Cape Wineland Tours and Packages - The Ultimate Guide
6 minute read20 May 2020
A GUIDE TO THE CAPE WINELANDS
The Cape Winelands in the Western Cape ranks as one of the top 5 most popular tourist destinations in the Cape. You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur or even drink wine to appreciate a tour of the Cape Winelands. Each region you visit is rich in history and incredibly beautiful. And let’s not forget, wine tours to Cape Winelands always go hand-in-hand with delicious food.
The history of growing and making wine in South Africa dates back more than 350 years to the late 1650s. In 1655, Jan van Riebeeck, the first governor of the Cape, planted the first vineyard and in 1659, the first wine was made from Cape grapes. The success of his vineyards led to the planting of vines on a larger scale at Roschheuvel, now known as Bishopscourt.
The original inhabitants of the wine-growing region were San hunter-gatherers and Khoi herders. The San (Bushman) were the first indigenous inhabitants in the region, making their way south from the dry, arid regions of southern Africa about 1 million years ago.
A tour of the Cape Winelands is not only a treat for every ‘oenophilia’ but it’s also a fascinating history lesson. It’s a heavenly destination for nature lovers, foodies and people who love architecture and historic buildings.
Did you know?
Oenophilia is the Greek word for ‘love of wine’. Strictly speaking, oenophilia describes a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.
WHAT IS A WINE OF ORIGIN?
The Western Cape is a geographical unit that falls under the Wine of Origin classification system of South Africa. The wine regions were defined under the Wine of Origin (Wyn van Oosprong) Act of 1973 which mirrors the French Apellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. What it means is the wines must be composed entirely of grapes from its region.
The geographical grouping covers almost all of the South African winelands, including the regions of Breede River Valley, Coastal Region, Klein Karoo and Olifants River.
It also includes the less-known wine-growing areas of Bot River, Cape Agulhas, Overberg, Plettenberg Bay and Walker Bay, and the wards of Cederberg, Ceres, Herbertsdale, Prince Albert Valley, Ruiterbosch and Swartberg.
WHAT IS THE CAPE WINELANDS?
The Cape Winelands is located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It extends northwards from the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in the south, along the Cape Fold Belt Mountain Chain and adjoining valleys that constitute the Cape Winelands. It comprises an array of historic towns and farmlands, many of which date back to the 1660s.
It’s the largest wine-making region in South Africa and is renowned for producing some of the finest wines in the world. Cape wines range from sturdy Rhone-style red wines to aromatic Sauvignon Blancs which thrive in the region’s rich soils and are cooled by breezes that blow off the icy Atlantic Ocean.
The six most popular wine routes are Constantia, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Robertson and Wellington. Contantia is situated at the foothills of the Cape Peninsula, on the southern side of the mountain range. The other five are located in a region known broadly as the Boland (meaning ‘up-lands’ in Afrikaans).
Incredible biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Cape Winelands and its cultural landscape was added as a geographical unit to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list in 2004 in the Cultural category. The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve also falls within the registered Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site.
The Cape Florist Region, otherwise known as the Cape Floral Kingdom, is the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms. It sustains 20% of the total number of plant species found on the African continent. A total of 988 plant genera containing nearly 9 000 species of vascular plants are found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Five species are endemic and two are near endemic; meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world.
The main vegetation of the iconic floral kingdom includes fynbos (fine bush), succulent Karoo and Renosterveld. The latter is known for its extremely high diversity of bulbs and grows in semi-arid areas in the Cape where rainfall is less than about 600 mm per annuum.
The magnificent Cape Winelands is characterised by diverse topographic features, ranging from the high Cape Fold mountains and deep valleys to rolling hills and fertile farmlands. The striking mountain range that is a core landmark in the biosphere reserve marks the meeting point of two axes of the Cape Fold Belt Mountain Chain.
IS IT SAFE TO VISIT THE CAPE WINELANDS?
Yes, it is safe to visit the Cape Winelands in South Africa … as long as you practice good travel common sense and avoid doing anything or going anywhere in the Cape that puts your life and the lives of your family and travelling partners at risk.
Tourism is the lifeblood of Cape Town and the outlying areas. As with many regions in South Africa, Cape Town and tourist areas in the country battle with socio-economic issues, where there is a great divide between the affluent and deeply-impoverished communities.
This gives rise to trouble spots in Cape Town with high levels of violent crime, gangsterism and a raging drug trade. These problem areas are mostly restricted to the impoverished townships and suburbs that tourists rarely visit and therefore, are not exposed to the socio-economic issues that affect these communities.
Cape Town Tourism has worked tirelessly to improve and bolster security measures within the city. The Cape Town Safety and Support Plan as well as a devoted Visitor Support Programme strives to simultaneously prevent crime and address the root cause of criminal elements as well as assist any tourists affected by criminal activity.
Cape Town itself and the Cape Winelands are well protected and there is a strong security presence in places that attract foreign tourists. This includes the large shopping and entertainment centres, Cape Town City Bowl, national landmarks and the major tourist attractions.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA’S WINE INDUSTRY
Wine-making in South Africa dates back 370 years to 1659.
The country exports over 450 million litres of wine a year.
South Africa is the 9th-largest wine producer in the world.
There are 100 000 hectares of land under vine across the country.
56% of wine produced in South Africa is white and 44% is red.
The oldest living fruit-bearing vine in the Cape was planted in 1771 at the Cape Heritage Hotel in Cape Town.
The Cape Winelands district is a landlocked area that lies between the West Coast and the Overberg coasts, including Drakenstein, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Witzenberg and Breede River Valley as well as the Langeberg winelands.
Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh and Wellington are core to the Cape Winelands; their wine routes represent hundreds of grape-growing and wine producers and the four wine routes bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to the region every year.
The Cape Winelands flourished largely due to the fertile soil and Mediterranean climate of the Cape Winelands. Cape wine makers follow the ancient tradition of cultivating vineyards in close proximity to an ocean where the cool breeze blows up from the coastline and drops moisture on the vines. As a result of these idyllic growing conditions, wines from the Cape have earned a reputation of being some of the finest in the world.
The Cape Winelands produces a wide range of noble vine varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. All the wine grape varietals cultivated in South Africa belong to the Vitis vinifera species which was originally brought from Europe.
European vines such as the Vitis vinifera species is susceptible to phylloxera, a common pest. As a result, many viticulturists in the Cape Winelands often graft their vines onto American rootstock to make theme more resilient to insects.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CAPE WINELANDS
In the beginning
In 1652, the Dutch East India company established a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope which today is the city of Cape Town. The station was set up to provide fresh meat and produce to passing ships that were part of the company's fleet on voyages to India and surrounding areas.
When the first settlers arrived, Governor Simon van der Stel awarded them land where they could farm for their own needs. More and more settlers arrived in the Cape from Germany, France and the Netherlands and they soon discovered the farmlands they had been awarded were ideal for growing vines. Many of the settlers came from wine growing areas and had some experience in winemaking.
In 1655, Jan van Riebeek, the first governor of the Cape, planted the first vineyard in the Cape. In 1659, the first wine was made from grapes harvested from his vineyard. This led to the planting of vines on a larger scale at Roschheuvel, now known as Bishopscourt.
In 1685, Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, established the Constantia estate in a valley below Table Mount that faced False Bay. The rich fertile soils and cool breeze that blew in from the Indian Ocean created the ideal conditions to grow grapes for winemaking.
One wine produced on the Constantia farm was the sweet Vin de Constance (named after his daughter). It proved so popular that it soon became the favourite vintage of European kings, emperors and heads of state in Europe, the most famous being the Great Napoleon Bonaparte.
The bad times
Wine growing and production continued to go from strength to strength. What is now known as the Cape Winelands had earned itself the reputation of producing fine wines of expert quality. However, a devastating phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century virtually wiped out the South African wine industry. The majority of vineyards had to be replanted with high-yielding grape varieties such as Cinsaut.
Wine production in South Africa grew once again but a large glut in the local wine market in the early 1900s saw many wine estates unable to sell their wines and they were literally forced to pour their valuable stock into the rivers and streams. Oversupply and depressed prices affected supply and demand and once again it looked like the South African wine industry was teetering on the edge of collapse.
In 1918, to overcome the pricing problems, the government of South Africa formed the Koöperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika Bpkt (KWV). The KWV acted as a co-operative but soon grew in power and prominence where the organisation set stringent policies and prices for the entire wine industry in South Africa. To deal with the oversupply of wine in the country, the KWV restricted yields and set minimum prices to encourage the production of brandy and fortified wine.
For much of the 20th century, the wine industry catered to the local South African market and made little to no inroads in the overseas market. Its isolation was further deepened by boycotts of South African products in a world-wide protest against the apartheid regime.
The good times
Only when apartheid was abolished in the mid-1990s and the world’s export market opened up could South African winemakers start competing on an international platform. The wine producers of the Cape Winelands quickly adopted new viticulture and winemaking technologies to produce the quality of wine expected to compete with global brands.
In 1990, less than 30 percent of all grapes harvested in the Cape Winelands were used to produce wine for the consumer market. The remaining 70 percent were distilled into brandy or sold as table grapes or to fruit juice manufacturers.
Today, the wine industry of South Africa has earned international repute for producing some of the finest wines in the world. The proportions have reversed where more than 70 percent of grapes harvested in the Cape Winelands are used to create superb wines for the local and overseas market.
MOST POPULAR WINE ROUTES IN THE CAPE WINELANDS
If you are a wine lover and foodie, a holiday in the Cape is the perfect destination. You have the choice of over 20 wine routes as well as a number of gin and brandy tours. You can opt to go on a self-drive tour or book a wine tour through a tour operator that specialises in Cape Winelands tours.
Each wine route showcases the rich history and culture of the wine-growing area. Everything from wine tasting and cellar tours to arts and craft markets, nature walks and bike rides, delis and tea gardens, and an abundance of some of the best restaurants in South Africa fill up a day in the beautiful Cape Winelands.
The most popular wine routes in the Cape Winelands are in Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. There are many others but those four are the most accessible if you’re on holiday in Cape Town.
CONSTANTIA WINE ROUTE
Where is the Constantia Wine Route?
Distance from V&A Waterfront to Groot Constantia: 23 minutes/ 21 kms via M3
Located on the slopes of the back of Table Mountain, overlooking False Bay. Established in the late 1600s and famous for its sweet wine that was the original vintage of Groot Constantia. There are 8 wineries you can visit on a tour of the Constantia winelands.
What to expect from a tour of the Constantia Wine Route
Constantia Valley has been synonymous with wine production since the late 1600s. Simon van der Stel founded the first wine farm, Groot Constantia, in the lush valley in 1685. Today, a vast tapestry of vineyards lie on the southern slopes of Table Mountain and the east-facing slopes of Constantiaberg and is the most convenient wine route to visit while on holiday in Cape Town.
Constantia Wine Route comprises 8 wine estates, one of which produced the original Constantia dessert wine that became so popular in Europe during the 18th century. The first wines produced in the Constantia Valley were sweet and of such superior quality that they were soon demanded by European royals and aristocrats. One of the biggest fans of Constantia wines at that time was Napoleon Bonaparte.
Did you know?
Simon van der Stel (1639-1712) was the last commander and first Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony, the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. He named his farm after the daughter of the Commissioner Rijckloff van Goens who made the original grant for the sale of the land. The daughters name was Constance. The Latin meaning of Constantia translates to ‘constancy or steadfastness’.
After his retirement in 1699, van der Stel lived at Constantia until his death in 1712. Thereafter, the estate was divided into three parts and sold. The parts were called Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Berg-vliet.
STELLENBOSCH WINE ROUTE
Where is the Stellenbosch Wine Route?
Located on the valley or on the slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain to the south and the Jonkershoek, Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains to the east and southeast. It’s the oldest wine-growing region and second-oldest town in South Africa with a 350-year agricultural history. There are 200 wineries you can visit on a tour of the Stellenbosch winelands.
Distance from V&A Waterfront to Stellenbosch: 45 minutes/ 54 kms via N1 and Bottelary Road/M23
What to expect of a tour of the Stellenbosch Wine Route
In 1971, Stellenbosch was the first wine region in the country to establish a formal wine route that represented a network of exclusive wine farms. The university town is located 50 kilometres east of Cape Town, a beautifully-scenic 40-minute drive from Cape Town.
It’s the second-oldest town in South Africa and was founded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel. He was the last commander and first Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony, the settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. The name Stellenbosch is derived from ‘Stel in the bush’.
Today, Stellenbosch Wine Route is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year on personalised wine tours to discover its rich cultural heritage, fine wines and gourmet restaurants.
The natural biodiversity of the Stellenbosch region has created four distinct wine areas:
- Stellenbosch Valley Wine Estates
- Stellenbosch Berg Wine Estates
- Greater Simonsberg Wine Estates
- Bottelary Hills Wine Estates
The array of wine that is created as a result of different climates, soils and water-retention properties makes Stellenbosch one of the most diverse wine regions in the world.
A large part of the attraction to Stellenbosch is it’s a university town. Home to the world-renowned University of Stellenbosch, over 30 000 students live in the town which gives it a festive, carefree vibe.
The choice of wine estates to visit and things to do in Stellenbosch are endless; ranging from cellar tours, wine tastings and food pairings and blending your own wine to games of golf, biking or hiking in the mountains, nature walks and picnics in the forest.
PAARL WINE ROUTE
Where is the Paarl Wine Route?
Distance from V&A Waterfront to The Spice Route in Paarl: 49 minutes/ 60 kms via N1
Located in a fertile valley that lies in the shadow of the Klein Drakenstein and Groot Drakenstein mountain range. There are 15 wineries you can visit on a tour of the Paarl winelands but the most popular thing to do in Paarl is wine tasting and lunch at The Spice Route. This fabulous complex is a ‘one-stop-taste&shop’ destination that represents the best wine estates of Paarl.
What to expect of a tour of the Paarl Wine Route
The town of Paarl dates back to 1657 and is the third-oldest town in South Africa. Paarl is the Afrikaans word for ‘pearl’, taking its name from the huge granite outcrop that stands proudly on the crest of Paarl Mountain.
The Paarl Wine Route is one of the oldest in the country and several of South Africa’s historic cellars are found in the valley. The picture-perfect wine region is renowned for its rich, full-bodied spicy reds and crisp whites. Shiraz is its signature variety.
Paarl is the epicenter of the South African wine industry. It’s home to a number of commercial distilleries, including KWV which was the first commercial wine cellar built in the country and dates back to 1918. Another key player in the wine world who hails from Paarl was owner of Nederburg, Johann Georg Graue, a viticulturist, brewer and tea specialist. Graue pioneered the process of cold fermentation in 1937 to enhance the quality of wines produced in the region.
Paarl recently made headlines with the first bottling of viognier, a Bordeaux blend and nouvelle in South Africa. Paarl produced the first white pinotage, pinotage-fortified dessert wine and the first wine blend of tempranillo, tannat and tinta amarella which has earned international acclaim.
The farming region is also home to a collection of craft beer breweries, olive farmers and olive oil producers. You can find these artisan food products at the popular Spice Route.
The Paarl Wine Route hosts a number of festivals and concerts throughout the year. The OmmiBerg (Round the Rock) festival in March is a definite highlight. Look out for picnic and musical events at the Afrikaans Language Monument, as well as various harvest festivals on individual farms that form part of the Paarl Wine Route.
Paarl is rich in history which is evident in its incredible heritage buildings. On a tour of Paarl, you’ll find many fine examples of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch buildings that compete for space with a wide variety of fine restaurants and coffee shops spread out along the twelve kilometre-long Main Street.
Just outside Paarl is the Drakenstein Prison, where Nelson Mandela spent his last years of captivity and where he completed his “long walk to freedom”, walking out a free man on 11 February 1990.
Did you know?
Bethel in Mill Street is the oldest surviving building in Paarl. Reference to the house dates back to 1710 and the floor plan has not been altered since 1756, although the facade was later altered to attain a Victorian look.
The Spice Route Destination
The Spice Route in Paarl is one of the valley’s most popular tourist destinations and a completely novel concept for the wine and hospitality industry in the Cape Winelands. The shopping-tasting-restaurant complex is home to a selection of hand-picked artisans who showcase their unique produce and offer interactive tours of their premises.
The complex is a scenic 45-minute drive from Cape Town which makes it a perfect destination for a day out in the country. It’s located on a beautiful farm with panoramic views of the Paarl valley and the Boland mountain range in the distance. You have a choice of three excellent restaurants that offer a selection of the best wines made in Paarl as well as a craft and gin brewery.
Paarl’s Spice Route Destination is perfect for the whole family. There is an outdoor kids’ play area, a deli-coffee shop selling artisan coffee, homemade ice-cream as well as interiors and gift shops, a deli selling local produce and a glass-blowing and ceramic studio.
Spice Route Tasting Passport
Taste your way through Spice Route Destination with a Tasting Passport. The booklet gives you access to five standard tastings and is valid for 12-months from date of purchase, so you have a whole year to enjoy the tastings on return visits to the complex.
The tasting experiences include:
- Swartland Wine Journey from Spice Route Wines
- CBC Craft Beer tasting
- De Villiers Chocolate & Confectionery tasting
- Jowls Charcuterie tasting
- Wilderer Distillery Spirits tasting
FRANSCHHOEK WINE ROUTE
Where is the Franschhoek Wine Route?
Distance form V&A Waterfront to Franschhoek: 1 hour 15 min/ 83 kms via N1 and R45
Located in a lush valley that lies nestled in the shadow of the Franschhoek and Wemmershoek mountains. The French Huguenot town of Franschhoek is home to some of the finest restaurants and wine estates in the Cape Winelands and is known as the ‘Gourmet Capital of Cape Town’.
What to expect from a tour of the Franschhoek Wine Route
Franschhoek was once known as the Valley of the Huguenots because it was home to a community of French Huguenots who fled France to escape religious persecution. The name Franschhoek means ‘French Corner’.
The Huguenots settled in a valley that closely resembled the wine-growing regions in France and applied their knowledge of viticulture to establish one of the oldest wine producing areas in the Cape. The Franschhoek valley was also perfect for farming tropical fruit.
Over 350 years later, you’ll find both a Wine and Food Route and an Artisan Food Route in the quaint French valley that showcases the winemaking legacy of the French Huguenots. Franschhoek is known around the world as the ‘Culinary Capital of Africa’ and attracts hundreds of thousands of gourmet food lovers every year to the picture-perfect town. Foodies often have to book a year in advance for a table in one of the town’s famous restaurants.
On a tour of Franschhoek’s wine and culinary world, you’re treated to a tasting smorgasbord of the finest olives, cheeses, charcuterie, artisanal breads and handmade chocolates that the Cape has to offer, paired with the finest wines the valley produces.
Franschhoek also offers visitors diverse culinary experiences through its festivals such as the Franschhoek Bastille Festival and The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival and interactive tastings with some of the top chefs in the gourmet world.
Internationally-acclaimed chefs with restaurants and eateries in Franschhoek include:
- Reuben Riffel (Reuben’s Restaurant)
- Chris Erasmus (Foliage Restaurant)
- Darren Badenhorst (Le Coin Francais)
- Scot Kriton
- John Norris-Rogers (La Petite Colombe)
- Liam Tomlin and David Schneider (Chefs Warehouse at Maison)
- Christiaan Campbell (The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal)
Did you know?
Franschhoek is a member of The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World. Délice is an international network of like-minded cities engaged in promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food. Franschhoek was granted membership to this prestigious network in 2014 and is the only member in the Southern Hemisphere.
Franschhoek Wine Tram: Hop-on Hop-off Experience
The best way to explore the Franschhoek winelands is booking a ticket for the Franschhoek Wine Tram Hop-on Hop-off tour. The ingenious tramway system takes visitors on a choice of 8 scenic routes to wine farms in different corners of the valleys where they’re treated to breath-taking scenery, the warm hospitality of the farm owners , fine wines and delicious cuisine prepared by world-class chefs.
The vintage-style railway tram and open-air bus stops at the wine farms, many of them are some of the oldest and most distinguished wineries in South Africa. You can hop-on and hop-off and spend the whole day enjoying the best that Franschhoek has to offer; from wine tasting and cellar tours to walks and picnics in the vineyards and long lunches on patios overlooking the magical Franschhoek mountains.
The newly-constructed double-decker trams are modeled after the Blackpool Corporation Tramways Double Deck Balcony Tramcar of circa 1923. The almost five-meter tall trams are re-modelled with wide passenger windows to give passengers unique and unparalleled views of the Franschhoek winelands and mountain range.
Franschhoek Wine Tram currently offers 8 hop-on/hop-off lines to choose for a tour of the valley’s winelands. Each route takes you to a selection of wine estates, ranging from boutique to marquee estates.
Passengers hop-on the tram at the Franschhoek Terminal which is located on the corner of Main Road and Cabriere Street, and are transported by a combination of tram and tram-bus around a loop of stops.
The trams or tram-bus follow a timetable which allows passengers to hop-on and hop-off at their convenience. Wine purchased while on the tour can be handed over to the host to be collected later at the end of the tour.
In addition to the wine tasting activities offered at each stop, several of the wine estates in Franschhoek have world-class restaurants on site and offer a delicious menu for lunches and picnics.
Village Walking Tour
Explore the historic village of Franschhoek on this easy-paced, two and a half-hour guided walking tour. Experience some of the oldest architecture and cultural sites the village has to offer.
Highlights include visiting the Huguenot Memorial Monument, a chocolate demonstration, an interactive ceramic demonstration and a drink at River Café.
Curated Wine Experience in Franschhoek
The tram departs from the Franschhoek Terminal at 10h30.
The tram returns to the Franschhoek Village at approximately 17h00.
The cost of a ticket for the Franschhoek tram includes:
- ride on the tram to a local wine estate
- wine lecture by knowledgeable wine guide
- guided cellar tour (when available)
- three-course lunch
- premium wine tastings at two additional wine estates
For the Franschhoek Wine Farms Experience, the day starts with a journey by tram to a local wine estate where a knowledgeable wine guide weaves the facts, figures and scientific aspects of winemaking into interesting stories about Franschhoek’s history of wine and culture.
During the interactive tour, visitors are guided through the cellar and sample the subtle tastes of terroir, as well as learn about the local grape varieties, cultivars and the aspects of viticulture which are unique to Southern Africa.
A tour of the farm’s wine cellar is followed by a specially curated three-course lunch at the estate restaurant. In the afternoon, guests visit two additional Franschhoek wine estates, enjoying a premium wine tasting experience at each estate.
TOP 8 WINE ESTATES TO VISIT IN CONSTANTIA
BEAU CONSTANTIA WINE ESTATE
Beau Constantia is a boutique wine farm situated at the top of Constantia Nek, overlooking False Bay. Vines are planted to an elevation of 350 metres above sea-level on some of the steepest agricultural slopes in the Cape. Guests visiting Beau Constantia enjoy unspoilt panoramic views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain ranges and over False Bay as far as Hangklip.
Beau Constantia has over 11 hectares planted under vine. The cultivated varieties include Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz and Petit Verdot.
The Viognier is showing great promise after the debut wine, the 2010 Beau Constantia Cecily, received the award for the best Viognier at the 2011 Novare Terroir Wine Awards. It was also rated 92 points by Neal Martin, who is the Wine Advocate South Africa reviewer for Robert Parker.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Beau Constantia
- open for wine tasting Monday to Sunday from 11h00 to 18h00
- closed on Christmas Day and Eve and Good Friday
- maximum of 12 guests for Wine Tasting Reservations
- walk-ins are welcome for wine tasting on a first-come, first-served basis
Chef’s Warehouse Restaurant on Beau Constantia
- open for Lunch on Monday to Sunday from 12h00 – 14h30 (Kitchen Closes)
- open for Dinner Monday to Saturday from 17h30 to 20h00 (Kitchen Closes)
- closed on Sunday Evenings, Christmas Eve & Day, Boxing day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday
- maximum of 8 guests per restaurant reservation
BUITENVERWACHTING WINE ESTATE
Buitenverwachting lies on the east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg, a short 12-minute drive from the coastal towns of False Bay. It originally formed part of the original Constantia Estate which was founded by Simon van der Stel, the first Governor of the new Dutch colony at the tip of Africa.
The first sub-division of 200 morgen was sold to Cornelis Brink in 1773 and since then has changed hands a few times. Today, the wine estate is famous for producing some of the finest wines in the Cape from some 90 000 vines that originate from the first vines planted in 1825.
Buitenverwachting is rich in history and has been lovingly restored to its former glory and extensive planting of the most-prized cultivars undertaken. The farm lives up to its name Buitenverwachting which means ‘beyond expectation’ in Dutch.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Buitenverwachting
The Wine Tasting experience is housed in the historic wine cellar with its traditional thatched roof, white washed walls and rare yellow-wood ceilings. The interior is casual, generously furnished with leather couches, small lounges and a tasting bar.
The stone tiled terrace overlooks the lawns and magnificent 250 year old Norfolk Pine. Casual charcuterie platters with fresh baguettes are available as well as an artisan ale to cleanse your pallet.
Many visitors linger for hours and choose to purchase a bottle and relax on the lawns with friends and family.
All wines are offered for tasting at a fee of: R 60 for 5 wines (2020 tasting price).
The Restaurant at Buitenverwachting
The Restaurant is situated in one of the original thatch buildings at Buitenverwachting and forms part of the historic complex on the wine estate. After a devastating storm in June 2017, the restaurant was extensively renovated.
Natural materials such a untreated wood, leather, handcrafted tiles and unpolished marble form part of the new design. The interior is a reflection of the estate offering clean, simple lines and classic elements.
The menu offers a 3-course or 5-course choice set menu which can be enjoyed with or without wine pairing. The award-winning chef at The Restaurant creates a unique, contemporary and fusion-style of cuisine coupled with a relaxed dining atmosphere, bridging the gap between fine dining and bistro.
The Restaurant at Buitenverwachting features a wine library where guests are allowed to sample vintage Buitenverwachting wines which are only available at The Restaurant. The mountain facing terrace offers guests breathtaking views over the vineyards and the picturesque Constantiaberg mountain.
The courtyard is shaded by ancient stinkwood trees with a traditional Cape fish pond in the centre. It connects The Restaurant with the wine estate’s popular Coffee Bloc and Gin Bar.
CONSTANTIA GLEN WINE ESTATE
Ideally located directly below Constantia Nek, Constantia Glen is a picturesque boutique wine estate producing ultra-premium, cool-climate wines. The exclusive 60-hectare property is situated at an altitude of 130 to 270 metres above sea level and has 29 hectares under vine. Wine production is limited to 120 000 bottles per annum.
The undulating farmland of Constantia Glen has been under the custodianship of the Waibel family; first as rolling forest land and then a Red Angus cattle stud before it was returned to its historic wine-growing roots. The farm was renamed Constantia Glen when the first wine was produced in 2005.
Having owned the farm since 1960, the Waibel family are the longest-standing custodians of this piece of heaven since Simon van der Stel’s farm was divided up and re-registered in 1813.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Constantia Glen
Wine tastings at Constantia Glen start from R80 per person, depending on your wine selection. If you purchase wine to the value of R350, one wine tasting fee will be waived.
Restaurant at Constantia Glen
Delicious platters, salads, soups, mouth-watering gourmet mains and yummy desserts; you’ll find them all at the Tasting Room. Only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients from sustainable sources are used by the restaurant.
CONSTANTIA UITSIG WINE ESTATE
Constantia’s history dates back to 1685 when Simon van der Stel named his property after the daughter of the benefactor who granted him a farm nestled beneath a picturesque mountain range. The lush setting and moderate temperatures bode well for farming and van der Stel set to work planting orchards and vineyards, of which Constantia Uitsig was a part.
Having subsequently been subdivided into smaller farms, Constantia Uitsig is now one of a select handful of wine estates that together make up the Constantia Valley Wine Route.
Being the lowest lying farm in the valley, the rich, fertile soils of the wine estate are ideal for producing world-class whites such as Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Constantia Uitsig has over 25 hectares planted to vine and enjoys optimal growing conditions which allows them to produce some of the finest wines in the Cape.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Constantia Uitsig
The Wine Shop at Constantia Uitsig is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 11h00 to 18h00.
Wine tasting at Constantia Uitsig can be paired with an artisanal cheese or charcuterie platter.
The basic wine tasting rate for 3 wines is R60 per person and artisanal cheese and charcuterie platters are R225. 2020 prices subject to change.
Tasting the full range of wines is by appointment only. Constantia Uitsig also offers exclusive vertical tastings in their cellar.
Blockhouse Kitchen at Constantia Uitsig
Nestled on the historic Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Blockhouse Kitchen is focused on sharing a passion for accessible and seasonal food. The award-winning chef produces simple yet delicious dishes using only the freshest produce from sustainable and local South African growers and farmers.
EAGLE’S NEST WINE ESTATE
Eagles’ Nest was originally a section of Groot Constantia, the wine supplier to European nobility which was established by Simon van der Stel in the late 1600’s.
What is now Eagles’ Nest’s Wine Estate originally operated as a commercial farm producing export fruit as well as vegetables for the local market, up until the 1960’s. Following a devastating mountain fire in 2000 which destroyed all of the natural fynbos vegetation and Protea plants, as well as approximately 95% of the surrounding forest, it was decided to change the focus of the farm to wine.
Whilst the Constantia Valley is most famous for white wines, it was felt that Eagles’ Nest - with its unique terroir within the valley - would be more suited to red wines.
The estate’s east, west and north-facing slopes are the steepest commercially-farmed vineyards in the Cape region, if not in all of South Africa. The land is located 10.5 kms from the warm False Bay coastline and is in the direct path of the summer trade wines.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Eagle’s Nest
Taste the full range of Eagles’ Nest Wines in their tasting room. Compliment your wine tasting with a platter designed to accompany the wines.
Wine tastings and sales available from Monday to Sunday from 10h00 to 16h30.
Last tastings offered at 16h00 and the kitchen closes at 16h00.
Wine Tasting costs R75 per person. 2020 price subject to change.
Limited to smaller groups only.
VIP wine tasting experience and guided walking tours at Eagle’s Nest
Take your wine tasting experience to a new level. Enjoy a wine tasting hosted by the wine estate.
Wine tasting is R195 per person. Pre-booking essential. 2020 prices subject to change.
Explore Eagle’s Nest Wine Estate on a walk where you are introduced to the wine-making process and learn more about the diverse ecology that helps produce some of the finest wines in Constantia.
Walking tour is R100 per person. Pre-booking Essential. 2020 prices subject to change
Groot Constantia dates back to 1685, making it one of the oldest commercial wine farms in South Africa. Its rich history shows how one man’s love of wine established South Africa's first wine farm more than 330 years ago and how 891 morgen of land formed the origins of the commercial South African wine industry.
The original sweet wine produced at Groot Constantia was bought by Emperors and Kings such as Frederick the Great of Prussia and Louis Phillipe (King of the French) from wine auctions across Europe.
It was so renowned it appears in Jane Austen's novel 'Sense and Sensibility' as a cure for a broken heart and is drunk to lift a character’s spirit in 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' by Charles Dickens. It was even known to soothe Napoleon Bonaparte as it was served during his exile on the island of Saint Helena.
Things to do at Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia is nestled in the fertile Constantia Valley. The new Visitors Route offers a circular self-guided route of the heritage-rich core of the wine estate.
Groot Constantia Manor House has been restored as a living museum and boasts a fascinating exhibition of historical furniture and paintings. Also on display are its historical wine cellars and drinking vessels.
The Iziko Orientation Centre at Groot Constantia is housed in the Jonkershuis complex. The visual displays provide an overview of Groot Constantia from the past to present, including slavery on the estate. Carriages are on display in the Coach House and in the historical wine cellar, while the Wine Museum exhibits wine storage and drinking vessels from antiquity to the early 20th century.
The Homestead with its exhibition of furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, brass and copperware provides an insight into the life of a successful 18th to 19th century Cape farmer.
Activities offered on the Visitors Route include:
- explore the original Cape Dutch Manor House
- visit the famed Cloete Cellar which was the birthplace of Grand Constance
- visit the Groot Constantia wine museum and cultural history museum
- be inspired by South African Art exhibited at the manor house
- enjoy world-class cuisine at the famous Groot Constantia restaurant
- experience chocolate & wine pairing
- download two free audio walking tours of the vineyards and modern-day production cellar
SILVERMIST ORGANIC WINE ESTATE
Silvermist Organic Wine Estate is a unique, secluded estate situated on mountain slopes in the heart of the Cape Peninsula. It’s a picturesque 15-minute drive from the Cape Town City Bowl and is conveniently located to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town, such as Groot Constantia, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Silvermist Estate offers its guests diverse and unspoilt terrain to explore on a wine tour, from a walking trail through the organic vineyards to hiking in an area that falls within the world-famous Cape Floral Kingdom. The private residential estate boasts a boutique hotel, a selection of restaurants, organic vineyards, indigenous fynbos, wildlife and hiking trails.
Silvermist is a family-owned organic wine estate, inspired by Gregory Brink Louw who has worked tirelessly over the last 19 years to create the only organically-certified wine estate in the Constantia Wine Route.
Wine tasting at the Organic Wine Venue
Organic Wine Venue is one of the most popular attractions to Silvermist Estate. The new Silvermist Kraal is located within a beautiful wall of wood on route to La Colombe Fine Dining Restaurant. The new venue offers the most spectacular views of Table Mountain Nature Reserve and the Cape Peninsula. Wine-Maker, Gregory Brink Louw and his Silvermist vineyards team have created a unique wine tasting experience.
La Colombe Restaurant at Silvermist Estate
La Colombe has consistently received world-wide acclaim and is positioned amongst the top restaurants in the world. A review by Linda Scarbourgh of Eat Out describes the restaurant in these glowing words;
“As you ascend the winding road on Silvermist Organic Wine Estate, time seems to slow down. At each bend, as the city tilts away beneath you, you rise to new heights of quiet anticipation. There’s a reason you feel this way; you’re on top of a mountain and about to dine at the new incarnation of La Colombe, frequent contender on our Top 10 list and no stranger to Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants”
STEENBERG WINE ESTATE
Steenberg Wine Estate was established in 1682 and has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It’s an award-winning wine estate and boasts the 5-star luxury Steenberg Hotel with spectacular views and discreet, personalised service.
The original Manor House has been lovingly restored and declared a Provincial Heritage Site. Here the legendary elegance and traditions of the 17th century blend harmoniously with the most refined comforts and conveniences of our modern age.
A diverse dining destination with two restaurants is complemented by a tasting of award-winning wines at the Tasting Room. A visually spectacular and technically challenging 18-hole golf course features as part of the beautiful scenery at Steenberg Farm.
Wine tasting and cellar tours at Steenberg Wine Estate
Steenberg Wine Estate offers guests a selection of wine tasting experiences at its Wine Tasting Bar, Tasting Lounge or Outdoor Terrace. Facilities include an infinity pools and reflective water features set before some of the most remarkable scenery in Cape Town.
Restaurants at Steenberg Wine Estate
There are two acclaimed restaurants on the wine estate.
Tryn is a contemporary fine-dining restaurant is known for its fabulous food, bold accents and modern textures.
Bistro Sixteen82 is an innovative and interactive wine and food destination. It’s situated adjacent to Steenberg’s winery and Wine Tasting Room, and spills into its surrounding indigenous gardens with a terraced dining area leading to reflective water features, unfurling into views of the magnificent stone mountains and expansive winelands.
The Bistro Sixteen82 menu is a constant evolution, keeping up with seasonal produce and featuring inventive dishes that complement the finest locally sourced ingredients. With breakfast, lunch and late-afternoon tapas menus to choose from, the Bistro provides dining with an inimitable contemporary spirit.
Garden walks at Steenberg Wine Estate
Weather dependent, guided garden walks take place from Monday to Saturday at 11h00.
TOP 10 WINE ESTATES TO VISIT IN STELLENBOSCH
DELHEIM WINE ESTATE
Delheim is owned by the Sperling family. The late Michael Hans “Spatz” Sperling was a South African wine industry legend. He was one of the three founder members of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, from which all the other wine routes in the Cape originated.
Delheim produces a range of award-winning wines. It’s range is led by the majestic Grand Reserve which, since its release in 1981, has been honoured with prestigious international recognition. Delheim’s popular Pinotage Rosé (the first of its kind to be produced in South Africa in 1976) and the quirky Spatzendreck dessert wine are just a few of the favourites you’ll find at Delheim.
Wine tasting at Delheim
Arriving at the downstairs Cellardoor, visitors are greeted by a glass of ice cold, pure farm spring water during the hot summer months, and a glass of steaming hot glühwein in the cold winter months. A wine and cupcake tasting experience adds a new dimension to food and wine pairing.
The food platters are a taste sensation of local cheeses, olives, green fig, mascarpone cheese, seasonal fruit, dolmades and pickled pumpkin served with a bread and cracker basket.
Delheim hosts very popular Jazz and Cheese Fondues in the winter months and the picture-perfect picnics in summer.
Garden Restaurant at Delheim
On clear days, guests have a beautiful view across the wine-growing valley with Table Mountain in the far distance. The Garden Restaurant offers a selection of dishes ranging from cheese platters to traditional German and South African food.
Eat al fresco on the garden terraces in summer, or cosy up in the ‘Downstairs’ cellar in winter. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and tea as well as caters for small private functions. Bookings are advised, especially on weekends and holidays.
ERNIE ELS WINES
The world-famous professional golfer and iconic South African ambassador, Ernie Els, selected Stellenbosch to be the home of his vineyards and appointed an award-winning winemaker to produce premium wines. The Ernie Else wines are marketed under the nickname he was given while playing professional golf, the Big Easy.
The north-facing vineyards are planted on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain which provides the estate with ideal growing conditions, especially for red varietals. In 2000, the first grapes were crushed for the inaugural vintage of Ernie Els Signature which was a Bordeaux-style blend.
The winery was officially opened in 2004. The wine estate produces a range of wine but it has a particular focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and other red wines.
JORDAN WINE ESTATE
Gary and Kathy Jordan have been making world-class wines since 1993. The 164-hectare property in Stellenbosch was bought in 1982 and the Jordan team embarked on an extensive replanting programme, specialising in classic varieties suited to the different soils and slopes.
Jordan Wine Estate produces fiercely individual wines that combine the fruity accessibility of the New World with the Classic Elegance of the Old.
Wine tasting and cellar tour at Jordan Wine Estate
The cellar at Jordan Wine Estate is an elegant facility combined with a bold fusion of Old and New World architectural designs. The cellar is designed around a gravity flow system using natural cooling through recessing the cellar into the slope of the mountain.
The Bakery at Jordan Wine Estate
The best time to visit Jordan Wine Estate is in the morning when you’re in the mood for a late breakfast. The Bakery at Jordan is hugely popular, offering a relaxed and fun atmosphere where visitors can unwind and enjoy the freshly produced fare and top quality wines amongst the aromas of baking bread, pastries and freshly brewed coffee. Alternatively, one may dine ‘al fresco on the lawn or the wooden deck.
LANZERAC WINE ESTATE
Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and a Stellenbosch icon. The Grande Dame is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape heritage.
Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of the historical town of Stellenbosch, Lanzerac commands majestic views of dramatic mountain ranges, endless rows of lush vineyards and hectares of gardens shaded by giant Oak trees.
The homestead was transformed into a manor house in 1959; reminiscent of the traditional French way of fusing a country hotel and wine estate. Today, the iconic property hosts an elegant five-star country hotel, acclaimed bars, restaurants and Deli, a remarkable tasting venue and a chic day spa.
Wine tasting at Lanzerac
The Lanzerac Tasting Room is open 7-days a week and offers its patrons the opportunity to explore the wine estate’s range of acclaimed wines in a relaxed atmosphere whilst surrounded by the breath-taking views of the Stellenbosch valley.
Guests are invited to enjoy a selection of tailor-made tastings suited to individuals or groups in the comfort of the well-appointed Tasting Room or on the veranda overlooking the scenic vineyards.
The daily cellar tours, guided by one of the Estate’s expert wine advisors, offer visitors the opportunity to tour the working wine cellar and learn more about the rich heritage of the Estate.
The Lanzerac wine experience includes a premium wine tasting, wine and chocolate tasting and a heritage tasting. The latter includes a selection of four flagship wines including the Lanzerac MCC Blanc de Blancs Brut.
MEERLUST WINE ESTATE
Meerlust Wine Estate is one of the more instantly-recognisable wineries in Stellenbosch and has long been acclaimed for producing some of the finest wines in the world.
Meerlust Estate has been owned by the Myburgh family since 1756. Today, the traditional dedication to the art of winemaking continues under the guidance of Hannes Myburgh, eighth-generation custodian of this 17th century national heritage landmark.
A tour of Meerlust Wine Estate reveals its graceful manor house, classical wine cellar, rose gardens, family cemetery, dovecote and bird sanctuary.
Wine tasting at Meerlust
Meerlust's stately Cape Dutch cellar is one of the oldest buildings in Stellenbosch. Built in 1776, it was originally the Estate's wagon house. It was beautifully restored by in 1974, with the installation of new pressing and cellar equipment. The design of the Meerlust cellar is a seamless balance between the traditional historic and the functionally modern.
The Meerlust Wine Estate producers a variety of fine red wines such as its famous Rubicon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The wines are all made from grapes grown on the wine estate and matured in French oak.
Produced for the first time in 1995, Meerlust produces only one white wine of the Chardonnay variety. The wine is fermented and matured in French Oak and is made only from grapes grown on the Estate.
MIDDELVLEI WINE ESTATE
Known for its warm hospitality and relaxed farm atmosphere, Middelvlei Estate offers visitors a personal and authentic Stellenbosch Winelands experience that’s suitable for the whole family.
Brothers Tinnie and Ben Momberg have continued the family's legacy of winemaking that has lasted for over 100 years and continue to produce a range of fine Cape wine.
Middelvlei Wine Estate covers an area of 160 hectares of which 130 are planted with Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Boerebraai Restaurant at Middelvlei
The Momberg family of Middelvlei Wine Estate invites you to join them for lunch on the terrace from Monday to Sunday to be part of a very special, authentic South African outdoor barbecue experience. South Africans are known for loving a "braai" (BBQ) and it’s a great way to spend the rest of your day after a wine tasting and cellar tour.
Join in the ‘Boerebraai’ (farmer’s BBQ) fun at Middelvlei where a resident braaimaster expertly prepares authentic South African dishes. As if the appetising aromas of potbrood and braaibroodjies are not enough, Ben's homemade pâté and Ouma Annie's pumpkin fritters have placed the Middelvlei Braai in a league of its own.
MORGENSTER WINE & OLIVE ESTATE
Family-owned and family-run, Morgenster Estate has a long history dating back 300 years. Situated near the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the farm produces award-winning Bordeaux-style wines, Italian cultivars and extra virgin olive oil.
Only 74 ha of the 200 ha estate is under vine and olive trees, the rest is given over to the mountains and the wetlands. This falls in line with Morgenster’s ethos of responsible and sustainable farming methods.
Wine tasting at Morgenster
Morgenster produces an authentic range of wines that include premium Bordeaux-style blends as well as Italian varietals. Tradition meets modernity in every bottle produced.
Morgenster olive oil
Known as the ‘Father of Olive Oil’, Giulio Bertrand paved the way for South Africa’s olive oil culture when he planted his original olive trees in the valley. Bertrand launched the estate’s first olive oils into the market in 1996 and paved the way for a purist oil with no additives.
To this day, Morgenster continues to produce pure, unadulterated extra virgin olive oil according to the vision and expertise of its founder.
95 at Morgenster Restaurant
95 at Morgenster is a top-quality restaurant on Morgenster Estate. It’s the outcome of a perfect partnership between Giorgio Nava and Morgenster Estate which resulted in the perfect combination of good food with the finest wines. The beautiful natural surroundings of the restaurant top the overall experience.
NEETHLINGSHOF WINE ESTATE
Neethlingshof Estate has a long and rich tradition of wine making in Stellenbosch. The wine estate occupies an incredibly privileged site with ideal natural conditions, soils, slopes, altitudes and climate to produce a variety of fine wines.
Neethlingshof Estate lies just outside the beautiful town of Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. An iconic avenue of imposing stone pines mark the entrance to the farm, leading to the traditional “werf” of the estate.
Established more than 300 years ago, Neethlingshof Estate boasts some of the finest examples of traditional Cape Dutch buildings, leaving visitors with a distinct sense of history and old-world charm. The beauty and charm of the farm and surrounds have been wowing visitors for many years and the estate is committed to maintaining and enhancing its historic and natural beauty.
Wine tasting at Neethlingshof
The Wine Tasting Centre and Wine Garden at Neethlingshof are open 7-days a week for wine tastings, cellar tours and light lunches. The Wine Shop stocks a selection of wines and other goodies available for purchase.
The Wine Garden is a laid-back option for lunch with light meals like pizza, nachos and cheese as well as charcuterie platters. It also hosts live music events on Wednesday evenings.
The Restaurant at Neethlingshof
The iconic avenue of stone pines leads visitors towards the stately manor house where The Restaurant at Neethlingshof is housed. This beautiful old building is over 200 years old; completed in 1814 by the widow Maria Magdalena Marais who included six ornate masonry flowers on the decorative gable above the front door, representing herself and her five daughters.
The versatility of the venue allows the restaurant to seat guests on the front veranda, under the oak trees overlooking the rose garden with vineyards and mountains as a backdrop, or in the manor house itself.
RUST EN VREDE WINE ESTATE
Rust en Vrede was established in 1694 by the then Governor of the Cape, Willem Adrian van der Stel. It was originally made up of a larger property but in the early 1700’s was divided into two whereby the original section remained as Rust en Vrede.
The first house on the estate was built in 1780, followed by the cellar in 1785. In 1790 the larger manor house was built.
For 321 years, Rust en Vrede Wine Estate has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Different wine varieties have been produced over the centuries but for the last 32 years, the family-owned farm has specialised in producing only red wine with a focus on Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot.
Rust en Vrede is an award-winning winery. Some of the memorable accolades include a Rust en Vrede wine being chosen by President Nelson Mandela to be served at his Nobel Peace Prize dinner as well as an event hosting the Queen of Denmark for a lunch.
Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World and repeated this achieved for four consecutive years.
Wine tasting at Rust en Vrede
The wine list at Rust en Vrede is one of the finest in the country and is overseen by a renowned sommelier.
Restaurant at Rust en Vrede
The restaurant at Rust en Vrede draws avid foodies from around the world with promises of a fine-dining experience. The chef also offers a 6-cousre tasting menu which is a sequence of designer dishes with optional wine pairing.
SIMONSIG WINE FARM
Simonsig Wine Estate is synonymous with the history of the South African wine industry, the Stellenbosch wine region and the Malan family name.
The late Frans Malan produced the first bottle of the much-loved Kaapse Vonkel which was South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique which was made in the classic bottle-fermented style. He is also honoured for co-founding the thriving Stellenbosch Wine Route.
Taste Simonsig’s range of award-winning wines in a relaxed atmosphere or book an exclusive cellar tour and immerse yourself in the farm’s rich history.
Cuvée Restaurant at Simonsig
Cuvée captures the Malan family’s hospitality. Guests experience the relaxed Cape Winelands atmosphere and traditional hearty meals with modern flair. Breakfast and lunch can be enjoyed with our famed Kaapse Vonkel under the oak trees while the kids play outside.
In Winter, guests cosy up to the fireplace with a glass of Redhill Pinotage, or stay later for sundowners and tapas in Summer.
SPIER WINE ESTATE
Established in 1692, Spier Wine Farm is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms. It’s rich history blends seamlessly with a modern, conscious energy where the focus is on producing award-winning wines and producing farm-to-table food.
Spier Wine Farm has three exceptional restaurants, a popular pub, well-stocked wine cellar and an award-winning spa. You can get to the winery by booking a ticket on the Spier Vintage Tram which is the farm’s own exclusive train that runs from a private station in Cape Town directly to the farm in Stellenbosch.
Wine tasting at Spier
Spier welcomes visitors to its beautiful wine tasting centre that has one of the most beautiful views over the valley and a Heath Nash chandelier made from 334 recycled Spier wine bottles. You can enjoy a traditional wine tasting experience or a more decadent chocolate and wine tasting.
The Spier Arts Trust
The Spier Arts Trust was established on the estate to generate shared value for the makers and buyers of South African art. Through curating art portfolios and managing visual arts projects, the Spier Arts Trust creates growth opportunities for visual artists and artisans in South Africa.
THELEMA MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS
Thelema Mountain Vineyards is situated on the south-easterly side of the Simonsberg Mountain with elevations 530 meters above sea level, with mainly south-facing slopes. The high altitude, the rich red soils and cool breeze that comes off False Bay create ideal growing conditions for the production of premium quality wine grapes.
In 1983, Gyles Webb bought Thelema and so began a family legacy. The manor house was restored and the first wines under the Thelema label were released in 1988.
By the mid-90’s, Thelema’s wines were selling out within a month after release, making it one of the most sought-after wines produced in the Cape Winelands. The Webb family describe Thelema Wine Estate as “one of the most beautiful places on earth”.
Wine tasting at Thelema Mountain Vineyards
Join the team at Thelema for a standard or comparative tasting of its fine wines. Tasting fee is R80 (2020 prices subject to change). Bookings are advisable.
TOKARA WINE ESTATE
Tokara is situated on the crest of the Helshoogte Pass about 5 kilometres from the historic winemaking town of Stellenbosch. The wine estate offers a unique combination of award-winning wines, brandy and olive oils as well as a gallery of fine art, a restaurant featuring one of South Africa’s leading chefs and a delicatessen that stocks local artisan produce.
A unique feature of Tokara Wine and Olive Farm is a collection of striking sculptures and garden artwork. A prominent feature of the restaurant interior are five large-scale tapestries created by internationally renowned artist William Kentridge. No other venue in the world has as many of art pieces from Kentridge’s “Porter Series” on display to the public.
Wine tasting at Tokara
At Tokara Wine Estate, the focus is on two of the greatest grape varieties in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc. They are reflected in three ranges; Tokara Premium Collection, Tokara Reserve Collection and Tokara Directors Reserve.
Tokara Restaurant and Deli
Tokara Restaurant offers its guests terroir-focused contemporary cuisine, award-winning wines and dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay. The menu is inspired by the South African countryside and farm produce.
Tokara Delicatessen is a child-friendly restaurant and gourmet foods shop with a seasonal menu, olive oil products and tastings.
Did you know?
At every wine tasting, especially those comparing old-world wine to new-world wines, the inevitable topic of terroir arises. Terroir is a French term that literally translated means ‘earth or soil’.
Terroir is how a particular region's climate, soils and terrain affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more 'terroir' than others.
Some artisanal crops for which terroir is studied include wine, coffee, tobacco, chocolate, chili peppers, hops, agave (for making tequila and mezcal), tomatoes, heritage wheat, maple syrup, tea and cannabis.
VERGELEGEN WINE ESTATE
Founded in 1700, Vergelegen is an iconic wine estate in Stellenbosch that is as well known for its beautiful historic building and stunning gardens as it is for its award-winning wines. The premier wine estate has hosted many heads of state and celebrities from all over the world.
The premier wine estate is rich in history. Ancient Camphor trees in the garden are over 300 years old and the first vineyards were planted in 1700 by Williem Adriaan van der Stel. The vintage estate has been under the ownership of some of the world’s greatest explorers and visionaries.
The wine estate boasts two world-class restaurant, a lovely kid’s play area and an elegant Tasting Centre that showcases Vergelegen’s handcrafted wines.
Restaurants at Vergelegen
There are two outstanding restaurants at Vergelegen. Stables is a more relaxed bistro-style eatery situated next to an amazing play area. Camphor’s Restaurant offers food fundis an excellent fine-dining experience.
Picnics are available in summer from November to April in the magical and mystical Camphor Forest where tables and chairs are provided.
WATERFORD WINE ROUTE
Waterford Estate is situated in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley in the world-renowned Stellenbosch region. Waterford Estate is owned by the Ord Family and was developed under the watchful eye of Kevin Arnold, Cellar Master and Managing Partner, since 1998.
Only half of the total 120 hectares of land is planted to vines. The balance is left as a beautiful protected wilderness area. Waterford Estate winery offers a relaxing setting where guests can sit and enjoy various tasting options while gazing out over the splendid valley.
The wine cellar is built surrounding the courtyard which means guests can observe the workings of the winery and get a true feel for the wine making process while enjoying the wine tasting experience. The centerpiece of the courtyard is the magnificent and iconic fountain which is represented in the Waterford Estate label.
Wine tasting at Waterford
Waterford Estate hosts seasonal events that include intimate courtyard concerts, food and wine tasting experiences.
TOP 10 WINE ESTATES TO VISIT IN PAARL
AVONDALE WINE ESTATE
The picturesque 160-hectare farm that is today known as Avondale has been under cultivation for more than 350 years. Early records show that the land was one of the first in the Paarl valley to be allocated specifically for the production of wine grapes.
In 2000, a catastrophic fire swept down the mountains and destroyed much of the vineyards. Out of the ashes, rose the opportunity to truly sculpt the land and its natural eco-system in an unfettered, sustainable way.
The owner of Avondale developed a unique approach to viticulture which he called ‘BioLOGIC®’. He implemented organic and biodynamic practices, not for the sake of certification but because they worked to promote sustainable viticulture practices.
Harnessing the restorative powers of nature, Avondale improved soil fertility, planted new vines and set about achieving the goal of making natural, delicious wines in a healthy, balanced environment. In 2003, a new state-of-the-art, gravity-flow cellar was built to facilitate a high quality, slow wine production process.
Wine tasting at Avondale
Avondale produces award-winning wines that are created through a healthy, balanced vineyard ecosystem. The result is a unique, naturally-made, slow wines.
The vigor of its well-tended vines leads to the plump grapes bursting with fresh flavours that are evident in the estate’s individually-styled, classic wines that are described as full of life and character. Avondale is certified organic and practices bio-dynamic agriculture.
FABER Restaurant at Avondale
FABER is a contemporary farm-to-fork restaurant that approaches each ingredient with the utmost respect. FABER food is handcrafted using the finest fresh and organic ingredients; creating wholesome, innovative dishes that take guests on a memorable culinary journey.
BABYLONSTOREN WINE ESTATE
In 1692, Babylonstoren farm was granted to burgher (farmer) Pieter van der Byl by the then Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel. Prior to that, the Drakenstein Valley had been inhabited by the nomadic Khoisan communities for tens of centuries. Pieter van der Byl planted the first vineyards on the farm and altered the water courses to provide irrigation.
Some of the farm’s earliest structures from that time remain on the farm today, where Babylonstoren’s Cape Dutch farmyard is typical of the architectural style popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. As such, Babylonstoren is considered to be one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape Winelands.
The original buildings comprise a manor house that dates back to 1777, while the Koornhuis (for storing wheat), the old cellar, ornate fowl house, dovecote, the leaning bell tower and the historic gates all date back to the 1750s. A disused cow shed was transformed into the current-day Babel restaurant.
Wine tasting at Babylonstoren
Babylonstoren wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and reflect the natural harmony of the soils and climate where their grapes are grown. The Tasting Room at Babylonstoren sits adjacent to the Wine Cellar, offering views of the conical Babylonstoren hill, Simonsberg and the Banghoek Mountains.
Restaurants at Babylonstoren
Housed in the old cow shed, Babel Restaurant is a wonderful mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls that makes for a simple yet edgy environment in which to try the tasty and often unconventional combinations.
Babel Restaurant has a farm-to-fork philosophy which means it serves food that is seasonal and reflects a “pick, clean and serve” culinary ethos.
By day, The Bakery supplies the farm shop and restaurants with freshly-baked breads. By night, the space is transformed into a true celebration of La Dolce Vita, serving family-style food. Guests dish up for themselves from wooden boards placed on their table while sipping on wine and enjoying the lively atmosphere.
At the rear of Babylonstoren’s famous garden, tucked away between the oak trees, is the Greenhouse Restaurant. This popular eatery offers guests a wonderful refreshment station after a leisurely walk around the garden.
All the food at The Bakery is served picnic-style in wooden crates with the preserves, jams and salads served in mason jars. Fresh bread from a wood-fired oven comes wrapped in the iconic blue-and-white Babylonstoren paper.
BACKSBERG WINE ESTATE
This history of Backsberg Wine Estate dates back to 1916 when a Lithuanian gentleman arrived in Cape Town as a penniless political and religious refugee. After establishing a successful butcher shop in Cape Town, he was offered a farm in Paarl. So began the legacy of Back’s mountain farm.
What makes Backsberg Wine Estate stand out from many wineries in Paarl is the fact it has been a carbon-neutral winery since 2006. Backsberg also produce an organic wine range, a vegan wine (no egg yolk and certain enzymes) and even Kosher wine that is fermented according to Jewish dietary laws. For the latter, not even the winemaker may make any contact with the wine during certain parts of the process.
Backsberg is a certified WWF Conservation Champion and has implemented environmental initiatives like setting aside a portion of their land to protect the endangered fynbos biome, an insect predator programme to reduce the need for chemical sprays and a queen bee project to protect the local bee population and promote pollination.
Enjoy true Backsberg hospitality in their gardens beneath the ancient Camphor trees. A talented culinary team takes you on a mouth-watering journey of the senses with locally-sourced artisan produce and homestyle tried-and-tested recipes. These decadent dishes are paired with Backsberg’s award-winning wines.
Children can play in the delightful garden play area while parents are encouraged to relax beneath the trees on our terrace or, during the cooler months, by the warmth of a roaring fireplace.
Remember to book in advance for our popular Sunday three-course lamb spit buffet.
FAIRVIEW WINE & CHEESE ESTATE
Fairview Wine & Cheese Estate dates back to 1693 when the land was granted to the first settler. Since then, Fairview has made a name for itself not only for its fine wines but also producing some of the finest dairy products in the country.
The farm comprises 320 hectares of which 120 hectares are planted to vines. Fairview produces a wide range of varietals under its label and 70% of production is red wine.
Cheese production at Fairview started in 1980 when the owner purchased a herd of Saanen milking goats. At the time, goats’ milk cheese was an unknown product in South Africa. Today, Fairview is South Africa's leading producer of artisanal and specialty goat-milk cheeses. Fairview has the largest commercial goat herd in Africa, numbering 750 at last count.
The milk from the Fairview’s famous goats, along with the milk from an exclusive Jersey cow herd, are brought to the Vineyard Cheesery daily. There are over twenty permanent lines in the Fairview cheese range, including blue mould, white mould and cream cheese products.
Wine and cheese tasting at Fairview
The Fairview Tasting Room is one of the most popular Cape Winelands destinations, building on a reputation that stretches back to the 1970′s. The world-renowned tasting room consists of 4 unique barrel-shaped seating pods that help create a welcoming and more social tasting experience.
The custom-designed pods offer a tasting selection of 6 different wines with dedicated hosts to guide and assist guests. Fairview is committed to ensuring that they offer visitors a diverse range of wines, including a selection of wines exclusive to their own cellar.
Wine tasting at Fairview is always expertly paired with a selection of six specialty Fairview cow and goat’s milk cheeses.
KWV WINE EMPORIUM
KWV was founded as a winemaking co-operative in 1918 to represent wine makers from the Western Cape. The name “Koöperatieve Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Suid-Afrika” is Afrikaans for "Co-operative Winemakers Union' of South Africa".
Today, KWV represents a well-known global wine and spirits brand and produces a wide range of wine varieties. In 1997, KWV converted from a co-operative to a private enterprise selling its own acclaimed brands of premier wine and brandy.
The original purpose of KWV was to create unity amongst the wine farmers of South Africa and to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of South African wines and brandies. From the early 1920s, the co-operative was granted increasing legislative control over the production, sale and export of South Africa's distilling wine and spirits which allowed the body to experiment with innovations in the industry which aided its development.
The original KWV also invested heavily in the promotion of South African wine and brandy both locally and abroad. KWV's legal control over South Africa’s wine industry was relinquished when the country gained its independence in the 1990s and the world market opened up to wine producers in the Cape Winelands.
KWV Wine Emporium
Occupying a space of over 22 hectares, the KWV cellar complex in Paarl is one of the largest in the world. Its famous Cathedral Cellar, superb wines and brandies as well as interactive cellar tours provides visitors with a fascinating insight into the rich heritage of the Cape Winelands.
The KWV Wine Emporium offers sparkling wines, natural wines, fortified wines, liqueurs and brandies, a variety of tasting experiences and frequent cellar tours conducted in English and German.
KWV Centenary New 100-Minute Tour
The Cathedral Cellar has been the playground of some of South Africa's legendary winemakers and industry stalwarts for over a century. Book a tour of the historic cellar and learn more about the rich history of the wine industry.
KWV House of Fire
Enjoy the unique experience of brandy blending with a KWV Master Distiller. You’ll blend your own brandy while enjoying Canapés and informative discussions on the brandy-making process. At the end, you get the opportunity to bottle your unique blend of brandy and add a personalised label.
LABORIE WINE ESTATE
Laborie Estate is a historic working farm in the foothills of Paarl Mountain, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. The beautiful gem of an estate has been revived as a one-stop tourism destination in the Cape Winelands.
Laborie boasts a family-friendly stylish restaurant, luxury guest rooms set among the vineyards, a relaxed tapas restaurant and a wine-tasting venue with postcard-perfect views in the Boland.
Wine tasting at Laborie Wine Estate
Laborie offers a much-loved range of wines that consists of a trio of Methode Cap Classique sparkling wines, a selection of Whites and Reds and a quality dry Rose. The limited selection of Taillefert Wines is the official range of Laborie Estate.
Taking its name from the French Huguenots who were granted the farm in 1691, the Taillefert range remains true to its French roots. It currently consists of Taillefert Crémant De Taillefert Brut (MCC), Taillefert Pinot Noir and Taillefert Chardonnay.
Wine tasting is hosted in the Pearl Rock Terrace Tasting Room from Tuesday to Sunday. Choose between wines from the Laborie range or the Taillefert Wines range.
LANDSKROON WINE ESTATE
The winemaking tradition at Landskroon Wine Estate dates back to the 17th century when the French Huguenot settlers came to the Cape to escape religious persecution. Among the settlers was Jacques de Villiers who had experience in wine making from his homeland in the Niort region in France.
In 1874, his great-grandson, Paul de Villiers, bought a portion of the original Landskroon farm that had been granted to a free burger by Governor Simon van der Stel in 1692. And so, the legacy of Landskroon wine making began. Today, the stately Cape Dutch style farmhouse on the Landskroon estate is a national monument.
Landskroon Wine Estate has 300 hectares planted to vines. The farm estate is managed as a private family operation and owned by the families of brothers Paul and Hugo de Villiers. Five members of the family are involved in the running of the farm on a full-time basis. The current wine maker, Paul de Villiers, is the fifth generation to carry on the proud tradition of wine making at Landskroon.
Wine tasting and food pairing at Landskroon
The wine estate offers a wide variety of quality white and red wines at affordable prices. Landskroon’s Cape Vintage has established itself as one of the leading fortified wines of South Africa.
Visitors to Landskroon are well rewarded with a stunning view over the vineyards and the farm towards Table Mountain.
Wine tasting of a selection of their wines can be paired with locally-produced cheeses, dark chocolate, olives, biltong and dry wors (sausage) and homemade Turkish Delight.
Mellasat Vineyards was created by the Richardson family in 1996 from the original farm Dekkersvlei which was established in 1693. The gracious vineyard enjoys a spectacular position at the foothills of the dramatic Klein Drakenstein mountains and offers visitors panoramic views of the Paarl valley and its famous granite domes.
From 1997, owner Stephen Richardson started replacing some of the farm’s existing Chenin Blanc vines with the noble cultivars Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Chardonnay as well as South Africa’s own Pinotage grape variety. Under the expert supervision of a renowned viticulturalist, attention was paid to selecting the best root stock that would suit the warmer climate and granitic soils of the Paarl region.
Wine tasting at Mellasat Vineyards
Mellasat Vineyards are known to do things a bit differently which is why you’ll find a white Pinotage amongst its range of award-winning wines.
Mellasat currently have two ranges in its wine portfolio. The main Mellasat label is represented through the flagship blend Mellasat “M” and is joined by the premium White Pinotage. Mellasat’s famous white pinotage is made in a very unique style using classical barrel-fermented Chardonnay.
The Tempranillo and the Viognier wines form part of Mellasat’s "Premium Exclusive" collection. Only a small volume of the wine is produced every year, making it an exclusive, sought-after vintage.
The wine estate built a stunning tasting centre with stunning views of the Paarl valley and the craggy Klein Drakenstein mountains. You’ll also find a Cemetery of Forgotten Wines in their underground cellar which is an interesting and bizarre collection of museum wines.
NEDERBURG WINE ESTATE
Founded in 1791, Nederburg Wine Estate is an iconic institution in the Cape Winelands. The story of Nederburg starts when a German immigrant, Philippus Wolvaart, acquired 49 hectares of land in the Paarl Valley.
Wolvaart named his property Nederburgh, in honour of the VOC commissioner, Sebastiaan Cornelis Nederburgh. Later, the ‘h’ was dropped from the spelling of the farm’s name and it became Nederburg as it’s known today. The beautiful thatched and gabled Cape Dutch manor house that Wolvaart completed in 1800 has been proclaimed a national monument.
Wine tasting at Nederburg
Nederburg creates a range of wines that are a culmination of two centuries of heritage, tradition and skill. Their premium single-varietal wines are handcrafted from grapes sourced from the best vines within the top-performing vineyards. These site-specific wines express the estate’s outstanding terroir and are only released in exceptional vintages.
The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg
The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg Wine Estate is a country-style eatery that’s located in the estate’s historic Cape Dutch Manor House. The building was built in 1800 and is a protected heritage monument.
Guests have a wonderful view over lush lawns and a panoramic view of the beautiful Paarl valley. You can choose to sit outside on the terrace on warm, sunny days or inside around a roaring fireplace in the colder months.
Also on offer in summer are the famous Nederburg picnic baskets freshly prepared by The Red Table Restaurant. Delicious goodies in the picnic basket include artisanal bread and hummus, a selection of cheeses, fig preserves, thyme and lemon chicken kebabs, springbok samoosas, brie and mushroom tartlets, fresh seasonal salad and a dessert.
Nederburg wines, mineral water and soft drinks can be purchased with the picnic. Picnic on the expansive lawn in front of the historic manor house, under the ancient oak trees which provides welcome shade on hot days.
VAL DE VIE WINE ESTATE
Dating back to 1783, Val de Vie Estate in the beautiful Paarl valley is rich in history and forms part of a larger World Heritage Site. The pristine surrounding landscapes include majestic mountain ranges, expansive lakes, vineyards, olive groves, lush polo fields, farms and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Val de Vie Estate also operates as a residential development, offering world-class modern living and an ideal family lifestyle in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The homes, apartments and office space at Val de Vie have been carefully designed to reflect the architectural style of the estate’s rich history.
Wine tasting at Val de Vie Estate
Val die Vie wines are bottled in a 180-year old cellar and the result is some of the finest wines produced in the Cape Winelands.
The ideal wine-growing climate and blend of cool and warm winds have played a prominent role in the production of wines on the Val die Vie Wine Estate since the 1600s when French Huguenot descendants brought their sound viticulture knowledge to the region.
The Val de Vie collection consists of five sophisticated, timeless blends. The Polo Club range has three different blends and is a perfect match for any palate. The L’Huguenot Venue & Vinoteque is home to the exclusive Val de Vie and Polo Club wines.
Restaurants at Val de Vie Estate
Visitors and residents of Val de Vie Estate have the choice of three world-class eateries on the property. One of them is Reuben’s & Co Cafè, the latest restaurant in the impressive portfolio of acclaimed South African chef Reuben Riffel.
Reuben’s & Co Cafè is located at The Yard lifestyle centre situated in the heart of Val de Vie Estate. The concept of Reuben’s & Co Cafè is based on seasonal, health-conscious dishes prepared with fresh ingredients grown organically on Val de Vie Estate and surrounding farms in the Franschhoek Valley.
The Valley Restaurant at the estate’s Clubhouse offers guests a fine dining experience with spectacular views over the manicured Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and the towering Simonsberg Mountain.
The popular Polo Club Restaurant and Black Bar overlooks the pristine polo fields of Val de Vie Estate. The dining experience is unique, paired with spectacular views and fine wines.
TOP 10 WINE ESTATES TO VISIT IN FRANSCHHOEK
BOSCHENDAL WINE ESTATE
Boschendal lies nestled in a lush valley between the Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains. The name Bos-en-dal means ‘bush and valley’ and aptly describes the 1 800 hectares of pristine Cape fine bush and undulating valley basin.
Boschendal is one of oldest wine estates in the Cape Winelands. The first owner was one of 200 French Huguenots who fled France to escape religious prosecution. Jean le Long was granted land by the Dutch East India Company in 1688.
In 1715, the farm was acquired by Abraham de Villiers and it stayed in the de Villiers family until 1879. In 1812, Paul de Villiers and his wife completed Boschendal manor house on the site of his father's home.
Today, Boschendal is a bustling farming enterprise that’s made up of a number of farms planted with vines and tropical fruit, historical homesteads, delis and restaurants.
Wine tasting at Boschendal
Boschendal has an exceptional winemaking heritage that goes back some 330 years. It’s range of wine is carefully crafted to deliver ultimate drinking pleasure with dedicated red and white winemakers creating masterpieces in separate cellars.
The Cellar Door Wine Tasting Centre is open for pre-booked and walk-in guests. Choose from a selection of tastings showcasing the best of Boschendal wines.
The outside tables are situated under the beautiful old oak tree for perfect summer days. On colder days, sit inside the oldest building on the farm. A friendly wine advisors guides you through the tastings and tells tales of the farm’s rich winemaking heritage which dates back to 1685. Cheese and charcuterie platters showcasing fresh farm produce and products from local suppliers.
Restaurants at Boschendal
Boschendal has four restaurants and provides a range of food options, from an informal and fun deli and the famous Boschendal picnics alongside the Werf and at Rhone to the upmarket Olive Press for weddings and functions and restaurants in the Boschendal and Rhone homesteads for finer dining.
DIEU DONNE VINEYARDS
The beautiful Dieu Donné Vineyards is situated high on the steep south-west facing slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains. The cool climate combined with the rocky soils of the weathered granite create the perfect conditions for a unique terroir.
Dieu Donné is renowned for creating award-winning easy-drinking wines as well as heritage wines that compare well to well-known wines from regions such as Bordeaux.
Wine tasting at Dieu Donné Vineyards
Visit Dieu Donné’s cozy wine tasting room and enjoy a few glasses of the estate’s beautiful wine on the terrace while looking across the gorgeous Franschhoek valley and Drakenstein Mountain. Wine enthusiasts are encouraged to do a cellar tour to get a better understanding of the small-batch estate production and, when available, meet the winemaker.
Roca Restaurant at Dieu Donne Vineyards
Roca Restaurant is widely used as a splendid wedding and function venue, catering for small, intimate weddings as well as large weddings of up to 140 guests.
The terrace at Roca Restaurant flows out onto the large lawn and can seat up to 80 guests. It’s one of the most magnificent settings for your special day.
EIKEHOF WINE ESTATE
Eikehof Wine Estate is nestled in the shade of ancient oak trees to the west of the Franschhoek Village, in the vicinity of La Motte. This hidden gem has belonged to the Malherbe family since 1903.
Today, over a century later, Francois Malherbe is the fourth generation of winemakers who makes wine in the very same cellars as his great-grandfather did. The farm takes its name, Eikehof, from the wonderful Old Oaks which are characteristic of the farm and the Cape Winelands.
The vineyards cover an area of 23 hectares and a peach orchard takes up some of the farmlands. The farm is renowned for having the oldest block of Semillon bush vines in the Cape Winelands, dating back to 1902.
Wine tasting at Eikehof Wine Estate
The owners of Eikehof and their team warmly welcome you and go the extra mile to ensure you have a wonderful wine tasting experience. Enjoy the Eikehof wines sitting under the ancient oak trees overlooking the Drakenstein Mountain.
Eikehof has 6 varietals which include a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
GRANDE PROVINCE WINE ESTATE
Grande Provence Wine Estate is said to wear her 325-year history with dignity. Nestled in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley in the beautiful Cape Winelands, the estate’s vineyards cover an area of some 50 acres. Rolling vistas frame the valley floor and heighten the drama of the rugged mountains beyond.
Over 325 years ago, French Protestant Pierre Joubert hid his bible in a loaf of bread and fled his home town of La Motte-d’Aigues in Provence to avoid religious persecution. In 1694, along with other French Huguenots, he arrived in Olifantshoek (Elephants Corner; later to be renamed Franschhoek).
Joubert settled on land in the valley of Franschhoek and went on to create a legacy of viticulture and winemaking. Over the years, he acquired farmlands that today are Belingchamp, L’Ormarins, La Motte and La Roche.
When Alex van Heeren purchased the property in 1984, he commissioned Virginia Fisher to create an interior to complement and enhance this extraordinarily beautiful location.
Wine tasting at Grande Province
Leading off The Restaurant is Grande Province’s welcoming wine-tasting area. The bar dominates the centre of the room, a striking feature created with galvanised steel and black strapping. A touch of fun is evident with the tractor seat bar stools, while a fireplace and upholstered chairs soften the perimeter of the room, inviting guests savour every sip of the Estate's award-winning wines.
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate is the home of the award-winning Grande Provence wines and the Angels Tears lifestyle collection. The distinctive Grande Provence vintages reflect the passion and enthusiasm of our wine-making team.
Restaurant at Grande Province
The brand new Farm Deli at Grande Province offers fresh produce like spices, fresh bread, meats and charcuterie, cheeses, coffee beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs, cakes, rusks and other fresh bakes, preserves and jams. A selection of frozen meals will also be available at the Deli counter.
While the 18th century Manor House and The Owner’s Cottage reflect their Huguenot heritage, The Restaurant and wine tasting area of Grande Provence project a chic industrial presence.
The Bistro at Grande Province is a casual, yet contemporary eatery and the perfect destination for anyone in pursuit of a top-tier Cape wine farm experience but with meals taken in a more relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. It’s situated next door to the garden sculpture gallery and outdoor wine tasting area where children are welcome to play on the lawned terrace.
Enjoy a delicious and relaxing country-style picnic under majestic oaks in the beautifully landscaped sculpture gardens amidst the heritage vineyards during the months of October through to April.
The Gallery at Grande Province
The Gallery at Grande Provence is considered to be one of the most highly regarded galleries in the Cape, with a reputation for showcasing some of South Africa’s finest established and emerging artists. Regular exhibitions are held with the major disciplines being shown throughout the year.
The Gallery exhibits a carefully selected group of artists from South Africa, Europe and America. The Sculpture Garden has a continually evolving collection of monumental works in a variety of media.
HAUTE CABRIÈRE WINE ESTATE
Haute Cabriere Wine Estate dates back to 1694 when the French Huguenot Pierre Jourdan was granted a piece of land in Olifantshoek, today known as Franschhoek. He decided to name his farm after his home town CABRIÈRE in France.
In the early 1980’s, Achim von Arnim, then Cellar Master at Boschendal, purchased a portion of Jourdan’s land. His vision was firmly set on producing wines in the style of the Champagne region.
Haute Cabrière grew to encompass a beautifully serene underground cellar built into the side of Franschhoek Mountain. Achim opened his wine estate to the public in 1994, exactly 300 years after Pierre Jourdan had been granted Cabrière.
Today, Haute Cabrière produces some of the finest wines in the Cape Winelands from Burgundian cultivars. Founder and proprietor Achim von Arnim’s passion for these varietals has always been the inspiration behind both the Pierre Jourdan and Haute Cabrière wine ranges.
Wine tasting at Haute Cabrière
A cellar tour and wine tasting provides a fascinating insight into the viticulture and winemaking philosophy of Achim von Arnim. Share in the rich story of Haute Cabrière’s passion for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the creative processes this wine-loving family has pioneered.
Restaurant at Haute Cabrière
The Bakery & Deli at Haute Cabrière is a brand offering of freshly baked breads, pastries and coffee-to-go. Take home inspired menu items to stock the pantry.
The estate’s À la carte restaurant and the Tapas restaurant offers French-inspired cuisine with a South African twist and perfect in-between meals for a day in the pristine Cape Winelands.
LEOPARD'S LEAP WINE ESTATE
Leopard's Leap was conceptualised at the turn of the century by winemaker and businessman Hein Koegelenberg. With an initial international focus, the brand’s exceptional performance in the global market today sees it represented in more than 40 countries with dedicated marketing teams and distribution across Asia, the UK, Europe, North America and Africa.
The combination of modern design, relaxed ambience, innovative food and wine experiences are what make Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards such a popular family-friendly tourist destination. Leopard's Leap is the perfect place to visit on a tour of Cape Winelands because you’re guaranteed sociable tasting facilities, a versatile food offering, culinary tutoring and charm of a beautiful landscape.
Wine tasting at Leopard’s Leap Wine Estate
Visitors arriving at Leopard’s Leap Wine Estate are warmly welcomed in their modern, sociable Tasting Room, followed by an informal introduction to the versatile range of Leopard’s Leap wines. Over weekends, visitors are invited to laze on the terrace or lawn with wine and cocktails in hand, enjoying spectacular views of the Franschhoek Mountains and estate vineyards.
Restaurants at Leopard’s Leap
The Rotisserie Restaurant at Leopard’s Leap offers its guests a relaxed, family-orientated atmosphere. Delicious food prepared with fresh and seasonal produce is paired with the estate’s wines.
The South African Table allows guests the opportunity to taste authentic South African dishes and learn more about the country’s food heritage.
L’ORMARINS WINE ESTATE
L'Ormarins is steeped in the traditions of the French Huguenots who settled in what is now the magical Franschhoek valley. Its first owner was an industrious young Huguenot, Jean Roi, who by 1694 had already planted more than 4 000 vines on the virgin slopes of the Groot Drakenstein mountains.
In 1969, a new chapter in the colourful history of L'Ormarins began when the Rupert family bought the estate. In addition to restoring the gracious homestead to its original Huguenot splendour, the estate was completely redeveloped with new and noble varieties.
L'Ormarins now has one of the most modern wine cellars in the Cape, described by experts as "a winemaker's dream". The farm is the main estate in the Anthonij Rupert Wyne portfolio. The vineyards are mainly planted on the slopes of the Groot Drakenstein mountains where granite soils produce robust, expressive wines.
In 2011, the property situated to the east of L'Ormarins was purchased and now forms part of the L'Ormarins vineyards. Most of the existing vines were uprooted and only the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blocks were left, as these grapes will be used for the L'Ormarins Méthode Cap Classique wines.
Wine tasting at L’Ormarins Wine Estate
L’Ormarins Wine Estate concentrates on those varieties which produce the finest wines in the world. These include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz.
L'Ormarins has been awarded more than 70 trophies and 450 medals for its quality wines. It was recently awarded 5-star ratings for wines in Anthonij Rupert’s illustrious portfolio.
These accolades were featured in the latest edition of the authoritative and internationally recognised Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2020. The deserving wines were the 2013 Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Franc and the 2016 Cape of Good Hope Laing Groendruif.
RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD VIGNERONS
The Rupert & Rothschild partnership was formed in 1997 by the late Dr Anton Rupert of South Africa and the late Baron Edmond de Rothschild of France. Their vision and guiding principles were carried forward by their sons, the late Anthonij Rupert and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. Today, the Rupert family and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild share this prestigious partnership in wine production.
The Rupert family are renowned for their passion for producing world-class wine. The family owns three premier wine estates in the picturesque valley of Franschhoek Valley, namely La Motte Wine Estate, L’Ormarins Wine Estate and Anthonij Rupert Wyne.
Wine tasting at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
Visit the elegant Tasting Centre and enjoy Rupert & Rothschild wine together with a selection of imported champagne and wine from the exclusive Rothschild properties in France, Argentina and New Zealand.
Together with the wine, experience the Rothschild Fromage Selection imported from Compagnie Fermière Edmond de Rothschild Heritage situated 40km east of Paris.
The Rupert & Rothschild brand produces three distinctive wines; a single varietal Chardonnay, Rupert & Rothschild Baroness Nadine named after Baroness Nadine de Rothschild, wife of Edmond de Rothschild.
A flagship Bordeaux blend; Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond de Rothschild named after the late Baron Edmond de Rothschild and a classic red blend; Rupert & Rothschild Classique, one of the most widely sold and sought-after South African red wines in its category.
Restaurant at Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
Enjoy the perfect luncheon, meeting or celebration in tranquil surroundings with views of the vineyards and the spectacular Simonsberg mountain. The culinary team at Rupert & Rothschild’s fine-dining restaurant strive to create unique and flavoursome dishes, using the best local produce and time-honoured flawless, ethical cooking techniques.
STONY BROOK VINEYARDS
The McNaught family fell in love with Franschhoek in the late 1980s, when Nigel and Joy McNaught decided to purchase a piece of land and begin their winemaking journey. In 1995, the couple purchased a smaller fruit farm and set about creating the wine farm of their dreams. This property is now known as Stony Brook.
With a strong focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Chardonnay, the McNaught family replanted the entire farm to vines and built a small cellar in which to produce the first wines under the Stony Brook label.
The latest revelation at Stony Brook has been the introduction of Tempranillo vines to the property, comprising the only component in one of their critically-acclaimed wines, Ovidius.
Wine tasting at Stony Brook Vineyards
Stony Brook produces a large range of wines but they are all make in small volumes. Each wine expresses a unique sense of place and balance.
In summer, you’re invited to sit outside while you sample a selection of Stony Brook’s finest wines and soak up the sun. In winter, the fireplace in the tasting room beckons and guests are encouraged to relax, unwind and enjoy a wonderful tasting.
VREDE EN LUST WINE ESTATE
Vrede en Lust origins date back to 1688 when the then Governor of the Cape allocated this 66-hectare farm to the Flemish merchant, Jacques de Savoye, who fled Europe to escape religious persecution. The name he gave to his new farm means “Peace and Delight”.
It’s believed that the first Sunday trading in the Cape colony took place at Vrede en Lust and the first protestant church was built on the estate. Vrede en Lust had always been a wine farm and its current vineyards reflect the plantings of 1745.
Today, Vrede en Lust has been lovingly restored and built up into a modern wine estate that not only produces some of the finest wines in the Cape Winelands but also offers a fantastic wine experience for its visitors. The vineyards are situated against the slopes of the dramatic Simonsberg Mountain between Paarl and Franschhoek and the views from the tasting room and bistro are spectacular.
Facilities at Vrede en Lust include a modern wine cellar with a stylish tasting room, 100 hectares of vineyards, the popular LUST Bistro & Bakery, a 21-room accommodation and conference facility as well as a historic wedding venue with beautiful gardens.
Wine tasting at Vrede en Lust
In 1999, the owners of Vrede en Lust built a state-of-the-art wine cellar. The original plan was to build a 150-ton cellar but it was soon expanded into a 500-ton red wine cellar. The chosen spot for the cellar was an old plum orchard with a spectacular view over the beautiful Franschhoek valley.
Vrede en Lust yearly produces 45 000 cases of wine per annum, which is split over 14 varietals and a few blends. Join one of the estate’s Red Ladies for an informative and educational cellar tour and wine tasting experience to watch and learn more about the wine production facility, winemaking equipment, winemaking techniques and how they affect the style of our wines.
Cellar tours are hosted on a regular schedule over weekends and peak seasons and private tours by appointment. Cellar Tours must be booked in advance.
Lust Bistro & Bakery at Vrede en Lust
At the heart of Lust Bistro & Bakery is a traditional, wood-fired hearthstone where the resident baker creates authentic artisan bread and delectable fare. The bistro and bakery are open for breakfast and lunch.
The food at Vrede en Lust’s bistro restaurant is honest, abundant and delicious with an emphasis on simplicity and seasonal ingredients. It also pairs magnificently with the estate’s fine wines.
There’s a safe kiddies outside play area located next to beautiful gardens.
BOOK A TOUR OF THE CAPE WINELANDS WITH MOAFRIKA TOURS?
MoAfrika Tours offers a selection of day tours and longer-stay tours to the beautiful Cape Winelands. One of our popular tours is to combine a tour of the Cape Peninsula with the historic wine estates of the Cape.
MoAfrika Tours is a leading tour operator based in Johannesburg, offering a diverse selection of day tours and long-stay tours to destinations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique.
Your safety and well-being are our main priority. We are here to help any time, any day with booking extra activities, sorting out any problems, offering advice on making your trip extra special and just being there for you if you need to talk to someone.
We know touring, we know Africa and we’re looking forward to getting to know you.