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Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

Newark-on-Trent...
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Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

My wife and I will be in Stellenbosch for a couple of days and wish to visit some wineries. The tours are highly recommended but before I commit to the R1000-R1200 quoted for the two of us can I ask whether people have had equally good winery experience by driving themselves?

I can see that there is a draw back that I as a driver will have to taste and not swallow and I that I will end the day with an intoxicated wife when I will be sober, but are there any other drawbacks? Are the wineries as accommodating to the independent traveller as to the tour guides?

I guess the other drawback I would have is knowing which winery to select, Does anyone have a suggestion of a winery that they thought stood out above the rest. I would like to visit t least one in each of Stellenbosch and Franzhoek areas.

Thanks

Newark-on-Trent...
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21. Re: Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

Thanks again for the advice I have just completed two days in Stellenbosch and really happy that I self drove. This enable us to adapt our itinerary based upon the information gained from the people we met, and also combine the tasting with sightseeing of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. As the driver I intended to taste but not swallow but I quickly found that I don't have that much self control and therefore had a small sip of each of wife's samples. This did therefore limit the number of vineyards visited and we did only two each day.

We started with Lynx near Franschhoek. This was the best experience of the two days and we are really glad that we started with Lynx. We arrived at 10.30 am and were the only visitors to this small wine farm. Helgard one of the two wine makers gave us a personal guided tour of the production facilities and explained fully the both the production process and the intricacies of the wines that we tasted. He also provided information about both the area in general and what we should expect at other tastings, this was invaluable to novice wine tasters new to South Africa.

On Helgard's suggestion we went to Glenwood also near Franschhoek for both tasting and lunch. Both the wines and the food were high quality with tasting and lunch in their beautiful garden. whilst not as intimate as at Lynx the wine guy spent enough time at each table to fully describe the wines in so doing has probably corrected my 20 year old antipathy to the Chardonnay grape. I recommend Glenwood for lunch.

On day two we started with Simonsig near Stellenbosch. it was a bit of a shock to find a full car park and lots of people. Given the number of people we received little information other than the tasting notes and the staff were little more than pourers. However with little interruption from the staff we had interesting conversations with our fellow tasters. The wines were very good and some were excellent value. in hindsight we should have probably had lunch here. The menu looked interesting, however we wanted to do another tasting before lunch.

We went to Delheim which we had been told was good for lunch and tastings. A big mistake, tourist busses in the car park, restaurant full and a wait for teasing. After 10 minutes wait we left and went to Muratie.

This is an interesting place to visit even if you are not tasting as the buildings retain an old world quaintness and authenticity which extends to the cobwebs. The reds were good and and the tasting environment much more fun than modern antiseptic waiting room that we had just left.

So thanks again for encouraging me to do it myself. It was my wife wanted to spend time visiting the wine farms, I was sceptical. I found it much more rewarding than expected and will do it agin if I return to this area.

Fordingbridge...
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22. Re: Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

Glad you enjoyed it & thanks for the detailed report. A couple there that I haven't visited, an omission that I will rectify in March.

Leeds, United...
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for Western Cape, Cape Town Central
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23. Re: Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

Thanks for your report and I hope it convinces other people to self drive. I agree with everything you say about Lynx. It is a fabulous winery with a passionate winemaker who is more than happy to spend time with you. Glenwood sounds interesting too . One to add to the list!

Lisa

24. Re: Any other drawbacks of a self drive winery tour?

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