What could be more fabulous than a tour
of the Cape Winelands? How about a Cape Winelands Tour by Chauffeured Sidecar!
My friend Marion and I were met at the hotel by our guide Donald, our driver
and guide, and Blossom, the gorgeous vintage
750cc Sidecar Motorbike
.  Donald came
bearing gifts in the form of helmets with goggles, leather jackets and
bandanas, which Marion and I would need to don before we could embark on our
vineyard adventure. 

A ride through the Cape Winelands in the gorgeous vintage 750cc Sidecar Motorbike

Though two people are needed to
participate in this tour operated by Viator,
only one passenger can ride in the sidecar, – the other person sits behind the
driver – so Marion and I fought over politely took turns sitting in the coveted
seat, with me taking the first shift. Cruising down the highway on the ride
from central Cape Town to the Winelands proved to be quite stimulating. All of my
senses were engaged while sitting in the sidecar. I could hear the sounds of
the road, smell the fresh air, bask in the warm sunshine shining down from a
cloudless blue sky, feel the wind blowing in my face, which gave me a belated appreciation
for the bandana Donald provided earlier. This accessory, while less than
fashionable, was extremely functional and served to keep errant detritus – and
bugs – out of my face.
After about an hour of riding, we
arrived at the first winery, Villierà, situated just outside of Paarl. At 10 o’clock in the morning we started right in on the wine
tasting, with Marion and I each choosing 3 wines each, enabling us to sample
the full range of wines offered by the winery; sparkling, white, red and
Cape Town's mountains range in the background

Next we hopped back on the motorbike
and en route to the next winery, just a short ride away in Paarl. But first, a
short detour as Donald pulls over to point out the fenced-in area just off the
main road where a handful of springboks.
We watched as these medium-sized
antelope – South Africa’s national animal
– grazed and froliced, adding a
mini-safari to our sidecar adventure.
The next winery was Backsberg, a family-owned
operation in Franschhoek that dates
back to the beginning of the 20th century.
Autumn in the Cape Winelands

In addition to a wine
tasting, we toured the cellars, and enjoyed a delicious lunch, paired with the winery’s signature wines while sitting under the trees in the beautiful garden on
the property.

Backberg Winery's cellar

Backberg Winery's cellar

After lunch, we continued to the next
tasting, which wasn’t of wine, but chocolate! At the bean-to-bar facility of De Villiers Artisan Chocolate, we
participated in a brief tour and tasting, which is similar to a wine tasting.
Like wine, chocolate is put through different processes to achieve different
varieties, from white to dark to milk, even cocoa butter.
Chocolate tasting at De Villiers Artisan Chocolate

Presented with
small bits of chocolate from various regions, we smell, examine the color
and taste, just like we did with the wine.

Tokara Winery in Stellenbosch

The final winery was Tokara in Stellenbosch, considered by many to be
the heart of the Cape Winelands. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, and
with wonderful views to Cape Town’s iconic landmark, Table Mountain, we tasted
wine, sampled olive oils, and simply reflected on how awesome the day had been. 

*Viator provided my guest and me with a complimentary tour. I was not asked to express any particular point of view, and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.