The wine estates of the South Africa’s Western Cape region have, perhaps an unfair advantage when it comes to attracting wine-loving travelers. Surrounded by towering mountain peaks, and two oceans within easy reach from the vineyards, dramatic scenery is taken as a given.

Which means estates need to work hard to set themselves apart in creating a memorable experience to surround the act of tasting the fruits of the vines. And nobody in the Cape does that better than La Motte wine estate in Franschhoek.

If there is one stretch of road worth driving more than any other  in the Cape Winelands I would have to say it is the windy mountain pass linking the historic oak lined university town of Stellenbosch and the fertile Banhoek valley leading into the French Huguenot  town of Franschhoek. Not only are the vistas absolutely extraordinary but the wine farms, attached like amulets on a chain, each have a unique story and are each a worthwhile destination boasting top wines, restaurants, delis, accommodation, art galleries and sculpture gardens...

This post, written by Per Karlsson of BK Wine Tours, is a particicpant in the 2014 Guest Bloggers Program sponsored by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

“In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town wrote in his log book that a certain Jan Blanx, arquebusier on the ship, was sentenced to fall from the yard arm [a boom half way up the mast] and to receive 50 lashes for having wilfully and petulantly defied the captain…” Teddy Hall tells us the story of one of the early settlers on the Cape, standing on a street corner in Stellenbosch.


Gourmands flock to the Cape, some relocate permanently despite the environmental warnings including crash weight gain, sun burn and liver damage often associated with overwhelming feelings of misadventure and debilitating excitement. Some even arrive at contentment but it’s an arduous journey.

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