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Beginning stages of planning winery tour of Cape Town mid June 2012

Beginning stages of planning winery tour of Cape Town mid June 2012

Jul 26th, 2011, 05:46 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 464
Beginning stages of planning winery tour of Cape Town mid June 2012

Hi, I am going on a safari in Botswana June 1-12, 2012, and am considering a trip to Cape Town afterwards with my fiance. We have never been to Cape Town before and heard it was lovely, especially for the scenery and the wineries.
My fiance is new to luxury travel, so I don't wish for anything stuffy in the way of hotels, though I do desire excellent service and romance, a great room and in short, a truly memorable stay.
I have been reading all the posts regarding Cape Town here, and have taken numerous notes in the hope of somehow figuring out where to stay, what wineries to tour, and other things to do not to mention which restaurants to dine at!
In Cape Town, and I don't know the geography yet, the wineries people have mentioned that sounded fabulous are Neethlingshof Estate, Constantia, Nederberg, La Petite Ferme, Kanonkop, and L'Ormarins as well as Fairview.
I read about the Walk with Baboons and the Drakensberg Lion Reserve. I am a true animal lover, and highly desire to visit both while in Cape Town.
I am desirous of a wonderful, perhaps boutique hotel, meaning a smaller, charming hotel with a large room and perhaps a private balcony - excellent service, something really special to impress my fiance with - I took all kinds of notes, and have a slew of possibilities to look into such as Boulder Bay, Camps Bay Retreat, Cape Coadogan Hotel, Le Quartier Francais in the Four Quarters area, Cape Grace, The Commodore and The One and Only. Originally, a friend suggested the hotel "Delaire". I checked it out http://www.delaire.co.za/ but it looks way too fancy for us. They also suggested The Round House Restaurant as a special dining experience, but that too seemed "lofty" for our standards, and the menu, I'm ashamed to say, I wouldn't know what to order, as I don't eat a lot of fish, certainly not fois gras, nor game. More of a vegetarian and chicken person! Yikes!
There are restaurants which, at this point in time, probably aren't worth considering until we get our hotel's location figured out because of my interest in visiting the Lion Reserve and maybe the Baboon Walk... not sure of Cape Town's geography yet!
If someone out there knows, based on my early interests, merely acquired from gathering notes from all the postings here, which hotels I might be interested in checking out, I would be most grateful.
Also, feel free to comment on any of the wineries, hotels and things to do.
I heard that it can be very windy and rainy in Cape Town in mid June.
We'll be coming off a Botswana Safari before Cape Town, so this is the only opportunity we have to visit easily.
Is it best, then, to stick just to the wineries, due to the weather?
I also heard of Table Mountain and something about Sharks, but it seems we'd be risking too much with the weather...
All in all, hoping for a wonderful, romantic respite after a wonderful, wonderful safari.
I think we may have up to 7 nights to spend in Cape Town.
Hope it's more than enough.
I suspect we may need to switch hotels at least once during our stay?
Lastly, I read that at least a few people prefer the Stellensbosch area over Franschhoek for wineries and wonder if there's truth to it.
Thanks for your help.
teadrinker is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 01:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 17
Hi teadrinker,

June is winter in Cape Town, and it can be wet and rainy BUT every now and then we get the most beautiful sunny days - even in winter - if you are lucky to get one of these days use it wisely and zip up Table Mountain on the cable car.

I really like Hawksmoor House near Stellenbosch, imo it offers understated luxury and great value for money. It's a very scenic drive between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch so I think it's best to visit both.

With regards to wineries you may find the following blog quite interesting: http://www.mysafari.com/african-blog...inelands-3750/
SecretaryBird is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 05:36 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
Hi teadrinker,

Sounds like you are planning an awesome trip! I thought I would help a little with your geography.

There are 3 popular wine regions (there are others slightly further away too) in and around Cape Town. In Cape Town itself there is the Constantia Wine Route. You talk about Constantia as a wine farm above, but it is actually a wine route consisting of a few wine farms. Then the other 2 popular regions are Stellenbosch and Franschhoek - both are about 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, but a very easy drive, and both areas are well worth a visit.

You mention the Drakensberg Lion Reserve above - I am not 100% sure what you are referring to here but the Drakensberg Mountain National Park is in Kwa-Zulu Natal which is another province in South Africa. This province is not really close to Cape Town and would probably require a flight to get too considering your time. As far as I know there is not a Lion Park around there. There is the Cape Town Lion Park (currently closed) but you can get details for them here: www.capetownlionpark.co.za

Walking with Baboons is a delicate matter in Cape Town, there is a company called Baboon Matters which has been doing some fantastic work with these animals. They do have a website and you can get information off their site, but currently they are not doing any walks with the baboons.

There is still a huge amount to do in Cape Town and 7 days is a good length of time to get a feeling for the City and everything it has to offer. It is winter time in June but that being said, with global warming these days, the weather can be very unpredictable. You may well get beautiful summer days and some rainy winter ones. But whatever the weather, there is plenty to see and do in Cape Town.

And finally - you might find this site useful when planning which wine farms to visit: http://winetourismhandbook.co.za/

I hope this helps make things a little clearer. Enjoy your planning.
African_Safaris is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 05:56 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 29
We stayed at the Steenberg hotel in Constantia, which was beautiful and luxurious and allowed us to conveniently explore Cape Town, the beaches a little farther south, and Constania wineries too. The restaurant at Steenberg was excellent too and we had one of our best meals there as well as excellent breakfasts.

We also stayed a few days at Hawksmoor House to see Stellenbosch, Paarl and Frankshoek and found it charming and beautiful and I highly recommend it. i didn't find it to be luxurious, but it was gorgeous and very comfortable.

Our favorite wineries in order were Tokara, muratie, stony brook, meerlust, graham beck, thelema and oak valley so i highly recommend visiting all of those. Other wineries were good too, but these were the "must visit" places because of the quality of the wine, the charm of the vineyards/tasting rooms, and the inaccessibility of getting their wines outside of south africa. (if you make your way toward hermanus, then I'd also recommend a visit to hamilton russell, paul cluver and newton johnson too.)

Our favorite meals were at Le Petite Ferme, Tokara and Terroir. We loved all three of these places so much that we made them repeat visits. If you head toward Hermanus, Mariana's served one of the best and most memorable meals of our life and you should definitely plan to visit if you're near the area.

While in wine country, we focused on wine tasting (went to 7 wineries per day) since we love wine so much and we already visited so many animal reserves while touring the garden route. in cape town, definitely drive south toward the cape of good hope (and dine at the foodbarn on the way) and see the penguins at boulders beach and all the cute little towns around the area. also, our favorite activity in cape town proper was the weekend market (i think it was called the neighbour good's market.) and you've got to visit table mountain and the v&a waterfront too, as well as the main downtown center of the city. we LOVED capetown and the winelands and you'll have an incredible trip!
gulliver433 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2011, 02:00 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 184
I think they mean Drakenstein Lion Park

http://www.lionrescue.org.za/

Are you self-driving or looking for guided tours ?

Can you stretch it out to 8/9 days ? If so you could do the Garden Route as well.
braaiseason is offline  
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