If you are so lucky and have the opportunity to make an excursion to the Winelands during your South Africa trip, you should definitely take the time to explore the Stellenbosch region. Given the many beautiful wineries, the choice is of course difficult. To make the choice a little easier, we have put together a tour that gives you a good overview in one day and offers something for every (wine) taste.
The Stellenbosch region is about 35 minutes away from the International Airport, so if you are staying in Cape Town, you can have a leisurely breakfast before you set off. As most of the wineries are open from 10 am to 5 pm, the starting time for our trip to the Winelands is also 10 am. To ensure that our seven-hour programme remains as relaxed as it begins, we recommend that you do not visit more than four wineries in one day - this leaves plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful landscape and excellent wines in peace and quiet. If you are travelling in pairs, you do not necessarily have to reserve a table in advance for a tasting or a meal in the restaurant, but it does no harm either. So this is what your day in Stellenbosch could look like:
10:00 to 11:30 - Delaire Graff
Start the day with one of the most beautiful and noble vineyards on the Cape: Delaire Graff. If you like it exclusive and luxurious, you are in the right place. The works of art on the walls, the lacquered floors and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views give the Wine Lounge its elegant ambience. This is also where the tasting takes place and you can choose between different tasting options (three to five wines). We recommend tasting four wines, and the Cabernet Franc Rosé is a must. At Delaire Graff, you are lucky enough to be able to choose the wines for the tasting yourself, but you should seek advice from one of the staff. Since they know the wines best, they can choose exactly the wines that suit your preferences and make the tasting a real pleasure. The pleasant atmosphere at the winery also contributes to this, as the tasting takes place on the terrace. From here you have a beautiful - if not the most beautiful - view of the Simonsberg. By the way, it is worth not only looking at the wonderful landscape, but also exploring it on your own, as the winery's gardens in particular are simply breathtaking. So how about a little walk after the tasting? The upper part of the garden is particularly suitable for this, because there you can see the vineyards at close range. If the Delaire Graff Botmaskop is one of your favourite red wines, you should definitely make an excursion to the Botmaskop-Mountain behind the winery, as it gave its name to the popular blend. A leopard has even settled here again. Visitors can also encounter wildcats in the park - albeit in the form of six large statues. Not only nature lovers, but also art lovers get their money's worth at the winery, because the owner Laurence Graff (whose portrait can be seen at the reception) cultivates a special love of art - and this can be admired everywhere on the winery.
© Delaire Graff
11:30 to 13:00 - Tokara
Our next destination is only a stone's throw away. Directly on the opposite side of the Helshoogte street is Tokara, a winery whose view almost surpasses that of Delaire Graff. With an infinite view of Stellenbosch and the winery's olive trees, you can either sit outside or in the air-conditioned tasting room and taste these wonderful wines. You can choose from a range of options from two to four wines (75 to 120 Rand). Our tip: Be sure to try the olive oils. This tasting costs 50 Rand and the view of the olive grove is free of charge. Architecture fans should definitely stop by the foyer. The eye-catcher is an old clock from 1688, which originally came from a French church that the owner of the winery had rebuilt and integrated into the building. From the foyer one can also look directly into the wine cellar and literally take a look behind the scenes.
After all these impressions it is time for a break. For this you now have two options to choose from. Either you spend the lunchtime at the Lanzerac Winery or you drive to Hidden Valley. Maybe your stomach will make the decision if you are very hungry, because the way to Lanzerac is a little shorter. No matter which of the two wineries you choose - it will always be a culinary delight.
13:30 to 15:30 - Option 1: Lanzerac
The short drive of ten minutes is worth it, because this winery delights with excellent wines and a very nice bistro. Freshly fortified with delicious cheese platters, sandwiches or cakes, we recommend a tasting of wines with chocolate afterwards. During this extraordinary tasting you will be surprised how the taste changes or unfolds, depending on which of the five wines you combine with which chocolate. But there is one more wine that you must try before continuing on to the next stop: a Pinotage, because Lanzerac was the first winery in the world to bottle a Pinotage in 1959.
13:30 to 15:30 - Option 2: Hidden Valley
A nice alternative for the lunch break is a stopover at Hidden Valley. Although the drive from Tokara takes about 25 to 30 minutes, the way is a little longer than to Lanzerac, but the beautiful view you have at the end of the long drive from the parking lot compensates it in any case. The winery offers many culinary possibilities. Those who like it a little less complicated should choose the self-service restaurant. Situated on a floating deck on a pond, one can enjoy burgers, pizza and co. surrounded by beautiful nature. Those who prefer to dine a little more upscale are right in the Overture Restaurant. However, in the award-winning restaurant with modern South African cuisine you should rather book in advance.
© Lanzerac © Hidden Valley
After some refreshment we are now on our way to our last stop on this day. Our destination: The Spier Winery. On the way you can take a short hike of about one and a half kilometres on the adjacent Nature Trail. With a bit of luck you will see some beautiful wild flowers as well as one or the other wild animal. By the way, the hike is suitable for everyone, even families with children will find the trail easy to follow.
16:00 to 18:00 - Spier
Regardless of whether you set off from Lanzerac or Hidden Valley, you can reach Spier in 15 to 20 minutes by car. As the winery is on the way back to Cape Town, it is the ideal place to end a day in Stellenbosch - preferably with a glass of wine at a nice tasting on the balcony overlooking the water. If you have not tried Wine & Chocolate Pairing at Lanzerac before, you will have the opportunity to experience how wine and chocolate harmonise with each other during a tasting. Among the various tasting options, you are sure to find one that suits you. After the tasting, it's definitely worthwhile staying at the winery and strolling through art exhibitions, craft markets, gardens and shops. In the main building there is a nice shop where you can find souvenirs for family and friends and in a small shop you can buy cold drinks and snacks before returning to the hotel. Our tip: Stay for dinner after all and let the eventful day in Stellenbosch end at the Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery (open from 6 pm).