Cape Winelands & South African Art

From $1,655 pp

  • Duration

    5 days
  • Departure Date

    Mar 6, 2024
  • Trip Style

    Small Group
  • Country

    South Africa
  • Physical Rating

    Easy

Overview

A small-group wine tour with a twist... Discover the lavish Cape Winelands alongside South Africa's vibrant art culture sweeping across the country!

We know South Africa for its award-winning wines, but how much do you know about its budding contemporary art scene? In the last decade, there has been a significant development in South Africa’s modern artistic sphere, particularly in the capital city.

This 5-day tour will see us blend wine* with music, poetry, art, cheese, chocolates, and even 'biltong', a popular South African dried meat snack. You will stroll through vineyards while listening to incredible stories of how seeds are planted that grow into vineyards. And, you can attempt the ancient art of 'sabrage', which involves opening champagne bottles with a sword (with the assistance of a wine ambassador)!

From the city to the countryside, Cape Town possesses hidden gems within the vineyards of heritage farms. The wonderful Winelands has stories to share and gardens to show!

This tour combines these two exceptional sectors of art and wine in a way that's enjoyable for everyone, from novices to keen-eyed experts. If you love traveling with a creative mindset, this tour was made with you in mind!

*Non-alcoholic wine and other alcohol-free alternatives are available if you prefer.

Highlights

  • Explore the hidden gems & picturesque scenery of the Cape Winelands
  • Visit vineyards in the finest wine valley, & savor two winetasting sessions
  • Learn the art of winemaking by one of South Africa's first female winemakers
  • Experience winemaking's magic by crafting your own 1.5L magnum blend!
  • Visit a vibrant Cape Town gallery & a wine farm that showcase South African art
  • Admire Street, Contemporary, Sculpture, and Indigenous art
  • Discover the Cape Winelands towns of Wellington, Stellenbosch, & Franschhoek

Away from the crowds, and within the beautiful Cape Winelands, sit historic old farms that have evolved into stunning vineyard estates. But it is more than their wines that we want you to taste, blend, and drink. The selected wine farms we visit offer more experiences to curious tourists, combining wine with art, poetry, and music.

South Africa's arts sector has flourished rapidly, especially after the inauguration of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in 2017. This vibrant mother city has been a major epicenter for African art, Indigenous art, and artists. The expression of its rich and complex political and cultural history is evident in the work of some of the most exciting emerging artists of the region. With the exponential growth of art galleries as well as public and private institutions, matched with rising demand for African art around the globe, there is an endless amount of art to explore in the bustling, picturesque city of Cape Town.

The food scene in the Cape Winelands will also be a treat as travelers are spoiled for choice! From local eats to budget-friendly bites to fine dining, your tastebuds will be surprised and delighted. This tour celebrates traditional, exquisite South African meals paired with beautiful blends. 

Departure Dates

  • Mar 6, 2024 - Mar 10, 2024
  • Apr 24, 2024 - Apr 28, 2024
  • Jul 10, 2024 - Jul 14, 2024
  • Oct 30, 2024 - Nov 3, 2024

Seasonal Notes

South Africa enjoys mild winters and long summers, making it a popular year-round destination. Remember: in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are flipped!

  • December to March: Summer is the best time for all those seeking the sun. Harvest time in the wine industry is between February - March. The weather is typically warm and dry. Temperatures average from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C). It's the peak tourist season, with plenty of sunshine and little rainfall, so popular attractions and wineries can get crowded.
  • April to September: This is considered the best time to visit with cooler weather. From March to May, autumn extends, with mild weather and temperatures ranging from 61°F to 77°F (16°C to 25°C). From late June to late September, when winter sets in, the weather becomes cool and wet, so the country is less crowded with tourists.
  • October to November: October marks the beginning of the wine harvest season in the Cape Winelands, making it a great opportunity to visit the region. October is also the month for Pinotage, a signature South African grape varietal that is the cross-pollination product of two grape cultivars: Pinot Noir and Cinsault. (Cinsault grapes were formerly called Hermitage, making the name 'Pinotage' a blend of the names 'Pinot Noir' and 'Hermitage'.) Wineries are bustling with activity and the spring blooms create a picturesque backdrop. The weather starts to warm, with temperatures ranging from 63°F to 82°F (17°C to 28°C).

Itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town Winelands [South Africa] (arrival day)

Your shuttle awaits you at Cape Town International Airport. Your accommodation over the next few days is a wine estate with an incredible story of transformation. The beautiful country estate lies in the small town of Wellington. Once you are settled in, you can stroll in the gardens or relax at the pool. Later, you will enjoy a delicious dinner at the on-site restaurant.

Wellington is situated at the foot of the Groenberg Mountain on the banks and forms the center of the Cape Winelands with its picturesque environment and numerous wineries. The perfect climate in Wellington supports the production of some exceptional "big red" varieties such as Shiraz, Pinotage, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Pinotage varietal was developed in 1925 by South African viticulturist, the late Professor Perold, as one of many experimental cross blends that were trialed at that time.

Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay are the main white varieties and great examples of these are also in abundance.

We start our wine tour here...

  • Accommodation: Wine Estate
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 2 The Art of Winemaking

After breakfast, we will visit the cellar in the Oude Molen, Stellenbosch for a wine-making experience. This experience will be led by an inspirational woman - one of South Africa's first female winemakers - who will passionately share the art of winemaking. After the demonstration, we will start our wine and olive tasting tour in the historic town.


Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and is known for its natural beauty and oak-lined avenues, Cape Dutch architecture, history, and culture. The town lies in a fertile valley surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, orchards, and mountains. It is an academic and farming community and one of the best-preserved towns in South Africa.

  • Accommodation: Wine Estate
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Wine & Poetry

Franschhoek (the "French corner") is a small, quaint village, renowned for its food and wine, nestled at the bottom of a fertile valley in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek is surrounded by rolling green hills, strawberry farms, and endless rows of grapevines. Here, you will visit the Huguenot Memorial Monument.


Today, we start with wine and poetry before getting onto the popular Wine Tram that stops at several wine farms for wine tastings. You will stop at one of the farms that will take you to the next level, by making, bottling, corking, and labeling their own red or white blend in a 1.5L magnum bottle!

This is also the day when you can experience 'sabrage' - a technique for opening champagne bottles with a sword (under the guidance of a professional)!

To finish off, you will enjoy a traditional South African meal on a boutique farm in Franschhoek.

  • Accommodation: Wine Estate
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 4 Art Scenes & Wine Drive

After breakfast, we head to the city exploring Cape Town's vibrant art scenes. We will stroll through art galleries and visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art. You will have time to walk around the Victoria & Albert Waterfront before we head back to the Winelands. We will stop at a wonderful wine farm that showcases South Africa's indigenous artists and culture.

For dinner, be delighted by a six-course fine dining meal on a historic Dutch farm with an award-winning resident chef.

  • Accommodation: Wine Estate
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5 Transfer to Cape Town Airport (departure day)

Cheers! Our wine tour comes to an end, but there is always a chance for one more! This is your surprise and our secret!

Customization

This itinerary is customizable upon request. It's also available as either a self-guided tour or a privately-guided tour.

If you wish, you can opt to extend your stay with two nights in Klein Karoo. You can stay in a unique Art Deco Hotel and do a Wine Safari (additional cost).

Route Map

Route map showing the stops along the Wine & Art tour in the Cape Winelands in South Africa.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • In-person welcome briefing on day 1

  • 4 nights' accommodation with breakfast at a wine estate

  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

  • Airport transfers (2)

  • 3 Guided tours

  • 2 Wine tasting experiences

  • Visits to wine farms & art galleries

  • Community levy

  • Financial protection

  • Flights to/from South Africa

  • Meals not mentioned

  • Travel & Medical Insurance

  • Gratuities

  • Personal expenses

  • Touristic taxes

  • Anything not mentioned as 'Included'

Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

  • Deposit per person

    30% of the trip price

  • Shared Room - sleeps 2 - price per person

    Self-Guided: $1,365 (min. 2 guests) Small-Group, fixed departure dates: $1,650 Privately-Guided: $1,925 (min. 2 guests)

  • Single Supplement

    $330

Optional Add-ons

  • Two additional nights in Klein Karoo + a Wine Safari on the country wine route: $510

Sustainability

Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do. Our focus is on local culture, the people, the environment, and making a positive impact. We believe a collective consciousness is necessary for the traveler, locals, and environment to grow.

Therefore, we intentionally collaborate with those who want to be part of rebuilding an inclusive, more sustainable model that benefits all stakeholders in the tourism industry. All our tours/trips are a combination of celebrating all cultures, connecting travelers to local community experiences, and bringing awareness about conservation. Travelers will enjoy the heart of the country through colorful and collaborative journeys that positively impact and empower.

Conscious of our impact on people and the planet, we provide travelers with a Pre-Trip Guide to familiarize themselves with the culture, customs, traditions, and how to minimize their carbon footprint on the destination.

Environmental Initiatives

Our tour takes place in the Cape Winelands. The towns are small and community-driven with many of the wineries, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions operating with reduced environmental footprints. We are conscious of our footprint on the environment and the accommodation we have chosen is an example of this supporting our sustainability journey. The 5 days are spent at one property that operates sustainable practices and policies. They ensure that geysers are switched off when not in use. Light bulbs have been replaced by LED energy-saving bulbs.

The on-site restaurant uses glass water bottles and biodegradable straws. They utilize compostable cardboard for takeaway containers, and they also create their own compost on-site for the gardens. Their commitment to sustainability is put into practice when the entire estate and homeowners endeavor to recycle and have a dedicated service that only collects recyclable items. Management also regularly communicates educational information to encourage recycling. Eco-friendly pesticides are used to control rodents which do not harm other animals. The estate also partners with Cape Nature for the rehabilitation of tortoises to be released on the wine estate.

Sociocultural Initiatives

We also invest up to 5% of the tour fee into one of the women-owned farms which runs a foundation that teaches women entrepreneurial skills that can be applied to the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities, and society at large. The foundation will help create a source of income for its beneficiaries. By providing shelter for women who are abused, mentally or physically, they offer a safe place to turn to as well as the necessary emotional support.

Economic Initiatives

The owners of the establishments for this unique tour are all community champions. They promote the conservation and protection of local nature and wildlife, and their engagement with the local community is respectful, positive, and mutually beneficial.

The wine farms we visit are properties owned by women from marginalized communities and are a true example of transformation in the South African context. The tour has been designed with the local people in mind and our supply chain, including tour guides, transport, and accommodation is owned by local women entrepreneurs who are community builders.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

All health and safety guidance will be provided to the guests on tour. The Pre-Trip Guide also gives tips on how to travel safely. The wine estates visited in this tour have combined their wines with other art expressions through interlinked gardens and walkways that are safe and secure for guests to enjoy.

South Africa is considered a meat-consuming country, but it has a variety of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and most eateries cater to all.

Travelers do not need to be vaccinated for South Africa.

FAQs

What does the Physical Rating of "Easy" mean for this trip?

The tour includes walking short distances and is suitable for all ages. We move at a leisurely pace and travel short distances, taking the time to walk and thoroughly enjoy each experience without being rushed.

What are the accommodations like?

The wine estate actively adds to our sustainability efforts. It uses glass water bottles in the restaurant & tasting room on the wine estate. They use compostable cardboard takeaway containers in the restaurant and biodegradable straws. There is a recycling sorting plant on site to separate glass (wine bottles), cardboard (wine boxes), and paper (office paper). Besides, the estate makes its own compost on-site for the gardens.

How is this trip safe for female, solo, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC travelers?

Cape Town is a welcoming city to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC travelers. The tour is best enjoyed within a group and safe for solo travelers with local guidance.

Will there be a guide throughout the tour?

On day 1, you will be greeted by a guide who will provide a briefing about the tour. During your journey, there will be three guided tours, while for the remaining part of the tour, you will explore independently with support and guidance from the establishment's staff.

What type of art am I going to see?

South Africa has a vibrant art scene. You will see Street, Contemporary, Sculpture, and Indigenous Art including feature exhibitions.

Will there be any wine-tasting experiences?

Yes. There are two wine-tasting experiences included.

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