Stellenbosch is a university town and wine-lover’s Mecca situated just outside Cape Town in the Western Cape. It is the largest of the Winelands’ towns and, as the second-oldest European settlement in the province, boasting a wonderfully rich history. In addition, it is also particularly picturesque. Its founder, Simon van der Stel, planted hundreds of oak trees, which remain tall and strong to this day, lining the streets and occupying the manicured gardens. It is surrounded by endless mountains and is lush and green, providing an idyllic backdrop for its many national and international visitors.
The wine farms and vineyards of Stellenbosch make up the oldest wine route in the country. Today, there are around 200 different wine farms in Stellenbosch and its immediate surrounds. These include acclaimed names like Spier, Mulderbosch, Beyerskloof, Villiera, JC Le Roux, Tokara, Klein Zalza, as well as those that are smaller and less familiar. Wine connoisseurs from all over the world know and appreciate the outstanding quality of the wines from this region. The wonderful flavours produced here include red, white and sparkling wines to suit every palate and preference.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route is divided into the 1) Greater Simonsberg, 2) Stellenbosch Berg, 3) Helderberg, 4) Stellenbosch Valley and 5) Bottelary Hills. Each of these is home to an array of farms and vineyards. A formal wine tour will take tourists on a variety of these so that they are exposed to the full range. Most visits to the farms (whether formal or not) will include wine tastings. Some are complimentary and others charge a fee, which is usually quite minimal. Wines can be purchased directly from the farms, often at rates that are somewhat reduced. (For in depth info about Wine Estate see https://www.sa-venues.com/attractionswc/wine-estates/)
Some of the wine farms boast their own in-house restaurants, while others still have the original farmhouses as relics of a time long gone. These add to the experience wonderfully.
Many of the farms, such as Spier, provide an all-round tourist encounters; with entertainment, food and curios for the family and friends back home.
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Because of the magnificent surrounds, a visit to any one of the wine farms of Stellenbosch is rather special. It is ideal for groups of friends and even families with children, as there is so much to see and do.
The heart of Cape Town is about 50 kilometres from Stellenbosch, and the Cape Town International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away. This makes Stellenbosch a fabulously convenient destination for those wanting to make a quick day trip from the Mother City, corporate travellers, honeymooning couples, families and friends. Other must-see tourist attractions here include Eagle Encounters, Oom Samie se Winkel, and the magnificent Jonkershoek Nature Reserve.