The rolling hills covered in neat rows of green vines, and old Cape Dutch homesteads set against a backdrop of stark craggy mountains makes South Africa’s wine lands a peaceful and breathtaking part of the country. Spending a day tasting wines in these serene surroundings can, therefore, be a uniquely relaxing way to unwind as each farm entices you with its singular character.
While the wines themselves will inspire debate about their various virtues, there is little to argue about when it comes to the views on these Stellenbosch estates, all of which offer unsurpassed beauty that will leave you utterly enchanted before you have even had one sip.
This estate is located along the picturesque Jonkershoek Road and is a must-visit destination for those who like their wines scenic. The entire atmosphere here is one of serenity from the minute you step onto the small wooden bridge that leads out to the tasting room in the middle of a lake until the spell is broken when you drive out the gate.
Sitting at a table sipping your wine is an idyllic experience with uninterrupted views of the mountains that seem to encircle the farm, locking it off from the outside world.
Located at the end of its own stretch of the climbing, steep Annandale Road in the mountains above the Ernie Els estate, Uve Mira makes the most of its position. Step out onto the balcony of the small, but elegant tasting room for hands-down some of the best views in Stellenbosch.
On a clear day, you can see all the way out to False bay, making a tasting here a truly worthwhile experience. Slightly further down the hill is Hidden Valley, where the deck of the grand Overture restaurant almost matches these views, so that should be your next stop for an excellent lunch.
Right near the top of the Hellshoogte pass Bartinney’s tasting room has one of those views to linger over. Friday nights are a great time to stop by and enjoy their Friday “Wine down” sessions.
Watch the sunset over the Banhoek Valley and enjoy a slow tasting that only closes long after many of the other estates have shut up shop.
Apart from the quality of their award-winning wines, De Morgenzon is well known for the gardens on the estate. The long, elegantly decorative driveway leads to a picturesque tasting room.
The entire 91ha of the estate is a lush blend of vineyards and local vegetation, dotted with lakes and meadows of flowers. The blue mountains in the distance complete the image that you are in fact trapped in a classical landscape painting.
It’s hard to miss the opulence at Delaire Graff. This Relais & Chateaux venue is dripping in it, from the beautifully manicured lawns to the impressive artworks dotted throughout the gardens and the property itself. All this largesse has paid off however and it’s very difficult not be overawed as you walk through the front door.
The gardens, the modern hotel and the ambience of excellence is perfectly accentuated by the natural surroundings where vinyards wend their way toward distant mountains. It’s elegant and classy, and all just staggeringly beautiful.
The driveway at Rustenberg may make the trip worth it alone, but what takes it over the top is the beautifully manicured lawns and elegant gardens that surround the historic Cape Dutch homesteads. The grey mountains looming over the property only enhance the sense that you are stepping back into a place that time forgot.
Founded in 1682 the history of the place is evident everywhere, and yet the tasting room is charmingly modern and the ideal place from which to appreciate this one of a kind place.