What could be more fabulous than a tour of the Cape Winelands? How about aCape 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.
Though two people are needed to participate in this tour operated byViator, 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.
The Wineries and Chocolate
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 wineseach, enabling us to sample the full range of wines offered by the winery; sparkling, white, red and dessert.
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 frolicked, 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.
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.
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 a 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.
Presented with small bits of chocolate from various regions, we smell, examine the color and taste, just like we did with the wine.
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.
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