The best way to do the Cape Winelands

There was a problem with ducks who were holding a sit-in on our ‘helipad’. Not the white quacking kind but special Indian runner ducks, who keep the vineyards of Vergenoegd Löw wine estate in Stellenbosch free of snails.

With the ducks herded to safety, we alighted from our four-seater chopper like celebs and were met with a tall flute of pink filigreed liquid. Vergenoegd was the first stop of our two-estate whirl of the Cape Winelands with Dragon Flies, a new arm of the funky Wine Flies tour company, which has a reputation for doing wine tasting a little differently.


After a cellar tour, brunch was accompanied by a wine-tasting – I’ve never sipped a flagship 11-year old red blend before 10am, but the sensation was quite agreeable.

Then it was back in the chopper to soar over the Helshoogte Pass and down into the Franschhoek valley to the delights of Chamonix. Thinus Neethling (who is the youngest winemaker in SA) was on hand with bubbles to showcase his passion, and talk us through a private wine tasting in the historic underground cellar.

The vineyards of Franschhoek unfold in a patchwork of green.

Do This

You are accompanied on the private helicopter tour by a Wine Flies guide. This round-trip from Cape Town airport takes about four hours, and costs R9,800 per person. There are three other wine-route excursions. wineflies.co.za

Ducks and bubbles await the landing at Vergenoegd.

Words and images: Catherine Hofmeyr

You may also like






yoast-primary - 1012426
tcat - Food and Drink
tcat_slug - food-and-drink
tcat2 - Food and Drink
tcat2_slug - food-and-drink
tcat_final -
Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1012426 [name] => Food and Drink [slug] => food-and-drink [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1012692 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1012426 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Food and Drink [category_nicename] => food-and-drink [category_parent] => 0 ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1012740 [name] => Travel Inspiration [slug] => travel-inspiration [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1013006 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1012740 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Travel Inspiration [category_nicename] => travel-inspiration [category_parent] => 0 ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1004441 [name] => Wine [slug] => wine-food [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1004713 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Discover the wonderful world of wine and wine tasting, the best wine farms, viticulture secrets and tips for a perfect vineyard outing. Not all of us are connoisseurs of wine but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate it. If you enjoy a the wine-ing part of the dining process more than most be sure to check back here. This section contains suggestions on pairing wines with meals, reviews or visitations of various wine farms and tips on getting the most out of your vineyard outings. [parent] => 1004403 [count] => 101 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1004441 [category_count] => 101 [category_description] => Discover the wonderful world of wine and wine tasting, the best wine farms, viticulture secrets and tips for a perfect vineyard outing. Not all of us are connoisseurs of wine but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate it. If you enjoy a the wine-ing part of the dining process more than most be sure to check back here. This section contains suggestions on pairing wines with meals, reviews or visitations of various wine farms and tips on getting the most out of your vineyard outings. [cat_name] => Wine [category_nicename] => wine-food [category_parent] => 1004403 ) )