La Residence in Franschhoek have crafted three distinct helicopter routes which will allow guests to sample the diverse expressions of South Africa’s top varietals, while soaring over dramatic and breath-taking landscapes.
Each helicopter tour is inclusive of wine tastings and a specialist guide that accompanies guests on the tour. Foreign language guides are also available.
ROUTE 1 | SWARTLAND AND HEMEL EN AARDE VALLEY
The scenic valley of Riebeek Kasteel in the Swartland produces some of South Africa’s finest expressions of Shiraz & Chenin Blanc. Here guests will visit AA Badenhorst Family wines.
The helicopter will then flies to the Hemel en Aarde (Heaven & Earth) Valley where Creation or Hamilton Russel awaits. This region successfully grows the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay and has pockets of cool climate Sauvignon Blanc growing in the valley.
Lunch is taken at The Royal Portfolio’s seaside hotel, Birkenhead House, located on the clifftops overlooking Walker Bay. Enjoy a three-course meal in this chic beach house, consisting of the freshest, locally sourced produce. After lunch, return to the helicopter for the short journey back to La Residence.
ROUTE 2 | STELLENBOSCH AND ELGIN
This route combines the warmer region of Stellenbosch with the cooler growing area of Elgin, highlighting the effects of climate on wine. Waterford Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch is the first stop of the day where owner and winemaker Kevin Arnold has masterminded a wonderfully unique experience.
The short flight to the next estate takes one over the Helderberg Mountain range before landing in the fruit-producing area of Elgin. Paul Cluver is a family-owned and run winery which is focused on producing wine that reflects the uniqueness of the cool-climate Elgin terroir. Enjoy a relaxing light lunch at Salt Restaurant on the beautiful lawns under the overhanging trees.
The flight back to La Residence takes just 15 minutes over wonderfully dramatic landscapes.
ROUTE 3 | CONSTANTIA AND THREE BAYS
The third route blends history and wine. The flight from La Residence ventures south to the oldest wine growing area of the Cape, Constantia, where guest will visit Klein Constantia.
Klein Constantia, situated in the hills of the region, benefits from the cool ocean air that is brought in by the prevailing winds and is home to one of the world’s most famous sweet wines – Vin de Constance – requested and enjoyed by Napoleon, Frederick The Great and many a visitor to Buckingham Palace. The wine produced today tops the South African achievers with 97 points from Robert Parker for its 2007 vintage.
From Constantia, fly over Cape Town’s City Bowl and then over the picturesque towns of Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg, seeing the Cape shoreline and its long, wide, sandy beaches.
Next stop is Buitenverwachting (Beyond Expectation) which formed part of the original Constantia Estate, founded by Simon van der Stel, the first Governor of the new Dutch colony at the tip of Africa. At Buitenverwachting you will enjoy a leisurely lunch, sampling some of Buitenverwachting’s internationally acclaimed wines.