10 Wine festivals worth travelling for in celebration of SA’s wine heritage

Cape Town – There is more to wine than swirling and sipping, as the beverage’s earliest origins and places of produce hold historical and cultural significance in South Africa’s diverse heritage.

While many of us visit local wine estates for tastings, pairings or to get a ‘little tipsy’, an abundance of the wine estates – particularly the century-old ones – are places of historic importance and monuments of heritage.

So, what makes SA’s wine route an important part of our heritage? Well, from Groot Constantia in Cape Town to Boschendal in Franschhoek, one can explore the original houses built on the estates and learn more about what life was like centuries ago for the Cape settlers.

SEE: The very Best of the Winelands for 2017 - as voted by you

Explore the unique Cape-Dutch or French architecture, check out the décor of these intricately designed houses, and learn about the heritage of the people who lived there – a mix of cultures, traditions and heritage from European beginnings, blended in a South African backdrop.

South African Tourism says that SA’s wine routes “trace not only the history and development of our country’s 350-year-old wine-making tradition, but South Africa’s maturation into a full-bodied, flavourful democracy”.

“A majority of wine routes in South Africa fall under the auspices of the Wine of Origin Scheme, an origin control system instituted in 1973 to safeguard the diversity and uniqueness of South African wine,” adds SA Tourism.

SEE: Wine worth travelling for: 16 Winelands experiences to try

With a myriad of wine estates to visit, with each boasting award-winning wines and unique blends, we thought it's best to start exploring SA’s wine heritage by making the most of wine festivals taking place across Mzansi during Heritage Month in September, spilling over into October.

Check out wine worth travelling for in celebration of SA’s wine heritage:

Western Cape

Pinotage On Tap

Believed to be the world's best wine event, Diemesfontein's Pinotage On Tap is back! Enjoy bottomless Pinotage, lunch and desert with awesome live entertainment.

When: 2 September 2017

Where: Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate, Wellington

Franschhoek Uncorked

Explore the best of the Cape Winelands this heritage day as you rove from farm to farm in Franschhoek, sampling the best the valley has to offer. 

When: 16 - 17 September 2017

Where: Farms throughout Franschhoek

Such a stunning day in Franschhoek for #franschhoekuncorked ?? our first stop was @hautecabriere

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Mmm... McGregor food and wine Festival

A festival of art, food and wine in the streets of McGregor. Come explore this Western Cape jewel.

When: 30 September 2017

Where: McGregor, Western Cape

ALSO SEE: #InnerCityWineRoute: New SA wine district created to boost local wines globally

Plett Wine and Bubbly Festival

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Méthode Cap Classique from Plett's local producers can be enjoyed for the third year running. This year, a Wine Theatre with guest speakers will give wine aficionados a closer look.

When: 7 - 8 October 2017

Where: Plett Central Beach

Oyster & Champagne Festival

Oysters from the west and east coasts are enjoyed with Cape Town's finest bubbly

When: 14 - 15 October 2017

Where: Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville

SEE: Best of Wine Tourism: 7 Top estates to head to this summer

Wine on the River

Sip wines from Robertson, Ashton, Bonnievale and McGregor while relaxing beside the Breede River.

When: 20 - 22 October 2017

Where: Goudmyn Farm, situated on the R317 between Robertson and Bonnievale.

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Season of Sauvignon

One of the Durbanville Wine Valley calendar highlights is definitely Season of Sauvignon. The Valley is especially well known for their Sauvignon Blanc - in my opinion, the country's best Sauvignon Blancs hail from Durbanville. Come and decide for yourself at the Valley's 12 wine farms. 

When: 28 - 29 October 2017

Where: Wine farms throughout the Durbanville Wine Valley



Sample award winning  wines, brandy and Cape port from the biggest brand names to the quaintest boutique brands at WineX. Paired with gobsmacking charcuterie, cheeses and preserves - you're in for a treat. The show will also introduce wine routes, wine accessories and cooling systems, so ,whatever your interest in the wine industry - pen WineX in your spring calendar.

When: 25 - 27 October 2017

Where: Sandton Convention Centre 


Pinotage On Tap

Believed to be the world's best wine event, at least in our opinion, Diemesfontein's Pinotage On Tap is back! Enjoy bottomless Pinotage, lunch and desert with awesome live entertainment.

When: 16 September 2017

Where: The Litchi Orchard, Seaforth Drive, Salt Rock

Good Food and Wine Show

The famed Good Food and Wine Show comes to Durban and this time, SA's largest culinary event brings a new, fresh look and feel. The show aims to promote the global trend of sustainable and healthy living and we can't wait to get in on the unique fresh tastes it has to offer

When: 27 -29 October 2017

Where: Ticketpro Dome, Durban

What to read next on Traveller24:

Wine worth travelling for: City Sightseeing adds new Winelands tour route

Wine worth travelling for: 6 Wineries setting the boutique benchmark in SA

Wine worth travelling for: South Africa's wine tourism goes digital

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