Around Paarl
Close to the ground.



Fairview produced its first wine in 1699 and today produces some of the finest Shiraz in the region. This is a busy estate with guests that come for wine and cheese tastings, and stay to relax and enjoy a meal in the Mediterranean-style restaurant. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a goat or two climbing up the spiral stairway of the multistory shed. Inside the large tasting room is also a cheese and specialty food shop with most products made onsite.


Backsberg is South Africa's first carbon neutral wine estate. In addition to being a socially responsible vineyard, the expansive estate is also home to a restaurant, culinary academy, glassblowing studio and educational Earth Centre. Informal tastings are held in their musty cellar-turned- saleroom and include five wines as well as a sampling of Backsberg's award-winning Sydney Back brandy. Formal guided tastings and cellar tours must be booked in advance.


Boschendal is the second-oldest winery in South Africa, dating back to 1685. While sampling wines in the estate's hydrangea-laden park or touring the expansive grounds, there is no mistaking that the vineyard has had more than 400 years to perfect the wine tasting experience. Boschendal is best known for its Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc, but be sure to try the vineyard's one-of-a-kind Blanc de Noir, a Rosé-like white wine made from red grapes. Cellar and vineyard tours are available if booked in advance (cellar tour Jan-Dec 10:30am & 3pm, vineyard tour only available on advance booking). The classic Cape Dutch complex has two restaurants and can also pack a picnic for you to enjoy beneath one of their massive oaks. A museum built inside an original 1812 manor house displays the highlights of Cape Dutch daily life (R15, 9:30am-5pm).


Seidelberg has a distinct resort-like feel. Visitors can enjoy their wine (and a killer vantage point of the valley below) from deck chairs on an expansive lawn or in the arched-brick cellar. The winery also has a piadina stand, guesthouse and a glassblowing studio and gallery. In addition to offering cellar tours, on nice days visitors can also take a tractor ride to neighboring Fairview (adult R20, child 15).


Laborie is a historic complex of Cape Dutch buildings on the outskirts of Paarl. The tasting room is simple but the window-side tables allow for an idyllic view of the vine-covered valley. Afterwards, stroll through the estate's gardens to the Anglo Boer War monument or head next door to Laborie Restaurant for some South African country fare.


Rhebokskloof has a small tasting center on a beautifully manicured garden oasis surrounded by rolling hills of farmland. But your best bet is to arrange for a luxurious picnic lunch by the lake after you've selected your favorite bottle.

The Victorian Restaurant

The Victorian Restaurant will fill your basket with cheeses, quiche, fresh bread and other delicacies. The restaurant can also wine and dine you on the terrace as you take in the pastoral views. Down the road you can arrange horse or quad bike tours of the countryside.


Nederburg is one of South Africa's most acclaimed vineyards. The scenic grounds offer expansive views of the Drakenstein Mountains and are centered around a historic Cape Dutch manor house, built in 1800 and beautifully maintained. It's the kind of place that makes you want to stay all day. The professional staff will graciously welcome you for a tasting, and picnics are available from November through March (by appointment only). In addition to tasting some of their award-winning wines they also offer goats' milk cheese pairings (R30-R40) and brandy tastings (R20). Cellar tours (R25) start with a sparkling wine and include a 90-minute tour and guided tasting.

Glen Carlou

Glen Carlou has a state of the art tasting center that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the vineyard and mountains. You can walk over the glass floor and peek down into the cellar or visit their dramatic Hess Art Collection filled with evocative sculptures, paintings and installations by South African and international artists. Tastings here are more generous than most vineyards at R25/10 wines. They also have a restaurant that specializes in tender meat dishes including venison and pork belly (11am-3pm Tues-Sun, mains R100). The weekends can get quite busy, so book in advance to ensure a table with a view.

De Leuwenjagt Restaurant

Located on the Seidelberg estate, De Leuwenjagt Restaurant offers breathtaking views of the valley below and delectable Cape Malay curries. Book in advance and ask for a spot on the terrace for one of their sunset dinners.

Laborie Restaurant

Laborie Restaurant offers continental cuisine, South African country favorites and homemade preserves & delicacies from its terrace overlooking the Drakenstein Valley. If you stop by on a chilly afternoon or evening, be sure to ask for a spot in the smaller dining room, which is more intimate than the main restaurant and has a large fireplace to keep you toasty.