South Africa Wine & Safari Tour with WineMaker Magazine

Radisson Hotel Water front

Day #1=>Arrive at the Cape Town airport. After collecting our bags we will locate our WineMaker representative who will shuttle us to the Radisson Hotel. The Radisson sits on the beautiful waterfront of Cape Town. There's something to fill all the senses, with fantastic art adorning all rooms and suites, while Cape Town's craft food and drink scene are celebrated in the OUIbar + KTCHN(on-site restaurant). Or enjoy their rooftop bar that sits atop the hotel and boasts amazing views of the sea and Table Mountain. Take in the stunning views of the sunset as you relax in or around the pool. Radisson RED Cape Town is ideally placed in the Silo District, within walking distance of the V&A Waterfront, minutes away from main sites. The tour does not offically start until the next day so our plan is to enjoy the Cape Town Waterfront.

Day #2=>Our tour starts with a meet and greet in the lobby of the hotel. After which we will visit one of the oldest and most renowned wine estates, Beau Constantia; images to the right. This estate has a proud winemaking history dating back to 1685. After our vineyard visit we have some free time to explore the VA Waterfront. Dinner on the first day of our tour will be at Sevruga Restaurant, a delectable seafood and grill menu, with asian fusion flavours at its core. {Meals: Dinner}

Day #3=>After breakfast at the hotel we depart for Table Mountain, one of the World's New 7 Wonders of Nature. After Table Mountain we will visit Groot Constantia Wine Estate, established in the late 1600s; images to the right. We will enjoy a chocolate and wine pairing tasting. This experience will be followed by delicious lunch at the Estate.

In the late afternoon, we will celebrate the vibrant diversity of Cape Town's special Gin variety with its distinctly South African flavor when we visit Woodstock Gin Company. You'll then have a bit of free time to explore the V&A Waterfront, stroll along the histoic streets, do some shopping, and grab dinner on your own. {Meals: Breakfast & Lunch}

Day #4=>After breakfast we check out and depart for the Stellenbosch wine region. Stellenbosch is regarded as the wine capital of South Africa. Our first stop is a wine tasting at the Kanonkop Winery, the leading estate in growing and producing world-class Pinotage; far right image.

Afterward, we'll head down the hill to Jordan Winery, owned by Gary and Kathy Jordan for the past 37 years. Where you'll have a chance to lounge on their stunning patio while grabbing lunch; image to the right.

We'll then shuttle the rest of the way into town and check into our hotel, the Oude Werf. This elegant boutique hotel is the oldest running hotel in South Africa, spanning over three centuries! It offers eclectic historical architecture and art while still providing opulent modern accommodations. Located in the heart of Stellenbosch and within walking distance of many shops, cafes, and wine bars.

Tonight, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner at the Oude Werf Restaurant by renowned South African Chef Jeromy Joubert.
{Meals: Breakfast & Dinner}

Day #5=>After breakfast we will discover Stellenbosch on foot and explore the "village of the oaks" with its shady oak avenues bordered by the water furrows of the Mill Stream.

Our first winery stop will be at Meerlust Wine Estate, dating back to 1693(far right image). Meerlust is among the best South African wooded New World Chardonnay. The flagship of the Estate is their Rubicon, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Our second stop will be at Alto Wine Estate.  Alto dates back to 1693 as a red specialist. Since 1972, Alto has been world-renowned for its handcrafted, bold red wines. Here we will experience a unique wine tasting paired with a selection of biltong (dried, cured meat) flavors and a blue cheese tasting. After the Alto tasting, you will enjoy a bistro-style dining experience in a contemporary farmhouse that extends out onto a beautiful deck overlooking views of Stellenbosch Hills and Table Mountain(image to left of Meerlust).

Our last vineyard visit of the day will be to the family-owned estate of Rust en Vrede, whose focus is full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Rust en Vrede is recommended as the number one Vineyard in Cape Town. Rust en Vrede is highlighted for its rich history of more than 300 years in winemaking at the Stellenbosch estate.

Dinner tonight is on your own back in Stellenbosch, giving you a chance to explore the city on your own. We can make recommendations for some great local restaurants!
{Meals: Breakfast & Lunch}

Day #6=>After breakfast we are off to the Franschoek Wine Valley, known for its full-bodied red wines featuring Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

We start with a private tasting at the beautiful Anthonij Rupert Winery in their historic and recently refurbished Manor House, located just beneath the jagged peaks of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains(far right image). This winery produces a number of brands including the popular Protea label found in most South African grocery stores. The Protea brand is very distinct because of their unique painted bottles.

Our lunch will be hosted by Richard Carstens, one of South Africa's Top chefs. Arkeste is known as the best restaurant in Franschhoek(middle of page image). Nestled at the foot of the magnificent mountains Franschhoek is a Wineland's town, unlike any other with the atmosphere of a bygone era bringing a sense of gracious, unhurried living.

After lunch we will be going to Chamonix Wine Farm, situated high above the fertile Franschhoek valley in the heart of the Cape Winelands, with a history stretching back nearly 350 years(far right image).

Our final vineyard visit of the day will be to Haute Cabriere, housing the iconic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. You will enjoy a tasting while learning about the French Huguenot who established the farm in 1694, Pierre Jourdan.(image to the right)

Dinner tonight is on your own back in Stellenbosch, allowing you to visit a new restaurant you didn't eat at night before, or maybe the same one if you loved it!
{Meals: Breakfast & Lunch}

Day #7=>Today is our final day of the wine portion of our tour. We can't leave without visiting the Paarl wine region. Paarl is situated beneath a large granite outcrop, formed by three domes. This area is famous for its red wine. Red varieties produce a medley of fruit with serious structure and richness in single-varietal wines and blended wines.

We'll start with a delightful sustainable wine and cheese pairing at the Fairview farm and winery. Fairview maintains traditional reds at its core, such as Shiraz and Pinotage. But they have naturally evolved to include a growing white wine selection of farm favourites such as Chenin Blanc and Viognier.(far right image)

We'll then make our way over to Tokara Wine Estate, tucked away in the mountains in an area known as Banghoek, for a taste of their wonderful range of wines. At Tokara, they focus on two of the greatest grape varieties in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. This afternoon you will enjoy the wines from the winemakers who concentrate on eco-friendly viticultural practices and use natural winemaking materials and techniques.(image to the right)

Tonight, we will celebrate our last day in Winelands and enjoy a wonderful wine-paired dinner at The Fat Butcher Restaurant who's menu offers up skaapstertjies (lamb tail), oven roasted sweet potato soup, signatures steaks, Domer lamb, west coast white wine mussels, fresh salmon, limoncello calamari, non-meat risotto and plenty more. {Meals: Breakfast & Dinner}

Day #8=>After breakfast we will say goodbye to the wine portion of our tour and take a two-hour flight to Nelspruit International Airport. Upon arrival we will transfer to your luxurious lodge near Kruger National Park. The Park is a wildlife legend on the African Continent. Approximately half the size of Switzerland, Denmark or The Netherlands it is one of the world's biggest wildlife sanctuaries.

Our lodge Kapama River Lodge is the largest of the Kapama Private Game Reserve camps, River Lodge's wide, open spaces and airy design constantly remind you that you're sleeping under the African sky. Besides the luxury five-star accommodation, River Lodge allows you to escape to a place away from time, and indulge in one of the finest safari lodges near the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

This afternoon, after getting settled into our luxury lodge, we'll take our first driving safari in comfortable Land Rovers. Our spotters and trackers will work hard to make sure we see as many of the reserve's 48 mammal species, 112 tree species, 230 bird species, and 54 reptile species as possible.

As the sun sets over the bush, we'll stop for "sundowners" (cocktails). For dinner, we have the first of the gourmet meals cooked by the lodge's staff. {Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day #9=>After a quick cup of coffee, we depart at first light - a time of day many animals are active - for another game drive.

These drives allow you an opportunity to witness some of the smaller species, like the dung beetle or geckos, and larger animals, such as giraffes, at close range. We return to camp a few hours later and enjoy breakfast and perhaps a quick nap.

In the middle of the day you will have time to relax in the lodge, where you can read a book, catch up on your journaling or vacation photo posting, sip a glass of wine, or chat with your friends. Hanging out at a luxury lodge in the middle of the bush is part of the experience and one of the most peaceful aspects of your vacation. There is something about being in the middle of the African bush that makes your cell phone and email seem . unimportant.

We repeat yesterday's late afternoon safari drive, which is different each time, thanks to the animals. If we are lucky, we can catch a lion roaring (absolutely amazing), a thrilling chase, or perhaps a mother leopard with her small cubs. Sundowners and dinner cap the day.
{Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day #10=>We have our final attempt to complete our viewing collection of all of the "Big Five" animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo) followed by breakfast. It's then time to say Goodbye.

The last day of your once-in-a-lifetime vacation in South Africa has arrived. It's time to pack luggage and prepare to fly back home. After check-out at our luxury lodge, we will shuttle to Nelspruit airport and fly to Johannesburg to catch a flight home.

Upon arrival in Johannesburg, there will be an opportunity for last-minute shopping for exotic souvenirs and African goods, colorful postcards, and picturesque travel books. All too soon, you will hear the boarding call for our intercontinental flight. It's time to say Farewell to marvelous and unique Africa. In Johannesburg we will have a few hours to rest before our United red-eye to Newark Liberty International Airport. {Meals: Breakfast}

Day #11=>We arrive in Newark early morning and have a few hours layover before boarding our last flight back to SFO. We arrive in SF later this day ending our combination GREAT Namibian safari AND Wine Maker - South African Wine & Safari Tour .