The 9 best wineries of Stellenbosch in South Africa!

Visiting wineries in Stellenbosch: a must when traveling through South Africa. A visit to a winery can consist of a wine tasting, but also a tour, picnic or extensive lunch. In this blog we tell you all about the 9 best wineries in Stellenbosch.
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Wine tasting in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek (Cape Winelands)

One of our highlights while in South Africa was our stay in Stellenbosch. Every day we went out to visit different wineries. Most vineyards in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek area are open to visitors. They are housed in beautiful buildings, from centuries-old Dutch-style houses to ultra-modern structures, always overlooking the rolling vineyards, surrounded by mountains.

Not only the environment and architecture of the wineries are worth seeing. Tasting the wines, with wineries organizing extensive tastings, wine lunches, dinners and picnics, is great fun too! Very different from Europe, most wine companies in South Africa are really focused on visitors. Including shops that sell wine, delicious food and lifestyle products, vegetable gardens, various restaurants and sometimes even with accommodation options. This makes visiting vineyards in South Africa really fun. We easily spent three weeks walking around between the grape vines, eating and drinking.Stellenbosch South Africa 1

Cape Winelands (Cape Wynland)

The Cape Winelands is one of the best-known wine regions in South Africa. This is the region that includes Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. In this blog we focus on (in our opinion) the nicest and most special wineries in Stellenbosch. We also wrote a similar blogs about Franschhoek and Paarl. Read all about the 9 best wineries in Franschhoek here and about the 4 best wineries in Paarl here!

If you want to explore the Cape Winelands yourself, just like we did, we recommend that you rent a car. Do you want to rent a car without hassle? Then opt for a car via Sunny Cars. With Sunny Cars we often book rental cars within and outside Europe because they have you fully covered in terms of insurance and you can contact them 24/7 with all your questions!Wine tasting Stellenbosch South Africa 3

Will you be making a road trip through South Africa? Then read our blog for South Africa tips!

Stellenbosch in South Africa

Stellenbosch is the university city of South Africa. This makes it a bustling city full of students who visit the coffee shops, restaurants and bars. The city is not very big and is located in the middle of a valley, surrounded by mountains and vineyards.

For us, this is the ultimate base to visit the wineries in South Africa. There are plenty of charming B&Bs to spend the night here. In addition, the city is safe and fun to walk around in the evening and have a bite to eat. You are close to several vineyards and even though there are many tourists here, it does not feel too touristy.

Read our Stellenbosch hotspot blog here with the best restaurants in and outside the center of Stellenbosch. And read our travel guide to Stellenbosch.

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Franschhoek in South Africa

Franschhoek, like Stellenbosch, is situated in a beautiful valley, surrounded by vineyards and mountains beyond. However, it is much smaller than Stellenbosch and it feels a lot more touristic. The main street is full of cute shops, restaurants and art galleries. You will also come across the wine trams that go past the various wineries.

Franschhoek itself is a cute little village with many wineries and restaurants that are nearby! Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are only 30 minutes apart, so you can easily visiting Franschhoek when staying in Stellenbosch. Here is our full travel guide on Franschhoek, filled with tips on nice accommodations, fun things to do, and our favorite restaurants! 

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Wine tram in Franschhoek

From Franschhoek you can visit 25 different wineries by wine tram. This way you can taste wine at several wineries without having to drive a car. There are ten different routes, with each route taking you to eight or nine wineries. It is a “hop on hop off” principle, so you decide how long you stay somewhere. For more information, see the Franschhoek Wine Tram website here.

If you want to visit specific wineries, for example wineries that we describe below, take a good look at the timetable to see on which days which routes go to these wineries.

We skipped the wine tram ourselves. We preferred to go to the different wineries on our own and had the time for this.

Cape Wynland Tip: if you prefer not to visit a winery yourself and arrange everything yourself, consider booking a tour through Get Your Guide. Click here for an overview of all tours in the Cape Wynland.


Paarl is a somewhat larger town north of Stellenbosch. There is not really a clear center and the city is spread over a large area. We liked Paarl the least and did not spend the night there. But Paarl also has its advantages. It is much less touristy here and there are also nice wineries in the area. What is also worth seeing in Paarl is the large language monument.

Which is more fun: Stellenbosch or Franschhoek

We have now stayed twice for a week in Stellenbosch and once for a week in Franschhoek. The first time we hesitated a lot and ultimately decided to stay in Stellenbosch and go by car to wineries in the Franschhoek area. And that was a great decision. But now that we have also seen Franschhoek, we also really like that place! Just like Stellenbosch, it is very pleasant, but more touristy. Plus there are a few wineries in Franschhoek near the center.

So you really can’t choose wrong. If you go to Stellenbosch, you will be in a real city where not everything revolves around tourists, since there are also many students. There are plenty of restaurants in Stellenbosch itself, but not many where you can really enjoy top-notch food. Franschhoek is smaller, with more tourists and really great restaurants in the center. Perhaps the way Franschhoek is located surrounded by very close mountains, Franschhoek is even more amazing for the looks. 

Sidenote: if you want to take a wine tram so that you can visit several houses in one day without driving a car, you depart from Franschhoek. 

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Read our Garden Route itinerary blog: with our itinerary for a road trip along the Garden Route in South Africa

Our 9 favorite wineries in Stellenbosch

Warwick – Beautiful winery great for a picnic in Stellenbosch

Warwick is definitely one of the most beautiful Stellenbosch wineries we have been to. It is located between the mountains, next to a large pond. In the garden around the main building, you will see cozy seating areas for picnics, tables for lunch, and fountains for children to play in. All super idyllic! Does the name Warwick sound familiar to you? That is a good thing because their wines are on the shelves of Gall & Gall, among others.

We did not do a tasting at Warwick but enjoyed the super extensive picnic that they offer here. We also drank the First Lady MCC Brut Rosé, a light pink sparkling wine, perfect for a warm summer day. And that definitely left us wanting more, so next time we would really like to do a wine tasting here.

You can choose from three different wine tastings, just like many wineries in Stellenbosch and the surrounding area, a wine tasting is offered at an accessible rate, there is a more premium wine tasting and finally, there is the most luxurious wine where you taste three flagship wines. Nice detail about this last tasting, this is a “blind tasting” where you get the tasting for free if you can match the wines well with the wine descriptions. I definitely want to try that next time! Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch

  • Tasting possible: You can do three different tastings here, the First Lady, Premium tasting, and the Trilogy Vertical tasting.
  • Restaurant available: yes, in addition to the picnics you can also eat well at the Harvest Table. Here they serve a fixed 4-course menu during lunch.
  • Hotel available: no
  • Prices: First Lady costs 75R, the Premium tasting 125R, and the Trilogy Vertical tasting 350R.
  • Driving time to Stellenbosch: 13 minutes

Jordan Wine Estate – Beautiful relaxed winery in Stellenbosch

After a bumpy road between the wineries, you will reach Jordan Wine Estate. This winery overlooks attractive gardens and a large pond. Everything is in perfect order and flowers grow everywhere. The atmosphere is relaxed and not too fancy. This winery is certainly not small, but in terms of commercial options, it is a lot smaller than, for example, Boschendal or Spier. And that creates an intimate atmosphere where they spontaneously gave us a short tour and showed a little more of the wine production process at Jordan Estate.

In addition to the tour, we taste seven delicious wines with a chocolate pairing. Really very tasty! If you want to have lunch or dinner here, it is wise to make a reservation. We would have loved to have lunch on the beautiful terrace of The Cellar Door (where they serve a kind of all-day breakfast menu), but the restaurant was completely full.

Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes, there are several options, from wine tastings with matching chocolate or cheese to guided tours with matching wines.
  • Restaurant on site: yes, three different restaurants plus a picnic option.
  • Hotel present: yes, the Jordan Suites. Click here for more information or to book directly.
  • Prices: Average, this winery is not on the expensive side, but certainly not very cheap either.
  • Driving time to Stellenbosch: 18 minutes

Read our Cape Town blog full of tips about what you can do in Cape Town in 5 days! Or check out our Hout Bay blog, all about a beautiful and quiet area within Cape Town. 

DeMorgenzon – Classic winery in Stellenbosch

A two-minute drive from Jordan, you will find the classic winery DeMorgenzon. This winery is known for the vines that receive very special attention: classical music is played for them. Boxes hang between the grapes where the sounds of Beethoven come out. In this way, the DeMorgenzon winemaker hopes to make even better wines.

Here we taste five different, tasty wines that we could choose ourselves. You pay a small amount per wine you choose. So you can decide for yourself how extensive and expensive the wine tasting is. The sommelier who helps us knows a lot about the wines and while drinking we look out on a gigantic garden. Wild flowers grow everywhere and the garden is a lot less cultivated than at other wineries. Nice to walk around the garden, along the pond, sometimes with a view of the mountain ranges and even Cape Town in clear weather.

This winery is really about the wines. You will not find a restaurant, hotel or other fuss here. Purely tasting and buying the wines is possible here. Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes, you choose the wine yourself
  • Restaurant available: no
  • Hotel present: no
  • Prices: the wines are certainly not cheap, think of a minimum of 20 euros per bottle. You can make the tasting itself as expensive but also as cheap as you want, because you decide which and how many wines to taste.
  • How long to drive to Stellenbosch: 20 minutes

Rainbow’s End – Our favorite winery in Stellenbosch

After a great route, through vineyards, grass fields and other countryside, we drive closer and closer to the Hottentots Holland mountain range (yes, this mountain range is really called that!). We have already driven past a number of other wineries and wonder if we are in the right place. But then we see a small sign indicating Rainbow’s End. Yes we are here!

It also takes a while to find the entrance, but when we have found it and step through the door, we see the great view. This winery is located near the mountains and therefore has the most beautiful view (in my humble opinion) of all wineries we have visited so far. It’s really great! And that’s not the only thing that makes this winery so much fun! Rainbow’s End is a small family winery. No big commercial intention here with several restaurants. No, here the son of the owner fills our glasses and tells us all about this location and their wines.

The Malan family bought this winery in 1979. After years of making wines and planting extra hectares, they have now specialized in red wine. And what a wine! Wonderfully full, rich, but balanced wine. We are big fans!

And so we see the sun slowly disappear behind the mountains, nibbling on some bread and sipping on the umpteenth glass of red wine, we continue to enjoy! Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes you have the option to choose 5 wines.
  • Restaurant available: no, but you can order cheese boards.
  • Hotel present: no
  • Prices: for five wines you pay R150 (€7.50). That’s not cheap. The wines here are not cheap either.
  • How long to drive to Stellenbosch: 20 minutes drive

Tokara – Most popular winery in Stellenbosch

If you ask people which winery you should visit in Stellenbosch, you will ALWAYS get Tokara as a recommendation. This is therefore the first winery we visit during our stay here. Through an impressive driveway we arrive at a large modern building. It is very hot outside so the air conditioning that meets us when we step inside is wonderful. In several rooms we see people having lunch and wine tasting, surrounded by art. The open front with large windows overlooks a beautiful garden with thousands of vines behind it.

We do an estate range tasting in the shade on the balcony; five accessible wines. I have to get used to drinking wine early in the morning, but I quickly enjoy the delicious flavors. This winery is known for its red wines, which are very tasty and full. It is important to mention that a visit does not feel very personal. Not surprising with such a large commercial company and not disturbing either. Combine a visit to this winery with another smaller winery for a good balance. Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes, you can choose the wines you want to taste. There are also cheese plates.
  • Restaurant available: yes, there is a nice Deli-like restaurant with breakfast and lunch dishes. The prices are relatively high. You also have the more upscale Tokara restaurant.
  • Hotel present: no
  • Prices: the wines are not budget, but the tastings are quite well priced.
  • How long to drive to Stellenbosch: 10 minutes drive

Wilderness is one of the nicest places along the Garden Route. Read all about this town in our blog! Also nearby is Knysna, definitely a must visit! 

Delaire Graff – most upmarket winery in Stellenbosch

Now you just read about Tokara and that was already chic, but Delaire Graff is just that little bit extra. This super chic winery is located opposite Tokara and here you will also find a beautiful driveway, followed by a beautiful building. This time with a very long corridor full of art, a number of chic areas for dinners and then a large terrace where you can do tastings.

No matter how beautiful, chic and exuberant this winery is, we don’t like it very much. It is too big and too commercial for us. Really a bit of a feeling of mass production, you are helped as quickly as possible, so that you finish your wine as quickly as possible and the table is free again. One cannot tell much about the wines and the gaze is already focused on the next table, which makes everything feel rushed. And that’s a shame because the wines here are not bad at all and the location is beautiful. Well, not quite our thing. Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes, five different options
  • Restaurant available: yes there are two restaurants, the bistro restaurant Delaire Graff and the Indochine restaurant, with an Asian-African cuisine.
  • Hotel on site: yes, the Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa. Click here for more information or to book directly.
  • Prices: This winery focuses on a wide audience. The tastings as well as the prices of the wines range from a few euros to premium options (they even sell a bottle for R4200; over 200 euros).
  • How long to drive to Stellenbosch: 10 minutes drive

The ultimate way to visit a winery with children: go for a wine picnic! Read our blog with 7 nice places for a wine picnic in the Stellenbosch winelands!

Spier – An inclusive, easy going winery

Spier is a large winery not far from Cape Town. We already knew the Spier wine because it is sold on a large scale in the Netherlands. They produce accessible wines and you can do tastings here. In addition, you will find beautiful gardens, multiple restaurants, shops, art, fun activities for children and picnic options. More than enough to do!

What we really liked about this winery was the great diversity of visitors. It felt a lot more inclusive with lots of local South Africans! That is something that we hardly saw at other wineries and that made this visit that little bit more special.

The wine tasting options are quite diverse. We did a chocolate pairing with wine which was nice but not super special. Also keep in mind that this is a large and commercial wine estate, making it less personal. They can’t tell you much about the wines and it’s more about all the nice extras such as the picnic and the play areas for children. Not a big deal, but good to keep in mind. Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes, 5 different tastings are possible, including one for children (with grape juice).
  • Restaurant available: yes four restaurants plus a picnic option
  • Hotel present: yes, the Spier hotel. Click here for more information or to book directly.
  • Prices: Tastings ranging from R85 to R300 (€4.40 to €15.40).
  • How long to drive to Stellenbosch: 15 minutes

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Vredenheim – Amazing location (petting zoo, big cat park) with kids but mediocre wine

It almost escapes you that Vredenheim is a winery! It looks more like a zoo slash playground slash restaurant slash event location here. Oh, and they also offer massages, gin tastings, vintage cars, and game drives. An extremely diverse location, but unfortunately less attention is paid to the wines. We didn’t really think that was great. In addition to their own range of wine, Vredenheim also sells their grapes to other winemakers.

And even though the wines weren’t really our thing, we still really liked this winery. And especially because of the petting zoo and the wild cat shelter. Yes, you read that last part correctly, lions, tigers, and other big cats are cared for here. Floris, our 1-year-old son, loved it and was amazed. The petting zoo was also very nice, as was the beautiful park around it where you could have a nice picnic with snacks from the restaurant.

So, do you want a relaxing afternoon away with mediocre wine but very happy kids? Then definitely visit Vredenheim Wine & Wildlife. Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch. Tip: Vredenheim is practically next to Spier, so if you want to taste better wines after all that wildlife, then walk into Spier.

  • Tasting possible: yes, you can do a tasting of 5 wines here.
  • Restaurant available: yes, Hudson’s Restaurant.
  • Hotel available: yes, the M’lord Guesthouse click here for more information.
  • Prices: for the tasting of 5 wines you pay 70 Rand, not much but the wines are not really great, to be honest.
  • Driving time to Stellenbosch: 10 minutes

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Hartenberg Wine Estate – Well-known winery in Stellenbosch

This winery is located between Paarl and Stellenbosch. Just like Spier, Hartenberg is a large wine producer and you can also buy this wine in the Netherlands. The wines here are delicious and it is also nice that you can read a lot about the wines, there is a lot of information inside the winery.

The wines themselves are not cheap, but a tasting is priced at R60. There is no real restaurant, which is a pity because there are more than enough terraces and nice places for this. You can order a cheese or charcuterie board here, we did that and that was a bit disappointing. It didn’t all seem to be fresh, a pity because the wines here are good and the location is nice too.

This winery is less chic than other wineries in terms of visits. Think plastic chairs and everything a bit old/corny. It is therefore not the number one place in Stellenbosch, other wineries that we name here we liked much more! Click here for the location of this winery in Stellenbosch.

  • Tasting possible: yes
  • Restaurant available: yes, for lunch (reservations recommended). Picnics are also possible.
  • Hotel present: no
  • Prices: For a tasting you have a budget (R60), premium (R100) and luxury option (R350). The wines themselves are not very cheap.
  • Driving time to Stellenbosch: 12 minutes

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Wineries in Stellenbosch we would like to visit someday!

Unbelievable but true, even after 2 full weeks in Stellenbosch we were not able to visit all the wineries we wanted to see. Below is a list of wineries in the Stellenbosch area that we also like and where we would like to go next time!

  • Cavalli Estate
  • Kleine Zalze
  • Lanzerac
  • Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards
  • Waterford Estate
  • Blauwklippen
  • Delheim Wine Estate
  • Kanonkop Wine Estate

A must visit in South Africa to relax is the beautiful town of Montagu! Read more about this place in our travel guide!


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