Stellenbosch Wine Routes
In 1971, Stellenbosch became the first wine region in South Africa to establish a wine route as an organised network of wineries for visitors. Today the town - with its compelling mix of world class wine and food offerings balanced with history, culture and spectacular natural beauty - provides a coordinated network of more than 150 wineries, each offering a unique cellar-door experience for the wine lover and visitor. The five sub-routes each has its own wine styles, climates and geographic location.
When one thinks of Stellenbosch, many pictures emerge... beautiful landscapes, historic buildings, oak-lined streets and, of course, wine. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa and is widely regarded as the wine capital of our nation.
The university town of Stellenbosch has a very active community, and thrill seekers can choose from well-developed mountain biking and trail runs and events. Visitors can hike and fish in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, or try horse riding and a variety of nature encounters on farms in the area.
The opportunities for adventure are endless, and there are many specialist shops catering to sportspeople in town.
The Stellenbosch winelands are a joy to visit any time of year, boasting fabulous wines, cool shady spots during the warm summer months or roaring fire-places where guests can enjoy a delicious glass of Stellenbosch red to drive the chills away during winter, slick, professionally run wine estates, some of the country’s finest restaurants and beautiful a countryside.
Stellenbosch was the first region to establish a formal route among South African wineries, a route which has gone on to become one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations - a picturesque journey that will make you long for wine and adventures.
150 wine farms decorate the vine-swept landscape, many of them historical farms with achingly beautiful Cape Dutch manor houses, gardens, hotels and fine-dining restaurants.
The wine route in Stellenbosch has been divided into five sub-routes by virtue of their user-friendliness as opposed to official wards, wine styles, or geographical location. This bite-size approach helps visitors get the most out of their winelands experiences on a route that caters to history buffs, golfers, families, romantic couples, nature lovers, gourmands, casual quaffers and serious pilgrims of the grape.
Visitors to Stellenbosch are spoilt for choice when it comes to options for relaxation. Many guesthouses and hotels offer on-site spa facilities to residents and visitors.
The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa is a favourite, as well as the pool and treatment rooms at Majeka House. Stellenbosch is also home to the Rustenburg Hydro, which is well known for its detox and relaxation packages. Visitors can also book treatments at a variety of walk-in beauty salons scattered throughout town.
The town also offers a number of gyms, and yoga and martial arts studios.
Architecture in Stellenbosch reflects over three centuries of occupation, including Dutch, Georgian and Victorian influences. There are a number of museums and places of interest to visit along the oak-lined streets. Explore arts and craft shops or coffee shops, or simply stroll along the streets soaking up the atmosphere of this vibrant university town.
Blend your own wine
Eat at a top 10 fine dining restaurant, or enjoy a relaxed picnic
Explore a wine-and-salt pairing, or wine and ice cream (many different options available)
Spend a day in the Winelands with your family (family-friendly destinations with lots to do for kids of all ages)
Hiking and cycling trails (mountain biking, social cycling and hiking routes available)
Enjoy a wellness experience at one of the many spas around Stellenbosch and the Winelands
Stellenbosch boasts a large number of activities for art lovers (outdoor sculpture exhibitions, many galleries and farms offering art routes walks, etc.)
Spend a romantic weekend in the Winelands
- Play a round of golf
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes plays host to a number of festivals, carnivals and events throughout the year. Most notable would be the Stellenbosch Wine Festival early in the year, as well as the Harvest Festival with its colourful parade through the town's streets. Watch the press for a multitude of events, and don’t miss out!
The Most Spectacular Gardens in South Africa’s Winelands
Spring and Summer in South Africa is the ultimate time to hit the road in search of gorgeous gardens. From the natural splendour of the Namaqualand wild flowers, to perfectly manicured wine estates, and the national treasures of botanical gardens in between.
Our wine routes and valleys play host to a vast variety of gardens that can be experienced in many different ways.
Top Winter Winelands Experiences
Bianca Coleman, journalist and curator of Eat.Play.Drink.Cape Town, writes for us on her top winter experiences that make venturing out to the Winelands worthwhile.