The Essential Guide to the Cape Winelands
Collected by Marie Frei , AFAR Local Expert
The winelands of the Western Cape offer an assembly of reds, whites, and bubblies unlike anywhere else in the country. In fact, thanks to the region and its ideal growing conditions, South Africa is now the ninth-largest wine producer in the world. Here, vines grow deep in ancient soil, moisture from the Atlantic Ocean sweeps through the valleys, and historic farms with whitewashed, Cape Dutch–style buildings dot the mountainous landscape. Time your visit to annual festivities like harvest season (late January through mid-March) and Bastille Day (July).
R43, Worcester, South Africa
Located in the beautiful Breede Valley, Bosjes offers luxury accommodations off the beaten track. Here, guests can rest their heads in a converted barn house, complete with five suites done up in oak furnishings, natural accents, and brass...
Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
Art lovers and garden enthusiasts visiting the Cape Winelands should set aside an hour or two to tour the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch. Here, more than 60 of Lewis’s renowned works—from his human forms and shamanic...
10 Drostdy Rd, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
While strolling along Stellenbosch’s oak-lined avenues, you’ll come across several boutiques selling everything from jams and baked goods to artisanal crafts. For the best souvenirs, stop into Local Works on Drostdy Street, where...
Baden Powell Dr, Faure, Stellenbosch, 7131, South Africa
The daily duck parade at Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate is quite the sight to behold. Every morning at 10 a.m., a single caller uses different whistles and motions to corral some one thousand Indian Runner ducks away from their pond and onto the...
7 Church Street, Cnr Bird Street & Church Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
As you walk through Stellenbosch’s town center, you’ll probably smell the bread baking at Boschendal at Oude Bank before you even arrive at the café’s main entrance. Owned by Boschendal Farm Estate since early 2017, the...
KLEIN JOOSTENBERG FARM, c/o R304 & R101, MULDERSVLEI, Stellenbosch, 7606, South Africa
If you tire of chenin blanc and pinotage, know that there are several other great beverages to imbibe on your journey through South Africa’s winelands, including craft beer. At the Stellenbosch Brewing Company & Taproom (affectionally...
Strand Road, De Zalze Golf Estate, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
Located on the family-owned wine farm Kleine Zalze, Terroir is the very definition of laid-back luxury. Since the restaurant opened in 2004, diners haven’t stopped raving about chef Michael Broughton’s modern South African fare, from...
De Meye Farm, Muldersvlei Rd, Klapmuts, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
A reservation at The Table is difficult to get but worth the effort. Located on De Meye Farm, the restaurant hosts just six people per day for a three-course lunch, served family-style on mismatched antique platters. The menu changes daily but...
Tokara Wine Estate, off R310 Helshoogte Road, Banhoek Valley, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa
A winery with an enviable view, Tokara is considered one of the best in the region for its cabernets, sauvignon blancs, and premium olive oils. As compelling as the wines are, though, people flock to Tokara for its restaurant, led by chef Carolize...
Klapmuts - Simondium Rd, Simondium, Paarl, 7670, South Africa
About an hour outside of Cape Town, Babylonstoren is one of South Africa’s oldest werfs, or farmyards. In 2010, Karen Roos, a former editor at South Africa’s Elle Decoration, reimagined the property as a fantasy farm stay with an...
Boschendal Estate, Pniel St, Groot, Franschhoek, 7680, South Africa
At Boschendal, guests can slow down and savor “Le Pique Nique,” a pre-packed picnic basket that you can order in advance of your visit to the vineyard. When you arrive, collect your wicker basket filled with sweet and savory treats,...
Happy Valley Rd, South Africa
Despite their love of all things biltong, South Africans rarely practice the art of charcuterie, which makes Neil Jewell’s efforts at Bread & Wine not only unique but utterly compelling. He and his wife, Tina, opened their restaurant at...
Franschhoek Square, 32 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Instead of worrying about who will be the designated driver, purchase tickets for the hop-on, hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram—the easiest way to explore the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley. Choose from one of six color-coded tram routes,...
Elandskloof Road, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
When planning your visit to the Cape Winelands, it’s easy to forget activities not focused around the region’s namesake beverage. For a break from wine, consider spending a day luxuriating at La Residence, an exclusive 30-acre estate...
Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Along with South Africa’s winelands, the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom—a small but incredibly diverse area that’s home to 5,000 plant species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth....
Bowling Green Avenue, Lambrechts Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Orangerie Restaurant at Le Lude Franschhoek is one of the top eateries in the Cape Winelands. Seated amid hanging ferns in the French-inspired dining room, you’ll feel as if you’re eating in a conservatory or atrium, all with views of...
191 Main Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Terbodore Coffee Roasters imports beans from 13 countries, but also sources coffee from South Africa’s countryside. Stop in to try the roastery’s famous flavored coffees, or go for breakfast...
47 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
Located in the village of Franschhoek, Ashbourne House is an intimate, Colonial-style bed-and-breakfast with eight rooms. Each room has a private entrance as well as a balcony or patio with mountain or pool views. Depending on the season,...
32 Cabriere St, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa
If you’re looking for luxury accommodations for a group of travelers in the winelands, the answer is La Clé des Montagnes. Located within walking distance of downtown Franschhoek, the property features four contemporary villas, each...
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