Top 10 wine estates in South Africa

South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, is well known for their lovely and excellent wines. A visit to the vineyards is a must on your to do list when visiting South Africa. Because the offer is large, we will help you to give you some inspiration by sharing our favourites. Always check the opening hours to prevent disappointment since they can might have changed. 

1. Jordan, Stellenbosch

We love this, in Stellenbosch based, wine estate not only because of their delicious wine, but also because it has a yummy bakery, excellent restaurant and even a boutique hotel! The bakery offers a heavenly experience since it spreads the aromas of freshly baked bread, pastries and coffee over the restaurant and outside area. Enjoy your wine or meal on either the lawns or on the wooden deck overlooking the pond where you will see some ducks swimming by… Do consider staying in one of their beautiful suites overnight. Close by town yet very quiet and comfy!

2. Peter Falke, Stellenbosch

This is one of our favourite wine estate, because it has such a peaceful vibe.  There are different spots to enjoy the wine tasting and their delicious finger food that complement Falke wines. The experience feels like a picnic. If you like movies, check the agenda of the open air cinema Galileo because they occasionally organize an open air cinema in Falke’s vineyards.
It’s open till 7pm which makes it a perfect place to enjoy pre-drinks and then head for Rust & Vrede restaurant just half a KM next door for dinner.  At Peter Falke’s Estate, there is a very nice shop stocked up with fancy items and products from Paris – thanks to Daniéla, the owner’s wife! A must-visit!

3. De Meye, Stellenbosch

This since 1665 family-owned boutique winery owns his name after De Meye river in Holland. This is actually where I grew up and therefore has a special place in my heart. This rustic and authentic estate breathes zen and their country-style food will make your mouth water!!! One of the best settings in the Winelands when lunching outdoors. Extremely popular among the locals! Their motto is: “A table shared with wonderful company, good conversation, and home grown food – these are the joys of a meal at The Table.”

If you have time, visit the garden where most of the food on your plate comes from or make a stroll to the higher parts of the vineyards for a amazing view.

4. Quoin Rock, Stellenbosch

Quoin Rock has undergone a complete make-over at the end of 2018. A new reception, tasting room and especially noteworthy: a new restaurant called Gate. Make sure to book ahead since this is going to be gem and must-dine! Check this video out to have a preview of Gate restaurant! Besides their recently renovated estate, there is also a 4-6 bedroom Manor House, compete with all luxuries and perfect for a small scale wedding, family or friends get-together!

If you have a minute, check this movie to get an idea what to expect at Quoin Rock.

5. Le Lude, Franschhoek

When you visiting the South African capital of wine and dine, Franschhoek, this wine estate can not be missed on your list.  Especially if you like France and bubblies, we are sure you are going to enjoy it here. Give your eyes some pleasure by looking to the well decorated room “Orangerie” in the French style – it could be a copy of a La Duree shop! Combine this with a lovely tasting of their MCC (Methode Cap Classique – South African version of champagne) and it feels you are a little bit in France. Do try their well-presented canapé menu to enhance the whole experience. After the tasting, enjoy a coffee or a last glass of bubblies in the upper grassy part of the garden (there are some lazy chairs) and enjoy the view over their vineyards!

This estate also offers a small 2 bedroom “Lily Pond House” right in the middle of the vineyards, completely decorated to make you feel at home at a very reasonable price and in the centre of Franschhoek!

6. Meerlust, Stellenbosch

This wine estate was founded in 1756, so it won’t surprise you when we tell you this is a very special and authentic place to enjoy a wine tasting.  Long recognized for producing world-class wines, the Meerlust Estate is singularly rich in charm and history. A tour of the estate, situated fifteen kilometers south of Stellenbosch, reveals its graceful manor house, classical wine cellar, rose gardens, family cemetery, dovecote and bird sanctuary. The wine shop boasts a photographic timeline of both the history of Meerlust and the history of the Cape.

It is also possible to overnight on this estate. While there are two bedroom suites in the house, the dining room (with framed life-size vintage flags) seats 14. It’s a wonderful opportunity to stay here with your family or another couple and invite friends to turn the room into a “Christmas in July” celebration or a cheerfully noisy dinner with candelabras to add warmth and light and oodles of good red wine flowing. Even more wonderful is that if you want a break from the kitchen you can arrange for lunch or dinner to be brought over from the Manor House allowing you and your guests time in the tasting room prior to the party.

7. Rijks, Tulbagh

Located in the sleepy town of Tulbagh – 70 minutes north of Cape Town, Rijks estate delivers excellent wines and is well worth a visit. This very well known wine estate is famous because of their Pinotage and Chenin Blanc. Taste the typical South African “Pinotage”, especially the 888 which is a very good and exclusive wine! This is a rare Pinotage for the select few. Only eight hundred and eighty eight bottles produced each vintage and is individually numbered and registered.

Go for the entire experience and stay overnight at this estate to enjoy a full wine tasting and dinner. Become a member here, order for at least R 10 000 per year and stay for FREE at Rijk’s Hotel!

8. Newton Johnson, hemel en aarde valley, Hermanus

If you are a fan of Pinot Noir this wine estate needs to be taken very seriously! Close to the ocean and rather chilly in the winter, this area is perfect for an excellent Pinot Noir. It will in fact bring you a little bit closer to heaven since their Pinot Noir is one of their specialities. Make sure to stay for lunch or dinner since their views, wines, combined with the food, makes this a slice of heaven!

9. Delaire, Stellenbosch

Nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, this Estate provides the perfect backdrop to outstanding restaurants, state-of-the-art winery, an exclusive lodges, exuberant landscaping, destination Spa and luxury boutiques.

The owner of Graff Diamonds started an adventure by opening Delaire in 2009. We know this one is very popular, but that is for a reason. Have lunch at Delaire Restaurant with one of the best views in the Winelands or at their 2nd restaurant Indochine – a hidden gem with an Asian fare in a stunning setting overlooking the vineyards. The lodge is a member of Relais & Chateaux and offers super luxurious villas with private pools. And to top it all off, visit the Spa which is a true treat.

10. Babylonstoren, Paarl

The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the Babylonstoren farm.  It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia.  It also hales back to the mythical garden of Babylon. Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is formal in structure.  Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and it is grown as biologically as we can.  Fruit and veg are harvested year round for use in our restaurant.  The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze.  Gravity feeds water into waterways from stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years.

This working farm offers luxury accommodation, 3 restaurants, wine tasting, shops, mountain bikes to explore the estate, a healing tea garden and a serene spa. This child’s friendly place is an adventure for everybody!! Explore the shops, meet animals, taste food, drink freshly squeezed juices and so much more! If you don’t feel like eating a lot I do recommend you to get a lovely sausage in the Greenhouse restaurant. And last but not least: don’t forget to pet the donkey!

Has this whet your appetite? Want to explore more of africa? Get in touch with me here and let’s satisfy your wanderlust

Keep an eye out on our website and social media pages for more of our favourite places.

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