The Western Cape has always been a big crowd puller in South Africa. Apart from its abundance of beautiful mountains and beaches, the Western Cape is also home to over 100,000 hectares of vineyards.

From renting a thatched cottage overlooking the vines to wine tastings against the backdrop of mountains, here are five of the best vineyards in the Western Cape.

The Babylonstoren Farm

First established in 1692, this vineyard stands as one of the oldest Dutch-owned farms in the Cape. If you are a foodie, you will certainly enjoy Babylonstoren Garden, a restaurant located right in the middle of the farm.

The wine cellar was only recently taken into, January 2011, and offers you a chance to taste, free, some of the farm’s first vintages. Some varieties you should definitely try include Rose, Chenin Blanc, a 2012 Chardonnay, and a careful selection of other delectable offerings.

La Motte

Set in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley, La Motte is host to some of the best wines in South Africa, which are also internationally recognized for their excellent quality.

Wine tasting is a long-standing tradition at the farm and you get to do it in a calm, relaxed setting, while a team of knowledgeable, friendly staff takes care of your needs. The farm is widely popular for its fantastic Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, which merge well with delicious meals straight from the in-house restaurant.

Rust en Vrede

The name “Rust en Vrede” means Rest and Peace, which is what you get once you step into the vineyard’s restaurant.

Located a few miles from Stellenbosch, Rust en Vrede has for 300 years been producing a wide range of red, full-bodied Shiraz, Merlots and Cabernets. Among its ardent fans was President Nelson Mandela who had the farm’s wines served during a Nobel Peace Prize dinner.

Boschendal Wine Farm

With more than 300 years of wine experience, Boschendal is a 2000-hectare farm is firmly holding onto its place as one of the grandfathers of the winemaking industry locally.

The farm has a small wine tasting room that offers visitors a taste of beautifully balanced whites, reds and Methode Cap Classiques. Top, middle and entry-level wines are up for sampling – but, make sure you have a taste of the ripe, rich Reserve Shiraz.

Steenberg Vineyards

Set up in the beautiful canvas that is Constantia, this vineyard offers various wine tasting options that include the classics like Klein Steenberg Rose, Echo Red Blend, and Steenberg Cabernet Sauvignon.

You can choose the wine cheese combination that includes the likes of Semillon and a 12-month-old gruyere. For the ultimate indulgence seekers, try out the vineyard’s Ultra-Premium Range.

South Africa is the ninth largest wine producer in the world. So, whenever you make a trip, make sure to stop at any of the five vineyards above for a wine tasting experience like no other. All you need is a reliable car (car hire Cape Town is cheap and easy if you don’t have wheels), good company and you’re ready to explore.