Drenched Tour Along The Red Route of Paarl, South Africa by
wine tradition in Paarl is older than
the roots of the aging Oak Trees that line its Cape Dutch streets. The
first European settlers arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, planting
the seeds that solidified the Cape's reputation as a wine growing heaven.
that the work has already been done, what else can you and I do but savour
the delicate fruits pressed with decades of winemaking experience and travel
the newly formed routes leading us to the finest wines in the world.
the majesty of the Drakensberg Mountains, try to ignore the historic monuments
perched loftily upon pearly hills, the kind of wine tasting to be done
in Paarl will require every ounce of your concentration.
that we know what we are going to be doing in Paarl, apart from enjoying
the scenery, let's make a journey into the winelands, delving into present
day winemaking communities, uncovering their interesting attributes and
tracing those lively wines to hideaways so often missed by the multitude.
the way, if we're lucky, we may make the acquaintance of a genuine Garagiste,
a class of heretic garage winemakers shunned in France by the old school
traditionalists because of the stir their independently crafted wines create.
There might be a hint along the way as to where we might discover one of
those who make these "Vins de Garage". The mixture of Paarl's perfect climate
and their special skills is sure to be very rewarding.
start our journey at the entrance of the Hugenot Tunnel, the breach to
the longest wine route in the world, also known as Route 62. But we go
no further; what we are mostly concerned with is the infamous Red Route...
Red Route, as you can imagine, is named because of the large amount and
quality of red wines along its relaxing meander. It was formed by a collaboration
of wine producers known as the Paarl Vintners (Wine Merchants). The Vintners
diligently plotted a wine route for an estimated 24 participants, all found
within the Paarl Valley.
or two of these include the De Zoete Inval Estate owned by the Frater family,
who have been making wine here for more than 115 years. The Rhebokskloof
Estate has also been producing wine since 1692. Unfortunately, the wine
from that early period has already been consumed.
Red Route is without question a collection of the most renowned wine producers
in the world. Any effort made in finding them would not in any way be an
inconvenience to your taste buds. The Red Route's Cabernet Sauvignon and
Shiraz are undoubtedly the best in the world.
strictly a wine route, the Red Route is also, by happy coincidence, a cheese
route. Which brings us to our next stop along our journey - Fairview.
is South Africa's largest producer of speciality cheeses. For over 25 years,
dairy goats have supplied milk for a variety of cheeses ranging from Jersey
Milk, Brie and Camembert to a wide variety of Italian and French-style
cheeses. If however that is not enough of an incentive to visit Fairview,
a little historical rundown should serve to amplify your interest... Fairview
not only produces speciality cheeses, but also award-winning wines. In
1693, Simon van der Stel, the second governor of the Cape of Good Hope,
allocated the original land at Fairview to Steven Vervey, a French Huguenot.
The first wine was made on Fairview in 1699 and a long tradition has long
since developed. Fairview started its own bottling in 1974 and auctioned
its first bottled wines at the very first wine auction ever held in the
country, pre-dating the now famous Nederburg Auction.
Auction is Paarl's largest wine festival and is like the World Cup for
winetasters. Held at the end of every summer, the auction epitomises what
fine wine is all about. The very essence of the event lies in the tasting
of 147 award winning wines, perhaps even those of the Garagistes, but you
will have to wait and see!
auction is a benchmark of quality for South African Wines and serves as
a showcase for African wines to the international trade. Because of this,
any label proclaiming "sold at the Nederburg Auction" is regarded as having
an official stamp of approval, worldwide.
much talk about wine is liable to make a person a little obsessed. It is
after all only fermented grape juice. But Paarl makes it well and the Red
Route is the best place to find it.
wine naturally goes well with good food and Paarl offers some of the best
restaurants in the Cape, serving a variety of foods that mingle well with
a bottle of your favourite tipple.
is also a place rich in history with its architectural wonders. They seem
to represent the concrete and stone versions of its fine wines. Each wine
estate has a unique attraction - a gable, a special goat tower like the
one at Fairview or even a gargoyle waiting for the flash of your camera.
tunnel vision limits the mind, many things can be missed along the Red
Route. Take olive tasting for instance. This is becoming a major attraction
on some of the estates, many of whom now grow Olive Trees for the export
of olive oil.
rest is up to you. Whether you get down to the specifics and finer details
of wine tasting or broaden your horizons gazing over the Paarl Valley from
Paarl Rock depends on which side of the tunnel you're on. Enjoy Paarl!
West (Afrikaans Somerset-Wes) is a town in the Western Cape province
in the Republic of South Africa. It is situated in the Hottentots Holland
area, about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of Cape Town and 10 km from Strand.
It was named after an English governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s,
Lord Charles Henry Somerset, with the suffix 'West' being added to differentiate
it from Somerset East, another South African town in the Eastern Cape.
Somerset West lies within easy reach of several beaches bordering the Atlantic
Ocean and lying within False Bay. The nearest, the beach at Strand, approximately
6 km from the centre of the town, is popular with those having young children
and holidaymakers, as is Gordons Bay, a quaint village complete with harbour
and other innocent attractions.
is overlooked by the imposing Helderberg (meaning "clear mountain"), a
part of the Hottentots Holland range of mountains but clearly distinct
from the continuous aspect of its contemporaries. The town also boasts
the wine farm of Vergelegen (meaning "far lying", or "far situated"), a
beautiful 18th century farmhouse built in the historic Cape Dutch style.
The farm is now owned by a subsidiary of the large mining company Anglo
American, who have restored the farmhouse to its original magnificence
and continue to produce some of South Africa's best wines there.
Lodge, Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, SOMERSET WEST Bezweni
Guest Lodge is situated on the Hottentots Holland mountain range overlooking
the Cape Peninsula. In amongst beautiful fynbos, this lodge offers
you 5 spacious suites with luxurious bathrooms, in-house private dining,
room service, heated jacuzzi and swimming pool, underfloor heating and
cooling in all rooms. 24 hour security, and transport at all times,
VIP off-site security. In addition private massage and beauty treatments,
cookery classes. Nearby you may go whale watching, cray fishing,
wine tasting, horseback riding – some of SA's top golf courses are within
30 minutes' drive.
the Lord Charles, SOMERSET WEST Nestled
amid the breathtaking surroundings of the famous Cape Winelands, NH The
Lord Charles is situated conveniently a mere 30 minutes from Cape Town
International Airport. Guests are able to enjoy all the attractions of
city life, such as the best shopping and variety of restaurants, without
losing the appeal and peacefulness of the countryside. Our property boasts
188 air-conditioned rooms and 9 luxurious suites, all tastefully decorated
in a harmonious setting for relaxation or business. A large number of rooms
have their own private terrace, leading out onto our splendid 9-hectare
estate. All rooms have a magnificent view of our manicured gardens, majestic
Helderberg Mountains or a panoramic sea view over False Bay.
Cross Guesthouse, Boutique Guesthouse, SOMERSET WEST Nestled
in the tree-filled haven of Somerset West, close to the world class golf
courses, historic wine estates, the majestic False Bay, 20 minutes from
Cape Town Airport and only 30 minutes from Cape Town is an idyllic guesthouse
in a lush park-like garden with breathtaking views of False Bay and the
Cape of Good Hope. The Southern Cross offers you the best in accommodation
and comfort: newly renovated rooms, self-catering units and rooms, set
in a huge garden with old trees and beautiful flowering beds, a big Koi-pond,
waterfalls and stunning views.
Lodge, SOMERSET WEST An Exclusive 4* Country
lodge situated close by to Erinvale Golf Estate in Somerset West, between
the Winelands and Garden Route. Nestled on the banks of the historic Lourens
River on the outskirts of Somerset West, 20 min from the airport and half
an hour from Cape Town, Willowbrook Lodge is a haven of peace tranquility.
Each of our twelve ground-floor en-suite rooms have separate bath and shower,
under floor heating, TV, mini bar, Air conditioning, direct dial telephone
and private patio and are sited in an enchanting Cape 'discovery', garden
which leads down to the river. All rooms are individually decorated to
create an elegant and restful ambience; you wake to the sound of birdcalls
and the burble of the river as it winds its way downstream.
is South Africa’s second oldest town, after Cape Town and is the sentimental
heart of the Winelands. Lined with shady oaks and beautiful gabled, white-washed
buildings the streets of Stellenbosch still have small irrigation channels
on either side of the older roads. In the past, these were used to water
gardens, as each householder had a time slot in which to divert the town’s
irrigation into their plot.
is very cultural and somewhat venerable, while also displaying a decidedly
young and vibrant air. There are some interesting museums and many of the
buildings, including some of the hotels and restaurants, are national monuments
and deserve a second look. There is good mountain biking just outside the
town, and there are golf courses aplenty, but Stellenbosch is really all
town is virtually surrounded by fabulous cellars where you can do a tasting,
join a cellar tour, stock up your own personal cellar, and perhaps enjoy
a lovely leisurely lunch in the shade of some typical Stellenbosch oaks.
Some of the wine farms have become multi-purpose resorts with theatres,
restaurants, equestrian centres and much much more.
is close to Cape Town so it can be visited on a day trip, or you could
do a day trip to Cape Town or the Overberg from Stellenbosch. The nearest
beach is at Strand.
Villa, Guest House, STELLENBOSCH Set
in lush gardens, this Edwardian-style guest house in Stellenbosch is decorated
with antique furniture. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, a library and
a spacious terrace. Free private parking is available. Guests of the Caledon
can enjoy a range of continental dishes for breakfast. Refreshing drinks
can be enjoyed in the relaxing gazebo. The attentive staff can help arrange
visits to Stellenbosch, wine-tasting events and musical concerts. The guest
house is a 5-minute walk from Stellenbosch city centre. Cape Town International
Airport is 25 km away. The rooms at the Caledon Villa are decorated in
warm colours and include wooden furnishings. They have a TV and a spacious
seating area with a work desk. The private bathrooms are equipped with
Villa Guesthouse, STELLENBOSCH Welcome
to Fynbos Villa Guest House, located in central Stellenbosch, 3 minute
walk to the historic town, University, River, Coetzenburg Sports Grounds,
Conservatoire, Botanical gardens, coffee shops and restaurants. Spacious
and elegant en-suite rooms, B&B or self catering. Reasonable tariffs.
Free Wi-Fi access, safe and secure parking. Swimming pool, lush garden,
bird watching. Great hospitality and breakfasts (also halaal and vegetarian).
Walking distance from University, Sports facilities, botanical gardens,
restaurants and coffee shops as well as Conservatoire. Bird watching and
solar heated pool on the premises. Honesty bar. Free Wi-Fi. Various museums
in close vicinity. Tours to the wine lands can be arranged.
Hotel Stellenbosch, STELLENBOSCH Situated
in the heart of the winelands, in one of the most beautiful and heritage-
conscious towns in Southern Africa, Stellenbosch. With its Mediterranean
climate, scenic environment and well-maintained facilities, Stellenbosch
is the second-oldest town in South Africa and affectionately referred to
as the "Town of Oaks". Whether it is the magnificent backdrop of mountain
ranges you seek, perhaps just a scenic drive, wine tasting at wine farms
or an adventure-filled ride in a hot air balloon - you will never run out
of things to see and do. Flanked by two international class golf
courses and a fine selection of wine farms.
Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa, STELLENBOSCH River
Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa is a graciously restored retreat at the
leafy heart of historic Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands. 18 rooms, B&B.
River Manor nestles quietly under Stellenbosch’s ancient oaks beside a
river, just 2 mins walk from the town’s historic centre. Just 30 mins from
Cape Town, its calm ambience will lull you – as will River Manor’s pampering
spa. For the more active, mountains, vineyards, golf & cheetahs
await. Breathtaking golf and hiking are just 10 mins drive away – as are
Stellenbosch’s 100 or so wine farms.
Village at Spier, Accommodation on Wine Estate, STELLENBOSCH An
escape for body, mind and soul, Spier offers a combination of sybaritic
experiences - fine food, wine, music, art... a destination of great variety
that needs time to explore. Starting as a wine farm in 1692 in the
shadow of the Helderberg mountains near Stellenbosch, it has a cultural
heritage which it proudly preserves. The Village has been built
in Cape Malay style with 'homes' clustered around courtyards, swimming
pools, gardens and waterways. The 155 rooms are decorated in an unassuming
manner but furnished in luxury and providing a peaceful environment..
Lodge Guest House, STELLENBOSCH Yellow
Lodge Guest House is situated on the edge of the beautiful and historic
town of Stellenbosch off the Main Road, only 15 minutes from the False
Bay Beaches, and 30 minutes from Cape Town. Spacious en-suite bedrooms,
and 1 self catering apartment individually decorated have TV, bar fridge,
underfloor heating and private telephones. Enjoy breakfast Al Fresco
in the breakfast room overlooking the pool area. Secure parking. German,
Afrikaans and English is spoken.
Wellington is a town
in the Western Cape Winelands just to the north of Paarl, in South Africa
with a population of approximately 55 000. Wellington's economy is centered
around the wine and brandy industry. With a picturesque environment and
numerous award winning wineries, Wellington's tourism industry has started
to blossom. The town is located 75km north-east of Cape Town, reached by
the N1 motorway and R44 highway. The town is at the base of one of the
oldest mountain passes in the country, Bain's Kloof Pass, built by master
road-builder Andrew Geddes Bain. The town is the home of the Boland Rugby
Union and the professional rugby team the Boland Kavaliers. The town is
also an academic centre, with Huguenot College, Cape Peninsula University
of Technology, Bible Media and Huguenot High School amongst others.
The pass up to Bains Kloof
winds thru pine tree plantations, to the summit where on a clear day you
can see forever (where forever consists of the swartland to the right,
home of the vast wheat fields, the cape flats and Cape Town to the right,
and the sun glimmering on the sea).
Vidéo Guest House, Bed & Breakfast, WELLINGTON On
a gentle slope, nestling beneath the foothills of Bain’s Kloof Pass - with
a panoramic vista of imposing mountains and the lush farmland of historic
“Wamakersvallei” - you’ll find Monte Video Guest House, an upmarket new
country retreat, designed to suit the diverse needs of casual vacationers
and corporate visitors alike. Monte Vidéo Guest House boasts nine
spacious, well-appointed bedroom-suites as well as a conference venue (accommodates
40 seated guests) ideal for a wide spectrum of functions and events, from
seminars and workshops to private parties and wedding receptions.
Bly Landgoed Estate, Between PAARL & WELLINGTON A 60 minutes drive from
Cape Town, somewhere between Paarl and Wellington, on the slopes of the
Du Toit Kloof Mountains, you'll find the beautiful estate called Mooi Bly
Landgoed. You will be able to enjoy four fully equipped cottages with all
comfort available. Each cottage has a kitchen that is situated next to
cozy lounge and a terrace to watch the sunset while having a barbeque.
Wine Estate, Between PAARL & WELLINGTON “A
little bit of heaven in the Winelands” was how one visitor to our historic
Wine Estate summarized his experience. Elevated high on Paarl Mountain
the farm has one of the most scenic and magnificent views over the Cape
flats and Table Mountain. Three newly renovated historical country
houses on Seidelberg Wine Estate offer luxury and spacious accommodation
combined with old fashion hospitality. All private situated country
houses are equipped with wireless internet, satellite TV, safe, fire place
and air-condition. The recreation facilities offer swimming pool, sauna
and tennis court.