The Winelands encompasses an area containing the towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, the earliest European settlements outside the Cape colony. Those early settlers soon realized the local soil and climate were excellent for cultivating vines, and with the arrival of French Huguenot refugees bringing advanced viticulture techniques the region began to produce the quality vintages it is now famous for.
The tour begins at Paarl, the town that is the spiritual heart of the Afrikaans language, for it was here that the first Afrikaans newspaper was published and where many significant developments in the language took place. Above the town, perched on Paarl rock and enjoying superb views over the mountains, fields and vineyards is the Afrikaans Language Monument.
From Paarl you continue to Franschhoek, pausing en route to visit well-known estates for the chance to sample fantastic local wines. At Franschhoek you visit the Huguenot Monument and Museum before continuing to Stellenbosch, the oldest Winelands town, where Victorian street frontage is shaded by avenues of 300-year old oaks.