Located in a country that’s renowned for its wine making, oenophiles are sure to enjoy the fantastic selection of fine wines available at The Twelve Apostles, The Oyster Box and Bushmans Kloof. The hotels have some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world on their doorstep, and guests can take advantage of the opportunity to visit a few of the country’s best wineries.
In the lap of the Hemel-en-Aarde (or ‘Heaven and Earth’) Valley, an hour and a half outside of Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s most acclaimed boutique wineries. Bouchard Finlayson prides itself on quality across all levels of production, and its multi-award winning Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is internationally renowned as being the finest in South Africa. The wine cellars are open daily for both drop-in and group pre-booked tastings.
Steenberg Wine Estate
The picturesque Steenberg Wine Estate is only a short drive from central Cape Town. Dating back to 1682, it was the first farm to be established in what is the southern hemisphere’s oldest winemaking region, the Constantia Valley. Some of the most celebrated Sauvignon Blanc in South Africa is produced here, thanks to the vineyards’ cool sea-facing slopes and mineral-rich granite soils. Visitors can choose to sample the wines from the Wine Tasting Bar, Tasting Lounge or scenic Outdoor Terrace, complete with infinity pools.
Ken Forrester Vineyards
Ken Forrester Vineyards are set in the heart of South Africa’s most eminent wine region, Stellenbosch, on the slopes of The Helderberg Mountain. The mountainous terrain and duplex soils have proved the optimum conditions for creating a unique Chenin Blanc – so widely commended it was served at the 85th birthday of Nelson Mandela. There is a cosy on-site tasting room with spectacular alpine views, or guests can try the wines alongside good food down the road at the award-winning 96 Winery Road Restaurant.
Elgin Vintners is the product of an intimate partnership of six grape farmers in the beautiful Elgin Valley, 70km from Cape Town. The grapes here benefit from an unparalleled diversity of terroir, and Elgin Vintners wines are garnering a reputation for being of premium quality. Their trademark striking orange bottlenecks are inspired by the brilliant Pincushion Protea flowers that frame the vineyards. The tasting room can be found in the farm’s homestead, Ridgelands.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards
The pioneers of viticulture in the cool Hemel-en-Aarde valley, Hamilton Russell Vineyards is one of the most southerly wineries in Africa. Its specialities are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which are widely recognised as some of the best in South Africa. The on-site tasting room can be visited Monday to Saturday, with shorter opening hours at the weekend.
High on the south-west-facing slopes of the Franschoek Mountains, Dieu Donné (or “A Gift from God”) offers a spectacular location. The estate’s most awarded wines are its flagship Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Guests can visit the tasting room, the Mediterranean restaurant, or enjoy a glass of wine on the scenic upper terrace.
Home to the Junior Winemaker of the Year 2017, Waterford Estate is nestled in Stellenbosch’s stunning Blaauwklippen Valley. Their internationally renowned signature, THE JEM, is an aromatic blend of red varietals grown across the estate with a base of Cabernet Sauvignon. Alongside the usual tasting experiences on offer are a Wine Drive Safari and a Wine Walk, where guests can sip award-winners in the vineyards that produced them. Both finish with the estate’s sumptuous Wine & Chocolate Experience.
Situated at the foothills of the Simonsberg Mountains, Anura Vineyards pride themselves on their wide selection of quality red wines. Mourvédre, Grenache, Malbec and other cultivars grow alongside local varieties, and their Merlot Reserve has won countless trophies and double gold awards. A selection can be tried in the tasting room overlooking the vineyards with cheeses hand-crafted at the farm.
Du Toitskloof winery is a Fair Trade-accredited collection of twenty-two farms, shaded by the magnificent peaks of the Du Toitskloof Mountains. It has been awarded the title of best value wine cellar an incredible five times. Alongside wine tasting, pre-booked visitors can expand their knowledge of the journey from vine to bottle with a cellar tour.
Klein Constantia Estate
Set in the upper foothills of the verdant Constantiaberg, Klein Constantia is regarded internationally as one of the most scenic wine estates in South Africa. While they produce several top-quality wines, they have been famous since the 1700s for their Vin de Constance, a fine dessert wine once stocked in the cellar of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. It can be sampled in the vineyard’s tasting facility all year round.
After a busy day of vineyard tours, wine-tasting and stunning scenery, head to The Grill Room at The Oyster Box, The Homestead at Bushmans Kloof, or The Twelve Apostles’ Azure Restaurant for some relaxing fine dining and a glass of your favourite wine.
Image Credits: Lead image © Waterford. Bouchard Finlayson © Bouchard Finlayson.Steenberg Wine Estate © Steenberg Wine Estate. Ken Forrester Vineyards © Ken Forrester Vineyards.Elgin Vintners © Elgin Vintners.Hamilton Russell Vineyards © Hamilton Russell Vineyards.Waterford Estate © Waterford Estate. Anura Vineyards © Anura Vineyards.Du Toitskloof © Du Toitskloof. Klein Constantia Estate © Klein Constantia Estate.