Mae West once said that too much of a good thing is wonderful. Perhaps she was referring to a Stellenbosch wine-tasting tour?
When one of my best friends suggested we take a Vine Hopper
trip, I was intrigued but didn't know what to expect. And even though it was on a Saturday morning (with thankfully well-behaved weather), we ended up on a different tour
for that assigned day
But it didn't matter too much as we still had six estates to enjoy: Bergkelder
(toured the famous Fleur du Cap cellar built into a mountain), Beyerskloof
(relaxed over a generous lunch), Simonsig
(skipped to save time), Warwick
(experienced a brief walk on the beautiful lawns), Quoin Rock
(skipped to save time), and Delheim
(enjoyed a cupcake pairing when a random Jack Russell sat in my lap).
The price was a tiny bit high
All in all, we had a wonderful time and couldn't believe six hours flew by so quickly! The only aspect that didn't go down as well as the wine was the cost. The one-day Vine Hopper is R240 per person. This is purely for the transport and excludes tastings at each estate, which are all reasonably priced (or potentially free, if the wine farm is part of The Cellar Door Collection
) but quickly add up as the day goes by. In retrospect, it might have been better value for us as a group of nine to have simply hired a guy with a minibus for the day.
Don't get me wrong; our driver was quick, friendly, knowledgeable and always ready when we wanted to move to the next place. I just think the price was a tiny bit high. Perhaps that's why Vine Hopper just released a Groupon
(on the day of our trip!), which, like most of these "discounted deals", seems to bring the cost down to its fair value. Or perhaps it makes more sense to opt for a three-in-one tour
(sadly not available at weekends) or else do an overnight stay
Cape Town's Wine Tour
Personally, I think you can get better value from City Sightseeing Cape Town's Wine Tour
. Constantia's wine farms might not be as popular as those in Stellenbosch, but at least this tour is a free extension of the existing Blue Route, which means you can experience the rest of the peninsula too. And even though this tour only includes three wine estates - Beau Constantia
, Groot Constantia
, and Eagles' Nest
- a shorter itinerary means a longer (and more memorable) stay at each place.
Life's busy enough already. Sometimes you've got to slow down and savour to really experience what "wonderful" means.The Vine Hopper is owned and operated by Adventure Shop Stellenbosch. It's based at the Black Horse Centre on the corner of Dorp and Mark Street. Call +27 (0)21 882 8112, email az.oc.pohserutnevda@ofni or go to www.vinehopper.co.za for more.