As a woman who loves unwinding with a glass of wine after a long day, I wouldn’t miss the chance to explore South Africa’s wine region during a girls’ weekend with friends.

Thankfully, there are plenty of some of the best wine tours in Cape Town not too far away.

Since we drove from Cape Town on our little day trip, and we all wanted to drink, we signed up for the Instagram famous wine tram.

It was one of the best decisions we made.

We spent the entire afternoon being shuttled around the best wine farms in Franschhoek on an adorable little train.

At every stop, we’d have time to explore the farm, sample some delicious vinos, grab a bite to eat, and do a bit of shopping.

Without a doubt, our day spent learning and sampling wines was the highlight of our girls’ weekend.

If you’re into vino and looking at doing a wine tour in Cape Town, you’ve got to do the wine tram.

I’ve written about everything you need to know to plan your trip below.

Trust me, you’ll thank me as you’re sipping vino and exploring all the best wine farms in Cape Town.

How to Get to Franschhoek From Cape Town

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You’ve got a few different options to get to the wine tram in Franschhoek. The easiest way to get there is to rent a car and drive. We did this, and it took about an hour each way.

If you’re not into the idea of driving, you can either take the train to Stellenbosch, then hop in an Uber for roughly 285 Rand (about $17) each way.

Or you can take the bus to Paarl, then hop in an Uber for about the price.


Don’t stress over transport, book this wine tour that includes pick up from your accommodation!

The Best Franschhoek Wine Farms

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There are tons of wine farms in this part of South Africa, making it impossible to try them all during just one visit.

After a bunch of research, online and in person, the vineyards below are the ones the places that stand out as the best Franschhoek wine farms.


Plaisir De Merle Wine Estate

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Plaisir was my favorite wine farm out of our tour, and the only place I bought wine from (mainly because I only had room in my suitcase for one bottle). 

We had a really lovely tasting here, and easily could’ve spent the entire afternoon learning about wine and sampling all the booths in their little food court area. 

The next time I go back to Cape Town, I will absolutely go back here to stock up on their special red blend and try their artisanal gin.

I loved it so much that I even tried to find a place that would ship it to me after I finished the bottle I brought home. 



Vrede en Lust Winery

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My friend Jeanette, who’s from South Africa, was next level excited about getting to check out Vrede en Lust Winery because it was the setting of Semi-Soet, an extremely popular African rom-com.

After visiting, I can see why the producers chose this place as their setting. It’s gorgeous and definitely romantic if you’re there with the right person.

Their staff was super kind and knowledgeable as they walked us through our tasting. 

The only thing we didn’t love was that we were required to sign up for the chocolate tasting ahead of time, which the tour company didn’t tell us about.

Our server was so kind when she saw our disappointment and quickly arranged for us to do a cheese pairing from their restaurant instead.

I really loved some of their more complex red blends, though my friends didn’t (they prefer sweet reds), and we all agreed that their Riesling was a must-buy for a BYOB dinner we did they next night.

Between the beauty, hospitality, and wine, this place is a must-stop while you’re in Franschhoek.



Boschendal

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Boschendal is one of the oldest wine farms on the Western Cape, so you know their products are legit.

Because this place is well-known their tasting room is always packed, which can make it hard to quickly check the farm out during the wine tram tour.

We had to skip doing a tasting here because there was too much of a wait the day we went, but we really enjoyed wandering around the farm.

They have a beautiful restaurant and a bunch of local produce, bread, ice cream, and homewares in their farm shop.

We stocked up on some amazing focaccia, blueberries, and pastries here that were all delicious.

The next time I’m in Cape Town, I’d love to do a few days staying here and at a few other wineries in the area that offer accommodations.

It seems like the perfect relaxing romantic getaway!   


Best Wine Tours in Cape Town

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You’ve got a few different options when it comes to picking a wine tour in Cape Town.

Basically you can either do a wine tasting in a restaurant in town, or go on a day trip to either Franschhoek or Stellenbosch.

They both have their pros and cons, which I’ve laid out for you below.


Hit up both popular wine regions on this all day wine tour!

Franschhoek Wine Tram

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The Franschhoek Wine Tram is absolutely adorable and so much fun for a day of jumping between wine farms.

Basically you hop on and off the tram roughly every 45 minutes, so if you want to hit all the vineyards on the trail, you better eat and drink quickly.

Since one farm wasn’t open the day we went, we were luckily able to spend a bit more time at Vrede en Lust Winery doing a wine and cheese tasting that was fabulous.

When booking, you’ve got the option of picking between a few different train routes. Since we were driving from Cape Town, we chose the purple line because it was the most flexible.


Book your spot on the famous wine tram today!

Stellenbosch Day Tour

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I haven’t had time to do a proper Stellenbosch day tour yet, but I did get to try some wines from the region while I was in Cape Town. They were delicous!

Since Stellenbosch is one of the most popular bits of wine country in South Africa, I’m sure you can’t go wrong hopping on a day trip here.

The only downside is you won’t have a train taking you between vineyards, meaning you’ll need a private driver or a designated driver if you’re making this a day trip.


Don’t miss out on this private tour of Stellenbosch!

FAQs

Which is the best Franschhoek Wine Tram line?

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There are four different wine routes to choose from on the Franschhoek wine tram. Each one is great, though it really depends on your preference for the day.

We did the purple line because it offers the most flexibility. If you want an early start to the day, choose the blue line, and if you want a mid-morning start, do the red one.

They also offer a green and yellow line that will keep you busy sipping wine the entire day.

How much does the wine tram cost?

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Tours start around R550 (roughly $35) and vary a bit depending upon which line you choose. It is good to know that for that price, you’re really just getting a ride on the tram. You’ll have to pay for tastings at each vineyard.

Does the wine train stop at vineyards?

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Yes, the wine tram will stop at multiple vineyards during your time there. There’s a bit of flexibility with how long you can spend at each place, though if you want to make it to all the vineyards, you’ll get less than an hour exploring each stop.

Putting a Cork in It!

RIDING THE CAPE TOWN WINE TRAM

A bit of parting advice: buy multiple bottles of wine to bring home with you.

In fact, if you haven’t packed yet, leave a bunch of room in your checked bag for bottles.

My biggest regret was that I only brought one bottle home with me, since a lot of these wine farms don’t export to the United States.

In fact, the bottle of Plaisir that I brought home didn’t even register in Delectable (my wine tracking app), because it’s such a small production.

When I finally popped the cork on a special occasion, I savored every last drop.


Don’t have enough time to do a day trip? Book this option to see Cape Town and taste wine in nearby Constantia Valley!

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