The Glorious CAPE WINELANDS Await!
Hop on Board for a Whistle-Wetting,
Nectar-of-the-Gods SIPPING SAFARI.

Image Credit Cécile Paul
The spectacular Boschendal Wine Estate

South Africa’s Cape Winelands are in a class of their own. This is a kaleidoscopic landscape of spectacular natural beauty so exceptional that it’s been known to make some seeing it for the first time, weep, and others wax lyrical about its indescribable allure and magnificence. It goes without saying this fabulous part of the world is best experienced in the flesh, under the African sun and preferably while savouring a glass of Chardonnay from the vantage point of a panoramic terrace or wine tram, watching the big red ball go down … but resorting to words one may concede the Cape Winelands are truly where The Lost World meets proverbial Nirvana.

Image Credit Cécile Paul

These Winelands are made of layers of towering lavender-blue mountains interspersed with fertile emerald valleys covered in ancient vines that converge and disappear over the horizon. Large natural pools of water mirror the magnificence of the lush habitat surrounding them. Encased in all this splendor are a plethora of indescribably picturesque wine estates and their quintessential manor houses, some built hundreds of years ago in the historic Cape-Dutch building style and others bold, purpose-built modern constructions. Farm towns seeped in history – like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Wellington and Somerset-West – with their bustling centres are dotted along the many winding wine routes, perfect for a lunch stopover or some choice artisan shopping. Nowhere else in the world would one encounter this level of breathtaking scenery, luxe sophistication, 5-star hospitality, extraordinary quality wine & gourmet food, and of course connoisseur shopping in one setting. No wonder tourists from across the globe flock to the Cape Winelands year after year – to taste and experience some more of the eternal magic.

Graphics Credits Brian Paul
A map of the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Winelands featuring our hand-picked wine estates

You’re invited to jump aboard our whistle-wetting sipping safari, from historic Stellenbosch (40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town) to Huguenot Franschhoek (an hour from Cape Town) and experience a mind-blowing rollercoaster ride through the spectacular Simonsberg and Jonkershoek Mountain passes, the very heart of the Cape Winelands, with their rugged peaks scorched in the blazing Africa sun, while armies of immaculate and regimented vineyards march across the gentle slopes below. Our tour of all things wine, from the simple to the suave, will set off from the creative and crafty winemakers in their quaint hilltop cellar at Karibib Wine Estate, just to the west of Stellenbosch, and eventually arrive – sober and awake (one can only hope!) for a finale at the gob-smackingly glamourous eagle’s nest that is the Country Grand at Franschhoek. This is a rich and tasty tale, the grand and meek, the lavish and simple, all offered from the historic Winelands cellar menu. Hop on for an intoxicating journey through time and space in the magical Cape Winelands!

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Karibib Wine Farm with its exceptionally crafted boutique wines offered on its Winelands terrace

 

KARIBIB WINE CRAFT

www.karibib.co.za

Let’s start small and special. A hidden gem just outside Stellenbosch, where some exceedingly good small-batch craft wine is being produced by a few eclectic winemakers on a working wine farm complete with ramshackle barns, hound dogs, chattering chickens and a rusty old petrol pump to-boot. The cosy tasting room and informal dining terrace at Karibib Wine Craft look away from the old yards, across the rolling vineyards to the iconic saw-tooth silhouette of the Helderberg Mountain and beyond to False Bay and the sea. Here an exceptional variety of quality wine is to be enjoyed with an unrivalled view of the southern Cape Winelands. The personal attention you’ll get from each of these wine crafters is second to none, the atmosphere is super relaxed and informal, the products are fresh and new and created by a process of minimalistic intervention from nature to bottle.

Image Credit Brian Paul
An artist’s impression of Karibib Wine Farm – farm cats, chicken and an old petrol pump!

 

SPIER WINE FARM

www.spier.co.za

Next, down the picturesque Vlaeberg Road to the grandest of olde-worlde Stellenbosch wine farms, filled with all the character and history you’d expect from a 330-year-old estate, laced with courtyards and ranges of old Cape Dutch thatched white barns and houses. Spier Wine Farm is a place where one can dwell for weeks on end (should you wish to book yourself into their fabulous, homely and artfully decorated hotel) and explore the surrounding Winelands from this base. Not only reinvigorate your tired body with the best estate wines but be pampered to excess with the locally-made honey soaps and cremes in the bathrooms and enjoy designer vegan ice creams. This place is cool and comfortable, open and available to all, here you can order a quick coffee or a full picnic basket lunch (and their award-winning wines of course!) from the exquisite deli. Sit under the trees in this grand old estate, soaking up the rays and the amazing atmosphere.

Image Credit Spier Wine Farm

Image Credit Spier Wine Farm

 

Watch a video of Spier Wine Farm here:

 

ERNIE ELS WINES

www.ernieelswines.com

Named after South African golfing legend Ernie Els and situated high up in the mountains is Ernie Els Wine Estate – framed by panoramic views of Cape Town and Table Mountain to the west and Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountain to the east. At this impressive estate you’re met by super friendly staff kitted out in golfing gear, ready to escort you to the expansive tasting room and restaurant with its exceptional wines (four collections – Signature, Major Series, Big Easy and Proprietor’s) and hearty farm-style cuisine – this is once you’ve entered rather dramatically through a set of enormous granite boulders and wooden farmhouse doors. You’ve arrived in unrivalled style and luxury. First some wine-tasting and designer food, then a game of golf?

Image Credit Ernie Els

Image Credit Ernie Els

 

DYLAN LEWIS SCULPTURE GARDEN

www.dylanlewis.com/garden

Now heading for Stellenbosch, the next stop is a feast for the eyes rather than the palate! The Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden sits in the foothills of the Jonkershoek Mountains. This is a banquet of bold outdoor sculpture, leaping leopards, winged angels and crouching demons, all crafted in bronze and meticulously placed into the spectacularly manicured rocky and bushy landscape by the artist. Explore a vast sculpted indigenous garden featuring more than 60 works and dine at the quaint restaurant. Grab your sun umbrella and a drink at reception and venture out into this Lost World, it’s truly a garden of earthly delights!

Watch a video on Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden here:

Image Credit Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Giants and demons roam the landscape.

Image Credit Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
“Wing”

 

KINSHIP SPIRITS

www.kinshipspirits

Let’s get into Stellenbosch now, the latter being the second oldest town in South Africa and at the very heart of the wine industry. But let’s opt for gin at this stop! Gin is huge in South Africa and there a many brilliant small producers, none more so than the award-winning Kinship Spirits at Bosman’s crossing. Taste a variety of choice brands here, in a relaxed and personalised setting. Honest cool for a scorching day, made and served on the premises.

Image Credit Kinship Spirits
Taste plenty gin and much, much more!

 

PANE E VINO

www.paneevino.co.za

Just down the Road is Pane e Vino, a delightful stop for a winey and authentic Italian lunch served up by an endearing husband and wife team, what Italians might call ‘Osteria di fuori porta’. Their Grappa distillery at Dalla Cia is conveniently situated right next door!

Image Credit Pane e Vino
The famous Dalla Cia Grappa

 

QUOIN ROCK WINE ESTATE

www.quoinrock.co.za

North of Stellenbosch is the glorious Quoin Rock Wine Estate. Situated on the western side of the Simonsberg Mountains, Quoin Rock is one of the most spectacular contemporary- styled high-end wine estates in the Cape Winelands, set in nature’s wilds. Fuelled by innovation and excellence, this is winemaking heaven. Sitting on its own mountaintop high above the cellar, the palatial mansion house with its courtyards, pools, loggias, groves and lawns is an experience only the emperors of Rome can have known! Check-in and marvel at all the splendour.

Image Credit Cape Concierge
Quoin Rock Manor House

Image Credit Quoin Rock Wine Estate

 

WARWICK WINE ESTATE

www.warwickwine.com

A little to the north and in in the rolling hills below the Simonsberg Mountains the quiet and unassuming Warwick Wine Estate is cosily nestled against a backdrop of spectacular natural beauty. The elegant and simple white farm range buildings sit among the trees in the lush valley landscape. Warwick has been making wine since 1984 under female leadership, today lead by legendary winemaker Christiane Von Arnim.

Image Credit Winemag
Secluded Warwick Wine Estate

Image Credit Food24
Warwick Wine Estate’s simple and elegant cellars

 

WILDERER DISTILLERY & RISTORANTE PAPPA GRAPPA

www.wilderer.co.za

Close to the town of Paarl, on the sun-baked plain you’ll find the delightful oasis of The Wilderer Distillery and Ristorante Pappa Grappa. Their shady and utterly magical garden offers an exquisite selection of Italian/German cuisine, while the distillery provides those ever-needed refreshments: gin, vodka, rum and of course, the famed Wilderer Grappa.

Image Credit Corecatering
Wilderer Distillery Gin

Image Credit Richard V Lauenstien
A family restaurant of choice: Ristorante Pappa Grappa at The Wilderer Distillery

 

THE SIMONDIUM GUILD

www.simondiumguild.co.za

Southward, nesting in the trees and hiding from the blazing sun is the most exquisite enclave of wine tasting, spirit tours and eateries; a one-stop shop for all things delicious and experiential! The Simondium Guild offers a cosy and sheltered retreat under its dancing Dutch gabled cellars. Whether it’s camping, 4×4 excursions, joinery, glassworks, beer, gin or their famed bistro, it’s all awaiting here …

Image Credit Cecile Paul
The dancing Dutch gables backdrop to the Simondium Guild’s dining terrace

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Flying Barrels at The Simondium Guild

 

VREDE EN LUST WINE ESTATE

www.vnl.co.za

Below the Simonsberg Mountain lies the exquisitely beautiful and historic Vrede en Lust Wine Estate. One of the first Huguenot Farms, dating from 1688, the estate is still centred around its ancient manor house, walled gardens and vineyards. The addition of contemporary cellarage, club rooms, restaurants and hospitality facilities has elevated Vrede en Lust Wine Estate to a national events venue, hosting conferences and weddings, yet still accessible for day visitors. Their tasting room has one of the most spectacular vistas in the Cape Winelands.

Image Credit Vrede en Lust
The ancient wine estate below the Simonsberg Mountain

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Vrede en Lust, gateway to the ancient Manor House

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Vrede en Lust, the new Wine Tasting and Club Rooms

 

GLENELLY ESTATE

www.glenellyestate.com

The magnificent Glenelly Estate lies close to Stellenbosch under the Simonsberg Mountain. Founded by May de Lencquesaing from France, the estate boasts a new grand manor house and farm, but the piece de resistance is the super-modern cellar crowning the ridge, overlooking the winelands. A tour de force of contemporary design and function, Glenelly Estate boasts a grand cellar of award-winning wines, an exquisite French Bistro restaurant with spectacular views and a unique and extraordinary historic glass museum with one of the most impressive antique and contemporary glass collections in the world.

Image Credit Glenelly Estate
Glenelly Vineyards below the Simonsberg

Image Credit Glenelly Estate
Glenelly Restaurant Terraces

Image Credit Glenelly Estate
Glenelly Cellars

Image Credit Glenelly Estate
Wine tasting and dining

Image Credit Cecile Paul
Torch-lit entrance to the restaurants and mall. Can you spot the Chinese Girl painting?

Image Credit Delaire Graff Estate
The Dining Terrace looking to the Franschhoek Valley

Watch more on Delaire Graff Estate here:

 

AFRICA NOVA GALLERY

www.delaire.co.za

Africa Nova’s jewel-like gallery is a finely curated distillation of its renowned brand. You’ll find exquisite ceramics – both traditional and contemporary, curiosities of wonder and delight, sculptures, textiles and artworks here. This exquisitely-stocked boutique store is truly a showcase of Africa’s creativity.

Image Credit Africa Nova
Africa Nova at Delaire Graff Shop : the ultimate stop for the best must-have African goodies!

 

TOKARA WINE AND OLIVE ESTATE

www.tokara.com

Further up the Helshoogte Pass and we arrive at Tokara Wine and Olive Estate. Perched atop the pass, Tokara looks westward to Franschhoek and eastward back to Stellenbosch. The rolling hillsides are lined with immaculately groomed and trained vines and olive groves. The contemporary design of the cellar building effortlessly combines fine art, sculpture, fine dining and of course winemaking. Formal, yet relaxed, this is the most welcoming of Wine estates. Tokara’s olive oil is one of the most precious gems in their arsenal – it’s highly recommended to do an olive oil tasting together with a wine tasting.

Image Credit Cape Town ETC
Tokara Wine and Olive Estate atop the Helshoogte Pass.

Image Credit Tokara
The grand reception hall at Tokara

 

BOSCHENDAL

www.boschendal.com

The grandest of the Estates, Boschendal, with all its historic and contemporary riches, is a must-visit. A collection of 4 ancient wine farms, each with its own old manor house, Boschendal estates offer the best wines, farm-grown foods, fruits, vegetables, breads and home fare, not to mention the delicious Black Angus meat products. A true working farm, special events venue and delightful dining and picnic spot, Boschendal is a perfect world within the perfect world of the Simonsberg and Jonkerhoek Mountains. The deli is infinitely special, stocked with all their delicious farm produce, biltong, bread, relishes, cakes and quiche and off course the delightful award-winning estate wines. It’s perfect for a family day out under the trees, listening to live music whilst enjoying one of their exquisitely curated picnic lunches.

Watch a video on Boschendal here:

Image Credit Boschendal
Boschendal, the main house approach

Image Credit Boschendal
The restaurant overlooking the kitchen gardens

 

FRANSCHHOEK MOTOR MUSEUM

www.fmm.co.za

Two must-do stops on our wine tour are the Franschhoek Motor Museum and the adjacent Anthonij Rupert Wine Estate. These are the quintessential Franschhoek and Cape Winelands destinations, oozing quality and gushing comfort. The Franschhoek Motor Museum at L’Omarins Estate houses the most spectacular collection of hundreds of the most classic and fully operational vintage and contemporary cars. From wooden spokes to Kevlar casings a complete motoring record of is housed in four great barns. Regularly driven, these special cars record hundred years of motoring history in the most idyllic of settings.

Image Credit Franschhoek Motor Museum
Perfect driving conditions for an early convertible!

Image Credit South African History Online
The Franschhoek Motor Museum Garage Barns under the Jonkershoek Mountains

 

ANTHONIJ RUPERT WINE ESTATE

www.rupertwine.com

Antonij Rupert Wine Estate is the perfect Cape Dutch Wine estate, sitting below the Jonkershoek Mountain range, with its immaculate thatched manor house nestling behind walled avenues with exquisite gardens, endless lawns and vineyards, and layers of blue mountains for as far as the eye can see. What more is required for a setting for the most prized of South African Wines? Saviour bespoke dining, tastings of wine and olives as well as food and wine pairings in this most tranquil and breath-taking of settings.

Image Credit Wine Paths
Anthonij Rupert Wine Estate, The Old Manor House

Antonij Rupert Wine Estate
The best of South African wines

 

COUNTRY GRAND FRANSCHHOEK

www.grandafrica.com/country-grand

To finish our tour, a stairway to heaven. The Country Grand Franschhoek on the Dieu Donne Vineyards is majestically perched in an eagle’s nest high above the picture-perfect village of Franschhoek amid the spectacular Franschhoek Mountains. This is the ultimate entertainment venue, a pleasure palace for the gods – Bacchus and Dionysus are joining the party here! This is a fashion, dining and events venue like no other – glamorous and bold, fabulous new bling sparking and gleaming in the old vineyards. Dress up to the hilt, come for the time of your life!

Image Credit Country Grand
Country Grand Franschhoek with spectacular views across the valley and beyond

Watch this launch video clip of the Country Grand Franschhoek:

 

Image Credit Country Grand
A stairway to heaven!

Image Credit Counrty Grand
The Grand beams across the Franschhoek Valley

Image and Illustration Credit Brian Paul
A Journey through the Cape Winelands

 

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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