In Cape Town itself, the Constantia Valley is home to some of the country’s oldest and best known estates. Since the days of Governor Simon Van Der Stel (late 1600s), the Constantia Valley has been famous for its superb wines. Today, a number of South Africa’s finest vineyards can be found in the valley, including Groot Constantia (+27 21 794 5128; www.grootconstantia.co.za), Buitenverwachting (+27 21 794 5190; www.buitenverwachting.co.za), Constantia Uitsig (+27 21 794 6500; www.constantiauitsig.com), Klein Constantia (+27 21 794 5188;
www.kleinconstantia.com) and Steenberg (+27 21 713-221; www.steenberg-vineyards.co.za ), to mention just a few.

The area is steeped in history and is home to some of the best examples of Cape Dutch architecture. The largest wine estate, Groot Constantia, is home to Simon Van Der Stel’s original manor house museum and is a first-rate example of this architectural style (www.museums.org.za/grootcon – website under construction).

You can enjoy wine tastings and cellar tours at the wine farms and buy your favourite tipple directly from the estate. There are numerous award-winning restaurants in the Constantia Vineyards, including Constantia Uitsig’s La Colombe (+27 21 794 2390; www.constantia-uitsig.com/pages/restaurants/la-colombe.php) restaurant and the restaurant on the Buitenverwachting estate (+27 21 794 5190; www.buitenverwachting.co.za).

A 45-minute drive from the city whisks visitors to the winelands enclave, where surrounding mountains form a majestic backdrop to rows of neatly staked vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads. Here the tourist will experience the memorable hospitality and beauty of the winelands towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Robertson in the Breede River Valley.