WESTERN CAPE WINELANDS
Along The Wineroute
                      By - Glyn
Hex River Valley
Cape Dutch Homestead
Grape Vines
Rays over Stellenbosch
The world famous Stellenbosch wine region is the best known in the Cape. In 1971 the first official wine route was founded by Frans Malan of Simonsig, Spatz Sperling of Delheim, and Niel Joubert of Spier. It is home to a variety of cellars producing some of the country's most acclaimed wines. Simonsig, Boschendal, Neethlingshof, Delheim, Welmoed, Delair, Spier, Saxenburg, Asara, Blaauwklippen, Warwick, Kanonkop, De Trafford, Thelema, Niel Ellis, Rust en Vrede, Dornier, Watwerford and De toren, to name a few.
Paarl Winelands
Stellenbosch Beauty
Cape Sugarbird
Helderberg to False Bay
Table Wines
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Southern African Mammal Species
Southern African Bird Species
The Constantia Valley wine region is situated in mountainous surroundings, and boasts some of the oldest wine estates and homesteads along with several award winning wines and restaurants. 90% of the farms offer wine tastings and cellar tours.
Some Interesting Stellenbosch History

Of all the towns founded in the Cape during the period of control by the Dutch East India Company, Stellenbosch is the best preserved. It is the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town and is situated on the banks of the upper reaches of the Eerste River. Here the river flows out of the mountains and into a shallow, alluvial and fertile valley.
The Cape Winelands is a region of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It is the largest wine producing region in South Africa and is divided into six main wine regions, each offering their own unique wine route. Constantia , Stellenbosch , Franschhoek, Paarl , Robertson  and Wellington  are the most popular. The geographic area is generally referred to locally as the Boland, meaning uplands in Afrikaans.
Stellenbosch has become known as ‘the town of oaks’, these trees being one of its characteristics. Several of these oaks have scince been proclaimed national monuments.

When Governor Simon van der Stel first visited the area in November 1679 he was taken by its beauty. In November the region is certainly idyllic. This is the month when the river is full and the flowers and trees at their best. The name Stellenbosch (‘Van der Stel’s bush’) was given to the site of the governor’s camp and by the following year the first settlers had arrived from Cape Town.
Simonsburg
An Avenue of Oaks
A Queen Protea
There was ample water from the river and the streets were lined with furrows, which brought the water to every house. Oak trees were planted and snug houses built of whatever building materials were available, with thick, heat-resistant walls, doors and windows were made of hardwoods such as yellow-wood and stinkwood, and roofing of black thatch. The houses were finished with white-lime wash. The handmade furniture of these early settlers has become much sought after by collectors.

The mountain ranges overlooking Stellenbosch from the north marked the limits of the little known world of South Africa and beyond lay a great expanse of unexplored land. To control the hunters, explorers and pioneers intent on penetrating the interior a magistrate was established in 1685 and for the next century wielded authority over an interior without geographical limit.
Each year on his birthday Simon van der Stel visited Stellenbosch and presided over a fair with shooting competitions, feasting and games. There he would meet the hunters, adventurers, traders and others attracted to this gateway to the unknown.

Today’s Stellenbosch is perhaps even more beautiful than when the governor first founded it. He never saw the oak trees in their maturity, or the main thoroughfare lined with cafes, houses, cottages and shops. With much pavement activity shaded by the ever beautiful huge oak trees that line the roads.
Some Birds found in the Cape Winelands Area
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
             By - H J van Zyl
  By - Andre Engelbrecht
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
             By - Ralph Pina
By - Lohalsboot Ruediger
             By - H J van Zyl
Eish SA would like to thank the above mentioned organisations for their information supplied to create the "Amazing Places" pages.
South African National Parks
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
North West Tourism and Parks Board
Eish SA Website Directory
South African Tourism
South African Birding
Namibia Tourism and Parks
Stellenbosch Wine Routes
Google Earth
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
    Courtesy - SA Tourism
The Franschhoek valley wine region was settled over 300-years ago by the French Huguenots. Set against the backdrop of the Franschhoek and Drakenstein mountains, this quaint village has over 30 wine farms of pure beauty which produce some of the finest wines in the world.
Some Interesting Franschhoek History

Franschhoek is a lovely town lying in the mountains through which flows one of the tributaries of the Berg River. The name Franschhoek (‘French glen’) was given by the Huguenots who settled here in 1688 after leaving France to escape persecution. The small town of Franschhoek is a straggling little commercial centre for surrounding farms. It has the Huguenot Memorial, a Museum and the Franschhoek Wine Cellars Co-operative.
The Franschhoek Pass takes the main road from Franschhoek over the mountains into the basin at the headwaters of Riviersonderend. From its summit are superb views on the western side of the upper valley of the Berg River, and a dramatic and difficult descent to the east, winding through a narrow gorge before emerging into a wide basin surrounded by mountains. The history of the pass goes back to before the first European settlers, who discovered that migrating wild animals had found the most practical way over the mountains. For more than a hundred years the settlers used what they called the Oliphantspad (‘elephants’ path’) when they crossed the mountains. The pass is crossed by a good road which takes you above the Franschhoek Valley. The view is magnificent and in winter the landscape is a snow covered wonderland.
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Western Cape Winelands