Top 10 Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Calling all head-over-heels wine lovers! In Cape Town, any time is wine time! This makes exploring and tasting your way through the beautiful Cape Winelands one of the top things to do in Cape Town all year-round.

Stellenbosch Cape Town

Stellenbosch Winelands

South Africa is widely renowned for its exceptional wines, with the Western Cape boasting the largest, and certainly the most unique, wine producing region in Africa.  With its breathtaking landscapes and diverse terroirs, the Cape Winelands is without a doubt any wine enthusiasts or vino aficionado’s dream destination – It truly is a slice of pure wine paradise! And that’s merely scratching the surface of what you can expect to experience in the vast & picturesque Cape Winelands.

It’s no surprise that wine lovers from across the globe travel to the Western Cape Winelands to experience, explore, discover, taste & savour absolutely everything the glorious Cape Winelands has to offer.

From historic estates to contemporary vineyards, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 Wine Estates in Stellenbosch that you simply MUST experience on your trip to Cape Town.

#1 Delaire Graff Estate

The Jewel of the Cape Winelands!

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch - Delaire Graff Estate

Photo credit: Delaire Graff Estate

Sitting on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Pass, Delaire Graff is one of the Western Cape Winelands’ most astonishing marvels. Ranked one of the most prestigious wineries in the world, this glorious Stellenbosch Wine Estate has long been the wine destination of choice among both local and international wine enthusiasts – and it certainly isn’t hard to understand why.

To further add to its already impressive accolades, Delaire Graff Estate has become one of the most highly awarded Estates in the Southern Hemisphere since its inception in 2003. In addition to being named one of the most prestigious wineries in the world, it was also named one of the Top 50 wineries by the World’s Best Vineyards for 2023 – placing 36th overall. This continued recognition is a testament to Delaire Graff’s endless pursuit of perfection, which is evident throughout its vast vineyards, cellar – and every facet of the Estate.

Beyond its astonishing accolades, this designer, state-of-the-art winery is also one of the most magnificent natural gems in all of the Western Cape. With wraparound mountain and valley views, the panoramic vista of this spectacular Stellenbosch Wine Estate encompasses the glorious undulating vineyards, deep valleys, and towering mountains – even by Stellenbosch standards (which are exceptional high I might add), Delaire Graff’s views and surrounding scenery are beyond extraordinary, sweeping down the Banhoek Valley. It truly is unlike anything you’ve seen before!

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** Wine Tasting at Delaire Graff **

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~ Delaire Graff Estate Wine Tasting Lounge ~

In the heart of South Africa’s Winelands, savour a wine tasting experience like no other at Delaire Graff Estate’s remarkable Wine Tasting Lounge

The Delaire Graff Wine Tasting Lounge is an elegant and modern art-filled tasting space, with sofas, a fireplace, and a grand piano, which is played at intervals. Not only will visitors & wine-loving enthusiasts & connoisseurs have the incredible opportunity to sample some of South Africa’s finest & exclusive vintages only available at Delaire Graff, accompanied by spellbinding views across the Simonsberg Mountains of course, but enjoy tutored wine tasting experiences, accompanied by elegant food platters.

That’s not all! Expert sommeliers & wine tutors will be at your service, ready to awaken your senses to the unique qualities of Delaire Graff’s award-winning wines with a Tutored Wine Experience, all while guiding you through every step of the unbelievable tasting experience.

In addition to Delaire Graff’s Tutored Wine Experience, you can also opt to savour a glass of Delaire Graff wine all-year round at their prestigious art-filled Wine Lounge, as you sit back & relax on the spacious terrace in the summer, encircled by dramatic mountain views, or inside accompanied by a crackling log fire come winter.

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** WINE TASTING OPTIONS **

You can choose to enjoy any of the following wine tasting options when visiting Delaire Graff Estate’s Wine Lounge – one of the top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch & the Western Cape as a whole:

  • Wine Tasting:

Explore your choice of wines from our Luxury & Premium ranges.

**Click here for more information & prices.

  • Red Wine Selection:

A curated selection of our finest clarets and red wines from across our ranges.

**Click here for more information & prices.

  • Icon Wine Tasting:

Wines of such notable and consistent quality that they stand as leaders in their field.

**Click here for more information & prices.

#2 Jordan Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Jordan Wine Estate

Nestled in the heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Route, you’ll instantly be captivated by the breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch Mountains and the vineyard-dotted landscape from the moment you arrive. Widely renowned for their unwavering commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality, Jordan Wine Estate’s dedication to sustainable farming practices, combined with their passion for winemaking, has garnered them international acclaim.

While all of their wines are beyond exceptional, Jordan Wine Estate is best known for its superb Chardonnay and elegant Bordeaux-style blends. On your visit to this top-tier Cape Town wine estate, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the fascinating world of their exquisite wines by embarking on a guided cellar tour, where you’ll gain rare insight into their winemaking techniques and philosophy. Indulging in a wine tasting experience at Jordan Wine Estate’s contemporary tasting room, where their knowledgeable staff will guide you through their exceptional wine portfolio, is an absolute must!

Finally, to complement your wine tasting experience, savor a gourmet meal at their restaurant, The Bakery, which offers a delightful fusion of local and international flavors.

#3 Tokara Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Tokara Wine Estate

If you love good food, great wine, and unparalleled views, clear your schedule and escape for a day to Tokara Wine Estate. Nestled high on the upper slopes of the Simonsberg mountain, Tokara Wine Estate (along with its vineyard and olive grove) boasts breathtaking vistas of the Stellenbosch region, as well as overlooks two of mother nature’s most awe-inspiring sights, False Bay & the glorious Table Mountain.

This modern and innovative estate seamlessly blends art, architecture, and viticulture to create an unparalleled sensory experience. As you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the striking design of the estate’s cellar, which houses state-of-the-art winemaking facilities.

Tokara’s unique location, along with the climate, geography, and soils all combine to produce perfect grapes. These grapes are then hand-picked and gently transported to their state-of-the-art cellar, where their exceptionally skilled winemakers transform the fruit into award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Ranging from their iconic Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to their robust Bordeaux-style blends, Tokara Wine Estate is widely renowned for producing truly exceptional wines.

Enjoying a wine tasting experience at Tokara’s stylish tasting room, will not only give you the incredible opportunity to taste and sample each of their remarkable world-class wines, but bask in the unparalleled beauty of the estate and the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards. It truly is a beyond sensational sight to behold!

“Wherever you are in the world, sharing a bottle of Tokara wine evokes the mystery and majesty of the Simonsberg mountain. That’s what sets our wine apart from some of the world’s greatest wines. It has nothing to do with how we make our Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc. Instead, it has everything to do with where our wine is born.

It transports you to valleys of green, lofty mountainsides, and carefree days. And that feeling is impossible to recreate. Unless, of course, you open a bottle of Tokara’s finest” – Tokara.

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** TOKARA WINE ESTATE WINE TASTING **

  • Contact Details: Book your wine tasting today by contacting Tokara on 021 808 5900 | [email protected]
  • Operating hours: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm | Last tasting at 5:30pm

If you enjoy good company and excellent wine, book your seat at one of our exclusive wine tastings. Our knowledgeable and enthusiastic wine ambassadors will guide you through the different ranges of wines crafted at our estate.

It’s an opportunity to sample the XO Potstill Brandy or sip a glass of Telos, the pinnacle of our wines and one destined to define Stellenbosch Cabernet.

Simply follow the stone-lined stairway up to the winery, where you’ll find our wine tasting lounge. It’s a beautiful, architecturally designed space with unrivalled views over False Bay to Table Mountain. Here you’ll also notice the fermentation cellar. Take a moment to check it out, and please do ask questions about the winemaking process.

And while you inhale, swirl, sip, and spit, don’t forget to try our delectable cheese platter and delicious olive oils.

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** TOKARA WINE ESTATE EXPERIENCE **

If you enjoy the finer things in life, come to Tokara. With various dining spaces, wine tasting, and art, interlinked by gentle walks between olive groves and vineyards, Tokara is the perfect day out for couples, families, or singles.

Book a wine tasting experience and indulge your appreciation for fine wines and Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Knowledgeable wine ambassadors are on-hand to answer your questions and take you through our winemaking process.

If you’re interested in something a little more filling, book a table at Tokara Restaurant. Here, Chef Carolize Coetzee prepares a delicious treasure trove of contemporary cuisine inspired by the local countryside and farm produce. Paired with award-winning wines and dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay, it’s a feast for the senses.

If you prefer something a little more informal, pop over to the Tokara Delicatessen, our gourmet food shop. It’s child friendly and offers a seasonal menu, olive oil products, and other goodies to take home. Here, you can indulge in mouth-watering and hearty bistro fare, delectable pizzas, and arguably the finest coffee in the Banghoek Valley.

And, after you’ve satisfied your appetite, take a relaxing stroll through our picturesque sculpture garden, or head on over to our winery to peruse our gallery of curated art.

  • Restaurant Contact Details: 021 885 2550 | [email protected]
  • Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 12pm – 3pm | 6pm – 9pm

#4 Vergenoegd Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Vergenoegd Wine Estate

Situated in the heart of the beautiful Stellenbosch Wine Route, Vergenoegd is a centuries-old wine farm that has fast become one of the most sought-after wine estates in Cape Town. Besides its stunning Cape Winelands’ location, beautiful surrounding scenery, and exceptional wine and culinary experiences, Vergenoegd is widely known and loved for its beloved flock of Indian Runner ducks that call this Stellenbosch wine farm their home. Together with their working flock of more than 1 200 Indian Runner Ducks on the farm, Vergenoegd is one of Africa’s proud pioneers of a very unique, integrated pest management program.

In addition to it being an absolute pleasure & Cape Winelands’ highlight to watch the flock of Indian Runner Ducks waddling by on the famous Indian Duck Parade – Which is a daily ritual at Vergenoegd where the flock of Indian Runner Ducks line-up in eager anticipation for their day in the vineyards – These ducks also form an integral part of the ecosystem by helping to keep the snails at bay. To ensure the continued success of the program / initiative, Vergenoegd has a breeding program in place to keep their beloved Indian Runner Duck workforce productive, healthy, happy & thriving.

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Vergenoegd Wine Estate

Intrigued guests can further choose to enjoy a tour of the duck pens and “breeding room” with one of their friendly duck herders. By far one of the most incredible and fun things to do (especially for the kids) when visiting Vergenoegd is watching the famous Indian Duck Parade and cheering them on along the way! The Vergenoegd Duck Parade takes place Monday – Sunday 10:30am, 12:30pm & 3:30pm.

Besides Vergenoegd’s beloved Indian Runner Ducks that have undoubtedly become a major attraction for anyone visiting the Cape Winelands, this top-tier Stellenbosch Wine Estate offers truly exceptional wine, incredible wine tasting opportunities, as well as exciting wine pairing experiences.

Perfectly positioned between Table Mountain and the Hottentots-Holland mountain range to the east and west, Vergenoegd boasts a remarkable terroir and climate as well as a highly diverse soil quality that produces a distinct classic wine that has consistently received high levels of praise and recognition. Wine lovers can enjoy a Tasting of 5 superb Vergenoegd wines from either their Mid-Tier Range or Premium Range.

That’s not all! Vergenoegd also offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a Cellar Tour, Historical Walk-Abouts, amazing Artisan Picnics that can be enjoyed by the whole family, fun-filled kids’ entertainment & a variety of games. Not to mention a unique Wine Blending Experience or a visit to the Farm Deli for a delicious light meal or freshly baked goods and sweet treats. There truly is something for everyone.

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**WINE TASTING AT VERGENOEGD WINE ESTATE**

Vergenoegd Löw’s range of wines can be tasted on the estate in historical venues or under starlit skies. Experts will introduce guests to the range of estate-grown wines that include red blends, MCC as well as white and red single cultivar wines. Another novelty is the indigenous tasting presented by their tasting room ambassadors in the Homestead where indigenous food like bokkom, umazi, and local delicacies are served with a wine that compliments, thus delivering a new experience for all the senses.

~ INDIGENOUS FOOD & WINE PAIRING ~

Combining the authentic, indigenous and cultural food served at the two restaurants on Vergenoegd Löw and the range of blended or single cultivar white, red and Méthode Cap Classique wines was always a “must do”. It is a journey of discovery to explore the unusual flavour combinations and taste sensations when matching a plate of biltong, bokkem, sour fig, spekboom, umasi with the Vergenoegd Löw wine range.

  • What: Indigenous Food and Wine Pairing
  • When: Every Thursday at 11:30am | Please arrive at 11am (30 minutes before the start of the tasting)
  • Where: Vergenoegd Löw The Wine Estate, 1 Vergenoegd Road, Somerset West, Off R310, Stellenbosch Wine Route
  • Contact details: 021 843 3248 | [email protected]
  • Booking: Click here to make an online booking NOW!
  • **Please note that we can accommodate a maximum of 14 guests for this exclusive experience.

#5 Waterford Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Waterford Wine Estate

Despite Waterford Wine Estate being rather young in its inception in comparison to other well-established century-old Wine Estates, it has undoubtedly established itself as one of the top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch to visit among both local & international wine lovers alike. situated in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley on the rolling slopes of the majestic Helderberg Mountain, within the world-renowned Stellenbosch wine region, it is this very mountain range that gives Waterford Estate wines their unique character and sense of place. Waterford Estate is dedicated to creating the best quality wines which truly and consistently express the terroir of the Helderberg Mountains.

Cantered around a serene fountain, The Waterford Estate winery, along with its Tasting Room, offers a tranquil & relaxing setting where guests can sit, relax, and enjoy a wide selection of exciting & exceptional tasting options and experiences. With the wine cellar built surrounding the courtyard, guests can observe the workings of the winery, and get a true feel for the wine making process without disrupting the tranquility of their tasting experience.

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** WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES AT WATERFORD ESTATE **

~ The Cellar Collection ~

  • Duration: 45 min to an hour
  • Click here to make a booking

A vertical tasting experience of three vintages of Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, three vintages of Waterford Kevin Arnold Shiraz, and a tasting of our flagship, The Jem.

~ Waterford Portfolio Collection ~

  • Duration: 45 min
  • Click here to make a booking

A perfect combination of Waterford Estate white and red wines. Sample the fresh and dry Rose-Mary Rosé, a fresh yet creamy Old Vine Project Chenin blanc, a delightfully mineral Chardonnay, a light and rustic Grenache, the iconic Waterford Kevin Arnold Shiraz and the classic Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

~ Waterford Estate Wine & Chocolate Pairing ~

  • Duration: 30 min
  • Click here to make a booking

Designed to create an unrivalled flavour sensation – our Waterford Estate Wine & Chocolate Pairing is a crowd-pleaser for a reason. Our Waterford Kevin Arnold Shiraz, Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Waterford Heatherleigh are paired with our signature chocolates created by Chocolatier, Richard von Geusau.

~ The Waterford Experience ~

  • Duration: 45 min to an hour
  • Click here to make a booking

This experience allows you to taste and explore a wide variety of Waterford Estate wines. Taste the white wines ranging from a fresh Rosé, a fruity and creamy Old Vine Project Chenin blanc, a mineral Chardonnay and light and rustic Grenache. Finish off the experience with the Waterford Estate Wine & Chocolate Pairing entailing the Waterford Kevin Arnold Shiraz paired with a Masala Chai Dark Chocolate, the Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a Rock Salt Dark Chocolate and the delightfully fresh and sweet Heatherleigh dessert wine paired with a Rose Geranium milk chocolate.

~ The Jem Tasting ~

  • Duration: 15 min
  • Click here to make a booking

A single tasting of Waterford Estate’s flagship, award-winning red blend, The Jem.

#6 JC Le Roux

“We are passionate about bubbles and the fun they bring not only in making them but also every occasion and moment. And it’s heart-warming to know that our consumers agree!” – JC Le Roux

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Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: JC Le Roux Wine Estate

Anyone for bubbles? Then JC Le Roux is DEFINITELY the place to be! Established in 1982, it certainly comes as no surprise that the iconic JC Le Roux is not only the first & only dedicated sparkling wine cellar in South Africa, but also the leader of the sparkling wine category in the country, elevating all occasions & turning every glass into a celebration. Amongst many other accomplishments & accolades, J.C. Le Roux is widely known for their exceptional quality, elegant aesthetic, and extraordinary attention to detail. The House of J.C. Le Roux, “The Home of Celebration” and SA’s first dedicated sparkling wine cellar, offers visitors & guests a breathtaking setting to explore their vast & exquisite range of crisp, lively, and refreshing sparkling and Cap Classique wines, from sweet to dry, non-alcoholic, and bubbly flavors JC Le Roux has it all!

Grounded in innovation, the cellar is the signature of true sparkling craftsmanship. Year after year, they continue to offer consistent quality – loudly & proudly establishing themselves as the ultimate leader in the South African Sparkling Wine category & as an iconic, well awarded South African brand. That’s certainly not all! Always the trendsetters in local sparkling wine, J.C. Le Roux spearheaded the launch of exciting new styles and varietals. Not only were they the first in South Africa to launch a red sparkling wine, La Chanson, but the first sparkling wine made solely from Sauvignon Blanc grapes too! With so much to offer you’d be hard-pressed not to pay this exclusive & top-tier Stellenbosch Wine Estate a visit!

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** THE J.C LE ROUX TASTING ROOM **

  • Operating Hours: Hours | Winter (May – September): Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 16:00 | Friday – Saturday: 10:00 – 17:00 | Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00 | Hours | Summer (October – April): Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 16:00 | Friday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
  • Tasting Booking: Please contact us on 021 865 8200 or email us on [email protected] to secure your spot | Or click here to book your tasting online
  • Please Note: Bookings for weekends and public holidays should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

The tasting room at the House of J.C. Le Roux offers a range of tastings and specially crafted parings for the most sophisticated of palates – both sweet and dry. Some of their delectable pairings include a delightful selection of Nougat, Turkish delight, enticing cheesecakes, and even delicious pizza combinations.

For the non-alcoholic bubbly drinker and the designated driver – don’t worry, J.C Le Roux has you covered too! They have non-alcoholic tasting options and a food pairing experience so that you can join in on all the bubbly fun! Not to be left out from the tasting fun, children can also enjoy their own juice and pizza pairing. There truly is something for everyone at J.C Le Roux!

** CLICK HERE FOR ALL OF J.C LE ROUX’ INCREDIBLE TASTING OPTIONS **

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It doesn’t end there! You can tour the production process for Méthod Cap Classique and other sparkling wines, and stop for gift shopping, snacks, and lunch. This estate calls itself “The Home of Celebration” for good reason.

Their restaurant Cucina Di Giovanni at the House of J.C. Le Roux, offers an elegant ambiance in a warm and friendly setting. Overlooking dazzling views of their vast vineyards and mountains, it is a true escape to enjoy a picturesque food and bubbly experience. So go ahead and savor a glass of your favorite J.C. Le Roux bubbly with one of their delectable dining options including wood fired pizza, pasta, seafood, steak, chicken dishes & so much more!

  • Operating Hours: Monday: Closed | Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00 | Kitchen closes at 16h00
  • Contact details: Tel: 021 865 8222 | Email: [email protected] | WhatsApp & Call: 063 842 6575

#7 Lanzerac Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Lanzerac Wine Estate

~ Home of the world’s first bottled Pinotage ~

Lanzerac has been a visionary wine estate in establishing the unique South African variety, Pinotage. It is also one of the oldest heritage farms in the Western Cape, dating back to 1692.

**Interesting fact: In 1925, University of Stellenbosch Professor of Viticulture, Abraham Izak Perold successfully crossed two grape varietals, Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsaut) to create South Africa’s first unique and indigenous wine grape variety – Pinotage. Lanzerac was the first estate to bottle this variety and use the term Pinotage to market its 1959 vintage.

Today Lanzerac continues to make outstanding wines under the leadership of Cellar Master, Wynand Lategan and Farm Manager Philip le Roux.

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The proper name of this gem is actually Lanzerac Wine Estate – Hotel, Spa, Restaurant, Wine & Deli, which kind of says it all. Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate is a historic landmark and Stellenbosch icon. The grande dame is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape heritage. Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of the historical town of Stellenbosch, the Estate boasts views of dramatic mountain ranges, endless rows of lush vineyards and hectares of gardens shaded by giant Oak trees.

The homestead was transformed into a manor house in 1959 – reminiscent of the traditional French way of fusing a country hotel and wine estate. Today the iconic property hosts an elegant five-star Country hotel, acclaimed bars, restaurants and Deli, a remarkable tasting venue, and a chic day spa. Yes, this is one Stellenbosch Wine Estate that definitely has it all!

Over the years Lanzerac fast became synonymous with Stellenbosch’s social agenda and provided many local and foreign tourists with a unique winelands experience, characterised by its heritage and commitment to friendly ‘Boland’ culture and service commitment.

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** LANZERAC TASTING ROOM **

  • Operating Hours: October – April: Daily from 08h00 – 19h00 | May – September: Sundays to Thursdays, 08h00 till 17h00 & 08h00 till 18h00 on Fridays & Saturdays
  • Contact Details: [email protected] | Click here to book online
  • Booking: Click here to make a booking for one of Lanzerac’s Wine Tasting experience in their highly acclaimed Tasting Room.

The Lanzerac Tasting Room is open seven days a week and offers its patrons the opportunity to explore the Estate’s range of acclaimed wines in a relaxed atmosphere whilst surrounded by the breath-taking views of the Stellenbosch valley. Guests are invited to enjoy a selection of tailor-made tastings suited to individuals or groups in the comfort of the well-appointed Tasting Room or on the veranda overlooking the scenic vineyards.

The daily cellar tours, guided by one of Lanzerac’s expert Wine Advisors, offer visitors the opportunity to tour the working wine cellar, as an extra special bonus, the estate’s expert wine advisors will give you an insider’s view / perspective of this working, heritage wine cellar, as well as explore & discover the vast & rich heritage of the Estate itself, along with all of its various facets, unique & immersive experiences & OF COURSE their world-renowned wine.

** CLICK HERE FOR ALL OF LANZERAC’S WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES **

#8 Rust en Vrede

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Rust en Vreede Wine Estate

A visit to this pristine Stellenbosch Wine Estate is like visiting a very special piece of history. The Cape Dutch buildings on the property date back to 1780, and today, they all have official National Monument status, with most of the buildings still being in full use today. In fact, the majority of these official National Monument buildings are used on a daily basis, making them true living history of the property & Wine Estate.

When the farm was bought in 1977, owners Jannie and Ellen Engelbrecht embarked on a full restoration of the estate. An extensive vineyard re-planting also took place, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.

Rust en Vrede Estate lies south of Stellenbosch, approximately 15km from False Bay. The property is nestled on the lower slopes of the Helderberg Mountain between 85m and 130m above sea level, with a magnificent view of Table Mountain to the West. Vineyards are situated on North facing slopes, with a small portion of North-East and North-West facing slopes that provide subtle nuances in aspect. Shielded from the powerful South-Easterly wind by the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains and protected from the South-Westerly wind off the Atlantic by the foothills of the Helderberg, Rust en Vrede is a warmer microcosm in the Helderberg area, which is why the estate specialize in reds, particularly Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties lend themselves to full bodied wines with powerful structure and excellent ageing potential.

With the estates primary focus being on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, it allows them to produce the highest quality, full bodied wines that are all-in-all the purest reflection of their beloved Stellenbosch terroir. All Rust en Vrede wines are Estate grown, made, and bottled – it all happens right here in this magical place – At Rust en Vrede in the glorious Stellenbosch winelands.

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Rust en Vreede Wine Estate

Bonus fact: Nelson Mandela served selections from Rust en Vrede at his Nobel Peace Prize dinner.

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** RUST EN VREDE TASTING ROOM **

Known for its award-winning restaurant and winery, Rust en Vrede is an epic destination for gourmands who love exceptional wine & fine dining. The modern winery, which has a split-level tasting room, is bedecked in classic leather and wood. A terrace beneath ancient oaks overlooks verdant lawns edged with rose bushes. The winery, which straddles traditional and cutting-edge techniques, is known for its range of pristine reds, from full-bodied Cabernets to smooth Merlot, Shiraz, and red blends. To provide / offer guests the very best Rust en Vrede wine tasting experience, Rust en Vrede’s full range of wines are available for tasting at their Tasting Room.

Absolutely everyone is invited to enjoy an intimate tasting experience in their state-of-the-art cellar or under the large oaks with sensational surrounding views of the vineyards and the Stellenbosch mountains. It is entirely up to you.

Daily tastings are guided by Rust en Vrede’s expert, friendly, and vastly knowledgeable tasting room staff, who also offer informal tours of the estates’ underground cellar.

“Our tasting room is open seven days a week, where you can taste our full range of wines. Tastings are presented by knowledgeable staff. Informal tours of our underground cellar are available on request, and a winemaker’s lunch is available between 12pm – 3pm” – Rust en Vrede.

~ Wine Tasting Details ~

  • Operating hours: Open Daily for wine tasting and wine sales | Monday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm | Sundays: 10am – 4pm.
  • Bookings / Enquiries: For bookings and / or enquiries email [email protected] or call 021 881 3881.
  • **Click here to see Rust en Vrede’s various exciting wine tasting options!

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~ Winemaker’s Lunch ~

Combine your wine tasting with their renowned Winemaker’s lunch, a simple set menu of either steak or salmon accompanied by a glass of wine. It is the ideal setting for a wonderful afternoon out in the stunning Stellenbosch winelands, surrounded by giant towering oaks and beautifully manicured gardens.

~ Winemaker’s Lunch Details ~

  • Operating hours: Open daily | 12pm – 3:30pm.
  • Bookings / Enquiries: For bookings and / or enquiries please email [email protected] or call 021 881 3757 | You can also make a booking online via their online booking system – Click here to make an online booking.
  • **Reservations made via our online booking system will be confirmed via email | Reservations are only valid after confirmation.
  • **Unfortunately no children under the age of 12 are allowed.
  • **They regrettably do not take reservations for lunch as they work on a first come, first served bases.

~ Rust en Vrede Restaurant ~

“Since opening in 2007, the Rust en Vrede Restaurant has shaped the way we think about wine and food. Set in the historic cellar, our aim is to show guests how a dining experience can be heightened by the combination of outstanding wine with excellent food

Our restaurant is housed in the Estate’s original cellar, a historic monument which has been transformed into a sophisticated yet relaxing fine-dining setting. We’ve done our best to preserve the unique charm of the building so that guests are transported back to simpler times, where good wine and food are central to the experience.

Our international wine list is overseen by sommelier James Mukosi, who works closely with Chef Fabio to find the best wine pairings for each dish. Combining a balanced menu with wines to enhance each dish, rounded off with stellar service, we aim to offer you a singular experience” – Rust en Vrede.

  • Operating hours: Open daily | 12pm – 3:30pm.
  • Bookings / Enquiries: For bookings and / or enquiries please email [email protected] or call 021 881 3757 | You can also make a booking online via their online booking system – Click here to make an online booking.
  • **Reservations made via our online booking system will be confirmed via email | Reservations are only valid after confirmation.
  • **Unfortunately no children under the age of 12 are allowed.
  • **They regrettably do not take reservations for lunch as they work on a first come, first served bases.
  • **Click here to find out more about Rust en Vrede’s Restaurant & everything they have to offer.

#9 Kanonkop Wine Estate

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Kanonkop Wine Estate

Kanonkop Wine Estate is situated in Stellenbosch, the premium red wine region of South Africa’s Western Cape Province.

To many, Kanonkop is considered to be the South African equivalent of a Premier Cru or First Growth. For others, Kanonkop is representative of SO MUCH MORE than simply being a wine estate. It is a confluence of unapologetic natural beauty, unwavering hospitality, core family values, tradition, history, and interesting characters – all of which are as integral to the wine estate’s ability to create exceptional wines as the ancient decomposed granite soils, the cool air from the Atlantic Ocean, and the old dryland vineyards. The one simply cannot exist without the other.

Kanonkop is a 4th generation family-owned wine estate, which has been handed down from generation to generation and is now in the hands of brothers Paul and Johann Krige.

The name Kanonkop is derived from a hillock (kop) on the Simonsberg mountain above the wine estate from where, during the 17th and 18th centuries, a cannon was fired to announce the arrival of sailing ships entering Table Bay. When farmers heard the sound of the cannon they traveled to the harbor to see if they could buy or barter their products for exotic products.

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** Kanonkop Wine Estate Wines **

Kanonkop is blessed with rare & distinctive terroir that bestows a unique fingerprint onto each and every bottle of Kanonkop wine, essentially providing all of Kanonkop’s wine with a consistent sense of place.

Of all the very fine red wines made in Stellenbosch and elsewhere in the Cape today, the name Kanonkop is consistently among those at the top of the lists compiled by critics, judges, collectors, and buyers.

The purity, finesse, and structure of Kanonkop’s wines are well documented and consistently accrue the judges’ trophies, 95+ point ratings or five-star accolades.

If, however, there are two characteristics that stand out and allow Kanonkop to command its status as South Africa’s First Growth, they are consistency and a sense of place.

Kanonkop essentially produces 2 ranges of wine:

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~ The Kanonkop Estate Range ~

  • Wines made in a complex, age-worthy style for extended maturation.
  • Grapes originate solely from older vineyards on the Kanonkop Estate.
  • Manual punch-downs during fermentation.
  • Matured in new French oak barrels for 18 to 24 months.

The ambition to make great wine remains as fervent today as when Kanonkop bottled its maiden estate wine from the 1973 vintage. From the farming of the vineyards, the ethos of traditional old-school winemaking and the quality of new French oak barrels to preparing the wine for bottling, only the best is good enough. The biggest challenge for the winemaker is not to manipulate the wine but to still be able to show the characteristics of that specific vintage 10–20 years later.

One of the features of Kanonkop is a nod towards an old-world, classic pedigree: the ability of its wines to age well. Not merely longevity, but an ability to gain complexity and a spectacular array of nuances as the wine ages in the bottle.

The Estate Range includes:

  • Pinotage
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Paul Sauer
  • Black Label Pinotage
  • **Click here to find out everything there is to know about Kanonkop’s Estate Range

AND

~ The Kanonkop Kadette Range ~

  • Wines made in a softer, fruit forward style for earlier consumption.
  • Grapes originate from dedicated contract growers in the Stellenbosch region.
  • Automated punch-downs during fermentation.
  • Matured in older French oak barrels for 12 months.

By the mid-1980s, Kanonkop was experiencing an ever-growing demand for its estate wines. This had led to new plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. While the new vineyards were a blessing in terms of future increased volumes, the ethos of Kanonkop’s cellar, under Beyers Truter at the time, required that these newer vines reach a certain stage of maturity before the fruit was deemed good enough to be vinified into a wine that portrayed the depth and complexity associated with Kanonkop.

It was Jannie Krige who came up with the idea of making a second label under the name Kadette. The thinking behind the new name was logical: with the military association of ‘kanon’ (cannon) in Kanonkop, the Kadette was deemed a deserved junior to the more senior main brand.

The grapes used in the Kadette range of wines no longer come from the Kanonkop vineyards; the demand is too great and the volume required simply too large. However, every bunch of grapes brought in for the making of Kadette is subjected to the same meticulous processes in the winery as the Estate range.

The Kadette Range includes:

  • Kadette Pinotage Rosé
  • Kadette Cape Blend
  • Kadette Pinotage
  • Kadette Cabernet Sauvignon
  • **Click here to find out everything there is to know about Kanonkop’s Kadette Range

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** Kanonkop Tasting Room **

From the entrance to the farm, the centuries-old oak trees will guide you to the Kanonkop tasting facility and wine cellar. If it is summer (late January to March), you will have the great pleasure of being exposed to the glorious sights, sounds, and smells of the harvest in progress, something no wine enthusiast should miss!

Harvest time is said to be the soul of Kanonkop, this undoubtedly makes it something ALL wine lovers should get to experience at least once in their lives!

The tasting venue is a modern facility where, besides taking the opportunity to sample and purchase Kanonkop wines, you can also watch a video about growing vines and making wine on the Kanonkop farm.

Portraits remind you of the iconic figures: JW Sauer, Paul Sauer, Mary Krige and Jannie Krige.

There is also a line of bottles of Paul Sauer, ranging from the standard 750 milliliters to the 18-litre Mandelazar (as it is known on Kanonkop). If you are interested in geography and geology, the display showcasing the various types of soil found on the farm is worth examining. The bronze bust of Paul Sauer lends a sense of gravitas to the venue.

Kanonkop also has a gift shop with a selection of clothing, art, and souvenirs available for purchase.

If you want to know much more about the history of Kanonkop Wine Estate, the terroir, and the wines, you may prefer a private tasting.

~ What Kanonkop has to offer ~

  • Generous, down-to-earth family and staff hospitality.
  • A modern tasting facility where you can sample and purchase some of the best red wines South Africa has to offer.
  • Spectacular views of the Simonsberg mountain.
  • Free art gallery entrance and self-guided cellar tour.
  • **Note: Kanonkop does not have a restaurant or offer any wine-and-food pairings.

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  • Kanonkop Wine Tasting & Sales Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 09h00 – 17h00 | Saturday: 09h00 – 15h00 | Public Holidays: 10h00 – 16h00 | CLOSED: Sundays, New Years Day, Good Friday & Christmas Day.
  • Contact details: [email protected] | [email protected] | 021 884 4656 | 084 220 3288
  • **For groups of more than 8, please arrange in advance.
  • **Our tasting facilities and bathrooms are wheelchair friendly.
  • **Click here for Kanonkop’s Cellardoor Wine Prices.
  • **Click here for Kanonkop’s selection of Wine Tasting Options & Fees.
  • **Click here to buy any of Kanonkop’s Wines.

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** Kanonkop Private Tasting **

More and more visitors are knowledgeable and want to take their time to learn more about the farm, the soils, where each variety is grown, and about the winemaking process for each wine. Private wine tastings are conducted in the Kanonkop Art Gallery, which is part of the maturation cellar.

If you are part of a larger group, you’ll be accommodated in a room on the first level of the maturation cellar, affectionately known as “Die Klaskamer” (The Classroom). For the devout wine consumers, Kanonkop offers a classroom style set up directed by their knowledgeable staff who eagerly shares with consumers the subtleties and complexities within the wine.

~ Private Wine Tasting Options ~

  • Available Mondays – Fridays, between 9am – 5pm.
  • Bookings are required and are subject to availability.
  • Hosted in a private room with a dedicated tutor | In-depth information shared.

~ Pinotage Wine Tasting ~

  • Kadette Pinotage Dry Rosé
  • Kadette Cape Blend
  • Kadette Pinotage
  • Kanonkop Pinotage
  • Kanonkop Pinotage – 10 years old
  • Black Label Pinotage – current vintage
  • R400 per person or a flat fee of R3500 for a group of 10 -20 people.
  • Tasting fee not refundable upon purchase of wine.

~ Portfolio Wine Tasting ~

  • 3 Kadette range wines
  • 3 Estate range wines
  • An older vintage of 10 years or older of each of the estate wines
  • Black Label Pinotage – current vintage
  • R600 per person or a flat fee of R5000 for a group of 10 -20 people.
  • Tasting fee not refundable upon purchase of wine.

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** Kanonkop Art Gallery **

Wine and art are both commodities with the same intrinsic values – they share the similarities of enjoyment, pleasure, and investment.

The Kanonkop Art Gallery was established in 2008 to pay tribute to Mary Krige’s love for art. “Tannie Mary”, as she was affectionately known, was the mother of current owners Johann and Paul Krige. The gallery serves as a platform for local artists to display their work.

Hosted in one of Kanonkop’s oak maturation cellars and you are most welcome to visit this venture.

  • Open weekdays from 9am – 5pm & Saturday from 9am – 2pm.
  • Free entrance.

#10 Babylonstoren

Top Wine Estates in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Babylonstoren

What if you could actually visit the Garden of Eden? What if it was surrounded by vineyards, historic Cape Dutch farm buildings, and a formal French-style potager garden, where you could pick your own strawberries and fragrant herbs? What if this all existed in one single spectacular destination found in the wonderful & idyllic Cape Winelands? Introducing the one and only Babylonstoren!

Situated in the Drakenstein Valley in the heart of the Cape Winelands, almost halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl, Babylonstoren is as beautiful as they come. Besides being one of the most sought-after wine estates in the Western Cape among both local & international wine lovers, Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms (as it was founded in 1690), set at the foot of the picturesque Simonsberg mountain. Not to mention the fact that Babylonstoren boasts one of the most magnificent gardens in all of the Western Cape, and perhaps South Africa too!

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** Babylonstoren Garden **

At Babylonstoren, in the Drakenstein Valley, 33 miles northeast of Cape Town, the mythical Babylonstoren garden comes to life. Set within 5 hectares (12 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the big garden at Babylonstoren is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. But we also link back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon. Those were thought to have been created by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC, for his wife who longed for the mountains and valleys of her youth.

The beautiful Babylonstoren garden is divided into 15 clusters that comprises of more than 300 varieties of plants, vast vegetable areas, stone and pome fruits, a large assortment of herbs, nuts, citrus, berries, ducks, and chickens as well as bees for pollinating, an abundance of indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, a glorious Green House, towering rose vines, a stunning Succulent House, and SO much more! Gravity feeds water from a stream by rills into the garden, flowing through ponds planted with edible lotus, nymphaea lilies and waterblommetjies.

Every one of the more than 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. The fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants. Along the edge of the garden, a natural stream flows from the Simonsberg Mountain to the Berg River, creating a space for indigenous wild olives to flourish. In their shade a collection of some 7000 clivia lilies explode in a spectacular display every spring.

The farm’s garden is known for its diverse and expansive botanical collections. Babylonstoren as a modern farm includes luxury accommodation, fine food and a curated collection of wines made in the state-of-the-art winery on the property. The magnificent garden remains at its core and every aspect of Babylonstoren is guided by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.

~ Garden Entrance Fees & Operating Hours ~

The garden is open daily, including all public holidays except Christmas Day (25 December). When visitors come to Babylonstoren, whether it’s for lunch, wine tasting, or a garden tour, an entrance fee is required for access to the iconic Babylonstoren garden.

  • Entrance fees: Entrance fees are payable at the ticket office
  • Cost: R100 per adult | Children under 18 enter FREE
  • Babylonstoren Membership: A once-off entry fee allows you to register for Babylonstoren Garden Membership using the free Babylonstoren app. This will give you unlimited admission to Babylonstoren for 12 months. Membership fee R100 per person
  • **Free entry for RHS members
  • **Please note: Closed on Christmas Day
  • **Click here for everything you need to know about Babylonstoren’s Garden Membership, including all the Garden Membership perks!

~ Daily Garden Tour ~

The Daily Garden Tour starts at 10h00 in front of the Farm Shop. One of Babylonstoren’s experienced gardeners will be your guide on this tour, during which guests are strongly encouraged to pick, taste, smell and touch while walking through the vast & breathtaking Babylonstoren garden.

  • Booking: Click here to make an online booking for Babylonstoren’s Daily Garden Tour.
  • Contact details: 021 863 3852 | [email protected].
  • Garden operating hours: Open daily: 9h00 to 18h00 | last entry 17h00 |
    Entry fee payable at the ticket office

~ Special Collections Tour ~

Come on the daily guided walk from Monday to Friday at 11h30, to discover our special collections and meet our expert gardeners. On Mondays & Fridays guests will be taken to see the succulent collection and the cycads next to the stream.  On Tuesdays we go for a walk through the Healing Garden. Wednesdays we share our vegetable gardens and Thursdays are all about bees at Babylonstoren.

  • Booking: Click here to make an online booking for Babylonstoren’s Special Collections Tour.

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** Babylonstoren Wine Tasting & Cellar **

Babylonstoren’s wines are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the soils and climate where their grapes are grown. The Tasting Room sits adjacent to the Wine Cellar, boasting breathtaking views of the conical Babylonstoren hill, Simonsberg, and the Banghoek Mountains.

~ Wine Tasting ~

The cost of wine tasting starts at R110 p.p. for seven wines (Flagship wines can be added to your tasting at an additional cost: Chardonnay R25, Nebukadnesar R30 and Sprankel R40). An express tasting of three wines is also available at R50 p.p. Guests are seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Click here for more information on Babylonstoren’s Wine Tasting options.
  • Click here to view Babylonstoren’s Tasting Room Platter Menu.
  • Click here to view Babylonstoren’s Wine Range.
  • Click here to buy any of Babylonstoren’s selection of wines.

~ Cellar ~

Babylonstoren has approximately 94 hectares (232 acres) under vine & produce 13 different grape varieties, with their highest vines – pinot noir and chardonnay – lying against Simonsberg at some 600 meters above sea level.

Led by cellar master Charl Coetzee and winemaker Klaas Stoffberg, the farm’s 2011 harvest led to the first bottling of wine under the Babylonstoren label.

~ Cellar Tours ~

  • Time: 10h00, 13h00 or 16h00 (duration 2 hours).
  • Cost: R365 per person (includes tasting) | Payment is required to secure your booking.
  • We regret no under 18’s.

~ The Story Of Wine ~

A tale as old as time, told in vivid sensory detail in the farm’s new wine museum, The Story of Wine. The space is a celebration of man’s ingenuity and the earth’s generosity, and the cultural events that have shaped our collective winemaking and wine drinking heritage.

It details the origins, cultivation, and culture behind mankind’s love affair with wine, while encouraging a contemporary narrative of its age-old traditions and social gravitas.

Visit the museum at the entrance to Babylonstoren’s Tasting Room, to your right. The self-guided tour is free to experience and open daily.

~ Franschhoek Wine Tram ~

Tram goers can hop off at Babylonstoren for a wine tasting or daily cellar tour as part of their Franschhoek Wine Tram experience. Babylonstoren forms part of the orange line, which covers 8 wine estates in the picturesque Franschhoek winelands valley.

**The normal entrance fee and costs of wine tastings and cellar tours apply.

**Click here to find out more about the renowned Franschhoek Wine Tram experience as well as to book your spot!