Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the food and wine trail in South Africa...

New Frontiers Tours offers FIT luxury and boutique-focused tours throughout Southern Africa. One of our specialties is creating itineraries that are unique and expose travelers to a different side of South Africa - something outside of the traditional safari experience. Our food and wine itineraries are an excellent example of a South Africa tour that show your travelers a side of South Africa that they may not otherwise experience. Our food and wine tours include most meals at gourmet restaurants, excellent wine specialist guides and top boutique accommodations. For more information on nett rates and how to confirm this tour for your travelers, please contact New Frontiers Tours or the Kusini Collection.



We set off this morning and head towards the Cape Winelands – an area characterized not only by superb food and wine, but breathtaking scenery and remarkable architecture. Our first stop is Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa with remarkable examples of Cape Dutch architecture. We stop at Lanzerac Manor and Winery, a fine example of this building style built in 1692, but also famed for its Pinotage – a unique Cape blend created by mixing Pinot Noir and Hermitage grapes. It’s fruity and it ages well. We continue to Paarl, where the imposing Afrikaans Language Monument allows us good views over the little town and Helderberg Mountains, before taking lunch in the delightful setting of Grande Roche at the award winning Bosmans restaurant (voted one of the Top Ten in South Africa).

It is a short drive from here to Grand Dedale, a magnificent restored Cape Dutch Manor House in the pastoral Bovlei Valley. Located on the wine estate Doolhof, a private wine tasting has been arranged with a special emphasis on the signature brands, including the Dark Lady Pinotage and The Minotaur, a blend in which Merlot predominates. Dinner this evening is taken under the expansive porch of this exclusive manor.


A series of encounters with local producers in this culinary hotspot have been arranged today by special arrangement as the farms are not generally open to the public. We visit:

Upland Organic Wine & Brandy Estate, a small certified fruit and wine farm that has been producing world class organic Brandy, Grappa, Port and Cabernet Sauvignon for over a decade. For the past eleven years, Dr Edmund OettlĂ© and his wife, Elsie, have faithfully implemented organic farming techniques with great success. On your way out, pick-up one of Elsie’s beautiful African themed cards and a bag of Porcini mushrooms, which happen to grow on the farm as well.

Foxenburg Organic Cheese & Olive Estate, situated on the spectacular northern slopes of the Groenberg Mountain, where a herd of Swiss Saanen goats grazes on the certified organic farm pastures. The result is organic goats milk cheeses, from soft fresh Chevre, Chabris and cream cheese to aged-ripened hard cheeses such as Crottin, Shepherd, Caprino Romano and Foxtail. The Estate also produces organic olives and olive oil as well as oyster mushrooms. Estate tours and tastings are available by prior arrangement.

Buffalo Ridge Mozzarella, one of only two farms in the southern hemisphere producing Italian Mozzarella from original Italian water buffalo. The farm is run on natural principles with no pesticides, herbicides or other ecologically harmful substances allowed, and the owner of Buffalo Ridge, Wayne Rademeyer, will give you some insight on how the buffalo are kept and fed and how the Mozzarella is produced.

This afternoon, wine tastings in the valley can be arranged, or optional activities, including horse riding, mountain walks and a visit to the quagga project on Bontebok Game Reserve, where the extinct quagga is being successfully re-introduced through DNA cross breeding with Cape Mountain Zebra, are available.

Dinner this evening at Grand Dedale.


We set off this morning over the Bainskloof Pass, passing fynbos covered slopes, deep valleys and cliffs, before arriving at the historical town of Tulbagh. Lined with historically preserved national monuments, it has perfect examples of thatched Cape architecture. We visit the beautiful Rijk’s Estate, where a tasting has been arranged at Rijk’s Private Cellar, before stopping at a highlight – Moniki Chocolates on Schoonderzicht Farm, where hand crafted Belgian chocolates incorporating tastes as varied as saffron, cardamom, chilli and black pepper are matched with wines by master chocolatier Niki de Wolf.

We stop at Twee Jonge Gezellen, operational since 1710, and the second oldest family-owned wine estate in South Africa, where we taste their exceptional sparkling wines under the Krone label, before heading on through the citrus valleys towards Roberston.

On arrival in Robertson, we check into the delightful Robertson Small Boutique Hotel, a marvellous synergy of historic Victorian architecture and contemporary chic. Amidst perfectly manicured lawn, herb gardens and swimming pools, is Reubens restaurant – a name synonymous with some of the best cuisine South Africa has to offer. The second restaurant after the original Reubens in Franschhoek, this new location is set to place Robertson amidst the forefront of foodies. Time to enjoy this charming hotel before canapĂ©s and dinner at Reubens this evening.


The drive after breakfast this morning takes us down the spectacular Franschhoek Pass overlooking the Valley of the Huguenots, who founded this town 400 years ago, and who’s tree lined avenues and bistros will charm you. We head to Moreson wine estate for a wine tasting before an alfresco lunch under the lemon trees at Bread and Wine restaurant, renowned for its creative flavours, whether it’s roasted pork neck with fennel, pickled peaches and carrots or artichoke risotto.

Time to explore the town this afternoon, a perfect walking location with plenty of small boutique shops before we check into Le Quartier Francais, an oasis of calm and reflection, with two exceptional restaurants on site. Dinner this evening is a highlight and has been booked for you at The Tasting Room, for a romantic, 5 course gourmet experience.

Overnight at Le Quartier Francais.


A magnificent drive awaits today, taking the back roads through provincial farming areas and along the breathtaking Hemel and Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth valley). It is here that two remarkable estates are found: Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson, both of which produce wines influenced by the cooler coastal temperatures. Time for tastings at both, before arriving in Hermanus, a prime spot for whale watching in season (May-November). We continue to the nearby little town of Stanford, a small farming community, where a small local restaurant, Mariana’s, seats a few tables in Mariana and Peter’s house and serves organic fresh grown garden produce with incredible flavours – it has become an institution!

We return to Cape Town this afternoon, arriving late afternoon.

Price per person based on a minimum of 2 pax (Please contact New Frontiers Tours for NETT rates specific to your company):

R24, 419 pp sharing (16 Jan – 30 Apr 2011) GROSS

R23, 655 pp sharing (01 May – 30 Sep 2011) GROSS

Price includes:

  • Private vehicle and guide throughout
  • Meals as specified above (meals include all service fees and gratuities, but exclude drinks which need to be settled directly)
  • Wine tastings
  • 2 nights at Grand Dedale in a luxury loft
  • 1 night at the Robertson Small Hotel in a stable suite
  • 1 nights at Le Quarteir Francais in an Auberge Room
  • 5 course tasting menu at The Tasting Room (excl wines)

Price excludes:

  • Flights
  • Drinks at meals
  • Guide gratuities

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