In 2003, South Africa retained its ranking as the world's 9th largest wine producer, its 885 million litres, representing 3.35% of global production.
From modest beginnings in the Dutch East-India Company's gardens, below Table Mountain, S.A's vineyards now cover over 101 607 Ha and more than 60 official appellations. (facts taken from John Platter South African Wine Guide 2007)
The release of Mr. Nelson Mandela from political incarceration in 1990 and the democratization process that followed, opened up new opportunities for the wine industry. The global lifting of sanctions against S.A., saw their wines once more available and accepted worldwide. Since then, the added influx of tourists, visiting the numerous wine-estates to see, taste and buy some of the best wines, has made the Cape Wine-lands a must see for any tourist in the vicinity of the Southern tip of Africa.
Most of the wine-estates are close enough together, so that 4 to 5 estates could be visited in a day, for tasting sessions.
But, if the wines are the number one attraction, the estates themselves follow closely as number two. The architecture of some of the older estates is still original and dating back to the very early days of colonization of French, and Dutch people in the Cape province (i.e. Constantia, est. 1693) and the newer buildings trying to keep that Cape-Dutch architectural style alive. To see these beautiful buildings standing in a sea of vineyards stretching to reach the horizon is a view to behold. A growing number of these estates offer lunches and accommodation to visitors.
We are working closely together with some colleagues in the Cape Region, to offer you, as our guest, an add-on to your safari with us. Either before, or after your Botswana trip, you might want to spend some days in Cape Town to see the sights, go up to the top of Table Mountain and look down on False Bay and surroundings, The V&A Waterfront with all the shops and eateries, take a yacht-cruise out for a sunset dinner in the Bay, or get on a boat and see Robben-island, where Nelson Mandela was once an inmate, and of course, most important, go the wine-tasting route and buy a couple of crates to take home.