Cape Town wine tours – Everything you need to know

Written by Maria Aardal

May 6, 2020

Throughout South Africa, there are more than 100 000 hectares of Vineyards, and the country has been producing wine for over 350 years. Therefore you cannot travel to Cape Town without visiting at least one vineyard, and preferably more. In the Vineyards of Cape Town, you will not only taste some of the very best wines you can find anywhere, but you will also see some of the most wonderful views you have ever seen. If you go on a Cape Town wine tour, it will be an experience you will never forget.

There are multiple ways you can explore the Cape Town Winelands. You can explore them on your own, with a tour in a van, or you can even explore them by bike. The options are endless and so are the vineyards. Keep reading to find the best Cape Town wine tours for you.

On your own or through a company?

If you have decided that you want to experience the Cape Town wine tours, the first thing you need to decide is if you want to explore it on your own, or if you want to go with an organized tour. There are pros and cons to each one, and it comes down to personal preferences.

On your own

Pros:

  • Freedom
  • Cheaper

Probably the main reason that you would want to do the Cape Town wine tour on your own is the complete freedom that comes with it. You can decide where to go and when to go. You can stay as long as you want at each winery and you have the freedom to pick exactly what wineries you want to visit. This way you also have the freedom to start and end the tour whenever you want to. Another reason you might want to do it on your own is that it can be a lot cheaper. This does depend on how you do it though.

How to:

If you decide that you want to create your own Cape Town wine tour you have three different options for how you can do it. You can go by taxi (or uber), you can take the hop on hop off bus, or you can drive yourself.

Hop on hop off bus

The cheapest option here is the hop on hop off bus. The hop on hop off bus in Cape Town has its own wine tour line. The line travels through Constantia and has three different stops at different wine farms.

The way it works is that you buy a ticket for the bus. They offer different tickets, from one single day to three days. They also have a lot of combination tickets with other attractions and discounts. When you buy a ticket you get a map of the routes and you get a timetable so you know how often the different busses depart. You can get on the bus whenever and hop off whenever. You can stay as long as you want when you hop off. Just make sure to watch out for how often the bus leaves and when the last departure is.

This option is great because it gives you a lot of freedom about how long you want to stay and what you want to do at the wineries. At the same time, you are restricted to just a few wineries. This can be both a pro and a con depending on what you are looking for. It can be great in the way that you do not have to find wineries yourself and you do not need to make any decisions. Just hop on the bus and drink wine.

Do a Cape Town wine tour with a hop on hop off bus
Taxi or Uber

Taxi or Uber is a bit more expensive than the hop on hop off bus. It does depend a lot on which wineries you chose, and how far you have to drive between them. If you chose a few that are close together, this option does not have to be as expensive as it seems. It is also cheaper if you are staying close to wineries, for example if you are staying in Stellenbosch.

Taxi or Uber does give you complete freedom, more than the Hop on Hop off bus. Here you can decide exactly where to, when to go, and how long to stay. All you need to do is order another Uber when you feel like you want to head to the next stop.

I would recommend Uber over taxi because it has a set price. If you get stuck in traffic or something it does not end up costing you way more then you were counting on.

Drive yourself

If you have a car or a rental car this can be a great option. It comes with maximum freedom, but one limit. You can not drink if you are driving yourself. This only works if you have someone that is ok with being the designated driver. With this option, you can explore as many wineries as you want and as many of the Cape Town wine areas as you want to. You can drive as far as you want to, and you can stay as long as you want to.

Wine valleys is Cape Town

Organized tour

Pros:

  • No stress
  • A tour guide with local knowledge
  • No need to make any decisions
  • Get to know people

If you prefer a more relaxed approach to your Cape Town wine tour and you do not mind not being in charge the perfect way is to go with an organized tour. The pros with this are that you can just lean back, relax, and drink wine while someone else deals with everything. The cons with this are that you do not get to pick how long you stay at each winery. You also do not get to pick the wineries yourself. However, someone who knows the city very well will have picked the wineries so you can be sure they will be great nonetheless. For some, this will also be a pro as you do not need to make any decisions yourself.

Beautiful architecture of a Cape Town winery

The way the guided tours usually work is that you get picked off from your accommodation (not all offer this, but most do) in a van and you get driven from winery to winery. There is a guide who will tell you interesting facts about South Africa, Cape Town, wine, and wineries throughout the trip. Most times you will be with other people so this is a great way to get to know other travelers. On most tours, you also make a stop for lunch at a winery.

Private or with a group?

When you go on a tour you have two different options. You can go with a group or you can go on a private tour. Each has its own pros and cons, and it comes down to personal preference. I prefer a group because I think meeting other people is half the fun. Taking a private tour is also usually a lot more expensive which can be a big con depending on your travel style and budget.

My recommendations

There are a ton of different Cape Town wine tours to choose from. You have everything from luxury tours, active tours, budget tours, and way more. No matter what style of travel you prefer, there is something for you. I have personally tried two very different Cape Town wine tours and I loved them both. One was a more budget/backpacker style tour and one was a more active outdoorsy-style tour.

Out There Tours

Price: Enquire on website for price
Group size: 4-12
Activity level: None, very relaxing
Number of wineries: 4-5

My first-ever Cape Town wine tour was with Julian from Out There Tours. The tour was arranged by the hostel I stayed at. It was amazing in every way. I have also done a Cape Point tour with them, which was equally amazing.

You get picked up from your accommodation in the morning and then you head out to the wine lands. The drive there is great as you get to see a lot of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. The nature is gorgeous and Julian knows a lot about the region and provides you with interesting facts on the way.

During the tour you visit four or five wineries where you get a tasting of about five wines, all the tastings are included in the tour price. You also visit one where you get a cheese and wine pairing, it is great! At one of the wineries you also stop for lunch. I highly recommend the vegetarian lasagna. All the wineries are as stunning as the wine is tasty. The views from some of them are unlike anything I have ever seen. You get plenty of time at each of them, and you will not feel rushed.

Learn about wineries and how wine is produced on your Cape Town wine tour

The tour is with a group. The size of the group can be everything from four to about twelve people. Both times I went, the people were great and we had a lot of fun together. Julian is a great guide, he knows what he is talking about and he is also very entertaining.

Bikes ‘n wines

Price: R1280 (about 62 Euros)
Group size: 6-12 (one guide per 10 people)
Activity level: High
Number of wineries: 4

Drink tasty wine on your Cape Town wine tour

Bikes ‘n Wines is another Cape Town wine tour, and this one is quite out of the ordinary. You ride from winery to winery on a bike. It is a very different way of exploring the Cape Town wine lands. You really get to see the views and nature up close as you ride your bike through the grape plants.

When I went on a tour with them I did the Stellenbosch full day tour. They also offer a lot of other tours, both shorter and longer, and other areas like Franschhoek. They also have hiking tours, city tours, and family tours.

The bike tours are in varying difficulty, and on their website, you can see both the distance you will be biking and the difficulty. Personally I would rank the one I did like medium difficulty. I was very out of breath at times and definitely sore the next day, but it was totally doable for me. I am for the record not very fit, and definitely not used to biking.

The guides on the tour was great. They had tons of knowledge about both the area and wines in general. They also made sure everyone was comfortable and able to bike at their own pace.

We visited four wineries on the trip, and all tastings were included. We also stopped for lunch at a winery, but the lunch is not included in the price.

The best part of this Cape Town wine tour is definitely the nature. You get tons of fresh air, gorgeous views and you get to bike through the quiet, lush wine-farms.

Get up close with nature in Stellenbosch with the bikes and wines tour

Where can you go on a Cape Town wine tour?

If you have decided to go on a Cape Town wine tour, especially if you are planning to go on your own, you need to know a little about the Cape Town wine areas. There are quite a few different ones to chose from.

Winelands

The Cape Town winelands is the most popular destination for Cape Town wine tours. The winelands include Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington, Tulbagh, and Paarl. This is where most organized wine tours will take you. The area is about 40km from Cape Town city center. It is located behind the Cape Fold mountains which creates a stunning backdrop.

The area is mostly known for tasty wine, breathtaking views, cute dutch inspired houses, and a cozy small town vibe. This area is the perfect area to get a break from the big city life. You can relax, drink wine, and just enjoy.

Explore the beautiful wineries on your Cape Town wine tour through Stellenbosch

Durbanville

If you are looking for wineries closer to the city, Durbanville is perfect. It is located only about 20 minutes from the city. It is often overlooked by tourists, which makes it less crowded and you can enjoy your wine in peace. The Durbanville wine valley is perfect if you are doing your own wine tour either by taxi, Uber, or driving yourself because there are plenty of wineries very close together.

Durbanville wine valley is perfect for a Cape Town wine tour

Constantia

If you are going on the hop on hop off bus wine tour, Constantia is where you are going. It is located about 20 minutes south of Cape Town city center. Constantia is the home to Groot Constantia, which is the oldest wine farm in all of South Africa. It is 330 years old. This area is extremely popular amongst tourists as well as locals and with good reason. You are located perfectly with plenty of nature, hiking opportunities, wineries right there, the city center just 20 minutes away, and the perfect beaches of Muizenberg and Hout Bay close by. Constantia really has something for everyone.

Groot Constantia is the oldest winery in all of South Africa

When is it best to do a Cape Town wine tour?

The best time to experience a Cape Town wine tour is during the South African summer or spring. Between September and April is ideal. During this time of year, you will experience mostly dry and warm weather. This is perfect for wine tours because you sit outside in the sun and enjoy nature. Most of the wineries have an outside sitting area which is perfect to take advantage of during the summer, just remember to put on sunscreen.

For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere this is also great because we can escape our winter and run away to the South African summer.

Have you ever done a Cape Town wine tour, or would you?

If you are planning a trip to Cape Town, check out my other articles about where to stay in Cape Town and this One Week in Cape Town Itinerary

Welcome!

I am Maria, a 20 year old student. I am here to show you that traveling is possible for everyone, including you. I belive that traveling can be done in a lot of different ways and that you never have to limit.

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