and the Dutch East India Company. The Mediterranean climate, long spells of dry weather and the strong sunlight, along with favorable soil conditions allow for a good cultivation of grapes. The South African government has also encouraged wine-production through regional co-operatives and government funding, leading to great investor interest in the wine industry.

For a wine route tour, it would be a good idea to take a tour during one of the many wine festivals. The major international wine festival Winex is held in September, attracting more than 300 Cape Town wine-producers, while the Franschhoek Uncorked festival is held just before this and is a fun event, with a display of new wines and products. The MacGregor and Hermanus food and wine festivals are held in August. Similarly, the leading wine-producers have their own special events. These exhibitions are a great opportunity to taste and purchase the famous South African wines.

Wineland Tours generally center around the five or six main growing areas. The big vineyards have daily tasting tours, cellar visits and retail but some may need you to make an advance booking.

Stellenbosch Route: This was the first winery to organize a wine-tour in South Africa through a connecting up of all its 200 grape-growing areas. Tasting the famous Stellenbosch wines and also exploring the historic city of Stellenbosch are included in this tour. The beautiful landscape adds to the appeal of this tour.

Constantia Valley: As the cradle of agriculture in the country, this route takes you through its oldest vineyards. The big advantage of this route is that it's located very close to Cape Town and if you're there on work or a short vacation, a wine-tour can be squeezed into your itinerary.

Franschhoek: This is reputed to be the most scenic and breath-taking of all the wine routes as it takes you through the spectacular Franschhoek Valley. With a strong French tradition, the wines here are accompanied by wonderful French cuisine. The village of Franschhoek is charming, with its classy boutiques, restaurants and antique shops.

Durbanville Valley: This is the youngest of the wine-growing regions but is famous among connoisseurs. With a visit to a dozen state-of-the-art wineries, this route is also very conveniently located close to Cape Town.

Helderberg: Famous for its red wines and port, this route is known the world over for its aromatic and fruity wines and also for its rural-style country estates and cuisine.

Apart from wine-tasting, visitors can also indulge themselves in sampling delicious local chocolates, cheeses and nuts. Other famous products here are olive oil and nougat. Tours can include trekking, fishing and horse-riding.

Simplysouthafricaholidays.co.uk is an independent fully bonded ABTA travel agent. Providing you with full South Africa Safaris financial protection.

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