Day One Arrival Cape Town International Airport / Or collection from your Capetown hotel - Transfer by private vehicle to Steenberg Hotel & Spa.
Constantia is the birthplace of the wine farming industry in South Africa. As you drive through the beautiful historical valley it is no wonder the first Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, chose this location for his farm, Constantia. The world famous wines from Constantia were sought after by royalty in the eighteenth century, and still to this day, world class wines are being produced and applauded for their escalating quality.
Buitenverwachting (meaning "Beyond Expectations") forms part of the original Constantia Estate which was founded by Governor Simon van der Stel. In 1980 Christine and Richard Mueller bought the estate. Imbued with sense of history, they retraced the roots of Buitenverwachting. Over 260,000 vines of selected cultivars were planted in the first five years while the historic buildings were lovingly restored to their former glory. The beauty of the Cape combined with exceptional cuisine and handcrafted wines, makes Buitenverwachting a venue where the true meaning of Buitenverwachting can be experienced.
Lunch at Buitenverwachting Restaurant. The restaurant is consistently rated amongst the top ten restaurants in the country. The fare ranges from exotic Continental dishes to traditional South African flavours. The menu is changed daily as only the finest, fresh produce is procured from far and wide. This includes prawns from Mozambique, French cheese and venison from Namibia.
Following lunch, we proceed to Klein Constantia Estate, set amid trees and lush greenery on the upper foothills of the Constantiaberg. With its historic Cape Dutch Homestead and superb views across the valley and False Bay, it has frequently been described as one of the world's most beautiful vineyard locations. These historic vineyards formed part of the original farm Constantia, whose legendary wines were sought after by the 18th and 19th century European aristocracy, requested by Napoleon, and praised by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. This estate has played a major part in the re-establishment of the historic Constantia Valley as one of the finest wine-growing areas of the Cape. Klein Constantia specialises in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marlbrook and Vin de Constance, the re-creation of the legendary Constantia wine.
Returning to Steenberg Estate & Hotel
The land was originally granted to a young widow, Catharina Ras, in 1682, by Simon van der Stel, and wines were first produced in 1695. Today, over 300 years later, this prime wine farm has been re-established under the aegis of Jonnies Industrial Corporation (Johnnic). Since 1990, some 68 ha have been planted, comprising of a number of cultivars including its flagship Sauvignon Blanc as well as Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Nebbiolo.
The state-of-the-art cellar, completed in 1996, has the capacity to produce around 70,000 cases. The cellar also boasts a vinoteque, where bottled wines can be kept under ideal conditions until ready to be enjoyed. Steenberg wines have been awarded many international and local accolades for their outstanding quality. The Steenberg farmstead, including the manor house and the other buildings, has been declared a national monument. The main gable, a 'holbol' outlined by heavy mouldings in a small keystone, is the only surviving example of its type in the Cape Peninsula.
Steenberg Hotel & Spa a luxury hotel offering exquisite hospitality world-class cuisine an award-winning winery, an 18 hole championship golf course, a plush spa ad plenty of history.
Dinner: is taken at the hotel in Catharina’s Restaurant
Overnight: Steenberg Hotel & Spa
Day Two The Views
This morning we travel to Cape Point Vineyards. It is the only wine estate in the world to be located on a narrow strip of peninsula, and between the two disparate oceans of the icy Atlantic and the warm currents of False Bay, resulting in a unique maritime climate that is ideal for superior winemaking. Perched high above the peninsula, and embraced by a neighbouring nature reserve, Cape Point Vineyards is set in a backdrop of magnificent panoramas and breathtaking sea views that form part of the signature presence of this prestigious estate.
In 1752 at least 30 000 vines were registered for excise purposes on the existing Cape Point Vineyards farm. Re-planted in 1996 by owner Sybrand van der Spuy, Cape Point Vineyards has enjoyed award-winning status ever since its maiden vintage. The establishment of the vineyard and the estate's cellar led to the declaration of the Cape Point Wine of Origin district in 1998.
Built on a foundation of innovation and a passion for world-class excellence, Cape Point Vineyards is as committed to protecting the environment as it is to producing award-winning wines. This can be attributed to a superb terroir, an intense focus on the land and preserving classical production methods, essential to the art of winemaking. Added to this, Cape Point Vineyards wines are only produced in limited quantities, catering for the wine lover who appreciates exclusive quality.
We continue on to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and proceed to the Two Oceans Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant has a spectacular setting. At the tip of the Cape Peninsula is the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve - possibly one of the fairest places on earth. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve covers an area of 7 700ha of coastal shrub land and incorporates 40 km of coastline. The Reserve forms part of the Cape Peninsula Park and is managed by the South African National Parks. The Nature Reserve is recognized globally for its extraordinary land formation, rich and diverse fauna and unique flora. Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and such rich biodiversity exist almost within a metropolitan area - the thriving and cosmopolitan City of Cape Town.
The Flying Dutchman funicular takes passengers 238 metres above sea level to the old lighthouse – for the more energetic, there are steps that lead up to the lighthouse viewpoint.
In the late afternoon we stop at Boulders Beach, to view the penguin colony and then drive through Simon's Town, which is situated on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula on the shores of False Bay. Simon's Town remains an important naval base to this day, and the town which rises steeply above the harbour up the mountainsides is rich in both architectural and natural beauty, as well as Cape history and strange legends and tales.
Dinner: The Cape Malay Restaurant at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel. This local cuisine restaurant is a unique dining experience in authentic Cape Malay food and exciting choice of traditional taste treats awaits you. Spicy, rustic colours create a pleasant Eastern ambience. Cape Malay cooking is unique to the Western Cape. It dates back to the 17th Century and has evolved to reflect the influences of the times.
Overnight: Steenberg Hotel & Spa
Day Three The Old Blending With The New
After breakfast and check out, depart to Table Mountain, which we ascend by cable car (weather permitting). Your ascent to the top of Table Mountain takes just under 10 minutes and offers you a 360 degree view of the city. Once at top there are over 2km of pathways leading you to views over Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island the Cape Flats and the Cape Peninsula. Table Mountain is famous for its extraordinary floral biodiversity, mainly fynbos. Table Mountain alone has over 1500 species of plants, roughly the same number as are found throughout the entire British Isles. Table Mountain National Park is the richest corner of the Cape Floristic Region and richest single floristic area in the world.
Following a visit to the various viewpoints, meet with Caroline Rilema who will introduce you to the Cape’s Méthode Champenoise and Cap Classique. Caroline has over 30 years of experience in the wine industry. Her passion has taken her to all the major wine regions of the world.
After our descent, we then enjoy a drive-through the city, past The Houses of Parliament, The Castle and The City Hall and head out towards Blouberg Strand, for that iconic view of Table Mountain across the Bay.
Morgenster is a thriving olive and wine farm, producing Bordeaux-style wines and award-winning extra virgin olive oil and olive products. Morgenster vineyard specialises in four red wine cultivars and their forte is blending. More recently, this Cape winery has planted small quantities of two Italian varieties, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. The Tasting Room at Morgenster is where you will be offered a superb experience. Comfortable seating on the vine covered veranda offers an excuse to linger a little longer and take it all in. Inside guests are seated at the “monks table” where you are led through the olive oil tasting; coaxed to sip the oil and test the acidity. Cooking tips are shared, oil and food pairings discussed and award winning wines poured into the glasses for you to taste.
We then travel the short distance to the adjacent Vergelegen for a tour of the magnificent cellar, manor house and gardens, as well as a barrel tasting. Vergelegen, meaning "situated far away", was granted to the Governor of the Cape in 1700 and the property has had a long and fascinating history since that time. Willem Adriaan Van der Stel was a man of divergent interests who transformed the uncultivated land into a veritable paradise. He planted vines, camphor trees and oaks, laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, and introduced cattle and sheep. Not content merely to be a farmer, Willem Adriaan was also a botanist, forester and a horticulturist and wrote the "The African Gardeners' and Agriculturists' Calendar". Much of which he wrote centuries ago is still relevant to this day. Evidence of his skills are still visible on Vergelegen - the five camphor trees gracing the front of the Homestead, the oldest oak tree in South Africa and an ancient mulberry tree.
The octagonal design of the winery reflects that of the octagonal walled garden laid out by Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1700. Important winemaking principals were incorporated in the design of the winery. Only a single level is visible above ground. Three working levels lie buried in a tower configuration that allows for gravitational flow and the gentle handling of wine, producing the premium product this country and the world over have come to recognise as Vergelegen wine.
After the leisurely lunch at Vergelegen, we continue on to Franschhoek for check in at your hotel and some time at leisure.
Holden Manz Wine & Country Estate is set in the beautiful Franschhoek valley and offers a tranquil country setting where you can relax and de-stress.
The main homestead has been lovingly decorated to create a warm and homely feel and is set amongst expansive, manicured gardens. The farm-style chic is created using original artworks and hand-quilted French bed covers and linen.
A place of pure indulgent relaxation, offers pampering beauty treatments at The Wellness Spa. With a steam room and 4 therapy rooms, here you can experience hydrotherapy treatments, facial and body treatments and body wraps. The spa offers special packages, such as Break-Away De-stress, Rejuvenation and Honeymoon Specials.
With over 20ha of red varietal vineyards, you can enjoy sampling the collection of world-class wines produced here.
You could of course just spend the afternoon lazing in a hammock while enjoying the lovely surrounds.
Dinner at the Franschhoek Kitchen within the Holden Manz Country Estate
Overnight: Holden Manz Franschhoek
Day Four Special Estates
Following breakfast, we proceed to Wellington to participate in one of the trails offered on the Wellington wine walk. We are taken by tractor and trailer from Diemersfontein Wine Estate to the foot of the original Du Toitskloof Pass. We walk up hill for about 30 minutes and then stroll along contour paths through the forest and fynbos until we reach the forestry station. From there we descend upon the biggest and oldest buchu and olive farms in the country, then proceed to the impressive Cascade Manor.
Hereafter we transfer to Stellenbosch for lunch at Terroir on the Kleine Zalze Estate. Terroir opened in October 2004, and over the years has become one of the most sought-after gourmet destinations in the Cape winelands, placing Stellenbosch prominently on the culinary map. The setting, under historic oak trees with views over the De Zalze golf course and surrounding gardens and vineyards, is both refined and relaxed. It’s the perfect environment in which to enjoy a fine meal matched to excellent wines.
Rustenberg upholds traditional values as a modern player in the global wine stakes. Founded in 1682, the family-owned farm builds on centuries of quality production in elegant, complex Rustenberg wines, expressing a unique terroir, and a lively Brampton range, epitomising New World exuberance. The old manor house, perfectly-manicured gardens and understated modernistic tasting room gives Rustenberg a lovely balance between tradition and the new vision of wine.
Dinner: Reuben’s is a sophisticated brasserie, in a modern and tasteful setting. The décor is minimalist, the food an exciting combination of flavours and as one might expect (Reuben's partners are Marc Kent and Tim Rands of Boekenhoutskloof–one of the top wineries in Franschhoek and indeed South Africa), the wine list is extensive.
Overnight: Holden Manz Franschhoek
Day Five Responsible Wine Growing
For today’s unique route through this historic territory, we have handpicked some very special wineries, chosen not only for their splendid vintages, but for their forward-thinking attitude towards the social and ecological challenges of wine-farming in the New South Africa.
Our first visit is to Kanonkop, The name Kanonkop is derived from a kopje (hillock), from which a cannon was fired in the 17th Century, to alert farmers in outlying areas that sailing ships plying the waters between Europe and the Far East had entered Table Bay for a stopover at Cape Town. Apart from being the birthplace of award-winning wines, it is home to its working community, with all amenities such as modern housing, a day-care centre for young children and sporting facilities for cricket, soccer, netball and jukskei provided. There are also schools situated a short distance from the Estate.
The management style employed is one of decision-making from the bottom up, with profit sharing a major incentive for all employees. Everyone on the Estate is encouraged to participate in community projects, undertake worker-training programmes and to set and develop their own personal goals and objectives.
Included in today’s journey is a hearty African lunch at Roots Restaurant in the vibrant township of Kayamandi. The main entrepreneur behind the restaurant is Loyiso Mbambo, fondly known by most in the Kayamandi community as "Roots". Born in Kayamandi, he lived with his aunt from the age of seven when his own parents could no longer take care of him. He learned the fundamentals of African cooking - more specifically, Xhosa cuisine - from his aunt. He takes his work seriously, treating food as a delicious mode for conveying the richness and vitality of his heritage.
Our last stop is at La Motte is involved in a truly inspiring community project. Together with two other wineries, they have built a village for their employees, providing not only housing, but transport, day-care for young children, and business-skills seminars for adults. We will learn about this labour of love as we taste their excellent wares.
Dinner: Grande Provence. Grande Provence Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity, sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley, her lush vines spread across 30 hectares with gentle vistas over the valley floor, at odds almost with the rugged mountains beyond.
Overnight: Holden Manz Franschhoek
Day Six Nature at Her Best
The Green Mountain Eco Route, the world’s first biodiversity wine route, offers scenic beauty, natural diversity of terroir and a wide range of wine styles around the Groenland Mountain with the villages Bot River (Botrivier), Elgin Valley Grabouw, Houw Hoek and Villiersdorp in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
We start this tour by visiting Thandi, the local community development wine estate, and then meander up through the mountains, passing by the Houw Hoek valley and through the old pass, to Bot River and one of the oldest farms in the area Compagnes Drift, home of Beaumont Wines. The property has one of the oldest working mills and also boasts the oldest cellar in the area, complete with antique corking machine. We continue on the gravel roadway down the Van der Stel pass, to the Goedvertrouw wine estate where we meet Elrieda Pillman who is landowner, farmer, winemaker and chef, a remarkable woman and one you’ll find hard to forget. After a tasting we return to Franschhoek.
Afternoon at leisure to explore the village of Franschhoek
Dinner: Le Coin Français Restaurant - The newest edition to the Franschhoek scene is a restaurant really and truly for Franschhoek. Both in concept and in name, the aptly named “Le coin Français”, which literally means Franschhoek, will embody the essence of the valley in heritage, cuisine, art and wine. It will feature cutting edge methods meeting time tested French elegance in cuisine, a carefully selected locally themed wine list to showcase the best local wines, a French sommelier's selection, and an ever evolving collaboration of art.
Overnight: Holden Manz Franschhoek
Day Seven Farewell
Following breakfast and check out, you will be transferred to Cape Town Airport for check in for your onward flight, on to your chosen Cape Town hotel.
Optional extension programs can be provided to this itinerary to visit the Kruger National Park, Private Game Reserves or travel along the Garden Route from Cape Town.