Around Stellenbosch
Close to the ground.

Vineyards

Uitkyk

Uitkyk is one of the oldest and largest farms in South Africa with 250 of its 650 hectares producing wine grapes. The flagship wine, Carlonet, has been in production at the estate since 1929. After a remodeling in 2004, the tasting room was moved into the former barn building that was erected in 1712 and portions of the fieldstone wall have been purposely left unrestored. Note that there are seven farms in the Stellenbosch area under the name Uitkyk (panoramic view) - this Uitkyk is located beside the Kononkop Wine Estate that is marked with a large canon beside R44.


Muratie

Muratie is another old farm-turned-winery, and the proprietors of the vineyard milk the antique charm by letting thick cobwebs command much of the cellar and tasting room. In 1927, Muratie was the first South African winery to produce Pinot Noir and with four generations of experience it has only improved. In addition to the historic tasting room, antique wine making equipment, and ducks running on the grounds, there is an exhibit room containing paintings by G.P. Canitz and two selfcatering guest houses.


Simonsig

Simonsig is one of South Africa's top wineries. Sample 30 different varieties in its informal and cleverly decorated tasting centre. Vineyard and cellar tours are available weekdays at 11am and 3pm, advanced booking required.


Jordan

Jordan grows exquisite wines on the rolling hills of its vineyard estate. The panoramic views outside the tasting room let you see from Table Mountain to False Bay. If you like dessert wine, their Mellifera may possibly be one of the best wines you've tasted.

Head southwest out of Stellenbosch on the R310 for roughly 5 km until the R310 and M12 split. Continue straight on the M12 for 800 m and turn right onto Stellenbosch Kloof Rd at the Vlottenburg cash store. Continue 6 km to Jordan.


Tokara

Tokara is a sleek tasting facility and restaurant perched atop the crest of the Helshoogte Pass. Their high-tech winery produces two quality labels - Tokara and Zondernaam - and the floor-to-ceiling views of the Simonsberg Mountains make it one the best places to end your day. Their reds pack quite the punch, but it's the award-winning Tokara Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc that you'll want to take home. The Olive Shed also produces superb oils and olive products that are available for tasting at the winery.


Neethlingshof

Neethlingshof offers an award-winning pinotage among other stunning wines inside a modern tasting room surrounded by a rose garden. The premium Lord Neethling wines come from an area of the estate that implements natural methods to shape the ecosystem. Owl posts are built to attract owls that hunt mice, and caracol (a large wild cat) encourage the natural population control of guinea fowl.


Spier

Spier is more than just a winery. The complex has walking trails, horseback riding, a golf course, shops and a restaurant that can keep you at the estate all day. During the summer, the amphitheater hosts concerts and events. While the estate is touristy, it wins points for its Cheetah Outreach Program, which allows you to interact with the big cats in exchange for a donation towards the program's education and conservation efforts. The selection of wines is also excellent.


Van Ryn's

Van Ryn's takes wines one step further and distills the fermented fruit into award-winning brandies. A visit here is like stepping back in time and into an opulent gentlemen's club. The sophisticated Brand Home perfectly sets the mood for tasting 10-year and 12-year-old vintages. If you are feeling extravagant, go for the brandy, coffee and chocolate tasting which includes the 20-year Collector's Reserve and hand-made Belgian chocolate. Tours allow you to check out the distillery and give you insight into the age-old art of brandy-making and drinking (R35).


Cuvée

The Simonsig estate is also home to Cuvée, a sleek restaurant serving up fruit and vegetable-infused dishes that are both inventive and delicious.