South Africa Wine Tour

Thelema Mountain tasting, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Personal welcomes and private tastings await at South Africa’s leading wine estates - a tasting at Thelema Mountain on a previous tour.

South Africa Wine Tour
21 - 28 Feb 2015

The Cape is one of the most spectacular vineyard regions in the world. Our wine holiday in South Africa covers the best of the wine and some of the most beautiful sites. This year’s tour is an exciting new version of our long standing tour.

We are still visiting many famous estates in the classic regions but are also exploring several new areas that have sprung to prominence over the past few years.

£2,255 per person

Sole Occupancy: £325.00
Deposit: £550per person

We start our South Africa wine holiday in Cape Town where we stay on the lively waterfront. On the Victoria & Alfred wharf there are numerous restaurants, wine shops and even a brew-pub serving food. There are interesting shops and in-door markets to browse round too. On our first evening we visit Constantia for a comprehensive tasting at the superb estate of Buitenverwachting. The estate is renowned for its refined red wines, lively Sauvignon Blanc and its sweet Muscat desert wine. We then continue to their restaurant for dinner.

We head north of Cape Town visiting first the cool climate Durbanville region that gets influence from both the Atlantic and Southern Oceans, this has turned out to be a very good spot for Merlot. Next we arrive in the exciting Swartland region with its Mediterranean climate and we stay in the charming village of Riebeek Kasteel for two nights. We look forward to visiting or meeting revolutionary, natural winemakers such as Lammershoek, Mullineux and Badenhorst who are collectively perhaps the most exciting group of winemakers in South Africa today. We also visit the Allesveloren estate, who are doing interesting things here with Portuguese grape varieties. From Riebeek we also visit the small Tulbagh region, which is almost enclosed by high mountains giving it a more continental climate of hot days and cool nights.

We continue on to the Huguenot town of Franschhoek (literally ‘French Place’) for the following three nights. In Franschhoek we visit the Rupert family’s Antonji Rupert winery. The wines perform extremely well, in particular in the premium range. From Franschhoek we visit several estates in the nearby Stellenbosch wine region. Thelema Mountain has featured on every tour that we have taken to South Africa and we look forward to a private tasting of these sensational wines. We also enjoy an evening Snoek Braii (fish BBQ) with the masters of Pinotage, Kanonkop. Organic producers Reynecke were the surprise of the 2014 trip – beautiful clean wines with real depth, the spicy Syrah was particularly well received.   

At Kanonkop, in the vats punching down by hand Hamilton Russell tasting lunch South Africa wine tour Vineyards of Stellenbosch at Thelema Mountain

There will be free time in the attractive University City of Stellenbosch, one of the best-preserved towns from the era of the Dutch East India Company who settled in the Cape in 1652. The town is famous for the Cape Dutch thatched and gabled buildings that line its streets.

Our final night is spent in a beautiful Relais & Chateaux property in the coastal town of Hermanus, in Walker Bay. Here we visit the ever hospitable Hamilton Russell Vineyards, pioneers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in South Africa and always one of the most enlightened of the Cape estates. We have a vertical tasting of both Chardonnay  and Pinot Noir before a relaxing lunch on the veranda of their beautiful home.

On this wine tour, unlike casual tourists in the wine lands, you receive personal welcomes from the wine-makers, great wine tastings and private invitations to lunch or dinner. The tour offers some fantastic scenery, fine food and glorious weather.

As well as being an up to the minute wine tour of an exciting wine country, it covers most of the Cape’s beautiful sites, a tour not to be missed!

Wines of South Africa - A brief introduction

The Cape has a long tradition of wine production dating back to the Dutch settlers of 1652. When the British took over a new wealth was brought to the country and many of the gracious Cape-Dutch homesteads were built. It was hoped initially that the Cape would become “the vineyard of the Empire”. This happened to some extent, although quality table wine production didn’t catch on, Cape ‘Port’ and ‘Sherry’ became popular and ‘Constantia’ Muscat established a superb reputation.

Then came a downward spiral caused by the political situation, a partial boycott and bad publicity. At the same time European laws to protect names such as ‘Sherry’ came in and there was a surge in quality elsewhere in the New World. This led to a near total disappearance from international markets. Following the country’s ‘opening up’, exports and quality increased, and recently, soared to very highest levels. 

Read wine notes on Swartland in 2014; the blog from the 2014 Wine Tour & the Update on Pinotage by Tim Clarke.

Outline Itinerary
Day 1. Saturday 21 February

Meet in Cape Town. Comprehensive tasting at Buitenverwachting. Included dinner with wines selected by Wine Guide. Overnight 4* Waterfront Hotel, Cape Town.

Day 2. Sunday 22 February

Visit Altydgedacht Wine Estate. Lunch at Lammershoek. Included Dinner in Riebeek Kasteel. Overnight 4* hotel, Riebeek Kasteel.

Day 3. Monday 23 February

Visit Mullineux. Lunch at Lemberg wine estate. Non Included dinner in Riebeek Kasteel. Overnight 4* hotel, Riebeek Kasteel.

Day 4. Tuesday 24 February

Free time in Riebeek Kasteel. Visit Allesverloren Wine Estate’s restaurant for lunch. Transfer to Franschhoek. Non-included dinner in Franschhoek. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 5. Wednesday 25 February

Visit Thelema Mountain. Free time over lunch in Stellenbosch. Return to Franschhoek late afternoon. Tasting and Snoek braai (included dinner) at Kanonkop. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 6. Thursday 26 February

Visit Reynecke. Jordan Estate for a tasting and lunch. Free time in Franschhoek for non included dinner. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 7. Friday 27 February

Visit Anthonij Rupert. Free time in Franschhoek for early lunch. Depart Franschhoek early afternoon for Hermanus. Late afternoon free time in Hermanus. Included dinner. Overnight 5* Relais & Châteaux hotel, Hermanus. 

Day 8. Saturday 28 February

Visit Hamilton Russell Vineyards for tasting and lunch.  Depart for Cape Town airport after lunch.  There is one complimentary transfer to Cape Town airport in time to check in for the BA 58 currently departing at 20:45.  Opportunity to extend in Cape Town, go on Safari or explore the Garden Route (please call for details of our recommended travel partner).

Price includes:
  • 7 nights in 4* & 5* hotels and guesthouses, all with breakfasts.
  • 9 meals with wines which range from simple picnics to gourmet meals at some of the Cape’s top restaurants. Where possible coffee or tea is included after meals, but some picnic places do not have facilities to make coffee.
  • All wine visits and tastings.
  • Air conditioned coach for the itinerary.

The tour will be escorted a member of the Arblaster & Clarke team as the Wine Guide for a party up to 17, and for 18 and over they will be accompanied by a second team member as Tour Manager.

Accommodation
Waterfront 4* hotel, Cape Town

This is an ideally located 4* hotel right on the Waterfront with spacious rooms and views over the harbour from the public rooms. There is small swimming pool in their sister property just across the road. 

Hotel, Riebeek Kasteel

In the heart of Riebeek Kasteel, this lovely colonial style hotel is one of the oldest in South Africa. There is a small outdoor pool, outdoor restaurant, beautiful old fashioned bar, several lounges and a garden. Spa treatments are possible. There are only 2 twin rooms available. The hotel is renowned for its stoep (verandah) from where you can watch the daily life of Riebeek amble by. The hotel has chosen not to be officially rated.

4* Guest House, Franshhoek

This Guest House is a lovingly restored Victorian homestead in the heart of Franschhoek. This boutique guest house offers just 13 rooms all well appointed with tea & coffee making facilities. There is a lovely courtyard garden and small swimming pool.

5* Relais & Châteaux Hotel, Hermanus

This beautiful hotel is spectacularly sited on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay.  Standard non sea view rooms are included in the tour price but do contact us if you would like to upgrade to a sea view room. The rooms are well appointed and there is a saltwater swimming pool.    

Travel

Flights are not included with this tour. There are a number of different operators who fly direct to Cape Town. At the time of writing (Febraury 2014) the following airlines have daily direct flights from London Heathrow - British Airways (www.ba.com), Virgin (www.virgin-atlantic.com) and South African Airlines (www.flysaa.com), and the current price is approximately £900pp return (as of February 2014). British Airways and Virgin also have the option of upgrading to World Traveller Plus on BA or Premium Economy on Virgin as well as the usual Business Class options. There are also indirect flights available with KLM (www.klm.com) and Emirates (www.emirates.com). 

If you would prefer us to book your flight for you, we will be happy to do so. We will do this via the airline's website so the cost will be that which is showing available on the web at time of booking plus a £50 per booking booking fee. Once booked the ticket is non-changeable and non-refundable. The earlier you book the less expensive these flights are likely to be as prices on flights on popular dates tend to increase nearer the date of departure.

Meeting: We will meet you in Cape Town’s waterfront at 16.30 on Day One of the tour ready to depart for our evening tasting and dinner. On the first day you will not be able to check into the hotel until 14:00, but you can leave your bags with the concierge and enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants on the waterfront and make use of the hotel’s facilities.   

Room upgrade

Upgrade

As availability of all rooms types at all hotels is very limited, please book early and we will confirm the price according to current availability.

Images

In Cape Town you can visit Table Mountain and the Two Oceans Aquarium; take a boat trip around the harbour; visit to Robben Island or venture out to Cape Point. The many activities here and places to visit make it worthwhile to fly out a couple of days before the tour begins or stay on after here.

We do not include flights in the tour price to make this possible - do call if you wish to extend your holiday and we will put you in touch with our recommended travel partners.

Tour description

We start our South Africa wine holiday in Cape Town where we stay on the lively waterfront. On the Victoria & Alfred wharf there are numerous restaurants, wine shops and even a brew-pub serving food. There are interesting shops and in-door markets to browse round too. On our first evening we visit Constantia for a comprehensive tasting at the superb estate of Buitenverwachting. The estate is renowned for its refined red wines, lively Sauvignon Blanc and its sweet Muscat desert wine. We then continue to their restaurant for dinner.

We head north of Cape Town visiting first the cool climate Durbanville region that gets influence from both the Atlantic and Southern Oceans, this has turned out to be a very good spot for Merlot. Next we arrive in the exciting Swartland region with its Mediterranean climate and we stay in the charming village of Riebeek Kasteel for two nights. We look forward to visiting or meeting revolutionary, natural winemakers such as Lammershoek, Mullineux and Badenhorst who are collectively perhaps the most exciting group of winemakers in South Africa today. We also visit the Allesveloren estate, who are doing interesting things here with Portuguese grape varieties. From Riebeek we also visit the small Tulbagh region, which is almost enclosed by high mountains giving it a more continental climate of hot days and cool nights.

We continue on to the Huguenot town of Franschhoek (literally ‘French Place’) for the following three nights. In Franschhoek we visit the Rupert family’s Antonji Rupert winery. The wines perform extremely well, in particular in the premium range. From Franschhoek we visit several estates in the nearby Stellenbosch wine region. Thelema Mountain has featured on every tour that we have taken to South Africa and we look forward to a private tasting of these sensational wines. We also enjoy an evening Snoek Braii (fish BBQ) with the masters of Pinotage, Kanonkop. Organic producers Reynecke were the surprise of the 2014 trip – beautiful clean wines with real depth, the spicy Syrah was particularly well received.   

At Kanonkop, in the vats punching down by hand Hamilton Russell tasting lunch South Africa wine tour Vineyards of Stellenbosch at Thelema Mountain

There will be free time in the attractive University City of Stellenbosch, one of the best-preserved towns from the era of the Dutch East India Company who settled in the Cape in 1652. The town is famous for the Cape Dutch thatched and gabled buildings that line its streets.

Our final night is spent in a beautiful Relais & Chateaux property in the coastal town of Hermanus, in Walker Bay. Here we visit the ever hospitable Hamilton Russell Vineyards, pioneers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in South Africa and always one of the most enlightened of the Cape estates. We have a vertical tasting of both Chardonnay  and Pinot Noir before a relaxing lunch on the veranda of their beautiful home.

On this wine tour, unlike casual tourists in the wine lands, you receive personal welcomes from the wine-makers, great wine tastings and private invitations to lunch or dinner. The tour offers some fantastic scenery, fine food and glorious weather.

As well as being an up to the minute wine tour of an exciting wine country, it covers most of the Cape’s beautiful sites, a tour not to be missed!

Wines of South Africa - A brief introduction

The Cape has a long tradition of wine production dating back to the Dutch settlers of 1652. When the British took over a new wealth was brought to the country and many of the gracious Cape-Dutch homesteads were built. It was hoped initially that the Cape would become “the vineyard of the Empire”. This happened to some extent, although quality table wine production didn’t catch on, Cape ‘Port’ and ‘Sherry’ became popular and ‘Constantia’ Muscat established a superb reputation.

Then came a downward spiral caused by the political situation, a partial boycott and bad publicity. At the same time European laws to protect names such as ‘Sherry’ came in and there was a surge in quality elsewhere in the New World. This led to a near total disappearance from international markets. Following the country’s ‘opening up’, exports and quality increased, and recently, soared to very highest levels. 

Read wine notes on Swartland in 2014; the blog from the 2014 Wine Tour & the Update on Pinotage by Tim Clarke.

Outline Itinerary & What's included

Outline Itinerary
Day 1. Saturday 21 February

Meet in Cape Town. Comprehensive tasting at Buitenverwachting. Included dinner with wines selected by Wine Guide. Overnight 4* Waterfront Hotel, Cape Town.

Day 2. Sunday 22 February

Visit Altydgedacht Wine Estate. Lunch at Lammershoek. Included Dinner in Riebeek Kasteel. Overnight 4* hotel, Riebeek Kasteel.

Day 3. Monday 23 February

Visit Mullineux. Lunch at Lemberg wine estate. Non Included dinner in Riebeek Kasteel. Overnight 4* hotel, Riebeek Kasteel.

Day 4. Tuesday 24 February

Free time in Riebeek Kasteel. Visit Allesverloren Wine Estate’s restaurant for lunch. Transfer to Franschhoek. Non-included dinner in Franschhoek. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 5. Wednesday 25 February

Visit Thelema Mountain. Free time over lunch in Stellenbosch. Return to Franschhoek late afternoon. Tasting and Snoek braai (included dinner) at Kanonkop. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 6. Thursday 26 February

Visit Reynecke. Jordan Estate for a tasting and lunch. Free time in Franschhoek for non included dinner. Overnight 4* Guest House, Franschhoek. 

Day 7. Friday 27 February

Visit Anthonij Rupert. Free time in Franschhoek for early lunch. Depart Franschhoek early afternoon for Hermanus. Late afternoon free time in Hermanus. Included dinner. Overnight 5* Relais & Châteaux hotel, Hermanus. 

Day 8. Saturday 28 February

Visit Hamilton Russell Vineyards for tasting and lunch.  Depart for Cape Town airport after lunch.  There is one complimentary transfer to Cape Town airport in time to check in for the BA 58 currently departing at 20:45.  Opportunity to extend in Cape Town, go on Safari or explore the Garden Route (please call for details of our recommended travel partner).

Price includes:
  • 7 nights in 4* & 5* hotels and guesthouses, all with breakfasts.
  • 9 meals with wines which range from simple picnics to gourmet meals at some of the Cape’s top restaurants. Where possible coffee or tea is included after meals, but some picnic places do not have facilities to make coffee.
  • All wine visits and tastings.
  • Air conditioned coach for the itinerary.

The tour will be escorted a member of the Arblaster & Clarke team as the Wine Guide for a party up to 17, and for 18 and over they will be accompanied by a second team member as Tour Manager.

Travel & Accommodation

Accommodation
Waterfront 4* hotel, Cape Town

This is an ideally located 4* hotel right on the Waterfront with spacious rooms and views over the harbour from the public rooms. There is small swimming pool in their sister property just across the road. 

Hotel, Riebeek Kasteel

In the heart of Riebeek Kasteel, this lovely colonial style hotel is one of the oldest in South Africa. There is a small outdoor pool, outdoor restaurant, beautiful old fashioned bar, several lounges and a garden. Spa treatments are possible. There are only 2 twin rooms available. The hotel is renowned for its stoep (verandah) from where you can watch the daily life of Riebeek amble by. The hotel has chosen not to be officially rated.

4* Guest House, Franshhoek

This Guest House is a lovingly restored Victorian homestead in the heart of Franschhoek. This boutique guest house offers just 13 rooms all well appointed with tea & coffee making facilities. There is a lovely courtyard garden and small swimming pool.

5* Relais & Châteaux Hotel, Hermanus

This beautiful hotel is spectacularly sited on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay.  Standard non sea view rooms are included in the tour price but do contact us if you would like to upgrade to a sea view room. The rooms are well appointed and there is a saltwater swimming pool.    

Travel

Flights are not included with this tour. There are a number of different operators who fly direct to Cape Town. At the time of writing (Febraury 2014) the following airlines have daily direct flights from London Heathrow - British Airways (www.ba.com), Virgin (www.virgin-atlantic.com) and South African Airlines (www.flysaa.com), and the current price is approximately £900pp return (as of February 2014). British Airways and Virgin also have the option of upgrading to World Traveller Plus on BA or Premium Economy on Virgin as well as the usual Business Class options. There are also indirect flights available with KLM (www.klm.com) and Emirates (www.emirates.com). 

If you would prefer us to book your flight for you, we will be happy to do so. We will do this via the airline's website so the cost will be that which is showing available on the web at time of booking plus a £50 per booking booking fee. Once booked the ticket is non-changeable and non-refundable. The earlier you book the less expensive these flights are likely to be as prices on flights on popular dates tend to increase nearer the date of departure.

Meeting: We will meet you in Cape Town’s waterfront at 16.30 on Day One of the tour ready to depart for our evening tasting and dinner. On the first day you will not be able to check into the hotel until 14:00, but you can leave your bags with the concierge and enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants on the waterfront and make use of the hotel’s facilities.   

Room upgrade

Upgrade

As availability of all rooms types at all hotels is very limited, please book early and we will confirm the price according to current availability.

Image Gallery & Videos

None

Holiday Extensions

In Cape Town you can visit Table Mountain and the Two Oceans Aquarium; take a boat trip around the harbour; visit to Robben Island or venture out to Cape Point. The many activities here and places to visit make it worthwhile to fly out a couple of days before the tour begins or stay on after here.

We do not include flights in the tour price to make this possible - do call if you wish to extend your holiday and we will put you in touch with our recommended travel partners.

 

Any questions?
Please call us!

We are very happy to talk to you about our wonderful holidays. We love our tours and are sure you will too!

0044 (0)1730 263111

Wine guide

Tim Clarke
Tim Clarke
More about Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke is the Chairman of A&C, which he co-founded with his wife Lynette Arblaster in 1986. Starting with their original ‘Champagne Weekends’, A&C went on to pioneer wine tours around the world. Tim develops tour concepts, designs itineraries and chooses wineries. He enjoys expanding wine tourism ideas and developing Wine & Opera Tours, Wine Cruises and Vineyard Walks, (he personally researches the routes). Tim is a cook, a lover of authentic, terroir-driven wines and also an opera enthusiast. He was described in the Sunday Times as “one of the most entertaining and authoritative wine guides in the business”. He has led parties of wine consumers on over 250 wine tours to 22 countries over the past 27 years. In 2011, he wrote a ‘Wine Tourism Strategy’ for the Republic of Georgia’s Economic Prosperity Initiative and has spoken at wine tourism conferences in Spain, Portugal and Georgia.

Feedback on our tours

"We were treated royally by each of the wineries that we visited. The wineries of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are beautiful places to visit....Our accommodations and coach travel on both trips were excellent. I wholeheartedly recommend them to you for your wine tasting travel."