South Africa will have its moment in the sun this summer as legions of football fans (the one played with a soccer ball) descend on Cape Town for the World Cup finals. While the World Cup is a global event with tremendous impact and appeal, my thoughts can’t help but drift toward the amazing scenery that surrounds Cape Town, and the renaissance that’s going on in the vineyards of the Western Cape region.
South Africa has some of the oldest vineyards in the "new" world. With production traced back to the 1650s, it’s no surprise that world-class wines are coming from nearly every corner of this southern tip of Africa. What is surprising is how accessible, and yet infrequently visited, these beautiful lands are.
Join the chat on SnoothIf South Africa is not in the cards why not check out all the suggestions for the world's most beautiful wine region? The Snooth forum is always full of great topics about wine-related travel (anyone have any advice for a visitor to Montalcino and Siena?) and the little things that make this hobby so much fun (Cellars vs. Fridges - what's the verdict?). Drop by for a visit, you never know what you might discover.
The first step, of course, for any visit to South Africa does involve a long plane ride. Once you’re there the travel may not stop, but the distances involved become much more manageable. The Western Cape’s wine regions fan out behind Cape Town, stretching for some 200 or so miles in every direction. With so much ground to cover it’s good to know that not only are there no shortage of accommodations in the wine regions, but that many wineries are also wonderful hotels.
Close to Cape Town, the regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Overberg, and Roberson form the heart of the Central Cape. With so many wineries and sites literally only an hour or two’s drive from Cape Town it’s easy to just kick back in the city and spend one’s days travelling to wine country, but spending a night amongst the vines, and waking up in the verdant country side is what wine country memories are made of.