Cape Classics Travel is a sister company to Cape Classics, a wine export company established by Andre and Gary Shearer in South Africa in 1992. Cape Classics represents some of the finest wine estates in the Cape and has distribution in 50 states in America. Being a South African living part time in America meant that Andre was constantly being approached by US clients who wished to travel to South Africa for wine tastings and tours. With the result, Cape Classics Travel was born.
Cape Classics Travel offers custom luxury winelands excursions, hosted by specialist wine guides and featuring tastings and private cellar tours at some of South Africa’s top wine estates. We also provide full service travel planning, creating personalized private journeys to southern and east Africa for discerning travellers searching for extraordinary experiences. Cape Classics Travel encapsulates the very best of what this breathtakingly beautiful part of the world has to offer. With over two decades in the business, we are not only passionate about wine tourism, but uniquely positioned to transform your travel dreams into reality.
We are fortunate to have our office on the beautiful wine estate of Lourensford in the town of Somerset West in the Cape winelands as well as an office in New York. As an organization, we stand for proficiency and professionalism, and we maintain consistently high standards of excellence. We deeply value the personal relationships we’ve established over the years, and we treat our clients, suppliers and employees with the utmost courtesy and respect.
Meet our Key Team
André is our CEO. Born in Johannesburg in South Africa, Andre went to King Edward VII School. An avid oarsman, he rowed for a Junior South African squad in the British Championships in 1979. After attending Medical School at the University of the Witwatersrand for four years, Andre spent seven years working as a model in Europe. In 1991, Andre arranged the first tasting of South African wines in New York. This led to Cape Classics being founded which is now the largest importer of fine South African wines into the United States. Cape Classics Travel was born as result of his US clients requesting his assistance in visiting our beautiful winelands and game lodges. Andre also takes a great personal interest in social responsibility by supporting Early Childhood Development to those most in need in the geography of the wine industry. Andre lives between South Africa and the USA and is the proud father of three sons.
Nico, our general manager, was born in Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands, hence his appreciation for good wine. A real family man, Nico loves spending time with his wife and children. Close associates know him as a local weather expert which is not surprising considering his passion for surf skiing. He is always on the lookout for adventurous sea conditions to enjoy some downwind paddling with friends. Working in the winelands, with the sea on his doorstep, and a loving family means that Nico is a happy man whose love for people is reflected in his excellent relationships with the people around him. Formally qualified in Chemistry and Business, Nico runs a tight ship, and at the core of enjoying the dynamics of business lies a passion for people and building relationships that has meaning beyond the commercial .
Shirley is our Africa Destinations Specialist. Born and schooled in Cape Town, her overwhelming passion was to see the world. After leaving school, she studied travel and tourism and worked for various travel companies before opening her own travel business. She has travelled the world extensively but always loved returning to Africa which has a special place in her heart. This is why she loves her job so much. Bringing guests into Southern Africa and giving them an opportunity to experience all that these countries and our northern neighbours have to offer is something that gives her great joy. Shirley’s meticulous attention to seamless travel planning ensures that our clients go home having had the trip of a lifetime, well planned and care free.
Kara is our Director of Wine Tours and Guest Relations. A native of New Jersey, Kara Miller grew up in the suburbs of New York City. She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Kara holds an Advanced (Level 3) certificate from the UK-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust and has visited wine regions in France, Italy, Spain, Australia, and the US. A dedicated foodie, Kara completed a 10 week culinary course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and London. Kara joined Cape Classics in 2007, and worked as marketing manager in the company’s New York office for 3½ years. She first visited South Africa in 2009 and was instantly smitten with the country, its people and the Cape lifestyle. She returned to work two weeks of harvest in 2010, at which point she decided to leave New York City behind and move to South Africa. Kara lives on a wine farm in Stellenbosch, in the heart of the beautiful Cape winelands, and enjoys sharing her passion and enthusiasm for South Africa’s world class wines with visitors.