Getaway to the Cape Winelands this Autumn
Posted by Jo-Anne Otto on 14 March 2019 11:55 AM CAT
“The Cape Winelands district, 1000 things to do and then some wine!” These words describe the unique experiences available to all visitors to the Cape Winelands. If you are visiting from upcountry or overseas and are wondering where to take your family, wonder no more. The Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) welcomes you and yours to our incredible spaces.
The district offers something for everyone, whether you are a thrill seeking mountain bike cyclist, a group of fitness junkies, festival goers, wine connoisseurs (or gin or beer or brandy), a family of foodies, birders, campers, glampers or a couple searching for that perfect wedding spot and boutique hotel for the special wedding night.
The Cape Winelands district is made up of five subdistricts that cover an area of 22 309 km2. It stretches from Stellenbosch to Paarl and through majestic mountain passes to Tulbagh, Ceres or Op-die-Berg; or via the Huguenot Tunnel to Worcester and into the Hex River Valley, along the N1 to Touwsriver. For the return drive, leisurely wind through the backroads to Montagu, taking the long way back to Stellenbosch. The biggest advantage in these times when we are all looking for value for money is probably that these destinations are reachable within a 30- to 120-minute drive from Cape Town.
The CWDM is one of five district municipalities in the Western Cape. Seeking opportunities for social and economic development is the main focus of the municipality’s management and Council. The Executive Mayor, Ald (Dr) Helena von Schlicht, states, “Economic development is dependent on the social health of our citizens, and we need to address both issues at the same time. We want to empower people and enable them to enter the economy, create jobs, support their families and contribute to the overall wealth of the community. When a person has a strong and healthy sense of social belonging, it is easier for them to participate in the economy.”
One proven way to develop economic opportunities is through the tourism industry. In an effort to recognise the valuable input of the tourism sector, the CWDM confers a Mayoral Tourism Award on establishments that treat guests in such a manner that they keep coming back.
The 2018/19 winners included wine destinations such as La Motte, Val du Charron and home to the Wellington Park Run, Imbuko Wines. In the Service Excellence category, @Four Cousins in Robertson, Wolseley’s Big Sky Cottages and The Cape Dutch Quarter in Tulbagh walked away with accolades. The quaint Route 62 Craft Beer Brewery and Waffle House in Montagu were recognised for their entrepreneurial spirit, while the Stellenbosch University Museum was awarded for their role in sustainable development. The South African Cheese Festival and the Montagu Makietie were winners in the Festivals category. The very special Mayoral Discretionary Award went to The Protea Farm Tractor Rides. This business delivers a unique experience in that visitors, including those who are wheelchair bound, are taken by tractor to the top of the Langeberg Mountains, from where they can see the ocean on a clear day. Thereafter, they settle under the trees and enjoy award-winning potjiekos prepared by ten local women – this is the potjiekos team that came first in Kwêla’s ‘Laat die Potte Prut’ competition in 2017.
The CWDM delivers on its mandates in a manner that ensures our citizens and visitors can travel comfortably, eat safely and enjoy the biodiversity of the area. “We are a highly functional municipality, which is evidenced by the number of performance excellence awards received, such as the fifth clean audit, the accountability of staff and ultimately the quality of services delivered,” stated the mayor at a recent event.
The Division: Technical Services is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 3 700 km of rural and gravel roads, while the Division: Fire Services partners with Cape Nature and the Fire Protection Association to ensure that fauna, flora, life and property are protected against fires. Around 1 500 veld fires are extinguished per fire season and with the support of the Division: Disaster Management, the municipality ensures that people who are displaced by disasters such as fire or floods are cared for.
The Division: Municipal Health Services (MHS) deploy Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) throughout the district to ensure that all food and beverage suppliers are certified and follow regulated principles throughout all stages of the manufacturing process. Whether the supplier is a home industry providing rusks to a farm stall or a butcher supplying matured rump to a fine dining restaurant, all have been evaluated by the EHPs to ensure that safety and standards are maintained.
These are only some of the functions performed by the municipality, as mandated by the prescriptions contained in Chapter 5 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (Act 117 of 1998).
Visit us in the Cape Winelands; take a day trip, but even better, stay for a few days. After all, we have 1000 things to do and then, some wine!
To ensure everything goes smoothly with your visit, please access the various Tourism Offices’ webpages for the latest news and reviews. The winners of the Mayoral Tourism Awards all have webpages, so have a look and plan your unforgettable trip.