Cape Town – There is more to wine than swirling and sipping, as the beverage’s earliest origins and places of produce hold historical and cultural significance in South Africa’s diverse heritage.
While many of us visit local wine estates for tastings, pairings or to get a ‘little tipsy’, an abundance of the wine estates – particularly the century-old ones – are places of historic importance and monuments of heritage.
So, what makes SA’s wine route an important part of our heritage? Well, from Groot Constantia in Cape Town to Boschendal in Franschhoek, one can explore the original houses built on the estates and learn more about what life was like centuries ago for the Cape settlers.
SEE: The very Best of the Winelands for 2017 - as voted by you
Explore the unique Cape-Dutch or French architecture, check out the décor of these intricately designed houses, and learn about the heritage of the people who lived there – a mix of cultures, traditions and heritage from European beginnings, blended in a South African backdrop.
South African Tourism says that SA’s wine routes “trace not only the history and development of our country’s 350-year-old wine-making tradition, but South Africa’s maturation into a full-bodied, flavourful democracy”.
“A majority of wine routes in South Africa fall under the auspices of the Wine of Origin Scheme, an origin control system instituted in 1973 to safeguard the diversity and uniqueness of South African wine,” adds SA Tourism.
SEE: Wine worth travelling for: 16 Winelands experiences to try
With a myriad of wine estates to visit, with each boasting award-winning wines and unique blends, we thought it's best to start exploring SA’s wine heritage by making the most of wine festivals taking place across Mzansi during Heritage Month in September, spilling over into October.
Check out wine worth travelling for in celebration of SA’s wine heritage:
Pinotage On Tap
Believed to be the world's best wine event, Diemesfontein's Pinotage On Tap is back! Enjoy bottomless Pinotage, lunch and desert with awesome live entertainment.
When: 2 September 2017
Where: Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate, Wellington
Explore the best of the Cape Winelands this heritage day as you rove from farm to farm in Franschhoek, sampling the best the valley has to offer.
When: 16 - 17 September 2017
Where: Farms throughout Franschhoek
Mmm... McGregor food and wine Festival
A festival of art, food and wine in the streets of McGregor. Come explore this Western Cape jewel.
When: 30 September 2017
Where: McGregor, Western Cape
ALSO SEE: #InnerCityWineRoute: New SA wine district created to boost local wines globally
Plett Wine and Bubbly Festival
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Méthode Cap Classique from Plett's local producers can be enjoyed for the third year running. This year, a Wine Theatre with guest speakers will give wine aficionados a closer look.
When: 7 - 8 October 2017
Where: Plett Central Beach
Oyster & Champagne Festival
Oysters from the west and east coasts are enjoyed with Cape Town's finest bubbly
When: 14 - 15 October 2017
Where: Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville
SEE: Best of Wine Tourism: 7 Top estates to head to this summer
Wine on the River
Sip wines from Robertson, Ashton, Bonnievale and McGregor while relaxing beside the Breede River.
When: 20 - 22 October 2017
Where: Goudmyn Farm, situated on the R317 between Robertson and Bonnievale.
Season of Sauvignon
One of the Durbanville Wine Valley calendar highlights is definitely Season of Sauvignon. The Valley is especially well known for their Sauvignon Blanc - in my opinion, the country's best Sauvignon Blancs hail from Durbanville. Come and decide for yourself at the Valley's 12 wine farms.
When: 28 - 29 October 2017
Where: Wine farms throughout the Durbanville Wine Valley
Sample award winning wines, brandy and Cape port from the biggest brand names to the quaintest boutique brands at WineX. Paired with gobsmacking charcuterie, cheeses and preserves - you're in for a treat. The show will also introduce wine routes, wine accessories and cooling systems, so ,whatever your interest in the wine industry - pen WineX in your spring calendar.
When: 25 - 27 October 2017
Where: Sandton Convention Centre
Pinotage On Tap
Believed to be the world's best wine event, at least in our opinion, Diemesfontein's Pinotage On Tap is back! Enjoy bottomless Pinotage, lunch and desert with awesome live entertainment.
When: 16 September 2017
Where: The Litchi Orchard, Seaforth Drive, Salt Rock
Good Food and Wine Show
The famed Good Food and Wine Show comes to Durban and this time, SA's largest culinary event brings a new, fresh look and feel. The show aims to promote the global trend of sustainable and healthy living and we can't wait to get in on the unique fresh tastes it has to offer
When: 27 -29 October 2017
Where: Ticketpro Dome, Durban
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