Although many believe the best time to visit the Cape Winelands in South Africa is during the summer (December to February), each season in the Winelands brings its visitors something special.
With a leafy, green and mountainous landscape, this area provides the perfect backdrop for sampling the country’s best wine and some of the finest cuisine found in South Africa. There is something for everyone within these wine valleys, but deciding when to go to the Cape Winelands generally depends on which other destinations you wish to visit on your holiday.
Month by Month Guide for Travelling to the Cape Winelands:
Visiting the Cape Winelands from January to March
January is a busy time of year to explore this area as it’s just after the Christmas holidays and right in the middle of summer. This is the best time to visit the Cape Winelands in South Africa for guaranteed sunshine, pleasant evenings, and most importantly the opportunity to visit wine estates that are some of the oldest and most prestigious in the country (some dating back to 1690).
February is the one of the best times to go to the Cape Winelands because of the balmy summer weather. It can get very hot during this period, especially in the inland areas, but these conditions are perfect for enjoying a chilled glass of dry white surrounded by award-winning vineyards.
Harvest season begins in March and is an ideal time to experience South African wine country. The days are warm and there is little to no wind during this month. With a myriad of world-class wine estates to choose from, you can also peruse some of the country’s premier art galleries.
Visiting the Cape Winelands from April to August
April & May are the autumn months in the Cape, the days start to become cooler and there is a chance of light rain, but this is still a great time to visit these famed vineyards. The wine estates in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington are far quieter during these months.
June can be a rainy month and there is even a chance of some snow in the months ahead. Don’t expect heavy snowfall, the mountains surrounding the Cape Winelands is generally just snowcapped for a few days. It creates a romantic ambience, where cold winter afternoons and evenings are spent by a roaring log fire, sipping local vintages.
July & August are cold winter months for South Africa, but there is never not a good time for wine tasting. There are numerous festivals during these months that are held annually like ‘Taste the Helderberg’ in Stellenbosch, or the ‘Robertson Slow Food and Wine Festival’. There is always a reason to celebrate in wine country.
Visiting the Cape Winelands from September to December
September is the first month of spring in the country and it is the best time to visit the Cape Winelands if you’re looking to avoid the crowds before the busy summer season. Both September and October experience pleasant temperatures during the day, but not the extreme heat of summer. It can still be a little cooler in the evenings.
November right through to January keeps the wine estates busy with both tourists and locals. It’s considered the best time to visit the Cape Winelands because the small towns that feature classic Cape Dutch architecture are taking full advantage of the sunshine and clear, blue skies.
December is a busy month; the days are generally hot, the heat stretching well into the evening. It’s best to book in advance for wine tastings and food pairings – be prepared for a more bustling Cape Winelands. Rates on accommodation tend to be higher at this time of year.
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