This is the first post in a series published on our blog about South African wine regions.
People travel for all sorts of reasons – some go to seek out historical monuments and UNESCO World Heritage sites, others flock to art museums to soak up the beauty of priceless paintings and sculptures. Then, of course, you get those who travel to eat, drink and immerse themselves in the smells and tastes of countries around the world.
If you fall in the latter group, we’ve got some excellent news. You may have thought about travelling to France, Italy, the Napa Valley or even Argentina in pursuit of fine wines, but have you ever considered travelling to South Africa? Sunny SA has emerged as one of the foremost wine destinations around the globe of late, and with good reason – it’s affordable, the weather is excellent and the sheer variety of terroirs on show is bound to knock even the most seasoned connoisseur’s well-travelled socks off.
Here are five South African wine regions that should be on every vino-loving traveller’s bucket list in 2019:
The Stellenbosch wine route forms the epicentre of the South African wine industry. This is where it all started back in the 1600s. As such, Stellenbosch estates like Kanonkop and Stellenrust number among some of the longest-established wine farms in the entire country. This wine route alone includes more than 200 wineries, so there is plenty of opportunity to explore. Read more about Stellenbosch wine tourism here.
The Hemel-and-Aarde valley outside of Hermanus along the Whale Route is renowned for producing stunning cool-climate wines. Thanks to the fertile soil found in the verdant fold between the Kleinriver mountains and Babilonstoring mountains, the area’s 15 renowned wine farms, including Creation are known for producing wines of world-class excellence. It also happens to be scenic beyond belief, with plenty of well-positioned restaurants where visitors can sip on local vintages while overlooking the vines that produced it. Read more about Hemel-en-Aarde wine tourism here.
The Swartland can be found by driving up the West Coast from Cape Town, into the heart of South Africa’s main grain-growing region. If you like to root for the underdog and take the road less travelled, this is the SA wine destination for you. The Voor-Paardeberg winemakers, in particular, are known as mavericks that buck all trends to produce vintages that celebrate place above progress, and it’s something magnificent to behold. Read more about Swartland wine tourism here.
The Elim area lies along the Southern Coast, just shy of L’Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and the meeting spot of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. You can only imagine that this kind of thing means for a cool-climate terroir! Named after the small town of Elim, established by Moravian missionaries in 1824, this wine ward only made its way onto the international map recently, but it’s been taking huge strides in establishing itself as a contender to watch. Read more about Elim wine tourism here.
Keen on joining in on some convivial wine festivals on your visit to South Africa? Then you should be heading towards Robertson. This snug little valley lies wrapped around a gorgeous river and hosts three wine-related festivals each year – Wine on the River, Wacky Wine Weekend and the Robertson Slow Festival. Read more about Robertson wine tourism here.
These are just five of the wine regions in South Africa that draw visitors from far and wide. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more expert insight into the fascinating world of South African wine. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the Brave New World team if you would like to learn more about our SA wine offering, or simply visit our online store to stock up on wines from African climes for delivery straight to your door in Australia.
What better way to experience the South African wine lands than to go and visit? You can find more information on travel options to these regions on Luxury Wine Trails.