tokara wine farm stellenbosch
South Africa

Stellenbosch Wine Tasting – Guide to the Best Wine Farms

Tasting wine around the spectacular wine farms of Stellenbosch is an unforgettable experience not to miss when visiting the Cape Winelands. Beautiful farms, top quality wines and affordable prices make the Stellenbosch wineries a dream wine tasting destination.

In this article I look at how to go wine tasting around Stellenbosch; some amazing farms, specific wines, great food pairings, fun activities and awesome estate restaurants not to miss! Pick your favorite farms, look at our map and start driving or pick one of the fun tours and learn from your guide.

Stellenbosch, surrounded by more than 150 wine farms, was among the first places where grapes were planted for wine production in South Africa in 1679. The town was founded by governor Simon van der Stel and is one of the oldest and most famous towns in South Africa. Stellenbosch is located about a 45 minute drive from Cape Town and is a great day trip. Explore the beautiful town with its Cape Dutch architecture, cafes, boutiques and art galleries.

See our Guide for Amazing Things to do in Stellenbosch

This vibrant student town is home to the training facilities for wine makers and wine scientists in South Africa. I was very lucky to do my postgraduate studies in Wine Biotechnology for 7 years at the University of Stellenbosch, many of my student friends are now young and innovative wine makers in the area. In these years I had plenty of time to explore the surrounding wine farms and I will give you some of my favorite Stellenbosch wineries and wines here.

The granite mountains surrounding the vineyards of the Cape Winelands make for some of the most beautiful wine farms in the world and contribute to a diversity of soil types for production of complex and distinctive wines. The warm climate yields high alcohol wines, combined with a good rainfall and the cool ocean breeze from False Bay the area has a great climate for wine production. With an exchange rate favoring tourists you will get great value for money in South Africa. 

Wine tasting Stellenbosch – how does it work?

Most wine farms on the Stellenbosch wine route have a dedicated tasting room and well trained staff to assist you with the tasting. During a wine tasting excursion you go from farm to farm usually tasting 3 or more different wines at each venue. The cost of a tasting varies between $2 and $5 at most farms. At many wine estates you do not have to pay for your tasting if you buy a bottle of wine afterwards. Many tasting room venues are beautiful with fantastic views. Some of the wine farms also have world class fine dining restaurants with some of the top chefs in the country. You will also find some of the most beautiful and peaceful upper class accommodation on the wine estates of the Cape wine lands.

stingy nomads wine tasting stellenbosch
Alya using all her senses tasting wine around Stellenbosch

The farms in Stellenboch are too far apart to go wine tasting on foot or by bicycle, your options are basically to rent a car and do a self drive wine tasting or to do a guided wine tour. In the nearby town of Franschhoek you can go on the wine tram stopping at several farms in the area. See our guide to Franschhoek, the fine dining capital of South Africa.  It is great to go tasting with your own car, leaving you more flexible, you must obviously have a designated driver or don’t swallow if you do it this way. If you do an independent wine tour you can stop for lunch at one of the top restaurants. 

The hardest thing for most people arriving in Stellenbosch for the first time is where do I start? With more than 150 farms how do you choose, which way do you drive? In this article I will focus on some wine farms and explain options you have for different routes to drive.

Stellenbosch Wine Tours 

Doing an organised tour is definitely the easiest way to do wine tasting around Stellenbosch. The guides are usually very knowledgeable, some of my friends did this as oenology students.  A full day tour will pick you up at your hotel in Cape Town or Stellenbosch and drop you off again after about 9 hours. The full day tours usually visit five different wine estates in the Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek area. At some farms you have options of tasting locally produced cheese, chocolates, the popular South African dried meat, biltong and do some food and wine pairing. A light lunch is often included. If you choose a company online look for a company with many good ratings and read some of the reviews to decide if this will be your kind of tour. 

Stellenbosch Wine Tours

If you pick a tour I will recommend that you select a tour with a large number of ratings and read some recent reviews. Here are some well rated tours by a reputable companies.

  • Cape Winelands Full day tour – very popular tour, pick up and drop off at Cape Town hotel, explore 4 wine farms around Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch including several chocolate and cheese tastings.
  • Private Full Day Wine Tasting tour – Explore the towns and do winetasting around Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Constantia. Do 3 or 4 wine farms on this flexible tour. Get picked up at your accommodation in the Cape Winelands.
  • Hop on Hop off Wine estate tour – this is not a guided wine tasting tour, but just transport on the Southern side of the Stellenbosch wine route from farm to farm. You can make up your own itinerary spending as much time as you like at each farm. Cheaper than a guided tour, but does not include tastings.
  • Stellenbosch Cycling Wine Tour – Cycle tour starting in the town of Stellenbosch, guided tour of the town, two wine farms, wine and chocolate tasting.

Stellenbosch Wine Farms

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes is a network of more than 150 wine farms that wine lovers can explore. It was the first organised wine route in South Africa and has been operating since 1971, today it is one of the top tourist attractions in South Africa. The route has  been divided into 5 areas; Bottelary Hills, Greater Simonsberg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Stellenbosch Berg, see the official Stellenbosch Wine Route site for more maps and info. The routes are not based on the Wine of Origin system, but on the location of farms making each sub route easier to explore. We constructed our wine tasting map in a similar fashion.

Stellenbosch Wine Route Map Stingy Nomads
Stellenbosch Wine Route Map

Independent Wine Tasting – Self drive wine tasting is a great way to do it, I will recommend you drive with a plan. It is not necessary to stick to only one sub route, but you will spend less time driving. To get from the Spier wine farm all the way to Boschendal which is closer to Franschhoek than Stellenbosch takes about 30 to 40 minutes. All the wine farms are on Google Maps, making it easy to plan and drive.

Stellenbosch Wines

South Africa has a Wine of Origin system that legislates how wine regions of South Africa are defined and can appear on wine labels. Regions are defined geographically, so for wine to be labelled it comes from Stellenbosch it must come from a farm in the Stellenbosch region. Wards divide wine growing areas by unique terroir characteristics. Terroir is a French term describing the environmental factors; climate, landscape and soil type that affect grape and consequently wine quality. Stellenbosch is divided into 7 wards with distinct terroir characteristics Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley, Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch Tokara Wine estate

The hot, dry climate makes the area ideal for production of quality red-wine grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab blends account for most of the top reds produced in the Stellenbosch area followed by Shiraz, Pinotage and Merlot. The Cool breeze from the ocean in False Bay creates a nice climate for growing white grapes; Chenin Blanc is the most common cultivar harvested followed by Colombar, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Chardonnay however is the top white wine in the area when it comes to winning awards.

Stellenbosch Red Wine Cultivars

Pinotage – Uniquely South African. The Pinotage grape variety was created in Stellenbosch in 1925 by Prof Abraham Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University by crossing two grape varieties, Hermitage (now called Cinsaut) and Pinot noir. The plan was to create a great wine producing grape like Pinot Noir that grows as well as the robust variety Cinsaut.  Look out for – black fruit flavors plum and blackberry also red fruit raspberry and cherry, picking up banana notes in Pinotage is common. The wines can also have an earthy, smoky side with hints of bacon!

Try coffee Pinotage! Many wineries produce Pinotage with a very strong coffee profile, no actual coffee or artificial flavoring is added! Bertus Fourie was the first person to produce this style of Pinotage at the wine farm Diemersfontein near Stellenbosch. The story goes during the harvest of 2000 Bertus ran out of stainless steel tanks for fermentation, he had some barrels available and decided to ferment the Pinotage grape in oak, the next morning the whole cellar smelled like coffee. Connoisseurs do not always like the strong coffee profile, but it has become popular.  Bertus now makes the Barista Pinotage at Val de Vie where he is winemaker.

For tasting Pinotage there are two farms not to miss, Beyerskloof and Kanonkop. Beyers Truter cellarmaster and owner of Beyerskloof winery, placed both farms on the map with Pinotage and is well known as ‘Mr Pinotage’ today. When he was the winemaker at Kanonkop he did a lot of experimenting with making wine with Pinotage and won the Robert Mondavi Trophy in 1991 for Best Winemaker in the World with the 1989 Kanonkop Pinotage.

Award winning wines – Beyerskloof Pinotge Winemakers Reserve 2017, Kanonkop Pinotage 2017

red wine barrel aging
Red wine barrel ageing

Cabernet Sauvignon – The Bordeaux region in France, Napa Valley in the US and Australia are famous for their top quality Cabs produced. This is the most popular red wine grape in South Africa, don’t miss out on the fantastic prize winning Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Stellenbosch! Cabernet Sauvignon is known for full bodied, dark color wines with high tannins and a high alcohol content (13.5% +) that ages very well. Look out for cherry, mulberry, green pepper, tobacco and vanilla that comes from aging the wine in oak. There are excellent Cabernets all over Stellenbosch, but some of my favorites are produced by Waterford, Meerlust and Kanonkop. Award winners – Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2015, Warwick The Blue Lady 2015

Shiraz – I say Shiraz you say Syrah, it is exactly the same thing, France is well known for producing good Syrah wines. Look out for -Dark color wines with purple hue, pepper and clove flavors, black berry, blue berry, jammy aromas and flavors and ripe tannins. I often buy Shiraz from Boschendal, Some award winners;  Boschendal 1685 – 2017, Mullineux Granite Syrah 2017

Merlot – the second most popular wine in the US following Cabernet Sauvignon. In South Africa Merlot is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon as they do in Bordeaux. Most South African Merlot is grown in the Stellenbosch region and single cultivar Merlot wines are known for easy drinking, fruity wines with soft tannins. Look out for – Dark color wines, cherry, plum, chocolate and vanilla flavors. Award winners: Jordan Black Magic 2016, Groote Post 2016

Stellenbosch White Wine Cultivars

Chennin Blanc – also known as Steen is a white wine grape variety from the Loire Valley of France, but South Africa is now the biggest producer of Chenin in the world. It has a long history here where in the past it was used for producing low quality bulk wines, often for distilling. A very versatile cultivar used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines. We enjoy the New World styles of Chenin made in the region, the wines are  often made to drink young and exhibit rich tropical fruit notes such as banana, guava, pear, and pineapple. The nearby Breedekloof area produces my favorite Chennins and is definitely worth a visit, much less commercial and a stunning area, see our Wine Tasting in the Breedekloof article. Award winners: Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2018, Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2015

Chardonnay – a white grape originally from Burgundy in France lends itself to a huge variety of wine styles depending on the terroir and wine maker. Chardonnay is produced from unoaked to barrel-fermented to barrel-aged. Techniques like malo lactic fermentation and ageing on the lees are also used. Look out for – Oaked Chardonnay, creamy full-bodied wines, tropical fruit, butterscotch and vanilla. Unoaked – light white wine with floral, apple and citrus flavors Award winners: Delaire Graff Terraced Block Reserve Chardonnay 2017, Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2017

Sauvignon Blanc –  a white grape originally from Burgundy in France. Sauvignon Blanc flavor can range from grassy to  tropical. A nice Sauvignon Blanc is fresh, crispy with ample acidity and a well-balanced palate. Look out for – green pepper, asparagus and gooseberry with  tones of pineapple, green melon, citrus and passion fruit. Award winners: Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Nederburg Manor House Sauvignon Blanc 2019

The Stellenbosch Valley Route

Driving from Cape Town on the N2 Spier will be the first farm on your route about 45 minutes from Cape Town on the N2.

Spier

Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa dating back to 1692. Spier’s winery has won multiple awards in recent years, including a best Chennin Blanc in the world award in 2018. The estate is massive with many eateries, a top hotel and plenty of activities to keep you busy at this beautiful on top of great wine tasting. This farm is dedicated to responsible tourism winning the “Responsible Business” category at the 2020 Inspirational Africa Responsible Tourism Awards for empowering communities and making positive social and environmental change.

Wine and Chocolate pairing at Spier.
Wine and Chocolate pairing at Spier with a glass of MCC to cleanse the palate.

Wine tasting at Spier

There are a variety of tasting options available starting from R40 ($2.50). The tasting room is modern and spacious and the staff are knowledgeable and very helpful. Spier has a great chocolate and wine pairing with chocolates made for Spier by a South African chocolatier to complement each wine. The farm is well known for ‘champagne’ and you can cleanse your palate between wines with the Signature Méthode Cap Classique. The tasting room is big, but it can get busy in season, you can book your tasting booking at Spier.

Activities at Spier

There are plenty to explore and keep you busy on this beautiful estate including Eagle Encounters, with a daily interactive shows with raptors, Segway tours with big wheeled segways around the vineyards and art scattered across the farm, one of the largest collections of contemporary South African art in the country.

Spier Restaurants

Spier has several eateries on the estate, it is very popular to order a picnic basket filled with goodies and enjoy while sitting outside overlooking the lake.

Spier Accommodation

The Spier Hotel – top rated 4 Star Hotel, Restaurant 8 on site –  gourmet cuisine made with fresh, regional produce, Spa offering beauty treatments

Asara

Asara is a beautiful wine farm located about 5km from Stellenbosch and not far away from Spier. The views are spectacular, with a nice tasting room and excellent casual and fine dining options. The 5 star hotel and beautiful views from the relaxed Sansibar lounge are well known.

Wine tasting at Asara

The tasting room is nice, but unfortunately has no view,  the staff are knowledgeable and very helpful. Tasting costs R50 ($3). Nice Wines – The Bell Tower Bordeaux blend, nice range of MCC (Méthode Cap Classique)

Activities at Asara

If you are a big gin fan this the place to come for a gin tasting with one of the biggest gin bars in the Cape. For a bike tour through the winelands you can do this with bikesnwines with an office at Asara. Not really the wine farm to go to for activities with kids (well they have great pizza).

Restaurants at Asara

There are a variety of eating options available at Asara. For fine dining there is the Mise en Place Restaurant. The popular Sansibar lounge has amazing views and offer a variety of dishes from burgers, salmon and steaks to excellent wood fired pizza.

Asara Accommodation

Award winning Asara 5 star hotel very highly rated, heated pool, spa treatments

Middelvlei

The beautiful Middelvlei Estate is known for great wines, South African hospitality and a real farm atmosphere. The Mombergs have been making quality wines here since 1919 and the family still offer a personal touch. You’re likely to get taken on a tour by a member of the Momberg family and their three dogs; Merlot, Papsak and Alsace! The farm is well known for a real ‘boere braai’ lunch offered every day. This is a great farm to come for the day with the whole family. Middelvlei is still the opposite of the touristy factory wineries where big tourist buses stop.

Wine tasting at Middelvlei

The tasting room is an old stable that was renovated and has a nice atmosphere.They have a variety of  excellent well priced wines to taste. Tasting of 4 wines cost R50.00 ($3.00) inside the tasting room or on the veranda with views of farm life. Middelvlei has an interesting tapas wine pairing and a very unique braaibroodjie wine pairing.

Try the award winning Middelvlei Momberg 2016 blend and Middelvlei Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

Activities at Middelvlei

Blend your own wine – The Momberg Family will teach you to blend your own wine. You receive a blending kit allowing you to create a personalized bottle of your own wine to take home! Blending takes about an hour and a half.

Middelvlei is great for kids, there is a sandpit and a lot of space for them to play. There are many different farm animals and the kids can feed them. They can do a ‘kids wine tasting’ copying adults by tasting sparkling juices. 

Restaurant at Middelvlei

Middelvlei is famous for their ‘boere braai’, Monday to Sunday lunch they host an authentic South African outdoor barbecue. Come and be part of the fun and enjoy lamb chops, boerewors, chicken sosaties and all the traditional trimmings.

If you don’t have time for the full braai, but want a snack, try their Potbrood and Snoek pâté.

 Bookings are recommended [email protected].

Jordan

The husband and wife winemaking team Gary and Kathy Jordan have been making world-class wines at Jordan wine estate since 1993. With vineyards located at North, South, East and West facing slopes at different elevations the variety of terroirs is a unique property of the farm. The Jordans do a fantastic job of optimizing the diversity in terroir to produce a range of the finest wines. The  farm has a history going back over 300 years, but was bought by Gary’s parents, Ted and Sheelagh, in 1982. 

Peaceful landscape at Jordan wine farm near Stellenbosch
The stunning scenery at Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

Wine Tasting at Jordan

Jordan offers a variety of tasting options, from classic tastings in the tasting room or at the outside area underneath large trees and umbrellas to a wine safari taking you all over the beautiful estate. A Classic Short and Sweet Tasting of 3 wines is R55, the Terroir tasting,  5 wines R90 and a Tasting 4 Reserve Wines is R295

Award winning wines – Jordan Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2018, Jordan Long Fuse Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Activities at Jordan

Jordan has several interesting tours combining wine tasting with learning about the wine making process and the terroir of this fantastic property.

Cellar & Wine Experience – a combination of the Terroir wine tasting and behind the scenes cellar tour.

Go on a behind the scenes harvest tour where you can learn about winemaking, experience the harvest activities in the cellar, taste juice and fermenting wines from the tank and taste some additional wines outside on the terrace. 

Go on a Wine Safari: Tour of the vineyards in an open, safari-style Land Rover, with stops to experience the spectacular views of False and Table Bays.

Private Evening Wine Drive – tour the vineyards in an open safari-style game viewing Land Rover including a bottle of wine from the Estate range

Restaurant at Jordan

Former South African Chef of the Year George Jardine runs one of the first signature chef restaurants in the Cape Winelands. With stunning views overlooking the vineyards and lake next to the Jordan cellar it has been rated as one of the top 3 restaurants in South Africa in the past. The cheese room is something unique, a walk-in cheese room to select your own board of artisanal Cape farm cheeses with preserves and breads following your meal.

The Jordan Bakery serves fresh coffee and a selection of dishes of the day, charcuteries, breads, dips, cheeses and pastries. If the weather is good sit on the deck with awesome views or just go and sit on the lawn

Accommodation Jordan

The luxurious Jordan Suites, located amongst the vineyards and trees with beautiful views of the winelands  are spacious, modern and ultra-comfy interiors with plenty of luxurious like egyptian cotton linen on king-sized beds, highly rated accommodation with great reviews. 

JC Le Roux

JC Le Roux is not a traditional wine farm, they only make sparkling wine, they make MCC (Methodé Cap Classique) the traditional French way that Champagne is made and they make sparkling wines. JC Le Roux is a household name in South Africa and was the first local wine estate completely dedicated to producing sparkling wines. Whenever a big occasion is celebrated in South Africa, chances are a bottle of JC Le Roux sparkling will be popped.

Sparkling wine tasting at JC Le Roux

Something different, well presented and informative by knowledgeable staff. Sparkling wine tasting – 5 sparkling wines R80 ($4.50), MCC tasting – 3 MCC’s and 1 sparkling R95 ($5). Nougat and sparkling wine pairing or Chocolate truffle and sparkling wine tasting available. 

Restaurant at JC Le Roux

Cucina Di Giovanni is a very well rated restaurant at the House of J.C. Le Roux, with a relaxed vibe with spectacular views of the vineyards and mountains. Nice place to order a woodfired pizza or platter.

The Helderberg Wine Route

The Helderberg is a wine producing area located close to the Helderberg mountain between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

Ernie Els

On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain carrying the name of the owner and internationally acclaimed South African professional golfer, his farm has been officially producing a range of excellent quality wines since 2004. This really is a beautiful winery with spectacular views. Stunning venue from the entrance with huge granite boulders and ponds beside the path lined with Koi ponds. The Big Easy (nickname for Ernie Els) is apparently involved with wine making, but the wine maker Louise Strydom has been making wine in the area for years. Louise used to be the wine maker at neighboring Rust and Vrede and was involved in developing Ernie Els wine from when the project started 20 years ago. He has been using the hot climate in this area to his favor to produce some premium red wines on the farm.

Wine Tasting at Ernie Els

The tasting room is beautiful with and nice relaxed vibe. Sitting outside under the trees is great with spectacular views.

Try his award winning Bordeaux Blend – Ernie Els Signature 2014

Activities at Ernie Els

Go for a tour of the modern, state of the art wine cellar, see Ernie’s amazing golfing achievements in the Trophy Room. The winery even has a chipping green that you can try out. The estate holds chipping contest each month where you can win a magnum of their signature blend, The Ernie Els Signature.

Restaurant at Ernie Els

Restaurant with a wide menu especially meat dishes; burgers, steaks, lamb shanks, well known for their delicious fish and chips.

Alto

Alto is a farm with a rich history stretching back to 1693, but have been focusing only wine making since 1919. Over the last 100 years there has been only 5 wine makers at Alto. The farms terroir lends it to making quality red wines with the location on the warmer northern slopes of the Helderberg, which is what the wine making team here has always focused on.

Wine Tasting at Alto

Taste Alto’s award winning red wines in their beautiful tasting room, small with a very nice atmosphere, booking is recommended. Tasting starts at R50 ($2.50). Try the Biltong & Wine Pairing – 5 wines with 5 unique biltong flavours real South African magic! R140. Sit on the deck with great views enjoying a cheese platter and a nice wine. The Alto Rouge is very popular, easy drinking, quality red blend you can find at most supermarkets that we often buy for a braai.

Try the award winning Alto Rouge 2017 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Alto Wine Tasting and Sales Times:

  • Monday to Friday: 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am – 5pm.

Waterford

Waterford is one of our favorite wine estates in the area located in the picturesque Blaauwklippen valley outside Stellenbosch. It is a beautiful winery that makes a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon and they have a great chocolate and wine pairing. The design of the cellar and tasting area is truly unique, with the wine cellar built surrounding the Tuscany style courtyard. Guests can enjoy a tasting while observing the workings of the winery. Waterford Estate is owned by the Ord Family and wine is made by award winning Cellar Master and Managing Partner Kevin Arnold and his team.

The beautiful court yard for wine tasting at Waterford.
The beautiful court yard for wine tasting at Waterford.

Waterford is on the Stellenbosch Berg wine route, it is however located close to Ernie Els and Alto (15 min drive) also producing top quality reds in, so it is a good option to drive to Waterford along with these farms on the Helderberg route.

Waterford Wine Tasting

There are a variety of tasting options available starting with the Portfolio Tasting at R90 ($4.50). The tasting is at tables in the beautiful courtyard allowing you to see into the surrounding cellar. The tasting staff were friendly and knowledgeable and the wines great.

Jem 2011 – the iconic flagship blend pricey at R1950 per bottle! Some more award winning wines – Waterford Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2018, Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Kevin Arnold Shiraz

Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday 10 am to 5 pm

Bookings recommended for groups

Activities Waterford

Wine & Chocolate Pairing – Chocolatier, Richard von Geusau created a series of dark and milk chocolates to complement Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon produced at Waterford – R105

Wine Drive Safari – three-hour trip in safari-type vehicle through the estate tasting estate wines in the vineyards of their origin, expert guide explains terroir and viticultural techniques used.

The Helshoogte Area

Lanzerac

This Stellenbosch icon in the Jonkerhoek valley has a rich history dating back to 1692. With fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges, lush vineyards, massive gardens, giant Oak trees and award winning wines Lanzerac is a winery not too miss! The first Pinotage in the world was bottled at Lanzerac and they have been known to produce award winning wines of this proudly South African cultivar ever since.

The beautiful property hosts a highly acclaimed five-star hotel and spa, bars, restaurants, a Deli and a fantastic tasting venue.

In 2017 a devastating fire destroyed a large part of the historic buildings on this property along with priceless art and icons. A year later the property re opened displaying the impressive facilities and style the estate has been known for for a 100 years.

Lanzerac is located in Jonkershoek, forming part of the Stellenbosch Berg sub wine route, Lanzerac is easy to combine with farms on the Greater Simonsberg sub route by driving to Lanzerac before going up the Helshoogte pass towards Franchhoek.

Wine Tasting Lanzerac

Beautiful tasting room with nice atmosphere. Well trained knowledgeable staff offering tasting. Premium tasting – taste 5 premium wines – R75, Heritage tasting – taste 4 flagship wine R150. They also offer wine chocolate pairing with 5 premium wines for R125.

Award winning wines- Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2016, Lanzerac Mrs English Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

01 OCTOBER – 30 APRIL Monday – Sunday: 08h00 – 20h00
01 MAY – 30 SEPTEMBER Monday – Sunday: 08h00 – 17h00
Public Holidays
08h00 – 16h30 (tastings) 09h00 – 17h00 (sales)

Activities at Lanzerac

Located close to the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve guests can enjoy guided walks, trail running and bike rides in the reserve.

Enjoy the esteemed spa with spectacular views overlooking the vineyards and mountains, equipped with modern hydro facilities including a jaccuzzi, indoor heated swimming pool, steam room and sauna.

Restaurant at Lanzerac

There are three restaurants at Lanzerac. The Manor Kitchen headed up by Executive Chef, Stephen Fraser is the top rated main restaurant serving buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests. Every Sunday, Lanzerac Hotel & Spa offers a superb 4-course choice menu at the Manor Kitchen.

Lanzerac Deli offers coffee, all-day breakfast, pastries, gourmet sandwiches and platters that can all be enjoyed indoors or outside on the terrace.

The Taphuis is a beautiful bar serving gourmet pub food.

Accommodation at Lanzerac

The top rated Lanzerac hotel and Spa is said to be the pinnacle of luxury, from having fresh oysters and prize winning MCC for breakfast, to being pampered at this top spa and hotel in the spectacular mountains all day, this is true 5 star luxury.

Tokara

The spectacular Tokara located at the top of the beautiful Helshoogte pass is definitely one of the wineries with the most beautiful location in the Stellenbosch area. Built by South African business titan GT Ferreira and his wife Anne-Marie after purchasing the farm in 1994 and creating one of the most breathtaking wineries in the Cape Winelands. Tokara is a combination of their children’s names, Thomas and Kara.

Tokara wine farm stellenbosch
Spectacular views of Tokara wine farm in Stellenbosch

Perfectly situated in the vineyards with stunning, sweeping views the picturesque estate produces award winning wines, quality brandy and olive oil and is home to a gallery of fine art, a restaurant run by one of South Africa’s top chefs and a great delicatessen.

This beautiful and popular winery can get very busy with group tours stopping here.

Tokara Wine Tasting

Elegant tasting room with spectacular views offering wine and olive oil tastings. Friendly and helpful staff. Great wines. Flagship and Reserve tastings at R100 and R75 . Tokara place a lot of emphasis on terroir and has vineyards in several top viticultural areas including Elgin, Simonsberg and Hemel-en-Aarde, to grow grapes for their Premium Collection containing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz and a Reserve Collection including Tokara Director’s Red and White.

Award winning wines: Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2017, Tokara Reserve Collection Stellenbosch Syrah 2015

Monday – Friday: 09h00 – 17h30 
Saturday – Sunday: 10h00 – 15h00

Restaurant Tokara

The acclaimed Tokara upmarket restaurant, with the kitchen under direction of chef Carolize Coetzee, is highly rated for fine dining with the menu inspired by the South African countryside and farm produce.
The attractive Tokara Delicatessen is a child-friendly restaurant that serves breakfast and light lunches and gourmet foods shop.

Activities Tokara

Tokara showcases a collection of South African art, you can see art works strategically placed along the pathway leading through the olive orchards to the Delicatessen, this is also where the Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made.  The winery entrance houses a gallery of curated art.

Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff is a luxury winelands experience located in the beautiful Helshoogte pass. The setting is fantastic surrounded by mountains and vineyards. The property is really beautiful driving up the meticulous landscaped driveway  to stunning views and excellent wine. A unique winery showcasing Cape Dutch architecture, African artifacts and styling and original art from Laurence Graff’s personal collection. The Chairman of Graff Diamonds bought the Delaire Estate in 2003 and opened the glamorous destination to the public in 2009.

Spectacular views from Delair Graff wine farm on the Helshoogte pass near Stellenbosch.
Spectacular views from Delair Graff wine farm on the Helshoogte pass near Stellenbosch.

Beautiful property, luxury restaurant and hotel even a flagship jewelry store focusing on pieces created with iconic stones handmade in London. Good wines in a luxury setting, don’t expect a family run, intimate Cape Dutch farm style setting here.

Wine Tasting at Delaire Graff

The wine tasting lounge is a stylish and modern art-filled tasting space with sofas, a fireplace and a grand piano, which is played at intervals. Knowledgeable and welcoming sommeliers and wine tutors guiding you through the tasting.

Award winning wines: Delaire Graff Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2018, Delaire Graff Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Delaire Graff Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

A tasting of 3 wines at R75, 4 wines at R100 or 5 wines at R125 per person.

Restaurant at Delaire Graff

The property is home to two stylish, luxury restaurants, Delaire Graff Restaurant and the Indochine Restaurant.

Delaire Graff Restaurant, decorated with originals from Graff’s personal art collection under direction of head chef Michael Deg, is known for exceptional fine dining. Expect the same level of luxury you find everywhere on the estate serving classic bistro favourites with a South African touch.

The Indochine Restaurant serve asian style food, here Asian tapas are turned into an art form to create an all-sensory dining experience.

Activities at Delaire Graff

As this exclusive property belongs to Graff diamonds, go diamond shopping (or window shopping), visit the flagship African store showcasing an exclusive diamond collection. Laurence Graff is seen as one of the world’s top art collectors. View carefully curated pieces in his personal art collection in this fantastic setting including some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists The Delaire-Graff spa, with 5 elegant spa suites this top rated spa promises the ultimate in beauty treatments and relaxation.

Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa

Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa offers the ultimate, world class, luxurious accommodation. Villas with spectacular views equipped with private pool, facilities include a fitness centre, spa and a private cinema.

Simonsberg Wine Route

Simonsberg is a mountain located between the towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, it is named after Simon van der Stel, first governor of the Cape and founder of Stellenbosch. The wine route is located at the slopes of the mountain.

Muratie

For a unique, authentic farm style wine tasting with great Cabernet, Muratie is the place to go.

Located in the Knorhoek Valley at the slopes of the Simonsberg mountain it was one of the first wine farms in South Africa  established in 1685. The charming grounds resonate with a long history that can be seen all over the estate. Famous for the old buildings and real feel, the rustic decor and small cosy tasting room is part of the magic at this smaller, interesting estate. You feel that you walk back into history upon entering Muratie with its beautiful views, curious artifacts and historic buildings. The farm had several owners during its rich history, including Martin Merck, 1763. Today it belongs  again to the Melcks, Rijk Melck is the owner and his wife Kim runs the Farm Kitchen. Muratie tries to use a blend of modern technology and traditional techniques to produce top quality wines and invites oenophiles to come and witness the cellar and the wine making process at this beautiful estate.

Wine Tasting at Muratie

Tasting at Muratie is a special experience in a relaxed atmosphere. The old tasting room building is decorated with a collection of art. Muratie is well known for the unique cosy tasting room with  cobwebs as old as the farm that have become a real feature adding to the cellar ambiance. The names of the iconic wines reflect the history of the estate e.g. the MCC is known as Lady Alice, she is joined by Ansela van de Caab (blended red), George Paul Canitz (Pinot Noir) and the Ronnie Melck (Shiraz).

Award winning wines: Muratie Martin Melck Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

  • Standard Tasting: R60, Premium Tasting: R95, Chocolate Pairing Experience: R80 per person
  • Monday to Saturday: 9am – 5p, Sunday: 9am – 1pm, Public Holidays: 9am – 1pm

Restaurant at Muratie

The highly rated Farm Kitchen at Muratie serves a wide range of authentic and traditional dishes in a relaxed setting. Try their bobotie samoosas or a range of dishes from roast chicken to beef burger or a matured sirloin steak.

Accommodation at Muratie 

The Muratie GP Canitz Cottage, beautiful historical cottage in the heart of the vineyards. Very cosy and authentic, a classic combination of old world charm and bohemian aesthetics. Excellent rated accommodation with all the modern features. 

Simonsig

Simonsig can be translated to ‘Simon’s view’ in Afrikaans a name this beautiful estate obtained due to its dramatic views of the nearby Simonsberg Mountain. The estate produce a range of excellent wines, but is renowned for its bubbly (Kaapse Vonkel) since it was the first farm in South Africa to produce MCC (Méthode Cap Classique) made in the classic bottle-fermented style, similar to champagne in France. The Simonsig Wine Estate was founded by Frans Malan in the early 1940s. This is a proud family-owned and managed Wine Estate, with current winemaker Micheal Malan the third generation winemaker with a degree in Viticulture and Oenolgy from the University of Stellenbosch.

simonsig wine tasting
Driving into the beautiful Simonsig wine estate.

Wine Tasting at Simonsig

Simonsig has a nice spacious tasting room with a cosy fire crackling on a rainy winter day. Summertime we prefer to sit in the court yard under the trees.  Knowledgeable and welcoming sommeliers and wine tutors guiding you through the tasting. There are a variety of tasting option varying between $4 (R75) To $6.50 (R120).

Try the ‘You Had Me at Bubbles’ tasting 5 different premier sparkling wine and MCC’s.

Award winning wines: Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2015 (MCC), Simonsig Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs 2014 (MCC), Simonsig Redhill Pinotage 2017

Simonsig Restaurant

At the well rated Cuvée restaurant you can enjoy Cape Winelands atmosphere under the oak trees eating traditional hearty meals with modern flair along with a glass of Kaapse Vonkel MCC. Breakfast and lunch is served. In Winter guests enjoy the cosy fireplace inside. Sundowners and tapas is offered in summer. Booking recommended

Fairview

Fairview is a Wine and Cheese farm located between Paarl and Stellenbosch. The farm is a tourist favorite, famous for its goat tower, artisanal cheese and great red wines. Visiting Fairview is an experience for the whole family with wine and cheese tastings, a bakery, deli, restaurant and the goats walking around the goat tower is a favorite with the kids. Fairview was designated as a farm by the then Governor of the Cape Simon van der Stel in 1693. The current owner is winemaker Charles Back and Fairview has belonged to the Back family since 1937. Charles Back, also owns The Goats do Roam Wine Company and The Spice Route Winery. Visiting Fairview is a great experience, but they do get crazy busy in season when this amazing family owned farm turns into a tourist factory. A great farm not to miss, but avoid weekends and public holidays in season if you can.

Goats and the Goat Tower at Fairview. Best things to do in Stellenbosch
Cute goats at the Goat Tower at Fairview Farm – a must-visit place is Stellenbosch for travelers with children

The Famous Goat Tower

The iconic goat tower was built on the farm after Charles Back was inspired by a similar tower on a trip to Portugal in the 1980’s. Each year in September several baby goats are born and the nanny goats bring their kid goats to the goat tower from time to time!

Wine tasting at Fairview

Fairview has a variety of tastings hosted in two seperate tasting venues. The standard tasting room consists of four barrel-shaped ‘pods’ guests stand around the pods assisted by dedicated hosts and guides. The standard tasting includes 6 wines and a selection of cheeses – R40 ($2.50). The master tasting is hosted in a seperate tasting room where your group will get a private table. In season when it is busy this is a better option and I will recommend booking ahead. The master tasting includes 8 wines and a selection of wines and cheeses.- R80 ($5).

Award winning wines – Fairview Primo Pinotage 2017, Fairview Cyril Back 2015 (Shiraz, Fairview), Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2015

Cheese at Fairview

Fairview started making goat cheese in 1980, when Cyril Back purchased a herd of milking goats for the farm. It was the first farm to produce commercial goat cheese on large scale in South Africa. Fairview is South Africa’s leading producer of artisanal and speciality cheeses and the Fairview goat herd is the largest commercial goat herd in Africa. The Fairview Cheesery produces a range of over 50 cow’s milk and goat’s milk artisanal cheeses. 

The Goatshed Restaurant at Fairview

Delicious farm-style comfort food in a nice setting. The cheese platters are top notch and very popular. What makes the restaurant special is the fact that almost everything that comes out of the kitchen comes from the farm, the cheese and wine is expected, but also the top quality olive oil, free-range eggs, chicken, beef, lamb and even the beer comes from Fairview!

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