Cape Town - Visiting the Cape Winelands can be an intimidating adventure... 'so many wine farms, so little time'!
But if you're looking for the best of the best, we've got just the thing. The best of the best in wine tourism was announced recently in the fifth annual Klink Awards, presented by Wine Tourism South Africa.
To establish the creme de la creme in 13 predetermined categories, more than 19 879 votes by wine loving consumers and wine farm visitors were tallied to determine the ultimate wine and food experiences offered in the Western Cape Winelands.
Two wine destinations excelled even more than their counterparts in claiming two Klink Awards each! Groot Constantia was crowned the Best Icon Wine Estate as well as the Best Winelands Experience, while Hillcrest Estate was voted the Best Boutique Cellar as well as the overall Winner of this year's Klink Awards.
Check out the complete list of this year's very best Wine Tourism offerings, and what the Klink organisers has to say about the winners -
Hillcrest Estate - Award for Best Boutique Cellar AND Overall Winner
“Small production”, “artisanal” or even “cult”... boutique is more a state of mind than a number of bottles. It is more of an attitude than a location. Apart from spectacular boutique wine, Hillcrest is also renowned as a outdoor movie destination and hosts Galileo Open Air Cinema events during summer months.
The Estate was crowned the overall winner - or Supernova - in this year's Klink Awards.
Groot Constantia - Award for Best Winelands Experience AND Best Icon Wine Estate
This is the perfect package. One that successfully seduces, not just with a tasting experience, but also with the ambiance to match. Architecture, furnishings, lighting, sound, temperature and kinetics, which combine in different ways to enhance the brand experience of their customers.
Beyerskloof - Award for the best gourmet burger in the Winelands
A burger is not just a burger; it is a staple on any menu worth its salt. Whether it is as simple as the good old-fashioned beef variety or something with a twist, the quest was on to find the juiciest, yummiest burger created at a winery eating spot.
Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards - Award for the best Wine Country Cuisine
This category was selected for bistros, casual dining or café society in the Cape Winelands without all the fancy frills. The search was on for laidback venues, which showcase local and artisanal farm produce in the best possible way.
Creation wines - Award for the best Food and Wine Pairings
From biltong, nuts, dried fruits to cheese, chocolate, nougat and gourmet canapé tasting platters, all go down well with wine. The art is in finding the perfect match.
The Kitchen @ Maison - Award for Best Gourmet Restaurant at the Cellar Door
This category recognises gastronomic destinations with signature chefs who create cutting edge cuisine. Restaurants that pay great attention to detail in terms of an overall wine and food experience, have a great location, first-class service, a focus on artisanal and local Winelands produce, seasonal favourites and tasting menus which expertly pair food and wine.
The Franschhoek Cellars - Award for Most Unusual Attraction on a Wine Route
A wild card is the most unusual and memorable attraction, something that offers a unique selling point for attracting wine tourists to the cellar door.
Graham Beck - Award for Best Bubbly
For breakfast, lunch…or actually, anytime. The search was on for an MCC that is out of this world, quirky and fun and the ultimate experience at a tasting room - the best to quaff, sip or savour.
Waterford Estate - Award for Best Outdoor Activities
A spectacularly scenic vineyard hike, a challenging wine farm bike trail, a spirited wine route horse ride or something a little more challenging, a taste of adventure to a Winelands offering was what this category was all about.
Wine on the River - Award for the Best Winelands Event or Festival
An event, festival, or winery event, which draws visitors and helps to build a regional wine brand or market a specific wine route destination.
Darling Brew - Award for Best Craft Beer
There's something of a craft beer evolution in South Africa. With around 130 craft breweries, it is no wonder that beer adds a unique style, pair-ability with cured meats and cheeses, and a complementary relationship with wine.
City Sightseeing Wine Tour - Award for the Best Touring Company
A new addition to our categories. Touring companies were called upon – big and small – in order to uncover the brightest gems of destinations, experiences, wine and food that are distinctively wine tourism.
What to read next on Traveller24:
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- SA Winelands restaurant listed as one of the world’s best places to dine with a view