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Stellenbosch Best Wineries: Ultimate Guide

Every wine enthusiast cherishes the fantasy of enjoying the quintessential glass of wine, surrounded by breathtaking vineyard views. Trust us, we get it – with Stellenbosch's seemingly infinite options, you might feel like a kid

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Every wine enthusiast cherishes the fantasy of enjoying the quintessential glass of wine, surrounded by breathtaking vineyard views. Trust us, we get it – with Stellenbosch’s seemingly infinite options, you might feel like a kid in a candy store, totally overwhelmed. After extensive research, we’re dishing out our insider guide to the most exquisite wineries this famed South African region has to offer. In summary, among the best wineries in Stellenbosch, Delaire Graff Estate stands out as a premier destination, offering a luxurious retreat with a splendid garden and a renowned restaurant. Waterford Estate, in the picturesque Blaauwklippen Valley, is our favorite for its exceptional single vineyard wines, creating one of the world’s most visually arresting pockets of paradise. Tokara Wine Estate, known for its picturesque setting, exquisite wines, and premium olive oils, provided a sensory delight for visitors. Spier Wine Farm is a multifaceted experience, with immersive farm-to-table offerings, a variety of picnic options, and a range of activities on the farm, including a hotel that encapsulates the rich history of the estate which we simply adored. Jordan Wine Estate offers an off-the-grid fine dining experience, complemented by breathtaking views, making it a must-visit destination for every wine enthusiast visiting Stellenbosch.

History of South African Wines

The story of South African wines is a compelling narrative that weaves together centuries of tradition, innovation, challenges, and triumphs.

Roots in the Cape

The history of South African wines begins with the arrival of European settlers, particularly the Dutch East India Company, in the mid-17th century. Jan van Riebeeck, a Dutchman, established a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. Recognizing the potential for viticulture in the region, the settlers planted vines to supply passing ships with fresh produce. These early attempts laid the groundwork for what would become one of the world’s most intriguing wine regions.

Huguenots and the Expansion of Vineyards

The arrival of French Huguenots in the late 17th century played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of South African winemaking. Fleeing religious persecution, these skilled winemakers brought expertise and new grape varieties to the Cape, elevating the quality of South African wines. Chenin Blanc, known locally as Steen, became a prominent grape, establishing itself as a cornerstone of the country’s viticultural identity.

The Rise of Constantia Wine

By the 18th century, Constantia wine, produced in the region now known as Cape Town, gained international acclaim. Favored by European royalty and aristocracy, Constantia wine became synonymous with luxury and refinement. However, the 19th century brought challenges such as phylloxera, economic downturns, and political upheaval, leading to a decline in South Africa’s wine industry.

The Post-Apartheid Renaissance

With the dismantling of apartheid in the early 1990s, South Africa’s wine industry entered a new era. Embracing democracy, winemakers experienced a surge in creativity and innovation. The industry witnessed a revival of interest in indigenous grape varieties, sustainable farming practices, and a focus on quality over quantity.

Global Recognition and New Horizons

In recent decades, South African wines have earned global recognition and have secured its position as the eighth-largest wine-producing country. The focal point of production predominantly lies in the Western Cape province, specifically around Cape Town, encompassing regions such as Constantia, Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Worcester.


Winemakers have experimented with new grape varieties, blending traditions with modern techniques. Chenin Blanc remains a standout, alongside Shiraz, Pinotage, and Sauvignon Blanc. The diverse terroirs, ranging from the coastal regions to the high-altitude vineyards, contribute to the unique flavor profiles of South African wines.


For those eager to delve deeper into the South African wine country and scene, visit our article that extensively covers this captivating topic. Or head directly to uncover the best wine tours in South Africa.

The Importance of Stellenbosch 

Delaire Graff Estate panoramic view

Photo credit: Delaire Graff Estate

We discovered that Stellenbosch’s role was more than just historical; it evolved into the heart of South Africa’s wine production. This picturesque town, surrounded by vineyards and mountains, has emerged as a hub of intellectual, economic, and cultural significance. With its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, the region fostered ideal conditions for grape growing.


Stellenbosch, established by Simon van der Stel, the governor of the Cape Colony, in 1679, quickly rose as a pivotal town shaping this fledgling industry. The town’s diverse economic activities, including agriculture, viticulture, technology, and tourism enhance its global reputation as a premier destination. And today, its colonial-era architecture and oak-lined avenues transport visitors back in time.


The verdant landscapes surrounding Stellenbosch are adorned with vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest wines. The Stellenbosch Wine Route, one of the oldest in the country, winds its way through picturesque vineyards, offering visitors the chance to sample a variety of award-winning wines.

What is Stellenbosch famous for?

Stellenbosch is famous for its academic excellence, wine farms and wine production, Cape Dutch architecture, innovation and technology, cultural events, oenological research, economic contributions, and cultural and historical attractions. Here are some of the key reasons why Stellenbosch is renowned in greater details:


  • Stellenbosch University: Stellenbosch is home to one of South Africa’s leading universities, Stellenbosch University. Established in 1866, it is renowned for its academic excellence and has gained international recognition for its research contributions. The university has played a crucial role in shaping the intellectual landscape of the country.
  • Wine and Viticulture: Stellenbosch is at the heart of the Cape Winelands, and its vineyard-covered landscapes produce some of the world’s finest wines. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is famous for its picturesque vineyards and wine estates, attracting wine enthusiasts from around the globe. The region’s wine industry is known for its diversity, quality, and innovation.
  • Cape Dutch Architecture: The town is characterized by its well-preserved Cape Dutch architecture, reflecting its colonial history. Charming buildings with distinctive gables and thatched roofs contribute to the town’s unique aesthetic. Stellenbosch’s historic center, with its oak-lined streets, showcases this architectural heritage. Here are some of the best tour activities around Stellenbosch.
  • Innovation and Technology: Stellenbosch has emerged as a hub for innovation and technology. The Stellenbosch Innovation District is a collaborative space for research institutions, startups, and tech companies. The town’s commitment to fostering innovation has led to advancements in various fields, including biotechnology, information technology, and sustainable development.
  • Cultural Events and Festivals: The town hosts various cultural events and festivals that draw visitors and participants from near and far. The Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival is a prominent event that celebrates classical music, bringing together musicians from around the world. The annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival is another highlight, showcasing the region’s diverse wines.
  • Oenological Research and Education: Stellenbosch is a center for oenological research and education, contributing to advancements in winemaking techniques and grape cultivation. The Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University is globally respected for its research in the wine and grape industry.
  • Economic and Business Hub: The town plays a significant role in South Africa’s economic landscape. Its diverse economic activities, including agriculture, technology, and tourism, contribute substantially to the nation’s GDP. Stellenbosch has become a magnet for businesses and entrepreneurs seeking a conducive environment for growth.
  • Cultural and Historical Museums: Stellenbosch boasts several museums that showcase its cultural and historical heritage. The Stellenbosch Village Museum provides insights into the town’s past, while the Sasol Art Museum features a rich collection of South African artworks.

What wines is Stellenbosch famous for?

The Western Cape, home to well-known areas like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Constantia, produces a wide range of varietals, from bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage to crisp whites like Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. The Cape Winelands, with its picturesque landscapes, has become a global destination for wine enthusiasts.

Pinotage: A Unique South African Signature

No exploration of Stellenbosch’s wines would be complete without mentioning Pinotage, South Africa’s unique contribution to the world of wine. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, Pinotage thrives in Stellenbosch’s terroir, producing medium to full-bodied wines with notes of moorland fruits, including blackberries and bilberries. Additionally, subtle flavors such as raspberries, purple plums, and hints of salami and leather can be present, especially in wines aged in oak. The region benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate, particularly in sub-regions like Simonsberg. Producers like Kanonkop and Beyerskloof have elevated Pinotage to an art form, earning acclaim for their dedication to this indigenous grape.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The King of Stellenbosch Wines

Stellenbosch is internationally acclaimed for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. The region’s well-drained soils, coupled with the moderating influence of the nearby ocean, create an ideal environment for cultivating this noble grape variety. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by its bold structure, deep color, and complex flavors that often include blackcurrant, plum, and subtle hints of eucalyptus. Iconic estates like Kanonkop and Rust en Vrede consistently produce Cabernet Sauvignon wines that rival some of the finest in the world.

Chenin Blanc: A Stellenbosch Specialty

While Cabernet Sauvignon may reign supreme, Stellenbosch has also carved a niche for itself with Chenin Blanc, a white grape variety that thrives in the region’s Mediterranean climate. Known locally as Steen, Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc wines are celebrated for their versatility and vibrant acidity. Producers such as Ken Forrester and Raats Family Wines showcase the diversity of Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc, ranging from crisp, citrusy expressions to more complex, barrel-aged styles.

Sauvignon Blanc: A Crisp Expression of Stellenbosch Terroir

Stellenbosch’s Sauvignon Blanc offerings provide a refreshing counterpoint to its red wine prowess. The region’s cooler pockets allow for the cultivation of Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant acidity, citrus notes, and a pronounced minerality. Producers like Neil Ellis and Delaire Graff showcase the diversity and quality of Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc.

Syrah/Shiraz: Expressing Stellenbosch Terroir

Syrah, often referred to as Shiraz in South Africa, has found a second home in Stellenbosch. The region’s diverse terroirs, ranging from the warmer, inland areas to the cooler maritime-influenced zones, allow for the production of Syrah wines with distinct characters. Stellenbosch Syrah is known for its deep color, spicy notes, and a robust palate that can exhibit flavors of oriental spice notes, dark fruit complexity, and a distinct elegance. Standout examples from estates like Kruger Family Reserve Shiraz, Thelema and Waterford Estate showcase the prowess of Stellenbosch in crafting world-class Syrah.

Bordeaux Blends: Crafting Harmony in Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is synonymous with Bordeaux-style blends, combining classic grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The region’s winemakers skillfully blend these varietals to create wines of exceptional balance and complexity. Prominent examples like Meerlust’s Rubicon and Warwick Estate’s Trilogy highlight the artistry involved in crafting Bordeaux blends that reflect both the terroir and the winemaker’s vision.

MCC or Méthode Cap Classique: Effervescent Elegance

Stellenbosch’s prowess extends to sparkling wines, particularly Méthode Cap Classique (MCC). This traditional method of sparkling wine production has gained popularity, with estates like Simonsig and Villiera crafting MCC that rivals some of the finest sparkling wines globally. These effervescent delights captivate with their fine bubbles, complexity, and a crisp, lingering finish.

Planning Your Visit to Stellenbosch Wineries

Stellenbosch vineyards

Photo credit: Stellenbosch by Nenad Gataric, Unsplash

Navigating the landscapes of Stellenbosch’s wine country requires a bit of foresight, but trust us, every sip and scenic vista is worth the prep – keep reading to unlock the secrets for an unforgettable winery hop.

The best time to visit

For a truly unforgettable wine-tasting experience, we plan our visits to Stellenbosch during the summer. The weather is perfect with hot dry days that are ideal for exploring the vineyards and sipping on sauvignon blanc under the sun. Those scorching summers give us long, warm evenings to enjoy outdoor dining paired with exquisite Cape blends.


Our tip? Aim to catch those sunny months between November and March when we can fully embrace the Mediterranean climate that nurtures Stellenbosch’s renowned viticulture. We stroll through the lush rows of vines without a winter chill or spring rain dampening our spirits—and the grapes are flourishing before harvest time.


However, for a more intimate experience and the opportunity to witness the winemaking process firsthand, consider visiting during the harvest season in late summer or early autumn (February to April).

Crafting Your Itinerary

With numerous wineries dotting the Stellenbosch landscape, creating a well-thought-out itinerary is key to maximizing your experience. Research the diverse offerings of wineries, from boutique family-owned estates to larger, internationally acclaimed vineyards. Consider including a mix of established favorites and hidden gems to explore the full spectrum of Stellenbosch’s wine portfolio.

How many days you’ll need

Once you’ve picked the perfect season to sip and savor Stellenbosch’s finest, you might wonder just how much time to set aside for this wine adventure. We suggest dedicating at least three full-day itineraries to fully immerse yourself in the wine-tasting experience offered by Stellenbosch’s renowned wineries.


This allows plenty of room not only for leisurely visits to various wine estates but also for indulging in exquisite food pairings without rushing through the bouquet of flavors. With several days at your disposal, you can dive deep into the world of red wine varieties like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignons or explore white wines including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Semillon.


Allocate time to wander through vineyards adorned with Cape Dutch architecture, learn about traditional winemaking methods, and delight your senses with blends perfected over generations. Each day becomes a chance to uncover new aromas, engage with passionate vintners, and forge unforgettable memories amidst the rolling hills of this picturesque landscape.


Explore excellent opportunities for two-day for first-timers or one-day itineraries if you have limited time to spare.

Making reservations

We’ve learned the hard way that securing a spot at Stellenbosch’s sought-after wineries isn’t something to leave to chance! To guarantee our place for wine tastings and tours, we always book in advance—especially during peak seasons when vineyards like Waterford Estate or Delaire Graff are buzzing with fellow wine enthusiasts.


We check out each winery’s social media platforms or give them a call, ensuring we don’t miss out on their unique offerings, from barrel aging experiences to delicate rosé sips under the South African sun.


As evening draws near and it’s time to swap our wine glasses for dinner plates, making reservations becomes just as crucial. Places like De Zeven Guest Lodge not only provide luxurious accommodations but also help us plan by recommending top-notch restaurants where we can indulge in exquisite wine pairings.


They assist with setting up these reservations so that after a day of exploring the best Stellenbosch has to offer, we relax knowing our table is waiting amidst the scenic beauty of this vibrant town.

Transportation between wineries

Getting around Stellenbosch wineries is a breeze with options like buses, car tours, or adventure, private and luxury tours at your fingertips. Hopping from one wine farm to another is convenient and stress-free, so you don’t miss out on any of the world-class wines that this region offers. Arrange for a tour from your smartphone and let the day’s adventure unfold seamlessly as you move between vineyards under the warm South African sun.


For those looking for an organized experience, we recommend private wine tours or full-day excursions. These tours are not only about transportation; they enhance your visit by offering expert insights into each unique wine farm and its offerings. The convenience of pre-planned routes lets you indulge in tastings to your heart’s content without worrying about navigating back to Cape Town after a delightful but potentially indulgent day.

Top 5 Stellenbosch Wineries to Visit

We’re heading to the heart of South African wine country, where the vineyards tell a story and each glass is an adventure. Whether you’re in for robust reds or crisp whites, these top five Stellenbosch wineries are destinations that should top any wine enthusiast’s list. Let’s uncover the details of what makes each wine farm and wine estate unique and unforgettable.

Waterford Estate

Panoramic image of Waterford Estate

Photo credit: Waterford Estate

Located on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Blaauwklippen Valley, Waterford Estate offers a harmonious blend of old-world charm and modern innovation. Stepping onto the estate feels like entering a Mediterranean haven, where stone-cobbled courtyards lead us to tastings under ancient citrus trees.


The estate specializes in creating experiences that go beyond the palate; think wine safari adventures through vineyards or chocolate pairing sessions. Here, we savor the fruits of their labor with an array of single-varietal wines that truly capture the essence of this sun-kissed region.

History and Background

The estate was established in 1998 by Jeremy Ord, a London-based businessman, and Kevin Arnold, a skilled winemaker. Their vision was to create a world-class winery that combined traditional winemaking practices with innovative techniques. Kevin Arnold played a pivotal role in shaping the identity of Waterford Estate. Before co-founding the estate, he gained winemaking experience at various notable wineries, including Delaire Graff Estate and Rust en Vrede. His expertise and passion for winemaking became integral to the success of Waterford Estate.

Notable Wines

Over the years, Waterford Estate has garnered acclaim for its exceptional wines. The estate offers a range of notable wines, including the flagship blend, “The Jem,” Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Noir Single Vineyard, and Chardonnay Single Vineyard. Waterford Estate’s Grenache Noir is described as classical in style, and their single vineyard wines, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, showcase the region’s unique terroir. The Waterford Estate Chardonnay is produced from a special vineyard planted in 1988, making it one of the oldest Chardonnay vineyards. Their Kevin Arnold Shiraz, on the other hand, is a revelation—an expressive testament to both terroir and craftsmanship.


The winery has consistently received recognition both locally and internationally for the quality of its wines and its commitment to environmental sustainability. It’s no surprise that Waterford has cemented its place among the top destinations for our wine journey in South Africa.

Tasting Experience

The estate offers a variety of wine experiences, including tastings of their summer-style wines and a sensational Wine and Chocolate Taste Adventure. In addition to the cellar door experiences, they offer two vineyard experiences: the Wine Drive Safari and Porcupine Trail Walk. Visitors can explore the vineyards and gain insights into the winemaking process through guided tours. Waterford Estate’s commitment to environmental stewardship aligns with its inclusion in the Wine Tourism category, winning accolades globally.


At Waterford Estate, we savor the lush views of Table Mountain from our garden patio, a serene spot that’s perfect for unwinding. Every visit feels special with their character-filled cellar tastings, where each sip comes with a story. We also can’t get enough of the culinary delights at Waterford’s on-site restaurant – Salt, that provides an idyllic setting for long, leisurely lunches in the Winelands, offering a perfect complement to the wine-tasting experience. Their menu offers irresistible options like Springbok carpaccio and hearty lamb shank which are perfect complements to the estate’s wines.


Don’t miss out on their unique cupcake and dessert wine pairings — they’re a delightful twist on traditional winetasting experiences that will satisfy your sweet tooth while expanding your palate!

Waterford Estate Operating Hours



Wine Tasting: open daily 10 am to 5 pm.SALT Restaurant: open Tue to Sun 11.30 am-3.30 pm.
High Tea: available Jun to Sep, Sat & Sun only at 3 pm (pre-booking required 24 hours in advance).
Summer Picnics: available Sat & Sun, Oct to May only, between 11 am-2 pm. Pre-booking essential.Live Music: on special events or concert days. Please check with the estate for details.

Wine Drive Safari: on application (bookings required a week in advance).
Porcupine Trail Walk: on application (bookings required a week in advance).

Please note: The information regarding times, prices, and facilities is subject to change. We advise verifying the most up-to-date details directly with the farm and considering pre-booking experiences whenever feasible to prevent any potential disappointment.

Delaire Graff Estate

Image of Wine tasting at Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch

Photo credit: Wine tasting at Delaire Graff Estate

We can’t help but be in awe as we step into Delaire Graff Estate, where luxury lodges meet modern conveniences amidst an art lover’s paradise. The estate is adorned with exquisite paintings and sculptures that add to the vibrant beauty of its lush botanical gardens.

History and Background

Delaire Graff Estate is a luxurious retreat in the Cape Winelands. Acquired in 2003 by Laurence Graff, the visionary Chairman of Graff Diamonds International, the estate has been transformed into a premier destination for art, hospitality, and wine. The property has 17 exclusive luxury lodges, each designed for relaxation and intimacy, offering ultimate privacy amidst botanical gardens and vineyards. Imagine sipping on some of the finest wines from their luxury and iconic ranges while lounging in the stylish Wine Lounge or basking under the sun on a garden patio that offers spectacular views of Table Mountain.

Notable Wines

While specific preferences for the “best” wines can vary based on individual taste, Delaire Graff Estate is known for producing a range of high-quality and award-winning South African wines. Some of their notable wine offerings include:


  • Delaire Graff Laurence Graff Reserve Red: This Bordeaux-style red blend often receives acclaim for its complexity, rich flavors, and well-integrated tannins.
  • Delaire Graff Botmaskop: A red blend showcasing the estate’s diverse vineyards, Botmaskop is celebrated for its balance, structure, and layers of fruit flavors.
  • Delaire Graff Banghoek Chardonnay: This white wine is praised for its elegance, vibrant acidity, and notes of citrus and tropical fruit, reflecting the characteristics of the Banghoek Valley.
  • Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon: Known for its depth and intensity, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Delaire Graff Estate often exhibits dark fruit flavors, well-integrated oak, and a lingering finish.
  • Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc: The Chenin Blanc offers a refreshing and crisp profile, showcasing the estate’s commitment to crafting high-quality white wines.

Tasting and Stay Experience

Delaire Graff Estate offers an experience that blends exceptional wines with culinary excellence. Here we find ourselves surrounded by stunning views that could easily steal hours from our day, just taking it all in.


Our taste buds are always in for a treat at Delaire Graff’s restaurants, where Afro-Asian fusion meets contemporary bistro flair. Picture yourself enjoying delicate Springbok carpaccio or tender lamb shank paired perfectly with their exceptional wines. They offer an a la carte menu, plus changing lunch and dinner set menus. Explore the latest offerings and prices on the website, as menus evolve with the seasons.


Dining at the estate’s Indochine restaurant elevates our visit to new heights; each dish from the a la carte menu pairs harmoniously with their carefully crafted wines. Alternatively, try one of their special set menus – refer to the website for the latest offerings. It stands out as an ideal spot whether we’re longing for a romantic evening or simply yearning to unwind amongst some of South Africa’s finest vinicultural delights. Explore Cellar Tour options, private dining, and events, or indulge in the Delaire Graff Spa.


For an all-encompassing experience, Delaire Graff Estate offers luxurious accommodations, complemented by a communal 22m pool and a light-filled gym.

Delaire Graff Estate Operating Hours



Wine Tasting: open daily 10 am-5 pm. On Fri & Sat open until 8 pm for wines by the glass or bottle. Please note wine tasting is first come, first served.

Indochine Restaurant: open daily, seating for lunch 12.30 pm-2 pm & dinner 4 pm-8 pm (7 pm for certain set menus).
Delaire Graff Restaurant: open daily for lunch 12 pm-2 pm & Tue to Sat for dinner, seating 6 pm-8 pm.

Cellar Tours: available daily, subject to availability.

Estate Gardens: open daily 9 am-7 pm.
Delaire Graff Spa: open daily 9 am-6 pm.

Graff Boutique: open daily 10 am-5 pm (Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat till 8 pm).
100% Capri Boutique: open daily 9.30 am-5 pm (Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat till 8 pm).
Africa Nova Boutique: open daily 10 am-8.30 pm.


Please note: The information regarding times, prices, and facilities is subject to change. We advise verifying the most up-to-date details directly with the farm and considering pre-booking experiences whenever feasible to prevent any potential disappointment.

Tokara Wine Estate

Tokara Wine Estate

Photo credit: Tokara Wine Estate

Perched atop the rolling hills of Stellenbosch, we find Tokara Wine Estate, a beacon for both the eye and the palate. With its sleek modern architecture and breathtaking views, this estate is more than just a destination; it’s an experience.

History and Background

Established in 1994 by GT and Anne-Marie Ferreira, initially as a family home, it has evolved into a destination known for its exceptional wines, olive oil, and a picturesque restaurant. Originally, the couple purchased the farm on the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountain with the intention of building a family home surrounded by beautiful old trees. The name “TOKARA” was chosen for the estate, derived from the names of their children, Thomas and Kara.

Notable Wines

We tour through their renowned art collection before diving into tastings. The wines are a reflection of the region’s rich terroir – think bold reds and complex whites that tell the story of South Africa with every sip. The estate’s commitment to quality is evident in its diverse range of award-winning wines, with offerings such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.


Venturing further into Tokara, it’s apparent why their Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage are among Stellenbosch’s finest offerings. This modern winery doesn’t only cater to adult aficionados but also welcomes families looking for a rich experience – complete with great wines, scrumptious olive oil tastings, and fresh meals straight from the estate’s gardens to your plate.

Tasting Experience

The Tokara Restaurant, opened in 2001, offers a culinary experience complemented by spectacular views.As we explore Tokara Wine Estate, we’re greeted with a stunning tasting room that boasts an array of beautiful sculptures. It’s not just about the wine; this place is a feast for the eyes as well.


You’ll find top-notch experiences here that include pools and farm-to-table dining options where the food is just as impressive as the wines. They have set the bar high in Stellenbosch, turning wine tasting into an art form with their blend of good taste and aesthetic appeal.


Our journey through Tokara doesn’t stop at wine though. This estate also offers an impressive olive oil tasting, showcasing another facet of their agricultural prowess. Surrounded by stunning sculptures and sweeping vineyard vistas, we savor each drop of these liquid treasures.


Nestled on a hillside since its first vines took root in the mid-90s, each view from Tokara sweeps across vine-laced slopes, painting a picture-perfect backdrop to every sip you take.

Tokara Wine Estate Operating Hours



Wine Tasting:  Monday to Sunday 10 am- 6 pm. Last setting is 5:30 pm.

Restaurant: open daily, seating for lunch 12 pm-3 pm & dinner 6 pm- 9 pm.
Delicatessen: Monday to Sunday Breakfast 9 am – 11:30 am; Lunch, seating 12 pm- 3:30 pm.

Cellar Tours: available daily, subject to availability.


Please note: The information regarding times, prices, and facilities is subject to change. We advise verifying the most up-to-date details directly with the farm and considering pre-booking experiences whenever feasible to prevent any potential disappointment.

Spier Wine Farm

Image of Spier Wine Farm

Photo credit: Spier Wine Farm

We can’t miss Spier Wine Farm on our tour of Stellenbosch’s best wineries. This gem is famous for its superb wines, and at their Tasting Room, we’ll get to indulge in tastings and pairings that showcase the estate’s finest.

History and Background

Spier Wine Farm, established in 1692, holds a significant place in South Africa’s winemaking heritage. Situated in Stellenbosch, it was one of the earliest farms established in the region. The farm’s historical importance is reflected in its restored Manor House, a collection of Cape Dutch gables (more than any other farm in the country), and South Africa’s oldest dated wine cellar.


With roots dating back to the 17th century, Spier has been a pioneer in the Stellenbosch wine region. The farm is characterized by its commitment to preserving Cape Dutch architecture, creating a unique and authentic experience for visitors.


The meticulous restoration of its Cape Dutch buildings and the incorporation of contemporary elements showcase a commitment to both tradition and innovation. The farm’s dedication to sustainable practices is evident in its extensive gardens, old oak trees, and a contemporary tasting center that operates with a focus on environmental responsibility.

Notable Wines

Their award-winning selection promises an exquisite sip every time. While specific vintages may vary, here are some notable wines associated with Spier:


  • Creative Block Range: Spier’s Creative Block wines are a standout collection, featuring blends crafted from carefully selected grape varieties. Each wine in this range is labeled with a specific number, representing the unique blend created by Spier’s winemakers.
  • 21 Gables Range: The 21 Gables wines are a premium selection that pays homage to the numerous gables adorning Spier’s historic buildings. This range often includes elegant and expressive wines, reflecting the farm’s commitment to quality winemaking.
  • Signature Range: The Signature Range from Spier represents a selection of classic varietals, showcasing the estate’s expertise in producing high-quality, single-varietal wines. These wines often express the distinctive characteristics of the Stellenbosch terroir.
  • Creative Block 3: Creative Block 3 is a specific wine within the Creative Block range, known for its unique blend. It typically combines three grape varieties to create a harmonious and well-balanced wine with complexity and depth.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Spier’s Sauvignon Blanc is often celebrated for its crisp acidity, vibrant citrus flavors, and refreshing character. This white wine is a popular choice, especially in South Africa’s warm climate.

Tasting and Stay Experience

Imagine staying at the Spier Hotel and Wine Farm accommodation with its sumptuous rooms and soothing spa – pure bliss after a day among the vines. Or relax on the garden patio, drink in hand, with Table Mountain as our backdrop. And let’s not forget to revel in nature’s beauty at the Elemental Play Garden—a space that brings water, air, fire, and earth together through local flora.


At Spier Wine Farm, we dive into a rich experience with an expansive selection of wines carefully cultivated in the Stellenbosch wine region. The farm’s reputation shines through its range of single-variety wines and blends, each offering a unique profile to satisfy both seasoned connoisseurs and newcomers alike.


Our kid-friendly tastings allow for family getaways where even the little ones feel included. Not only does your palate venture through vineyards with every sip, but you can also enjoy sumptuous cheese platters specially paired to enhance the flavors.


Experience farm-to-plate dining at Adas Smokehouse & Bakery, renowned as one of Stellenbosch’s top bakeries. Enjoy both indoor and outdoor seating with picturesque views, creating an ideal setting for families with energetic kids.


For a quick bite or a personalized picnic, visit the Farm Café amidst the scenic Werf and outdoor spaces. Revel in al fresco seating with views of lawns and oak trees. Or opt for Spier’s Gourmet Picnics for a farm-fresh adventure. Grab your picnic, choose a relaxing spot—whether on the grass, by the dam, or under oak trees. Their picnics, including seasonal and vegetarian options, showcase locally sourced, organic produce whenever possible.


Our visit wouldn’t be complete without exploring beyond the tasting rooms – adventure awaits those eager for more thrilling encounters right on the estate. From Eagle Encounters, Segway tours, self-guided Heritage Walk, or indulging in Spier Spa, there is something remarkable for every thrill-seeker.


For those seeking serenity, art galleries and markets brim with creativity and one-of-a-kind finds that reflect the vibrant culture surrounding Spier. With excellent wine advisors at hand, every moment becomes a learning opportunity filled with discovery and delight.

Spier Wine Farm Operating Hours



Wine Tasting: open daily 10 am-4.30 pm.

Spier Farm Café: open daily 9am-5pm.
Hotel Restaurant: open daily 7.30 am-9.30 pm (pre-booking recommended).
Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery: open daily 9 am-5 pm, dinner Fri & Sat 5 pm-8 pm.

Picnics: available daily between Sep -Apr (pre-booking required).
Live Music: available Fridays at 5 pm between Oct-Mar (pre-booking recommended).

Eagle Encounters: open Tue to Sun 9.30 am-5 pm.
Segway Tours: open Wed to Sun & public holidays, times vary (pre-booking essential).
Weekend Craft Market: open Fri to Sun between Sep-Apr, 10 am-4.30 pm (weather permitting).

Spier Spa: open daily 8am-7pm.


Please note: The information regarding times, prices, and facilities is subject to change. We advise verifying the most up-to-date details directly with the farm and considering pre-booking experiences whenever feasible to prevent any potential disappointment.

Jordan Wine Estate

Image of Jordan Wine Estate

Photo credit: Jordan Wine Estate

Among rolling hills with panoramic views, we find Jordan Wine Estate calling to us with its rich history and premium wines. This acclaimed spot has earned its place among the best, blending time-honored winemaking techniques with innovative practices.

History and Background

Jordan Wine Estate has a rich history rooted in the picturesque Stellenbosch wine region of South Africa. The estate was established in 1982 by Gary and Kathy Jordan, who were driven by a passion for winemaking and a commitment to producing exceptional wines. The Jordans come from a family with a long history of farming in the region, and their venture into winemaking marked a significant chapter in the family legacy.

Notable Wines

Jordan Wine Estate is known for its focus on producing classic Bordeaux-style wines, with an emphasis on varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The estate’s philosophy revolves around balance, elegance, and the expression of the terroir in each bottle. It’s easy to lose track of time as each glass reveals a new layer of complexity that Jordan is known for, making this destination not only a feast for our palates but also for our senses.

Tasting Experience

We can’t resist sharing our experience at Jordan Wine Estate, where the garden patio offers a stunning view of Table Mountain. It’s an unforgettable sight! The estate’s cellar is brimming with character, making wine tastings feel like a journey through history and flavor.


You’ll find us lounging here after exploring the vineyards, sipping on a glass of their finest while soaking in the serene beauty. To fully capture the essence of the Jordan terroir, the Reserve Tasting presents an exquisite selection, featuring the Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs, the renowned Nine Yards Chardonnay, the sophisticated Cobblers Hill Bordeaux Blend, and the exquisite Sophia.


At their on-site restaurant, treat yourself to culinary delights like Springbok carpaccio or a hearty lamb shank. And for something truly unique? Try their cupcake and dessert wine pairings—each bite is an adventure in taste that complements their diverse range of wines perfectly.


Exploring Jordan Wine Estate reveals new surprises around each corner: from informal underground cellar tours to moments of peace within their spacious gardens or staying in one of Jordan’s suites against the backdrop of breathtaking mountain vistas.

Jordan Wine Estate Operating Hours



Wine Tasting at The Cellar Door: available daily, 9.30-4.30 pm.

Food at The Cellar Door: all-day menu available daily 8 am-4.30 pm (kitchen closes 3 pm). Platters are available 11 am-4 pm.

Jordan Restaurant: open for lunch Wed to Sun 12 pm-3 pm, dinner Fri & Sat 6.30 pm onwards.

Picnics: available year-round, from 12.30 pm-4 pm (48 hours notice required).

Tours: on application (please contact the Estate).


Please note: The information regarding times, prices, and facilities is subject to change. We advise verifying the most up-to-date details directly with the farm and considering pre-booking experiences whenever feasible to prevent any potential disappointment.

Exploring the Stellenbosch Culinary Scene

Our journey through Stellenbosch isn’t complete without diving into its vibrant culinary scene. Imagine sitting at a rustic table surrounded by vineyards, savoring farm-to-table dishes. From traditional Cape Malay dishes to contemporary fusion creations, Stellenbosch’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavors.


Chefs in this region artistically blend traditional methods and modern twists, creating an unforgettable dining experience for us. Pair succulent lamb shanks or freshly baked bread with a glass of Pinotage while soaking up the views of rolling hills and lush estates.


We find ourselves indulging in more than just world-class wines; the food here tells its own story. From gourmet restaurants to cozy bistros, each stop offers something unique. Think cheese platters matched with the perfect Blanc de Blancs or exploring local markets for artisanal treats.


The Stellenbosch Street Soirees, held during the summer months, offer a unique opportunity for locals and tourists alike to sample delicious street food and wines from local producers. This lively event captures the essence of Stellenbosch’s food culture, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate the region’s gastronomic delights.


Culinary and food tours guide our palates through a spectrum of tastes, from smoked meats to handcrafted chocolates – all reflecting the rich heritage and diverse landscapes of Stellenbosch.

Where to Stay in Stellenbosch

In Stellenbosch, we’re spoiled for choice with places to rest after a day of wine tasting. Cozy up in accommodations that range from luxury estates to quaint bed and breakfasts.


  • Stay close to popular attractions at boutique hotels or cottages that put you right in the heart of Stellenbosch’s charm. We recommend Bonne Esperance Boutique Guest House.
  • For those who enjoy a relaxing swim, select hotels feature pools set against stunning vineyard backdrops. We recommend Sugarbird Manor.
  • Bed and breakfasts provide an intimate setting, often including homemade meals and personal hospitality. We recommend Lanzerac Hotel & Spa.
  • MolenVliet Vineyards is a great boutique wine and guest estate with panoramic views of the breathtaking surrounding mountains and vineyards.
  • Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa we also highly recommend for its prime location and authentic Cape Dutch style.


If unsure where to stay, uncover the finest accommodations in Stellenbosch in our comprehensive guide and article. We provide detailed insights and recommendations to help you choose the perfect lodging options that cater to your preferences and enhance your overall experience in this charming South African town.

Other Attractions in the Stellenbosch Area

Aside from sipping on world-class wines, we’ll delve into the vibrant heart of the Western Cape, where cultural treasures and natural wonders await to enrich our South African adventure—stay tuned for an exploration that goes beyond the vine.

Stellenbosch Town

Stellenbosch offers more than just world-class wines; its town is a treasure trove of culture and history. We find ourselves enthralled by the blend of old-world charm and modern convenience as we stroll down Dorp Street, lined with heritage buildings that whisper tales from centuries past. Shops brim with local crafts and artisanal treats, tempting even the most discerning travelers.


Our adventures also take us to the lively heart of Stellenbosch – a vibrant nightlife awaits with welcoming bars and energetic clubs. For Stellenbosch tours we recommend daytime exploration, museums beckon, gardens flourish with life, and historical sites offer educational journeys through time. And after all that learning and excitement, tranquil wellness retreats like yoga studios and health clubs are there for us to unwind in peace.

Franschhoek Wine Tram

Leaving the vibrant streets of Stellenbosch Town behind, we embrace a different kind of adventure with the Franschhoek Wine Tram. This tram journey is more than just a ride; it’s an innovative experience that introduces us to some of the Western Cape’s finest vineyards in style. Picture ourselves hopping on and off this charming tramway, winding through rolling hillsides dotted with historic estates and modern tasting rooms.


The route offers stunning views and easy access to world-renowned wineries where gewürztraminer and pinot noir flow as freely as the conversations. We can taste various wines without worrying about driving or navigating between locations—leaving those details to someone else feels like part of the vacation.


Each stop presents a chance to indulge in mouthwatering pairings, learn about winemaking from passionate vintners, and soak up panoramic vistas that only add to our wine country memories. The Franschhoek Wine Tram stands out as not just another attraction but an essential chapter in our Stellenbosch exploration story, filled with flavor, culture, and effortless enjoyment.


Explore our article for an in-depth comparison between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. We delve into the distinctive characteristics of both regions, aiding you in making an informed decision for your next wine travel destination.

Hiking Opportunities

Stellenbosch isn’t just about indulging in wine; it’s a paradise for those who love to explore on foot. Surrounded by a range of mountains and vine-covered hills, the town offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Hiking and mountain biking trails crisscross the landscape, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. We lace up our boots and embark on trails that meander through vineyards, forests, and mountains.


  • Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a treasure trove of trails. Ranging from easy strolls to rigorous hikes, there’s something for every level of fitness. The Panorama Route is particularly breathtaking, offering views of waterfalls and rugged peaks.
  • Simonsberg Mountain challenges hikers with its steep ascent, but the reward is the panoramic view of Stellenbosch vineyards sprawling beneath you. Be prepared for a full day’s adventure here.
  • Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve near Franschhoek is only a short drive away. Here, we find the tranquility of nature combined with stunning vistas over both the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch valleys.
  • Banhoek Conservancy Trail not only offers us scenic beauty but also gives us a glimpse into local wildlife. Keep an eye out for baboons and eagles as we trek through these serene paths.
  • Helderberg Nature Reserve provides an abundance of trails through diverse ecosystems. From fynbos-covered hills to shady forest patches, we’re surrounded by nature’s finest.


For a more leisurely experience, visitors can take a stroll through the renowned Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens, which boast a diverse collection of indigenous plants.


Let’s raise a glass to the unforgettable journey that lies in wait among Stellenbosch’s vineyards. We’ve charted a course through rolling hills dappled with grapevines, destined for cellars where the air hums with the promise of fine wines.


Each sip we’ll take tells a story of earth, sun, and the vintner’s craft. Our adventure may end here, but the memories forged between clinking glasses and shared smiles will linger long after we’ve returned home.


Explore our article highlighting six of the best Stellenbosch wine estates if you’re keen on discovering more options beyond the ones mentioned.


Here’s to your next great wine escape—cheerful toasts await!


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Greetings, wine & travel enthusiasts! Allow me to introduce myself. I am a lover of life's finer things - an avid appreciator of the intricacies and subtleties of wine, a curious explorer of exotic cuisines, and an adventurer at heart. As a natural storyteller, I take pleasure in sharing the knowledge and experiences gained from my travels around the world. So, sit back, relax, and let my words take you on a journey to exciting new destinations!

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