I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published August 19th 2017
Ride on the 'HoHo Wino'
While researching wine tours near Cape Town, I began to realise that most are quite pricey. Having heard about the beautiful wineries nearby and having enjoyed the odd bottle of Pinotage, I started thinking creatively about how to do a wine tour on a modest budget.
Although not a mad fan of the Hop On Hop Off bus tours that you see in every large city these days, I admit they have advantages over some public transport systems and other private tours. In this case I picked a winner. In addition to the two main city routes, this HOHO has a Wine Tour bus that visits three of Constantia Valley's very best wineries. I will now refer to this bus as the 'HOHO Wino'.
Here's how to do it: For only 170 Rand (approximately $17Aus) you can hop on the Mini Peninsula (blue route) tour bus and see a bird sanctuary, botanical gardens and various other sights. Most importantly you can hop off at stop 21 and change to the HOHO Wino (purple route). If you choose to stay in beautiful Hout Bay, as I did, the blue route HOHO has a stop right near Mariners Wharf.
Stop 21 is around 20 metres from Beau Constantia Wine Farm, your first (or last) winery. They open 11am until 6pm Tuesday till Sunday. Enjoy a tasting here as well as the beautiful views of both mountains and the bay. Then head for Groot Constantia Wine Estate at stop 25.
Groot Constantia is South Africa's oldest wine producing estate and one of the buildings here houses a small museum, with information boards and old photos that tell the story of the country's wine history.
After the wine lesson, head to the tasting room where you'll be given wine glasses and crackers in return for 75 Rand (around $7.50Aus). You can then choose five wines from the selection offered and learn more about wine from the helpful staff. And you get to keep the glasses.
Eagles Nest Winery is at stop 26. It's smaller and less assuming than the others. A bit more rustic and earthy I'd say. It was originally part of Groot Constantia Estate. It's open Monday till Sunday 10am-4.30pm and tastings are 60 Rand per person.
All three wineries have restaurant facilities with menus varying from simple to lavish. I liked the fact that the tasting room and restaurant were one and the same at Eagles Nest. It's a small and cosy room with winery dogs in situ.
You can choose from various platters for around 150 Rand ($15Aus). My choice was an 'Artisan Cheese Board' which came with freshly baked bread, fruit, dill cucumbers, chutney and sun-dried tomato pesto accompanied by a glass of the delicious Eagles Nest Viognier.
You might feel sated and sleepy after this little wine tour. If so, I recommend getting back on board the HOHO Wino and having a snooze while it completes the sightseeing circuit.