Stellenbosch is a picturesque university town just half an hour drive from Cape Town. The historic town, founded by the Dutch settlers, is surrounded by the gorgeous wineries, where cultivation of grapes dates back to the 1600s.
A short drive in any direction, along one of the many wine routes, will take you through wonderful Stellenbosch wineries and vineyards that are nestled in the valleys and mountain slopes. Here, the top 5 Stellenbosch vineyards and wineries that you shouldn’t miss when travelling through the Cape Winelands.
1. Delaire Graff Estate
The Delaire Graff Estate is an idyllic setting for relaxation and arguably one of the most spectacular wine estates in the area. Perched on the slopes of the magnificent Stellenbosch mountains, this sprawling estate boasts a stunning art collection, sweeping views across the vineyards and a cutting-edge spa. Each lodge has its own heated infinity pool and a décor that skilfully blends indigenous influences and contemporary design. Here, guests delight in warm hospitality and taste exquisite cuisine accompanied by wines from the Estate.
2. Vergenoegd Wine Estate
With its beautiful Cape Dutch architecture and prestigious red wines, Vergenoegd Wine Estate is steeped in the history of the winelands. What makes the Estate absolutely unique is its large population of Indian Runner ducks. The friendly birds were brought in order to assist with pest control as they keep the vineyards free of snails and bugs. This waddling workforce has become a tourist attraction as they parade through the Estate twice a day, once at 9.45am and again at 3.30pm.
3. Meerlust Wine Estate
With its 17th-century manor house, classic wine cellar, dovecote and bird sanctuary, Meerlust Wine Estate is located 15 km’s south of Stellenbosch, with the blue crescent of False Bay just 5 km’s away. At Meerlust, wines are only made with grapes grown on the Estate, which is specifically situated for the production of wines with remarkable complexity and character. Meerlust offers a lovely range of red wines as well as some very nice Chardonnays. Enjoy the tasting in the small but cosy lounge, where all the walls are covered with modern art posters.
4. Spier Wine Estate
Spier Wine Farm is one of the most renowned and oldest wine estates in Stellenbosch with a recorded history back to 1962. While rooted in this heritage, the wine farm has a vibrant and exciting energy. It produces a great variety of excellent wines and is also home to a gorgeous farm-to-table restaurant. Spier hosts a magnificent collection of African art that can be found in and around the hotel. Another highlight is the tour through the vineyards and the vegetable gardens that is available for guests and visitors.
5. Waterford Estate
Designed in the manner of the classic Bordeaux chateaus of France, Waterford Estate offers a unique wine and chocolate pairing experience. The popular farm boasts ancient citrus groves, water features, rolling lawns and fragrant lavender beds that create an idyllic atmosphere. Waterford is perhaps the only winery in the world that produces a line of chocolate that is designed to perfectly match that year’s varietals.