Visit Winelands

The folks making that secret agent film will be swilling their own martinis by now having just wrapped up filming of the latest edition of this blockbuster. Filming apparently took place almost everywhere again – even the Faroe Islands (where?) - but not South Africa.

What can be better than our wineries? In this edition, we'll explain why many of them are ideal locations plus we offer some story ideas too.

James Bond That's a Wrap
(Image: James Bond @007 Twitter)
Bond actor Daniel Craig and director Cary Fukunaga after filming on No Time to Die wrapped this week.

The broad view

After a re-invented intro featuring no-one scantily clad, the scene opens. A chase scene. Far away, however, evil Dr Evinrude is plotting again, this time in his remote concrete bunker recognisable to those-in-the-know as the Durbanville Hills Winery. He stands on the balcony, stroking his moustache and discussing plans for world take-over, mass destruction and his chateau at a secret location [camera zooms in on Table Mountain, a convenient 30 minute-drive away].

Visitor highlights: The winery offers a Table Mountain Safari experience, with wine tasting and a restaurant. Pairings with cheese, chocolate, biltong and dried fruit. Open seven days a week.

Durbanville Nature Reserve And Wine Route Durbanville Hills Credit Nightjar Travel
(Image: Nightjar Travel)
Durbanville Hills.

The briefing

Having survived the chase, our hero makes his way to Q's vineyard. Strolling between the rows, she explains the dire situation. A bodyguard disguised as a priest observes them from a postcard-perfect chapel. Ataraxia, what a place! Such a better name than Skyfall too.

Visitor highlights: The chapel is in fact the Ataraxia wine lounge. Open Monday to Saturday.

Ataraxia
(Image: Ataraxia Wines)
Ataraxia Wines.

Gadget-time!

This foreign operation has required MI6 set up temporary HQ at Almenkerk. It's a great place for a helicopter to land, store a ballistic missile or build an Aston Martin. Whatever. Bond gets the latest stuff again – an exploding wine-bottle; a GPS-enabled cork; an Old Vine walking stick!

Visitor highlights: Picnic and taste wine at the winery, where there's a jungle gym for the kids, or visit the farm's bistro, De Brasserie, on the Strand beachfront. Open Tuesday to Saturday.

Almenkerk
(Image: Almenkerk)
Almenkerk Wine Estate.

Stallions and glamour

First contact. MI6 wangles an invitation for Bond to an auction of thoroughbreds, at Avontuur of course. The paparazzi are everywhere. Bond locks onto Evinrude; they spar in looks and words over snifters of the farm's superb amber-coloured potstill brandy.

Visitor highlights: A restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wine pairings with nougat, fudge and biltong. Open seven days a week. 

Avontuur Estate
(Image: Avontuur Estate)
Avontuur Estate.

Thrills and spills

Bond is wounded in the previous encounter - perhaps his pride, perhaps it's just a hangover. But recovery takes place at a remote location. It looks Mediterranean, but no! It's Teubes Family Wines. Peace and luxury are suddenly disrupted when masked killers use the irrigation canal to arrive on jetskis. Our hero tackles one and heads off in pursuit of the other. Cue death-defying scene where jetski is hopped through a chicane. Note to director: get the shot with vineyards!

Visitor highlights: Visit to the tasting room on the estate near Vredendal or try the wines at its Kreefhuis Restaurant in Lamberts Bay. The estate is open Monday to Saturday.  

Teubes Wines
(Image: Jacques Marais)
Teubes Wines.

The Russian connection

On edge and suspicious of everyone, Bond-James-Bond introduces himself to the server having crashed a traditional Russian tea ceremony at the über-luxurious Hazendal. He's looking for Evinrude, but all he finds is a mysterious microchip hidden in a Babushka. He pockets the dolls as a souvenir.

Visitor highlights: The Wonderdal edutainment centre for children; picnics, restaurants, a deli and a beer garden. Open seven days a week.

Hazendal Russian Tea
(Image: Hazendal)
Hazendal Russian High Tea.

The swanky dinner

A sundowner affair above a valley of lights (Franschhoek, naturally) moves into dinner at Haute Cabrière. The venue has vaulted ceilings, our architecturally-aware secret agent notes. Bond is captivated by someone across the room. A reflection? No. It's evil Evinrude's Number Two, the exquisite Chard Pinot. Bond spy's opportunity.

Visitor highlights: A revamped experience at the winery features new menus, along with wine tastings and cellar tours. The restaurant is run by celebrity chef Nic van Wyk. Open seven days a week.

Haute Cabriere Chard Pinot 2
(Image: Haute Cabriere)
Not all Bond girls are created equal.

The denouement

A series of unfortunate but not wholly unexpected events leads to Bond strapped in a chair. Above him on a walkway around the room, the secret brotherhood is gathered, awaiting the demise of their enemy. But it's not to be! The Cathedral Cellar will not be his final resting place. Bond's manicured fingernails are sharp enough to cut the rope. He calls his Aston Martin and the rest is history.

Visitor highlights: The Cathedral Cellar is part of KWV, which has an array of visitor experiences on offer including its wine emporium. The Cathedral Cellar has a 100 Minute Tour that can be booked through the emporium. Open Monday to Friday.

Kwv Cellars Renowned Cathedral Cellar
(Image: South African Tourism)
The Cathedral Cellar at KWV.

The classic finale

[Camera pans across a spectacular view] We find ourselves on the veranda at Oldenburg Vineyards. A poolside telephone lies abandoned. Q is on the line and sounds puzzled and irritated. Across the way, our hero is otherwise engaged. Moneypenny is smitten by the babushkas.

Visitor highlights: Wine tastings with platters of local produce. Open Monday to Saturday.

The End [Cue credits and applause]

Oldenburg Vineyards Pool
(Image: Oldenburg Vineyards)
Poolside at Oldenburg Vineyards.
  • The open times of the wineries listed here are a guideline and may change according to individual farm activities and be affected by public holidays. Best check their respective websites or call ahead to the property to be sure.
Fmm Aston Martin Db4 Gt 025
(Image: Franschhoek Motor Museum)
Transportation for this feature was courtesy of Franschhoek Motor Museum.