10 Must-visit Stellenbosch Wineries
There are approximately 130 wine estates in the Stellenbosch Valley, which begs the following question: where the heck do you start? Visitors to the Cape Winelands are often left wholly daunted by the sheer number and diversity of wineries and so we have put together a list of those we consider to be “must visits.” These wineries not only deliver beautiful, award-winning wines but they are also special for reasons that range from beguiling historic character to quirky resident ducks.
Special reason to visit: The manicured gardens and immaculately designed interior is staggeringly beautiful.
Located near the top of Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, the spectacularly beautiful Delaire Graff Estate is a mighty impressive start to any wine tasting itinerary. The incredible views provide the perfect backdrop to the estate’s outstanding restaurants, state-of-the-art winery, exclusive lodges, exuberantly colourful landscaping, destination spa, and luxury boutiques. Delaire means ‘from the sky’, and their wines are an invitation to taste and savour this unique piece of heaven and earth in Stellenbosch.
Special reason to visit: Delheim offers a fabulous wine pairing experience with delicious, fynbos-inspired cupcakes. They also offer riverside picnics, which is the perfect way to while away a spring or summer day!
High on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain lies the family-owned Delheim estate. Here the Sperling family has been making wines of character for many decades. Visitors to our beautiful farm will be greeted by breathtaking views, superb wines, delicious food served in the Garden Restaurant, and an authentic sense of family and country hospitality. Delheim Wines also offers riverside picnics and a fabulous wine pairing experience with fynbos inspired by indigenous Cape flora.
Hazendal Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: For a unique, sneak peak at Russian culture and wine tastings enjoyed in a spectacularly chic and sexy tasting room.
A short distance from Cape Town, nestled against the Bottelary Hills, lies one of Stellenbosch’s historic wine farms: Hazendal Wine Estate. This illustrious wine estate combines Russian and South African culinary, cultural, and adventurous traditions for a unique winelands experience. Vineyards in the Bottelary Hills are planted at varying heights from 150 m to up to 400 m above sea level and this, combined with the influence of both False Bay to the south, and the cold Atlantic in the west, contribute to crafting unique, distinctive wines with a sense of place.
Lanzerac Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: Lanzerac was the first ever wine farm to produce Pinotage and their award-littered wines will blow your socks off.
Known equally through the years for award-winning wines and acclaimed restaurants, this historic estate of Lanzerac has established itself as one of Stellenbosch’s top food and wine destinations, making it the perfect spoil for any occasion, especially if you book a newly refurbished suite to stay in after dinner and a wine tasting!
Muratie Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: The beguiling historic character and heavily cobwebbed tasting room (some of the spiders here are older than you…and they have all been given names!)
While many of Stellenbosch’s wineries are stylish in their modern design, Muratie is pure vintage with its ancient Cape Dutch buildings, antique décor, garden-strewn historic farming equipment, and heavily cobwebbed tasting room. Founded in 1685, Muratie Estate, which is tucked in the Knorhoek Valley to the north of Stellenbosch, is one of the Cape’s oldest wine estates. Visiting is like walking back in time, and this makes Muratie unique among Stellenbosch wine farms.
Tokara Wine & Olive Farm
Special reason to visit: The Deli offers free tastings of Tokara’s stunning extra virgin olive oils, which pair beautifully with the deli food and Tokara wines!
Founded 25 years ago, Tokara Wine & Olive Farm is a tourist destination that offers visitors elegant, award-winning wines, two beautiful restaurants, an art gallery, and sculpture garden, as well as some of the best South African Extra Virgin Olive oils you’ll find in the country. The estate also performs consistently well in national and international wine competitions so you can count on the wine being truly excellent here and this, coupled with heart-breaking views of Stellenbosch is why you simply have to pay Tokara a visit.
Warwick Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: A total treat of a picnic hamper enjoyed in a “picnic pod” on their sweeping lawns.
The stately and picturesque Warwick wine estate carries a well-deserved reputation for its “picnic pods”. Here, underneath a yawning umbrella and on the thoughtfully laid out picnic blankets and pillows, guests are invited to spend a leisurely afternoon, munching their way through a pre-packed artisanal picnic, and sipping on a glass (or three) of their award-winning wine. The picnics are packed with delectable treats.
Waterkloof Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: Its restaurant was voted the number one Best Restaurant at the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
Waterkloof Wine Estate’s signature restaurant has literally taken quality winelands dining to new heights. Gorgeously appointed in a glass promontory, the restaurant extends from the chic wine tasting lounge and gravitational cellar. Within its walls, Chef Gregory Czarnecki whets the appetite with contemporary classics, complemented by the estate’s elegant wines. And, being the winner of the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards, you just know a meal here is going to be a real treat!
Special reason to visit: A picnic in the truly magical Camphors forest!
Founded on 1 February 1700, Vergelegen (meaning “situated far away”), has been under the ownership of some of the world’s greatest explorers and visionaries, each of whom, in their own way, have helped shape Vergelegen to what it is today: a world-class estate. With its world renowned handcrafted wines, its history spanning over 300 years, heritage, exquisite gardens and refined cuisine, it comes as no surprise that Vergelegen continues to be the choice of the discerning visitor seeking a total sensory experience.
Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate
Special reason to visit: The daily march of the resident flock of Indian runner ducks.
There is more to Stellenbosch than just wine tasting, and Vergenoegd is the kind of place that proves it. Beautifully immersed in the countryside around Stellenbosch, Vergenoegd has a rich offering of wine tasting, deli fare, restaurant food, tea and coffee blending experiences, and… the march of the ducks. Every day, the thousand-strong flock of Indian runner ducks are marched from their pens and into the vineyards, where they are left to roam free and snap up snails, bugs, and other pests that would otherwise compromise the vines. It is a charming show, since these ducks have a very comical upright posture and some even have a full head of hair!