Great Wine Trips: South Africa
The Western Cape
Here, maritime and mountain terrain plus an ideal climate add up to wines as good as legendary golfers (and winemakers) Ernie Els and Gary Player.
Where to Play: Highlights start with Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate (pearlvalley.co.za) in Franschhoek, a relatively new (2003) Jack Nicklaus design with well-manicured bent-grass greens. Another gem is Royal Cape Golf Club (royalcapegolf.co.za), a parkland course with narrow fairways and multiple water hazards that has hosted ten South African Opens. Also hit Arabella Golf Club (arabellagolf.co.za), a veritable nature preserve with over a hundred species of birds.
Where to Taste: The two main wine regions on the Western Cape are Stellenbosch and Constantia. There are more than a hundred wine producers in Stellenbosch, but we recommend Spier Winelands Estate (spier.co.za), which is enormous, beautiful and known for its award-winning cabernet sauvignons and merlots. In Constantia visit the Klein Constantia Estate (kleinconstantia.com), recognized for reviving sweet wines on the Cape, such as the famed Vin de Constance.
Where to Stay: Straightway Head (straightwayhead.com) is a comfortable, moderate family-owned hotel thirty minutes outside Cape Town. Western Cape Hotel & Spa (westerncapehotelandspa.co.za), at the Arabella Country Estate, is a high-end, luxury-spa choice.