Written by Lauren Maker
The beautiful Cape Winelands are home to some of the most spectacular wineries, restaurants and accommodation in South Africa, and have become known as a perfect place for couples to dine, families to play and memories to be made.
If you’re looking to add the Cape Wine Country into your South African Vacation, then here are our top 5 celebrated Cape Winelands wine farms that we have tried, tested and love, the perfect list for your food and wine holiday experience.
From Stellenbosch to Franschhoek, we have taken time to visit each wine estate, savored every morsel of food, tasted all their wines, and have experienced their luxury accommodation first hand, so we know what we are talking about. Here are our top 5 wine farms.
1. BOSCHENDAL WINE FARM
Boschendal a working farm with enthusiastic people that care about the environment, animals, and people. It is all about living with nature, crafting exceptional experiences, serving delicious food and award-winning wines. Maintaining sustainable farming and ensuring a future. Boschendal gets five stars from us.
The Experience: From horse riding, mountain biking, guided hiking tours through the beautiful Simonsberg Mountains, exploring food markets or just relaxing at the Mountain Villa with your family, to sipping on the delicious crisp Boschendal Chardonnay. Children have the chance to enjoy an authentic farm experience in the Tree House, a wonderful interactive outdoor experience.
The Food: The Werf Restaurant is a collaboration with nature on every plate. Here you will eat soil-to-fork fine dining using the best seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients. The restaurant décor is refreshing, and the service is seamless. We highly recommend you try their sharing plates menu. This smart way of eating features produce from the farm including their Black Angus beef, forest reared Duroc pork as well as vegetables, fruit, and herbs from The Werf Food Garden. And no matter what happens, you must try the burnt butter ice cream served with white chocolate and salted popcorn. Simply divine!
The Accommodation: If you are a big family, we suggest you book out the Mountain Villa, the perfect spot to gather your brood. It is a spacious six-bedroom villa set at the foot of the Simonsberg with views over the Franschhoek mountains. It’s a luxurious home away from home. However, Boschendal, has smaller cottages, more romantic for couples and smaller families.
Babylonstoren is a 200-hectare farm in the Drakenstien Valley, situated halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl. This wine farm ticks all the sensory boxes, and one would need time to experience everything on offer. If you love gardening, perfume, and sensational food, then spend a day at Babylonstoren, you will not be sorry!
The Experience: The heart of the farm is its garden, set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables. This garden is full of myth and history. It has fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, herbs, ducks and chickens and a prickly pear maze. Also found at Babylonstoren is the Scented Room, featuring candles, soaps, and essential oils. A butchery, deli, shop, and wine tasting room add to the overall experience.
The Food: The famous Babel restaurant resides here. Found in the restored, old cow shed, Babel Restaurant is an elegant mix of Cape Dutch architecture and contemporary glass walls. Babel has a farm-to-fork philosophy, so your food is free range and seasonal with a “pick, clean and serve” approach. The Greenhouse is another eatery in the gardens, serving scones and homemade jams.
The Accommodation: The Garden suites are gorgeous, featuring open-plan en-suite bathrooms with a lounge area, bookshelves filled with Southern Africa literature and a hearty fireplace for those winter nights.
3. DELAIRE GRAFF
This five-star wine farm expresses beauty in many forms, where you can expect exceptional accommodation, wine, art, and cuisine. Situated on top of the Helshoogte Pass, with panoramic, westward Cape Winelands views, leaving you with the sunset over Table Mountain.
The Experience: The wine tastings awaken your senses to the unique qualities of the Delaire Graff Wines. The tastings take place in the Wine Lounge, on the spacious terrace with breathtaking mountain views, or inside at the foot of the fireplace in cooler weather. Take a wander through Laurence Graff’s ever-changing personal collection of fauna, flora, and beautiful art.
The Food: They have created wine pairing cuisine with award-winning wines, which makes dining at Delaire Graff is a sensory experience sure to be memorable and special. The estate is well versed on taking the freshest seasonal ingredients, creating accomplished and artful dishes with incredible views of the Winelands.
The Accommodation: Opening on to your very own private deck and a heated plunge pool, you will stay in a lush 76 m² Superior Lodge, each offering a living room and one bedroom. Ideal for your romantic honeymoon or families travelling together giving you interleading facilities. The accommodation overlooks a private leafy garden that blooms all year around.
4. LEEU ESTATES
Found in the French Village of Franschhoek, Leeu Estates never disappoints. This incredible wine farm has incredible history, art, and sensational food and wine. This country house and boutique winery is in the heart of the valley, with its Cape Dutch heritage and French influences. Franschhoek itself boasts award-winning restaurants, craft breweries, art galleries and boutiques.
The Experience: Your wine is in partnership with a talented husband and wife team, Chris and Andrea Mullineux who offer immersive wine tastings in the Wine Studio.
The Food: La Petite Colombe, meaning “little dove”, offers its patrons excellence. From its first-class service to superb multi-course lunches and dinners dusted with whimsical drama.
The Accommodation: The suites and rooms are filled with bespoke furniture, wool-and-sisal carpets with wood and stone in a serene colour palette. All rooms have underfloor heating, with generous marble-clad en-suite bathrooms with rain showers. We highly recommend this experience to honeymooners and couples that want to enjoy super treat!
5. MONT ROCHELLE
Mont Rochelle is a beautiful hotel and vineyard found on a 39-hectare wine farm in Franschhoek. This 26-bedroom Manor has exceptional views, two restaurants, a spa and a gym, with many in-house activities to keep you occupied, but also allowing you to unwind in style.
The Experience: You are offered so much to do on the farm, from wine tasting to a picnic within the vineyards. They also have a gym on site and a lovely swimming pool where you can take time out and truly have a holiday. And Mont Rochelle’s in-house spa is fit for a king and queen.
The Food: The Country Kitchen is the ideal spot to have a light lunch with your wine tasting. But if you are looking for something more fine dining, MIKO, their flagship restaurant will blow your taste buds away.
The Accommodation: Our favourite is the Cap Classique Suites. Large and luxurious, it has a separate lounge area, a private terrace with a plunge pool. Both suites are in the Vineyard Wing with panoramic views of the vineyards.
Our team has experienced them all and will happily help you to design the perfect Cape Winelands experience to suit your needs.