The Winelands

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The Winelands refers to a beautiful area of South Africa to the north and east of Cape Town. As the name suggests it is famous for its vineyards, but in truth there is much more to the region than this. There are two main towns in the Winelands and each has a very contrasting character. Stellenbosch is a university town, and so has a young vibe, with great bars and cafes, but it also very historic, with pretty Cape Dutch buildings dating back 300 years. Franschhoek, whilst it does have its roots in the French Huguenot refugees of the 17th century, feels more modern, with art galleries and a real gourmet foodie culture. Wine tasting is high on the list of things to do, but don’t settle for just tasting it; make it part of a tour with a renowned local raconteur and wine historian, or do it on horseback, or perhaps try some of the more unusual pairings on offer like wine and chocolate tasting. You should also make time to enjoy the scenery: some of the mountain passes, like the Hellshoogte Pass and the Franschhoek Pass are well worth the drive. The Winelands offers more than enough attractions to keep both the first-time visitor and seasoned South Africa buff happy.

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