One of the best things to add to your South African road trip itinerary is visiting South Africa’s Cape Winelands. The proximity to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is only a 60-minute drive from Cape Town Central, so a Cape Wineland Tour is the perfect day trip.
There are hundreds of wineries ranging from historic estates to those with younger and smaller vineyards. Cape wineries have tasting rooms, restaurants, and even lodgings if you want to stay longer. With each wine tasting costing approximately £3-£4, the Cape Winelands is an affordable destination that most budgets can afford!
While Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the most well-known of the Cape Winelands, the wineries of Constantia, Paarl, and Somerset West are also worth a visit.
In this collaboration with travel bloggers, I have put together eight of the best wineries in South Africa’s Cape Winelands for you to discover.
Enjoy the journey!
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The Stellenbosch Wine Routes – the largest and oldest in the country – encompass more than 200 wine and grape producers each showcasing unique wines. The town architecture highlights its Dutch colonial influence while offering charming shops, restaurants and galleries to its visitors.
Options to stay in Stellenbosch range from rural retreats to contemporary in-town guest houses. Wine estates also offer the perfect overnight accommodation to indulge in the complete wine trail experience.
1. Delaire Graff Winery Estate
Written by Erin of SoSalute.com
When we planned our wineries in Stellenbosch while spending a week in Cape Town, we knew we wanted to visit Delaire Graff, and as we drove up the drive, weaving through the vines, I knew we would not be disappointed. The entire estate is stunning; you see that before even exiting your car.
We visited while staying in the wine country, but it’s completely doable as a day trip from Cape Town at only 45 minutes away by car. Make an entire day of it by visiting all of the region’s best wineries.
The Delaire Graff Estate offers a complete experience from just visiting for a wine tasting (as we did) or staying overnight in their luxurious Relais & Chateaux lodge. The infinity pool and spa are temptations enough to return. The gourmet dining on property features freshly picked ingredients daily.
We visited for a wine tasting which was very affordable for all budgets. Their award-winning wines feature Bordeaux and chardonnay varietals. Choose a tasting of 3, 4 or 5 varietals starting at just 75 ZAR per person. Request seating on their patio to enjoy the gorgeous views of the mountains beyond and vineyard below.
If you have time to dedicate the day to Delaire Graff, start the morning with a wine tasting on the patio before moving inside for lunch. If you are making a day of it continue onwards to one of the many other stunning Stellenbosch vineyards in the Cape Winelands.
2. Lanzerac Winery Estate
Written by Ella of ManyMoreMaps.com
The Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is one of the most historic wineries in South Africa’s Cape Winelands. Established in 1692, Lanzerac is only a few years younger than the city of Stellenbosch itself! Nowadays, it’s one of the most beloved wine estates in South Africa, and for a good reason.
Pinotage fans will be thrilled to discover that Lanzerac was the first winery to start bottling the smoky red wine, way back in 1959. A highlight of any visit to the Lanzerac Wine Estate is sampling their famous Pinotage during a wine tasting experience in their luxuriously decorated tasting room. A tasting experience includes a sample of five of your choice from their premium wines – you can even opt for a wine and chocolate pairing if you want to make the experience even more special!
The estate is best visited as part of a full-day Stellenbosch wine tour to guarantee a place in the tasting room. Tour groups often also get a tour of the Lanzerac wine cellars. If you’d prefer to visit Lanzerac independently, don’t worry – even if the tasting room is busy, Lanzerac has a restaurant that welcomes visitors to sample the wines.
As if its delicious wines weren’t enough, Lanzerac’s grounds are the definition of picture-perfect. With vineyards stretching into the horizon and dramatic mountains surrounding it, Lanzerac is a dream come true for wine lovers!
Extend your visit with an overnight stay near the Lanzerac Hotel and Spa.
3. Hidden Valley Winery Estate
Written by Laura of lauranoesta.com
During a trip to South Africa, I visited the Hidden Valley Winery and was amazed by its beauty and charm.
Located almost an hour from Cape Town, this state-of-the-art winery is a perfect place for wine tasting, enjoying a picnic, taking a walk among the beautiful sculpture garden or lunch in the Overture Restaurant.
Famous for its Shiraz, this 40 hectares farm has several varietals that you can try in place or take home to enjoy later. I recommend having a bite at The Deck, one of the restaurants on the estate. The Deck is a self-service restaurant, ideal if you are travelling with kids or you don’t have the time or budget to enjoy a 5-course meal in the main restaurant. The Deck’s appeal is its location, in front of a lake, surrounded by sculptures and nature, just lovely.
One big differential of this winery compared to the others of the area is the art—all around the gardens, you can find different sculptures that you’ll later see on the wine labels. There are also a few paths surrounding the lake where you can hike and explore the farm. A big bonus would be the picnic blankets close to the lake, ideal spot if you brought your lunch.
All in all, if you want a different experience in the Cape Winelands, then Hidden Valley is your place.
4. Spier Winery Estate
Written by Laura of Savoredsips.com
One of the best wine country vacations is Stellenbosch, just a 35-minute drive from Cape Town. One of our favourite wineries to visit is Spier Wine Farm because it’s a complete destination. While the winery is the main focus, the farm is the type of place you can spend the whole day.
Along with wine tasting, they also have eagle encounters, guided walks, a Segway tour of the vineyard, farm shops, a café, and an artisan craft market.
For wine tasting, they offer a 3-wine tasting of their Signature range, a chocolate and wine tasting flight, and a Winemakers Selection tasting with some of their premium wines. Tastings take about 45 minutes, and you can sit anywhere inside or out. After the tasting, you can head to the café for lunch or have a picnic on the sprawling grounds.
Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, with a history dating back to 1692. You can see it in the architecture of the buildings, which the family has artfully restored. Spier is also home to one of the largest South African art collections, which you will see displayed throughout the farm.
You can choose to stay in one of the tastefully decorated rooms at the Spier Wine Farm Hotel for the full experience.
Other wineries in Stellenbosch
L’Avenir – stay in a luxurious four-star lodge on this wine farm.
House of JC le Roux – established in 1982, this winery produces South African sparkling wines.
Delheim – the highlight of a visit to this winery is the cellar door. Enjoy wine and fynbos cupcakes, cheese fondue and wine pairings with charcuterie boards.
Jordan – a relative newcomer, only established in 1993 but offering some of the best food, wine and lodgings in the area.
Franschhoek is South Africa’s top wine destination and one of the oldest towns in the country. Famous for its rolling vineyards, it is also a gastronomy haven catering for all palates in some of the best restaurants. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it offers boutique luxury accommodation as well as cosy B&B’s.
5. Boschendal Winery Estate
Written by Paul of Thetwothatdo.com
Even amongst the many great wineries of the Franschhoek Valley one hour from Cape Town, Boschendal represents a striking example of grandeur and heritage.
Dating back to 1685 Boschendal, meaning wood or valley is South Africa’s second-oldest winery. Its history and dignity are reflected in the mature, lush gardens and grand manor buildings.
Its 250 hectares of vineyards are particularly famed for high-quality white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Tastings of such varieties are available via the famous Franschhoek Wine Tram or their separate ‘historical’ and ‘connoisseur’ wine tastings. Plump for one of these more expensive options and be hosted in the elegant Manor House erected in 1812.
As delightful as the wine and its setting Boschendal offers so much more. Utilising the freshest of products grown on its farm Boschendal boasts a deli housed in an old wagon house with additional outdoor seating under grand old oaks. For a more formal get together you can try the Werf Restaurant recently voted one of South Africa’s Top 30 restaurants.
Want to replicate such delectable meals at home? If so you’re also catered by their farm shop and butchery. For the more inquisitive Boschendal offers tours of the farm, vineyards and cellar.
Those wanting to continue to enjoy such an idyllic setting overlooked by the verdant hillsides and mountains, visit the Friday night market. Attracting craft and food stalls together with local wine and live music makes for a beautiful celebration of Boschendal’s incredible environment.
With so much on offer, you’ll never want to leave. Just as well then, that the winery has some beautifully furnished cottages for overnight stays!
6. Babylonstoren Winery Estate
Written by Oksana & Max of Drinkteaandtravel.com
Babylonstoren in Franschhoek, on the borders of Paarl, is a winery, farm and restaurant that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. The winery is just 40 minutes from Cape Town. Their wine is good, but the opportunity to tour their massive farm and to sample some delicious meals at their on-site restaurant stood out in our minds! The menus are always changing to keep up with what’s in season.
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the Cape Winelands with a history dating back to 1692. You can sample their wines and learn about their wine farm’s colourful history at the Tasting Room. Visitors are welcome to take a Cellar and Olive Press Tour which leaves the Tasting Room every hour on the hour and includes a tasting of six wines. There are 13 different grape varieties produced on-site with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producing some of their most distinguished wines.
If you are looking for something a little more interactive, we will encourage you to participate in one of the workshops. They are primarily focused on gardening and cooking and offer a unique winery experience.
For the full experience stay overnight at Babylonstoren Wine Estate.
Other wineries in Franschhoek
Haute Cabriere – A winery with a rich and fascinating history dating back to 1694 when French Huguenot Pierre Jordan was given land in Franschhoek.
Franschhoek Tram – Hop on and off of this wine tram tour as it takes you around eight different stops. You can spend as much time as you want to at each one.
Constantia is the oldest area in the Winelands region, with its wine route dating back to 1685. It is home to gorgeous vineyards just 20 minutes away from the city centre. Constantia boasts ten award-winning wine estates giving you a chance to fully immerse yourself in one of the unique tasting experiences.
Constantia Wine Tour Video
All Rights @ Constantia Wine Tours
Somerset West and the Helderberg Wine Route offer a mix of wineries, top-notch restaurants, golf estates, and outdoor adventure pursuits. A drive time of between 30 and 60 minutes makes it a great place to add to your Cape Town itinerary.
Somerset West is a charming town, so set aside a couple of days to have time to explore this beautiful area in more depth.
7. Vergelegen Winery Estate
Written by Jacquie of Flashpackingfamily.com
Vergelegen wine estate has been producing top quality wines in South Africa for over 300 years. Named best wine estate in South Africa, and ranking in the world’s top 50 wine estates. And even though it’s not in the more popular Cape Winelands, it is well worth a detour.
Vergelegen is located around 50 km east of Cape Town in Somerset West. It produces many award-winning wines but is noted for its Bordeaux varieties. Vergelegen has twice won the highly coveted Pichon Longueville Trophy for Best Red Blend in the International Wine Challenge.
As well as being a big name in wine in South Africa, it also offers a great visitor experience. It’s home to one of the most beautiful Cape Dutch buildings in South Africa, and the gardens are just stunning. It is one of South Africa’s most important heritage sites. There are cellar tours and tastings, but the reason we love this wine estate is that it is a lovely place to visit with kids.
There are playgrounds for the kids and family-friendly restaurants, but they also offer one of the best wine estate picnics in South Africa. The picnics consist of the most delectable items and are taken in an ancient and enchanted camphor forest. It’s one of the most magical food experiences you will have in South Africa.
Other wineries in Somerset West
Waterkloof – wine tastings take place in a large glass building with views of the mountains.
Lourensford – Discover the private Vinfari experience which takes you on a journey of winemaking discovery, travelling through Lourensford’s unique vineyard sites.
The beautiful coastal town of Hermanus, the whale watching capital of South Africa, is also a location to try out some new wines. Not classed as part of the Cape Winelands this area still offers a great variety of wineries. Hermanus is a great place to stop if you are heading out to the Garden Route or Gansbaai for shark cage diving activities.
8. Ataraxia Wines
Written by Marco of Travel-boo.com
We have often visited the gorgeous seaside town of Hermanus during the December summer holidays, but only recently discovered the incredible Hemel-en-Aarde wine region, located around half an hour from Hermanus (set approximately one and a half hours from Cape Town).
Amongst a myriad of wine estates, is the stunning Ataraxia wines, one of our absolute favourites in this region. This boutique winery was established in 2004 when a husband and wife and a couple of their friends purchased the Skyfields Farm and founded Ataraxia wines.
At the tasting room, located in what looks like a hilltop church overlooking the valley down below; you can sample the four wine varieties produced at Araxia. These include their Sauvignon Blanc, the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and their Ataraxia Serenity (a red blend) that is not only award-winning but also served in prestigious restaurants the world over.
You will be expertly guided through the winery history, its products, and its philosophy during the tasting. After all, Ataraxia means “a serene state of mind, free from worry and preoccupation” in Greek. And that is precisely how you will feel after a visit to this gem of a winery!
Other wineries in Hermanus
Creation Wines -the tastings include canape wine and food pairings, secret wine and food pairings as well as a 10 AM brunch pairing.
Whalehaven – experience the Cape Winelands and vineyards with a trip on one of the unique HOP-ON HOP-OFF safari-style wine hoppers.
Not only does South Africa produce some of the best wine in the world, but the wineries are also in some of the most picturesque spots you could ever imagine. And although you could spend your entire South Africa trip exploring the Cape Winelands, there is so much more to see and do in this beautiful country that you will want to explore further afield.
So here’s to your next African adventure!