Visiting South Africa’s Cape Winelands is a highlight of a trip to Cape Town for wine lovers.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are only a 60-minute drive from Cape Town Central, so visiting them is one of the best things to do on the Cape Peninsula.
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 £4-£5, 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 post, I highlight eight of the best wineries in South Africa’s Cape Winelands for you to discover.
Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.
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’s architecture highlights its Dutch colonial influence while offering visitors charming shops, restaurants and galleries.
Options to stay in Stellenbosch range from rural retreats to contemporary in-town guest houses. Wine estates also offer the perfect overnight accommodation to enjoy the wine trail experience.
Lanzerac Winery Estate
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 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.
Hidden Valley Winery Estate
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 perfect for wine tasting, enjoying a picnic, walking among the beautiful sculpture garden or lunch in the Overture Restaurant.
Famous for its Shiraz, this 40 hectares farm has several varietals 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 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, which is lovely.
One big differential of this winery compared to the others in 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 lake-side paths to hike and explore the farm. A big bonus would be the picnic blankets close to the lake, an ideal spot if you brought your lunch.
If you want a different experience in the Cape Winelands, Hidden Valley Wines is the place to visit.
Spier Winery Estate
One of the best wine country vacations is Stellenbosch, just a 35-minute drive from Cape Town.
Spier Wine Farm is one of our favourite wineries 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 vineyard tour, 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 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 stay in one of the tastefully decorated rooms at the Spier Wine Farm Hotel for the whole experience.
Delaire Graff Winery Estate
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 exiting your car.
We visited while staying in the wine country, but it’s completely doable as a day trip from Cape Town is only 45 minutes away by car.
Make an entire day of it by visiting the region’s best wineries.
The Delaire Graff Estate offers a complete experience from 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 the 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 the 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 to one of the many other stunning Stellenbosch vineyards in the Cape Winelands.
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 area’s best food, wine and lodgings.
If you don’t have your own transport, then a Cape Wineland Tour is a good idea.
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 to palates in some of the best restaurants. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it offers boutique luxury accommodations and cosy B&Bs.
Boschendal Winery Estate
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. The mature, lush gardens and grand manor buildings reflect its history and dignity.
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 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, voted one of South Africa’s Top 30 restaurants.
Want to replicate such delectable meals at home? If so, you’re also catered to by their farm shop and butchery. For the more curious, 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 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. It’s just as well that the winery has some beautifully furnished cottages for overnight stays!
Babylonstoren Winery Estate
Babylonstoren in Franschhoek, on the borders of Paarl, is a winery, farm and restaurant 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 sample some delicious meals at their on-site restaurant stood out in our minds! The menus are constantly changing to keep up with what’s in season.
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the Cape Winelands, 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 want something more interactive, we will encourage you to participate in one of the workshops. They primarily focus on gardening and cooking and offer a unique winery experience.
For the complete winery 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 this wine tram tour, taking 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 from the city centre.
Constantia boasts ten award-winning wine estates, allowing you to immerse yourself in one of the unique tasting experiences fully.
Constantia Wine Tour Video
All Rights @ Constantia Wine Tours
Somerset West Wineries
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 few days to explore this beautiful area more deeply.
Vergelegen Winery Estate
Vergelegen wine estate has produced top-quality wines in South Africa for over 300 years.
Named the best wine estate in South Africa and ranked in the world’s top 50 wine estates. And even though it’s not in the more popular Cape Winelands, it is 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 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 we love this wine estate because 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 usually classed as part of the Cape Winelands, this area still offers many wineries.
Hermanus is a great place to stop if you are heading for a road trip along the Garden Route or to Gansbaai for great white shark cage diving.
We have often visited the gorgeous seaside town of Hermanus during the December summer holidays. Still, we have only recently discovered the incredible Hemel-en-Aarde wine region, located around half an hour from Hermanus (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) which is not only award-winning but also served in prestigious restaurants worldwide.
You will be expertly guided through the winery’s history, products, and 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, and 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.
Final thoughts on visiting the Capelands wineries
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.
You can also visit the wineries independently or on some of the best South Africa group tours, providing travellers with well-organized activities during their unique South African experience.
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!
Please Pin for Future Travel to Africa
Are you are looking for further South African inspiration? Please check out the following posts:
An Unexpected Hike to the Top of Table Mountain, South Africa
10 Ethical Animal Encounters to have along the Garden Route
Walking and Sleeping with the Knysna Elephants in South Africa
Friday 7th of August 2020
Beautiful post on worth visiting wineries in South Africa. They really look great and all are unique to visit. I loved that huge sculpture in Hidden Valley winery.
Saturday 13th of June 2020
While I'm not much of a wine drinker, I had no idea that South Africa was such a wealth of fabulous wineries!
Friday 12th of June 2020
Wow what a dream it would be to visit all of these wineries in South Africa!- Especially since I love South African wine so much! One day ill get there!
Friday 12th of June 2020
Wow is it beautiful there! I've always wanted to go to SA, mostly to see the animals, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in the wine too. :-) Hopefully someday soon...
Friday 12th of June 2020
It is a beautiful country to visit. I has everything you could wish for 😃
Wednesday 3rd of June 2020
Another fab post & made me long to head back to South Africa! I visited Boschendal when I was there & we selected to have a picnic in the gardens which was a truly memorable experience. We got a prepared hamper from the winery & chose which bottle we wanted to accompany it. I would love to return soon & revisit the wine regions. There are some fantastic suggestion here.
Wednesday 3rd of June 2020
I am glad it brought back some happy memories for you Sue. I want to go back again but devote longer to staying around the Cape Winelands as they are so stunning and there are so many amazing wineries to visit.