Linger all day in a spectacular setting.
Wine farms are great for tastings, but there are a few that take your experience way beyond that… A destination wine farm is one where you can happily linger all day, not only for the spectacular setting (magnificent views, gorgeous architecture, bucket-loads of atmosphere) but an array of attractions, with something for everyone – from foodies and culture lovers to outdoor adventurers. Here is our pick of Stellenbosch’s showpiece estates.
The archetypal Stellenbosch wine farm, with age-old trees, sprawling vineyards, Cape-Dutch buildings and a pretty river running through it. The focus here is on ethical farming and creativity.
The wine There are six ranges, including organic, vegan and cap classique. Enjoy two options of tastings in the Tasting Room beside the dam (under an iconic Heath Nash-designed wine-bottle chandelier or on the verandah), with platters or a chocolate pairing if you like.
The food Famous pastéis de nata and hearty meals at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery; grab-and-go picnic fare at the Farm Café (or book a pre-loaded basket and find a spot at the new Riverside area). Look out for the Bubbles & Braai pop-ups (showcasing Farmer Angus’s meat) next to the café on weekends, and Friday night wine-pairing dinners in the Manor House (from March 2023).
There’s more Explore the farm on a segway or with four themed self-guided walks. Spier has one of the largest collections of contemporary art in SA, including 31 outdoor sculptures and the Mosaic Kraal. Visit Eagle Encounters bird-of-prey sanctuary, browse the craft market, relax at the spa, and come early to harvest your own produce in the Food Garden. There is a blend-your-own-wine experience for groups (8 or more people). Special events annually include Harvest of the Arts (25–26 February 2023) and Spier Light Art (10 March – 10 April 2023).
For the kids The Elemental Garden is an adventure to explore. There are also grape-juice tastings and a child-friendly picnic option.
Stay Rooms at the Spier Hotel are clustered around courtyards with pools.
Opening times Thursday – Saturday, 9am – 6pm; Sunday – Wednesday, 9am – 5pm
Smokehouse: Monday – Sunday, 9am – 4pm; Wednesday – Saturday, 6pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 809 1100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it On the R310 (Baden Powell Drive), southwest Stellenbosch
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A wine farm with a decidedly bohemian feel, it captures the very essence of the Cape’s history in every nook and cranny (it was founded in 1685). Everything from the buildings to the artefacts and trees are relics of a bygone age, and the winemaking remains old-school, too.
The wine The first in SA to make pinot noir, and still known for its characterful reds. Tastings (a choice of three) take place in the Tasting Room – complete with cobwebs, old paintings and stained glass – or amid the cellar’s old, weathered wine tanks. There’s also a chocolate pairing.
The food The Farm Kitchen is in the atmospheric old wine cellar, offering generous portions of authentic country food beautifully executed, with wine suggestions to match.
There’s more Regular live music (including Sunset Sessions with picnics and platters) and an annual harvest party (on 25–26 February 2023); Mok art gallery in a 1685 house; Simonsberg hiking, running and biking trails (the Dirtopia Centre is based here – join a monthly sunset/full moon hike); and the 9 Orphans distillery (maker of acorn gin).
For the kids A special menu for them at the restaurant; ducks and dogs, alpacas, and lots of ancient, enchanted nooks to explore.
Stay The GP Canitz Guest Cottage (named after the artist whose studio it once was) immerses you in authentic wine-farm life.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Restaurant: Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 3.30pm
Contact 021 865 2330, email@example.com
Where to find it Off Knorhoek Road and R44, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch north
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Situated on the panoramic Helshoogte Pass, this estate (owned by international jeweller Laurence Graff) is the ultimate luxury package, offering incredible views, sophisticated interiors and superb dining.
The wine Three ranges (Premium, Luxury and Icon), including Banhoek chardonnays and Stellenbosch cabernets. There are five tasting options in the chic, art-filled Wine Lounge, with various cheese and charcuterie platters. Or simply settle in for relaxed sundowners on the terrace with a glass or bottle of wine and a platter.
The food Modern, seasonal bistro dishes with a local twist at Delaire Graff Restaurant (with a special chef’s signature seven-course set menu); an elegant Japanese dining experience, with subtle aromatics and a symphony of fresh contemporary flavours at, Hoseki. Both offer alfresco tables on oak-shaded terraces with extraordinary Banhoek Valley views.
There’s more A garden filled with sculptures, water features and indigenous flora; a day spa that uses bespoke Jardin de Delaire products; three designer boutiques (plus the estate’s artisan chocolate, honey and olive oils); Tretchikoff’s iconic “Chinese Girl” painting in reception along with many other renowned local artworks.
Stay The Delaire Lodges are the last word in luxury retreats.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 10am – 4.30pm
Restaurants: Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm (last seating 8.30pm)
Contact 021 885 8160, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Helshoogte Road (R310), Stellenbosch east
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With its classic Cape Dutch gables and old oak trees, one of the oldest (founded 1682) and most picturesque estates in the Winelands makes for a wonderful day out.
The wine A range of reds and whites, plus rosé, cap classique, a rare zinfandel (also used to make the unique Zin Gin), potstill brandy and an apéretif. The classic tasting includes five wines; there are also wine pairings with macarons, chocolate and fudge.
The food Creative “country casual” food at the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant; bistro-style meals and mezze at the Farm Shop & Deli (in the old stables, leading out onto a panoramic terrace); picnics in the beautiful grounds, with a box of goodies from the deli (traditional or a cheese picnic).
There’s more A wonderful weekend family market under enormous fig trees, with a seasonal, local, organic focus; the Bike Park has a cycle shop, bike hire, guided trails and pump track (skateboarders welcome); a tasting of three craft gins made on the estate, plus a gin pairing with nougat; gorgeous Fleur le Cordeur homeware at the shop; a fantastical glasshouse “cathedral” in the fields.
For the kids They’ll love the two jungle gyms with slides, ladders, swings and a zipline at the Bike Park; the deli does a special picnic box for free-ranging children.
Stay The Manor, spread over two historic buildings, offers exclusive group stays to remember.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Restaurant: Tuesday – Saturday, 11.30am – 8pm; Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Contact 021 880 0133, email@example.com
Where to find it Off Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch south
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The Ukrainian Gaiduk family, who bought this historic estate in 2012, have transformed it into a state-of-the-art, architecturally striking destination that’s as visually stimulating as it is relaxing.
The wine A wide selection, including reds, whites, cap classique and a husk spirit. A sommelier-led tasting of five wines is offered, in the Wine Lounge (with glass walls looking into the cellar) or on the expansive terrace. Oysters, charcuterie or cheese platters are available.
The food A fine-dining culinary adventure at Gåte Restaurant (three-, five- or seven-course menus, including vegan versions), paired with wine or tea. There are also 10 stylish pergolas for gourmet picnics (complete with walkie-talkie to call your waiter).
There’s more Manicured gardens dotted with mystical sculptures; a striking steel-and-glass, marble-floored venue for functions.
For the kids There is a children’s picnic menu, along with lawn games, a jumping castle and a Fatsac to plop into.
Stay The classic Cape Dutch Manor House is the highest residential property in the Stellenbosch Winelands, with unparalleled views of Simonsberg, False Bay, Cape Point and Table Mountain.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Restaurant: Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm; Thursday – Saturday, 6pm – late
Contact 021 888 4740, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Knorhoek Road, off R44, Stellenbosch north
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The third-oldest farm in Stellenbosch (founded just 13 years after the town itself, over 330 years ago), and the first to commercially bottle and sell pinotage, Lanzerac is a majestic slice of history and Jonkershoek scenery, and a quintessential Winelands landmark.
The wine Three ranges, including heritage limited releases, the cellar master’s unusual blends, a pinotage rosé and cap classique. Two tastings are offered, as well as a wine-and-chocolate pairing, in the elegant Tasting Room or on its verandah overlooking the vines.
The food Finer dining in the beautiful Manor Kitchen (for breakfast, Sunday lunch and daily dinners – and on Saturdays, a high tea and seven-course wine-pairing dinner); casual daytime meals and platters at the Lanzerac Deli; gourmet pub grub and small plates at the Taphuis; whisky pairing in the Craven Lounge, a cocktail and cigar bar.
There’s more Lanzerac Spa offers exquisite hydrotherapy; the estate has manicured gardens to explore.
For the kids A children’s menu at the Taphuis and Deli (including fantastic milkshakes).
Stay The five-star Lanzerac Hotel is arguably one of the most beautiful in the Winelands.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 7pm
Winter: Sunday – Thursday, 8am – 5pm; Friday + Saturday, 8am – 6pm
Contact 021 887 1132, email@example.com
Where to find it 1 Lanzerac Road, off Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch east
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As one of the oldest estates in the Bottelary Hills, Hazendal boasts a long tradition of winemaking. This heritage is combined with striking modernity to create an experience that’s both charming and unexpected.
The wine Two ranges (Hazendal and Christoffel Hazenwinkel), including reds, whites, cap classique and a Spanish carignan. The plush Wine Lounge (in the old cellar) offers three tastings, with cheese and charcuterie platters – note that tastings are at specific times (hourly slots, 11am – 3pm) and must be booked. Or step it up a notch with a Sensory Pairing Experience in the Wine Library (12.30pm only).
The food Comfort classics and picnic fare at Babushka Deli (catch the parent-and-kid-friendly brunch with bubbly for the grown-ups until the end of March 2023); pizzas, sausage platters and beer-glazed eisbein at The Kraal beer garden; and three-course dinners at the monthly Jazz Club events.
There’s more Marvol Gallery showcases art, culture and history (guided art walks on Thursdays at 11am); the Cape Dutch manor house is filled with historical items (including ancient maps); there’s a classic car collection to admire; or tee off at the estate’s 18-hole, par-3 golf course.
For the kids Wonderdal, an innovative fully supervised virtual edutainment centre, will keep them busy for hours. There’s also adventure mini-golf at the Kleine Hazen putting park, and a playground and kids’ menu at Babushka Deli.
Stay The Homestead is an exclusive-use Cape Dutch villa with five spacious suites. Coming soon is a new luxury hotel and spa.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Deli: Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
The Kraal: Friday – Sunday, 11.30am – 5pm
Contact 021 205 5620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Ronelle Street, off Kruis Street and Bottelary Road (M23), Stellenbosch west
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Perched on the edge of a mountain overlooking a valley of vineyards, between the Banhoek Conservancy and Simonsberg Nature Reserve, Tokara is one of the most breathtaking spots to spend the day.
The wine The focus is on sauvignons, but other varieties also feature in three ranges (Premium, Reserve and Director’s Reserve Collection), plus cap classique and a potstill brandy. Tastings are done in the stunning cellar or the art-filled Tasting Lounge. The range of Reserve wines are available by the glass at the Restaurant, alongside wines from other estates near and far.
The food Elegant, terroir-focused dishes at glass-walled Tokara Restaurant (à la carte lunches and 4- or 6-course set menus for dinner); family-friendly breakfasts, bistro-style lunches and wood-fired pizza at Tokara Delicatessen.
There’s more Olive oils are produced in the Olive Shed (next to the Deli) and a guided tasting is offered in the Tasting Lounge; an impressive art collection (including three rare William Kentridge tapestries hanging in the restaurant) and a sculpture garden and orchard walkway at the Deli. Tokara hosts an annual Rare Plant Fair and Open Garden (22 April 2023).
For the kids There’s a fantastical jungle gym with treehouses on the lawns outside the Deli, and surprise encounters with roaming peacocks.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Restaurant: Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Contact 021 808 5900, email@example.com
Where to find it Off Helshoogte Road (R310), Stellenbosch east
One of the oldest wine farms (dating back to 1696), this place exudes heritage. It’s also where conservation of the rare endangered flora and environment is as important as what’s growing in the vineyards.
The wine Three ranges, with a focus on reds, plus a shiraz rosé, cap classique, Cape port and the Schloss Frankenberg range of German wines. Four tastings are offered, in the historic Homestead or outside at tables on the Werf, with snacks. The estate also offers a unique indigenous tasting, pairing local delicacies with the wines.
The food An imaginative celebration of SA cuisine (including foraged ingredients) at chef Bertus Basson’s Clara’s Barn (three- or five-course sharing menus paired with wines) or Geuwels; plus picnic baskets filled with familiar local favourites under oak trees on the lawns.
There’s more The famous flock of 1 600 pest-controlling Indian runner ducks can be seen among the vines and on the grounds (note that they no longer parade on call); a national monument Cape Dutch homestead; a new farm-style luxury spa (book a Tranquility Milk Bath Experience complete with bubbly and snack platter).
For the kids Geuwels has a children’s menu and a kiddies’ picnic.
Stay Luxury boutique vineyard suites with plunge pools and fantastic views.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Geuwels: Monday – Sunday, 8am – 3.30pm
Clara’s Barn: Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 4pm; Friday + Saturday 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 843 3248, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it 1 Vergenoegd Road, off Old Faure Road (M49), southwest Stellenbosch
One of the region’s oldest farms, this grand property dates back to the late-1600s. You can easily drift back to yesteryear as you wander the palatial grounds, where a werf of Cape Dutch buildings sits immutably in the scenic Banhoek landscape between two mountain peaks.
The wine Three ranges: flagship Zorgvliet, premium Grand Cuvée and everyday Silwer Myn, plus a Capo Donna chenin blanc. Options include petit verdot, sauvignon (blanc and cabernet), merlot, rosé and cap classique. Soak in the historic atmosphere and legends behind the wines with a tasting in the original 1692 manor house, including a bookings-only vintage tasting.
The food A five-course à la carte small-plate menu in the restaurant (or just order the decadent dessert plate to finish off a wine tasting). You can also pick up a picnic basket (a range to choose from) with a complimentary bottle of Silwer Myn to enjoy in the gorgeous gardens. Keep an eye out for occasional live music picnics.
For the kids A playground next to the picnic area (jungle gym, jumping castle, etc). There is a children’s menu in the restaurant and a kiddies picnic basket.
Stay The Country Lodge has various rooms, suites and family units, and a lovely pool area.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday (and public holidays), 11am – 5pm
School Holidays: Monday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Contact 021 885 1399, email@example.com
Where to find it Helshoogte Road (R310), Banhoek Valley, Stellenbosch
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