Andy Lynes sips South Africa's finest vintages - and drinks in the scenery

Dutch and French settlers brought wine-making to South Africa in the 17th century. But it is only in the decade since the ending of apartheid that the area has been recognised as a significant producer. Where the wine is made is beautiful - so is the perfect place to taste it.

On every second Sunday during the summer, Cloof Estate, Darling (00 27 22 492 2839; cloof.co.za), holds a gourmet barbecue, where the food goes perfectly with the big fruit and oak flavours of its Crucible Shiraz wine.

There are stunning views of Paarl Valley and the Drakenstein Mountains from the tasting room at Glen Carlou, 23 Simondium Road, Klapmuts (00 27 21 875 5528; glencarlou.co.za), to enjoy while you are assessing David Finlayson's award-winning wines.

The Terrior restaurant at the 300-year-old wine estate Kleine Zalze, Techno Park turn off, Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch (00 27 21 880 0717; kleinezalze .com), features dishes to match the gold-medal-winning wines.

Lourensford, Lourensford Road, Somerset West (00 27 21 847 2200; lourensford.com), hosts the South African equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show and polo matches on its 4,000-hectare estate.

Sit back and enjoy your glass of Môreson Cuvée Cape Brut at the Môreson Soleil du Matin vineyard, Happy Valley Road, La Motte, Franschhoek (00 27 21 876 3055; moreson. co.za), one of the first places settled by the Huguenots in the late 17th century.

South African-born winemaker Leon Bester studied his craft in Europe before returning home to make Red Medallion at Napier Winery, Bainskloof Road, Wellington (00 27 21 873 7829; napierwinery .co.za). The 2001 vintage of the Bordeaux style was named Discovery of the Show at the 2005 Fairbairn Capital trophy Wine Show in Cape Town.

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