Stellenbosch wine route: Stellenboschberg
This ward of Stellenbosch is home to several of the Capes finest wine producers and choosing favorites is virtually impossible. I’ve selected a few that are easy to visit i.e. no appointments needed and have a diverse offering to cater to multiple tastes.
Cradled by the Jonkershoek mountains and with a Balinese style tasting room set in the center of a lake, Stark- Condé is without doubt one of the most picturesque estates. The views will amaze you but then so too will their wines, most notably their Three Pines Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The estate is located very close to the heart of Stellenbosch town and is a perfect lunchtime or breakfast destination, offering light dishes to accompany their wines.
This popular supermarket brand is well known for its entry level wines that offer superior value for money. But that’s not all, Kleine Zalze have a wide spectrum of excellent wine in various price categories and have won numerous accolades for their premium whites and reds,in fact you simply can’t go wrong here. For something extra special try the family reserve Chenin Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon or try one of their Methode Cap Classiques. The vast estate includes a golf course, residential estate and a 5* rated restaurant aptly named Terroir.
You should probably set aside an entire morning or afternoon when visiting Stellenrust, so vast is their portfolio. I just love the laid back atmosphere and friendly service and have long been a fan of their wines. 2017 is set to be a good year for them too having just been awarded the Platter’s white wine of the year for their 51 barrel fermented Chenin 2015. Again they have something to suit all pockets so you may find yourself enjoying a spectrum of different wines suited for different occasions. They offer cheese platters and picnic boxes by prior arrangement.
Designed in the luxurious style of a Tuscan villa and surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, Waterford makes a grand statement. Winemaker, Kevin Arnold is highly respected as is the Waterford estate brand and some particular favorites include their Estate range Cabernet Sauvignon and Waterford range Shiraz. I’m not normally a fan of wine and chocolate pairings but Waterford is the exception. They pair 3 of their wines with Von Geusau handcrafted chocolates, perhaps it’s the quality of these products that make it work. In addition to their normal tasting menu, they offer premium tastings for connoisseurs along with guided vineyard walks and drives.
I’ve selected Blaauklippen for its variety of activities and tasting options. Naturally they produce wine but what’s interesting is they use many lesser grown varieties found in South Africa such as Zinfandel, Malbec and Viognier. They also make their own artisanal Gin, Potstill brandy and Grappa, which can all be sampled in their tasting room. Every Sunday they host a farmers market and every other day you can enjoy a meal at their bistro or a picnic on their lawns.