The intimate, stately and effortlessly luxurious Ellerman House in Bantry Bay, Cape Town, recently launched a wonderful portfolio of exclusive wine tours to complement its Wine Gallery, which is not only a spectacular cellar for the hotel’s 7 500-bottle wine collection but also offers guests an interactive, experiential journey into the world of South African wine. If the new trends in luxury travel are tours and activities, then Ellerman certainly has answered this call nobly.

Their bespoke tours into the the Cape winelands are a customised selection of full-day itineraries, allowing one to enjoy the best of both worlds while not having to break one’s stay at this urban retreat. To complement their current offering and comprehensive 45-page wine list, the tours were a natural extension of the excellent education and experience that Manuel “Manny” Cavello, Ellerman’s affable and learned Chilean sommelier, already imparts to his guests.

His role as sommelier is chiefly one of introducing and exposing Ellerman’s patrons to local wines, our terroir, and educating them on the diversity and depth that we have a mere half hour from the city. Despite his South American provenance, Cavello’s knowledge and love for South African wines is infectious. Ellerman House is an ambassador and champion of all things local, not least our local wines, and the only international offering is the famous Dom Perignon range. 

Even before serving his famous global brand, Cavello always suggests trying our wonderful local Methode Cap Classique. “This is how I like to educate, through challenging,” he says. “It’s not always easy but you must still offer an alternative.” Ellerman’s bespoke signature wine itineraries are exclusive to Ellerman House guests and include a driver and guide together with the cost of wine tastings and lunch.

The local Constantia Winelands Tour explores the oldest wineries and vineyards in the Cape along the famous Constantia wine route. Further afield the Signature Hemel en Aarde Valley Tour threads you through Newton Johnson, Hamilton Russell, Creation and Bouchard Finlayson wine estates, four of the most spectacular vineyards in this famous valley against the backdrop of the majestic Overberg Mountains.

The Signature Winelands tour visits three top wineries in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Then, return to Ellerman House happy after spending the day learning about the viniculture and the history of the French Huguenots, together with our new-style winemakers, walking the vineyards and tasting the fruits of that history, to watch the sun set from one of the deep, shaded verandas leading to terraced indigenous gardens. Who could help but raise a glass to such a perfect, proudly South African assemblage?

180 Kloof Rd, Bantry Bay, Cape Town.

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