Wednesday, 3 March 2010 12:00 AM
South Africa is one of the world's most respected wine-producing regions - and combined with its rich culture, great food and fantastic scenery, you have all of the ingredients for an unforgettable wine tasting holiday in the country.
If you opt for wine-focused tailor-made holidays in South Africa, you can be sure that you will sample some unforgettable tipples.
South Africa and wine
The country's wine industry first started up in earnest in the 17th century - meaning that it has had centuries of experience in producing only the finest wines.
Wine lovers flock to South Africa every year to visit its vineyards and taste their produce.
As such, the country's winelands offer a variety of tours and itineraries for those keen on the grape-based beverage, whether holidaymakers choose to visit during the summer - when the grapes are gathered - or in the winter, when it's time to settle indoors with a glass of wine and some good food.
Along with visiting vineyards, wine bars and cheese venues and taking one of the 14 wine routes in the Western Cape, there are three restaurants in South Africa's wine country that are in the top 100 restaurants worldwide.
Le Quartier Francais in Franschoek, La Colombe in Constantia and Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch are worth a visit to combine the unique wine of the region with some wonderful food.
You can also check out harvest festivals during the summer and even indulge in a unique Pinotage wine bath.
If you're the sporty or adventurous type, be sure to look into the variety of tours that combine pursuits such as paragliding and balloon rides with great food and drink - although perhaps not at the same time!
Explore South Africa
Of course, there's plenty to do on tailormade luxury holidays in South Africa other than taste the local wine.
Some of the region's main attractions include the scenic Garden Route running from the southern Cape to the Eastern Cape border, as well as the urban excitement offered by cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Kruger National Park, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and the aptly named Wild Coast are also highlights for fans of great scenery.