The Cape Winelands in the range of mountain valleys to the east of Cape Town were settled by settlers from European countries in the 1600's. Many of these early settlers were French Huguenots and their legacy can still be found in the names of the estates, La Motte, La Provence, Haute Provence and L'Ormarins are some of the better known producers of fine wines founded by those early pioneers.
The Wine Route
The Wine Route are popular day tours from Cape Town with most of the estates offering wine tasting and sales. Many of them also include top quality restaurants while others provide picnic baskets which can be enjoyed on the lawns under shady oaks.
The pocket sized town of Franschoek boasts more than 20 restaurants at last count with a wide variety of choice, from gourmet breakfasts to top quality dinners including smoked trout from the clear and unpolluted local rivers and lakes.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and the wine capital of the region, is very popular for its oak-lined streets, beautiful Cape-Dutch architecture and fine restaurants.
A worthwhile trip is a drive over Franschoek Pass to the Elgin Valley, the foremost region in the country for the growing of apples. The pass follows the route originally taken by elephants on their travels, although it is now well maintained asphalt.