We all know that South Africa is famous for its wine exports, but often the rich history behind the country's booming wine industry goes unrecognised and under-appreciated. One way to learn about South Africa's winemaking tradition - and enjoy some samples along the way - is with a rewarding venture out on one of eighteen official wine routes.
Reflecting South Africa's maturation as a country, the wine regions fall largely within the Western Cape province where the bulk of the country's production takes place. However, wine lovers can explore far and wide for diverse tastes, from the south eastern Orange Free State, all the way up to the Northern Cape, there's plenty to explore in terms of sights and tastes.
Each of the wine routes proudly exhibits its very own personality through their creations and with each area lending its own unique character to their wine, its exciting to explore how different regions produce specific wine types and how they compare to each other. The trails were created to make navigating these winelands easy, fun and rewarding and they do just that!
The trails aren't just for wine buffs either and they regularly top to-do lists of visitors because of the experience as a whole, with incredible food, culture and wildlife to be enjoyed throughout, as you travel through some truly picturesque parts of the country. The trails also provide health and wellness opportunities to help you unwind (in case the wine itself doesn't) and has plenty of family friendly activities to help keep the kids entertained too!
The most popular of these wine routes are in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, with Robertson and Durbanville also emerging as favoured choices, where you can visit the estates, delight your tastebuds, buy more than you're meant to and fall in love with the beautiful scenery surrounding you.
Whether you're a true wine aficionado, a complete teetotaler or just enjoy the occasional tipple, you'll find plenty to delight in on South Africa's many wine trails. The only question is how many of them do you tour?