When you cannot visit the magical wine farms of the Cape Winelands, do not despair: South Africa’s innovative wine bars creates wonderful settings to enjoy the fruit of the grape in a stylish fashion.
Whether you want to sit with your feet in the sand overlooking the ocean or sip ice cold MCC in the heart of Stellenbosch or even have dinner in a wine cellar with a glass ceiling in Umhlanga, there is something for everyone.
The Mother City does not disappoint. From the Bascule Bar on the water’s edge in the V&A Waterfront to the Tjing Tjing rooftop bar, you can choose a wine bar to suit your mood.
The Bascule Whisky, Wine & Cocktail Bar in the yacht marina of the Waterfront, offers more than 400 whiskies from all over the world and a wide selection of the country’s best wines. A wonderful place to meet friends for sundowners and music, nibbling on tapas as the sun sets.
Publik Wine Bar in Kloofnek Road has a tagline of “drink different”. They offer wines from sustainably farmed vineyards and made with minimal intervention in the cellar. The aim in this neighbourhood wine bar is that clients can taste the land.
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar in Longmarket Street is set in a 200-year-old attic and the rooftop bar offers a wide selection of drinks, cocktails and wines. Get your groove on with their playlist of indie and electronica favourites and otsumami in this casual setting above the bustling nightlife below. Nibble on the okonomiyaki fries or wander over to the restaurant for an interesting, mouthwatering Japanese meal.
The City of Gold takes things up a notch. Put your cocktail dress and heels on and hang out at the stylish The Wine Bar Soweto or lose track of time at Marble Wine Bar in Rosebank.
The Wine Bar Soweto is situated on the upper end of the world famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Vilakazi street is the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners have lived – the late Nelson Mandela and the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Relax with tourists from all over the world, in one of South Africa’s most famous streets. Sip your wine while nibbling on African food favourites, or retire to the Cigar bar for a brandy, whisky or Cognac.
David Higgs’s Marble Wine Bar overlooks Rosebank all the way to the Magaliesburg mountains and boasts a cosmopolitan vibe. With unreserved seating, Marble’s bar is just the setting with great music, flame inspired tapas, finest cocktails, wine and spirits. The restaurant boasts a wine cellar of note, that will make you believe you are in the heart of wine country.
Le Wine Chambre in Illovo in Sandton, offers an interesting tapas menu to be enjoyed with some of the world’s best wines. Owned by Walter Melato, an avid wine lover and engineer by trade, who left his engineering career after 25 years to follow his passion of owning his own wine bar.
Walter prides himself on excellent service and more than just a place to enjoy a good wine; he ensures an unforgettable wine experience.
The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga has three bars each with a different character and stocked with an award-winning Diner’s Club Diamond wine list. A view of the famous red and white lighthouse makes the Lighthouse and Oyster Bars especially popular, and the historical Chukka Bar, offers an ideal place for a cigar and nightcap.
For a more intimate dining experience, reserve the Wine Cellar with its glass ceiling and wine-clad walls, sunken just below the Oyster Bar. For that special event or celebration, The Chef’s Table in the kitchen is exclusively memorable. Menus are created for every occasion and the resident sommelier is on hand to propose the perfect pairing from the impressive selection of South African and international vintages.
Two wine bars in Plettenberg Bay are Simon’s Bar at Emily Moon River Lodge and The Sandbar at The Plettenberg Hotel.
At Simon’s Bar you step back in time with vintage motorboat engines and eclectic items decorating the walls. It stocks popular Cape wines and Simon’s barman makes great cocktails, while you watch the sun set over the Bitou River. And why not have a pizza from their wood-fire oven with a cold, crisp glass of wine.
The Sandbar is as stylish as they come. Here you have a large selection of award winning wines and champagnes to choose from in a glass, white leather, marble and oak interior. Take your drinks outside and watch the moon rise over the ocean.
Bartinney Wine and Champagne Bar in the Oudebank Building is the place to sip their sustainably produced, small-lot wines while nibbling on a meat or cheese board or snacks on a sharing plate. By-the-glass or bottle are Bartinney and the Noble Savage wines. Choose from some Brut Savagé Méthode Cap Classique, or French Champagne.
De Warenmarkt, is situated in a historical Cape Dutch building dating from the 18th century. The Simon wine bar was named after Simon van der Stel and you can relax with a wide range of South African wines. The bar also offers monthly wine tastings.
At the Kaapse Vonkel MCC and Oyster Bar, the producers of South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique, Simonsig, is exclusively paired with fresh cultivated Saldanha Bay oysters.
Love Wine in Andringa Street is a firm favourite with a big selection of wines and regular wine tasting evenings with some of the Winelands' most famous winemakers.
Brampton Wine Studio pride themselves on doing things differently – expect the full Brampton Wines range, served with tapas or flatbreads and a heady dose of edgy, creative energy and wit.
The Tulbagh Boutique Heritage Hotel’s main building dates from 1859 and the white gables and wooden beams adds to a special time at the Karee Tapas & Wine Bar. Here you can sip on local draught beers, craft gin cocktails and a wide selection of local wines. Order a snack from the tapas menu that boasts a South African influence, or gourmet pizzas from the wood-fired oven on the premises. Rub shoulders with some of the local winemakers taking a break.
Thi Art Restau in Vredendal in the Namaqua West Coast is not only known for its famous owner, the former Blue Bull rugby player, Danie Thiart, but also for its steak and wine bar. On the menu is amongst others, wine from the family farm Bellpost Wines on the road to Lutzville, but also a selection of reds and whites from the bigger winelands.
Bellpost had its maiden vintage in 2005 and is run by the Thiart family: father Lollies and brother Nico are responsible for the vineyards, brother Koos for the winemaking and Danie started doing the marketing, when he was still playing rugby for the Blue Bulls. The range of wines consist of Chardonnay, C’est La Vie, Merlot, Ruby Cabernet and Shiraz.
Travelling to or stay in Namibia? Stock up on wine and enjoy your favourite South African wines at The Winebar & Wine Shop in Garten Street in Windhoek. It is housed in one of the city’s oldest homes and offers a vast choice of award-winning wines.