10 best wine estates to visit

 

South African wine estates have worldwide acclaim. At the Decanter World Wine awards South Africa scooped many gold medals and regional trophies. On our final tour of possible South African holiday destination we look at wine estates in Western Cape which have recognition for fine wine, good food and great atmosphere.

 

  1. Vergelegen

Vergelegen has a reputation for its sprawling beauty. Their wines are recipients of more than 200 awards. It is a world heritage site where you can walk through the homestead of the original owners or view the 300 enormous camphor trees. There is also an awe-inspiring rose garden in summer, restaurants, picnic facilities, hiking and biking areas.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Vergelegen V, Vergelegen Red and Vergelegen White

Best for: families or friends

 2. Jordan Wine Estate

Jordan wine estate

The valley landscape at Jordan

The history of this estate dates over 300 years. Its acclaim comes from its quality and value, boasting numerous awards. While tasting the wine you can enjoy panoramic views of Table Mountain, Stellenbosch and False Bay. The estate restaurant is one of the best in Cape Town. Keep an eye out for the chameleons which are drawn to the indigenous bushes.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Cobblers Hill and Nine Yards Chardonnay

Best for: families, friends or couples

3. Meerlust

Meerlust wine estate

An avenue leading into Meerlust

Run by the Myburgh family for eight generations this estate produces world-class wines. The wines have complexity and character and the traditional wines have a spice of modernism. It is one of the first South African wineries to create a Bordeaux-style red. The estate is rich in charm and history with beautiful views. You can tour the manor house, family cemetery rose gardens and bird sanctuary.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Rubicon

Best for: friends or couples

4. Kanonkop Wine Estate

Kanonkop wine estate

Kanonkop Cellar Bottles

This winery is well-known for their hospitality and has a genuine farm feel. The consistent quality of their wines draws comparisons against European greats and they have decades of international awards under their belt. You can enjoy a traditional Cape Snoek braai or cheese platters at the estate as well.

Wine route: Simonsberg

Flagship: Cabernet Sauvignon

Best for: families and friends

5. Rust en Vrede Estate

Rust en Vrede

Rust en Vrede entrance

As one of the oldest wineries in the area, it is recipient of international awards for numerous years. The estate has renown both internationally and nationally. Its restaurant has many positive reviews and definitely warrants a visit as well. They specialise in dishes that support the sustainability of local suppliers.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Rust en Vrede Estate 2008

Best for: families, friends or couples

6. Hamilton Russel Vineyards

Hamilton Russell wine estate

Hamilton Russell manor house

The estate has highly individual wines which are regarded as some of the best in the world. It is the wine farm closest to the sea making their position perfect for cool climate wine. They have just two wine selections at which they excel and win numerous awards. It makes for a cosy wine tasting experience.

Wine route: Hermanus

Flagship wine: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Best for: friends or couples

7. Thelema Mountain Vineyards

Even though it started as a fruit farm this estate is now one of South Africa’s top wineries with their award winning wines. It is also one of the first modern wineries. As one of the highest estates there are spectacular mountain views as well as colourful gardens with huge oak and eucalyptus trees.  Queen Victoria is also rumoured to have given her approval to the Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Bordeax

Best for: friends and couples

8. Rustenberg

Rustenberg is famous for their wine, landscapes and history. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful wine estates in the country. The estate has been with the same family for more than 60 years which is the longest period an estate has been owned by one family. Many visitors highly recommended a drive to the tasting room as well as a walk through the gardens because of the views.

Wine route: Stellenbosch

Flagship: Rustenberg John X Merriman and John X Merriman 2009

Best for: Couples

9. La Motte

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This estate is home to wines with international recognition. You can enjoy the tasting while also looking through glass windows into the working maturation cellar. Activities include a museum, farm stall, restaurant and children’s playgrounds. There is even a giant chess board. During flowering season you can see their disa orchids. It is a great family winery with friendly staff.

Wine route: Franschhoek

Flagship: Hanneli R 2005 and Hanneli R 2007

Best for: families and friends

10. Groot Constantia

This is the largest of a group of three wine estates that originally run as one estate. As South Africa’s oldest wine estate it also has a rich history and is declared as a national monument and is run by the government. It has been listed as one of Cape Town’s Big 6 destinations to see. It has a vast array of activities from tasting to tours to restaurants.

Where: Constantia

Flagship: 2008 Gouverneurs Reserve

Best for: friends

When undertaking a wine tour in South Africa be sure to visit these estates. They are well-known names for not only their wine but their food and atmosphere as well.

Others highly rated

  1. Klein Constantia
  2. Steenberg Vineyards
  3. Chamonix
  4. Bouchard Finlayson Boutique Vineyard
  5. Delaire Graaff Estate

To read more on the tour through South Africa, click here 

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