Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and developed from a colony of settlers to whom land had been granted on the on the banks of the Eerste River. Since the founding of Stellenbosch in 1679, it has become synonymous with high quality award winning table wines. The cellars of the Wine Route are situated along the four main roads leading to Stellenbosch and most of them offer tours as well as lunches in their shaded gardens or resturants together with a bottle of wine of your choice. Stellenbosch is also home to Stellenbosch University whose graduates boast that most of the country's Prime Ministers and many of its greatest rugby players were educated there.
Paarl lies in the Berg River Valley at the foot of the scenic Du Toitskoof mountains, experincing warm summers and mild winters that contribute to the production of internationally renown wines, export and fresh produce. Attractions include the Afrikaans Language Museum, the monument that soars above Paarl and the only Lion Park in the Western Cape. Paarl made headlines when former President Nelson Mandela was released from the Victor Verster Prison, on the outskirts of the town, to freedom and to the start of a new South Africa.
The town of Wellington is situated in a picturesque valley on the banks of the Kromme River. Apart from fine cuisines and pleasant accommodation, visitors to the town can visit one of the cellars on the wine route for a relaxed wine tasting. The Wellington Wine Route is small and compact and cellars are within easy driving distance of one another. The members of this route are all open to the public and will welcome wine lovers to taste their products in a friendly and informal atmosphere.
Franschhoek (meaning "the French corner") was settled more than three centuries ago when about 270 French Hugenots, having escaped religious persecution, settled in the Berg River Valley. They are commemorated at the Hugenot Memorial and Museum. As the French are credited with bringing serious wine-making to South Africa, wine and good food are appropriately important in Franschhoek. Vignerons de Franschhoek, also known as the Wine Route of the Hugenot Valley, consists of 21 estates, all offering wine sales and tastings.
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