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I'm going to South Africa this month and will be in Cape Town for several days. Since one of South Africa's major wine regions is just outside of Cape Town, I'd like to spend a little bit of time there.

I've seen several companies that will provide tours along the Stellenbosch wine route. Many of these require committing a full day or multiple days to a tour; are there any vineyards in the Cape Winelands that I can visit without an advance booking of a tour?

I don't have a firm itinerary planned out (will partly depend on how jet-lagged I am!), but I'm looking for something between a half day and a full day. It doesn't matter much whether I have an official tour with a guide versus wandering around on my own and talking to vineyard staff; I'm happy to pay for tours and tastings, as long as I don't have to decide in advance. I'm mostly looking for the flexibility to wake up one morning and just go.

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Will you have a car with you? Or were you hoping to do it by public transport? Or are you hoping to find a last minute tour including transport? –  Gagravarr Mar 4 '12 at 13:25
    
I'll have a car, so transportation shouldn't be an issue. –  Laura Mar 4 '12 at 15:12
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I got on a tour organized through the backpackers I stayed at and I only booked the night before, most of the vineyards we went to seemed to cater for individuals as well as groups. Sunday's are not a good day to go as most vineyards are closed or offer limited services. I'll try and hunt out the details from my journal tomorrow night and write you a proper answer. –  Stuart Mar 4 '12 at 22:36
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2 Answers 2

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You could try contacting Luhambo tours, who do daily tours leaving from Cape Town. Small groups with specialised wine guides. +27 21 551 04 67.

If you want to do it yourself, maps, information on vineyards that receive and accommodate visitors and advice on getting to them are all available from the very helpful people at the Tourism and Information Bureau in Stellenbosch.

Also have a look at Wikitravel's page on the Cape Winelands. It mentions several other tour companies that include half-day and single day tours. Quite a range of prices too! It also lists down the bottom the famous wine estates of the region, including their opening times and contact details.

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We ended up just driving to Stellenbosch Tourism, and the woman there was great. She pulled out a map, circled her favorite places and told us a little about each one. No booking in advance, no dealing with bus schedules - it was great! –  Laura Mar 29 '12 at 15:37
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The Tour I went on was organised by Cape Town Backpackers, and was a small group with a driver/guide. We visited four vineyards of which I can sadly only find the details of three: Backsberg, KWV, and Tokara.

I wouldn't trying to squeeze more than four into a day as they're not exactly close to each other and at each stop we sampled between four and six wines with cheese, and normally two brandies with chocolate (seemed weird but the South Africans love it).

I checked the sites above and they all accept singles for tasting and you can join scheduled cellar tours.

Personally I'd recommend against driving yourself, unless you intend to spit everything you try, which in my opinion, would be a real waste!

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The owner of the tour company Barry drinks in the bar of Capetown backpackers when he isn't working and is keen for a chat about SA wines and rugby, usually over a bottle or three, sadly i didn't have him on my tour I had some other lady who was less knowledgeable and no fun. –  Stuart Mar 6 '12 at 0:37
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