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INSIDER TIPS for Wine Tasting in South Africa

South Africa has some of the best Vintage and Red Wines in the world. We would like to help you choose the best value for money, wine tasting tour option of the Cape Winelands.

You either adore wine and its complexities, or you think it simply tastes like sour or foul grapes. However, once you begin to appreciate wine it’s easy to get lost in a world of different varieties and regions. This is where wine tasting comes in.

Although often thought to only be reserved for Sommeliers, every wine lover can have fun with wine tasting. You don’t need to be a fancy pants or know your stuff.

Wine tasting options

There are many different food and wine pairing options offered in the Cape Winelands. The food options range from Chocolate, Cheese, Ice Cream, Fudge, Salt, Olives, Charcuterie, Nuts and Biltong (jerky) to Cupcakes, Meringues, Marshmallows and Nougat.

These can be paired with a variety of produce from Wines to Brandy’s and MCC (Method Cap Classic) better known as Champagne.

Besides great wines South Africa also produces other alcoholic beverages such as Brandy, Whiskey, Gin, Tequilla and Beer.

TOUR OPTIONS

When deciding to take a tour of the Winelands there are a number of options on offer.

Some of these are:

Private Wine Tour

In this case you hire a vehicle with a driver or Tourist Guide via a tour company or agency and they take you to various vineyards. Usually you pay for your own wine tastings and therefore you may choose whatever type of tastings on offer.

Self Drive Tours

This means that you hire a vehicle from a car hire company and do your own driving. You pay for your own wine tastings and therefore you may choose whatever type of tastings on offer. You would need to be aware of the drinking-and-driving-laws in South Africa, which are very strict so the driver will not be able to participate in drinking. It would also require that you have a good navigating system or idea where you’re going.

Group Tours and Day Tours

This option means that you are taken around the Winelands as part of a group on a Coach or Minivan. The tour is usually conducted by a Tourist Guide. The Guide is usually well informed on wines but is not usually a wine specialist, however his or her level of knowledge is usually very good. Should you require a wine specialist for the full duration of the tour, this can be arranged via your tour operator but the cost could be considerably higher. However, when you arrive at a Wine Estate the Wine tasting is presented by a wine specialist, anyway.

The tour company usually assigns a budget for the tour and the type of tastings and the amount of tastings are governed by the budget. In other words everybody gets to taste the same pre-selected wines at each Wine Estate. This may mean that the group may not be tasting the best wines on offer because of the budget allowance restraints and this may lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction.


INSIDER TIPS… for the best value for money experience, find a tour company that offers a wine tour where you pay for the tastings. This gives you the opportunity to choose from any of the wine tasting options on offer such as:

  • Standard tastings
  • Premier tastings or
  • Vintage tastings

Further benefits include:

  1. Choosing your preferred wines for tasting.
  2. Choosing any of the food and wine pairing options that may be on offer.
  3. Possibly visit more Wine Estates by skipping the lunch stop as the Food Pairing options are often generous.
  4. Visit better quality Wine Estates because there are no budget restraints.

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