Cape Town and its surrounds is a world renowned wine region, recognised internationally for its fine wines. While the Cape's famed winelands have spread to Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and beyond, it all began in Constantia, quite literally Cape Town's back yard.
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The Cape is blessed with some of the most spectacular wine farms in the country, indeed the world, with spellbinding views, scrumptious farm meals and superb wines aplenty. With so many brilliant options – the Cape has over 300 wine farms – it’s hard to know where to begin. One of our favourite regions is Stellenbosch…
Not only does the City of Oaks boast award-winning estates, it’s also home to a slew of outstanding restaurants, boutiques, museums, galleries, and places to stay, not to mention loads of fun outdoor activities. We’ve rounded up our favourite wine farms in Stellenbosch so that you can go wining, dining and exploring to your heart’s content.
What are your favourite restaurants on wine farms in Stellenbosch? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
1. Rust en Vrede Restaurant at Rust en Vrede Wine Estate
An all-round first-class experience awaits you at the warm and welcoming restaurant on the gorgeous Rust and Vrede estate. With someone to greet you on arrival, stellar service throughout your meal, and exquisitely plated, vibrant and delicious French-inspired cuisine, it’s no wonder that two of SA’s finest chefs – Gregory Czarnecki and Bertus Basson – rate it among the best restaurants in the land. Housed in the estate’s historic 1785 cellar (also a national monument), the restaurant is built around a front-and-centre kitchen, which enhances the creative four- and six-course menus. The comprehensive wine list carries wide local and international selections, leaving little to be desired. Good to know Rust en Vrede’s Tasting Room lunch experience, comprising a two-item set menu of salmon and steak, is a no-fuss version of its celebrated fine-dining dinner. Tables are set under ancient oaks from 12pm to 3pm on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. Jordan Restaurant at Jordan Wine Estate
You’ll find George Jardine’s acclaimed restaurant on one of Stellenbosch’s most picturesque wine estates. Here, George and head chef Kyle Burn’s meticulous dishes are served by professional, enthusiastic staff. If you love cheese, you’ll fall in love with the walk-in cheese room filled with local cheeses such as Fairview Blue Rock and Klein Rivier Gruyère. Good to know Jordan Estate is also home to The Bakery, a relaxed eatery, with beautiful garden setting, where alfresco breakfasts (or lazy lunches on the deck) are highly recommended.
3. The Table Restaurant at De Meye Wine Farm
Like a scene straight out of A Year in Provence, The Table Restaurant on the beautiful De Meye wine farm in Stellenbosch, epitomises a winelands fantasy come true… long, sybaritic lunches in the country, surrounded by the people you like, and the joy of delicious home-grown food and good stuff to drink. Hosts Leigh Williamson and Brendan Thorncroft have created an honest-to-goodness experience that’s memorable and uplifting, and has regulars returning time and again. In summer, ask for a private table under the trees; in winter take a seat in the historic white-washed farm building for a cosy meal overlooking the vineyards beyond.
4. The Manor Kitchen at Lanzerac Wine Estate
Fresh from a year-long refurb (after a devastating fire destroyed the property in 2017), Lanzerac Hotel and its in-house restaurant reopened in July 2018, and is arguably one of the most beautiful hotels in the winelands, indeed the world. The third oldest farm in Stellenbosch (founded just 13 years after the town itself, over 300 years ago), Lanzerac is home to the immaculate Manor Kitchen, one of four restaurants on the estate, and certainly the most dazzling, with its eye-catching chandeliers, oversized leaded windows and lofty proportions.
Each morning, the restaurant is a hive of activity when the bountiful breakfast buffet opens for service, after which beautifully crafted classical dishes are available to order for dinner or Sunday lunch. Good to know For a more casual experience, the Lanzerac Deli serves all-day breakfasts, homemade breads, pastries, sandwiches, local cheeses and charcuterie platters. For a festive atmosphere, head to the Taphuis: a bar that is beautifully decorated in an array of vintage pieces including what is believed to be a confession booth that’s been restored and converted into a wine cupboard. Here you can enjoy gourmet pub grub beside a roaring fireplace in winter, or outdoors on the terrace in summer. There’s also the moody Craven Lounge, which offers gourmet small plates and boasts an extensive selection of the finest local and international spirits, a curated wine list, and an impressive cigar menu.
5. Overture at Hidden Valley Wines
Situated on the foothills of the imposing Helderberg Mountain on Hidden Valley Wine Farm, Overture has grown into a foodie destination of note, well-loved for its modern South African cuisine, beautiful views and impressive setting. Drawing inspiration from their mother’s recipes and early food memories, chef Bertus Basson and his hard-working team delight diners with refined dishes as well as bold fire-grilled plates. Good to know In August 2018 Bertus opened Eike, an elegantly edgy fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Stellenbosch, which takes his tally of restaurants to five!
Location Overture, Hidden Valley Wines, T4 Route, off Annandale Road, R44, Stellenbosch
6. Delaire Graff Restaurant at Delaire Graff
Situated on the dramatic Helshoogte Pass, Delaire Graff Restaurant is the full package when it comes to dining in the winelands, offering incredible views, immaculate interiors and excellent fare (so the steep prices should come as no surprise). Chef Kieran White’s exquisite menu offers classic bistro favourites with South African twists, and incorporates ingredients picked daily from the estate’s own greenhouse and vegetable garden.
Good to know The Delaire Graff Estate is also home to Indochine, an Asian-inspired fine-dining restaurant headed by chef Virgil Kahn, whose theatrical dishes burst with vibrant flavours.
7. Terroir at Kleine Zalze Wine Estate
Situated on the slopes of the Kleine Zalze estate in the famed Stellenbosch winelands, this venue is so much more than four walls. Dining at Terroir is an absorbing experience, during which time simultaneously stands still and slips by. This could be attributed to the rustling of the oak trees, or the view of the verdant golf course, or the food, the hospitality or the wine. But we think it’s the combination of all. Guests can choose to dine on the outdoor terrace or head indoors. The relaxed décor makes you feel right at home, with warm service complementing this feeling. When your waitron has worked in the same restaurant
for close on a decade, you know you’re onto a good thing. No matter the season,you can count on head chef Michael Broughton and his team for exquisite presentation, flavour combinations and textures that surprise and delight.
Location Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, Die Boord, Strand Road, R44
8. The Vine Bistro at Glenelly
Fronted by chef Christophe Dehosse (whose small menu changes regularly), this hidden gem is situated within a state-of-art building at Glenelly Estate and could compete with the biggest rivals in the area. It offers a French-inspired dining experience, no doubt reflected in the warm, yet elegant decor, which includes a mix of 19th-century chairs and classic Parisian tables.
On chilly days, it’s rather nice to cosy up to the fireplace, or gather in the elegant wine-tasting area above the restaurant; but if the sun is out, sit at one of the long wooden tables on the outside deck or under the pergola, and enjoy beautiful views of the vineyards and surrounding hills while enjoying your meal.
Good to know May de Lencquesaing, owner of Glenelly Estate, is quite the glass collector; she has one of the largest privately owned glass collections in the world. Glenelly Estate’s glass museum provides a fascinating glimpse into 2 000 years worth of glassmaking.
Location Glenelly Estate, Ida’s Valley, Lelie Street
9. Postcard Café at Stark-Conde Wines
This laidback restaurant is aptly named, as it can be found at one of the most naturally beautiful settings in the Jonkershoek Valley. With a selection of casual lunch options and delicious baked goods, the venue is ideal for a lazy family lunch or sumptuous winelands breakfast. All of this can be enjoyed in view of vast lawns and a tranquil dam.
Location Stark-Conde Wine Estate, Jonkershoek Valley
10. Tokara Restaurant at Tokara Wine Estate
Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking a valley of vineyards below, Tokara Wine Farm is one of the most breathtaking spots to spend the day (or just the morning!). It appears so suddenly while winding down the beautiful Helshoogte Pass into Stellenbosch that it’s easy to miss – but, trust us, you’ll be glad you didn’t.
The acclaimed restaurant offers mesmerising views of vineyards and rolling hills stretching all the way to False Bay. Presided over by executive chef Carolize Coetzee (whose previous experience includes stints at Dornier Bodega, Cuvée and Delaire Graff), guests can expect dishes that are elegant in their simplicity, composed of fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Good to know Tokara Wine Estate is also home to the family-friendly Tokara Delicatessen – one of the best spots for a laidback, view-drenched winelands breakfast. Booking in advance is recommended as the deli can get quite busy, especially on weekends.
Location Tokara Wine Estate, Helshoogte Road
11. The Kraal at Joostenberg
This country-style restaurant at the beautiful Joostenberg Wine Estate oozes charm and history. Situated in a stone-walled courtyard, which was once the farm’s original cattle kraal (hence its name!), the serene, shaded restaurant comprises several wooden tables nestled among wild olive and fruit trees. The set three-course lunch menu changes weekly, and features deliciously wholesome, farm-fresh dishes from chef Lanri Marais, made from locally-sourced organic produce – some of it from the farm itself! It’s the perfect spot for lazy Sunday lunches under the trees. Booking is essential.
12. Bodega Restaurant at Dornier Wine Estate
An 18th-century barn was restored and refurbished to house this laidback restaurant, where guests can enjoy contemporary cuisine while basking in the heritage-rich surroundings. A roaring log fire keeps things cosy during winter, and in sunnier months, guests can relax on the outdoor terrace with views of the vineyards and rugged Stellenbosch mountains.
A kids’ menu, and jungle gym outside, make this an ideal venue for Sunday outings with the family.
Good to know Dornier Wines is famous for its unique architecture, representing three different time periods: the 18th-century barn that houses the restaurant; the late 19th-century Dornier Homestead; and the modern, 21st-century Dornier Cellar. No wonder the estate was one of five recipients in the world selected of the National Award for Architecture by Great Wine Capitals Global Network in 2005.
Location Dornier Wines, Blaauwklippen Road
13. Longridge Restaurant at Longridge Wine Estate
High upon the Helderberg slopes lies Longridge Wine Estate, where a combination of Mediterranean-type climate conditions and cool ocean breezes makes the wine-growing conditions rather unique among Stellenbosch estates.
At Longridge Restaurant, executive chef Maritz Jacobs (whose previous experience includes stints at Reuben’s One&Only and Boschendal) oversees a range of locally flecked dishes, made using produce sourced from the estate’s own organic garden, and beef reared on their own farm. This, combined with panoramic views of Table Mountain and False Bay, makes for a dining experience that stands out even among the many gems of the Stellenbosch region.
Location Helderberg Road, off the R44
14. Cuvee Restaurant at Simonsig
Simonsig Wine Estate’s Cuvée Restaurant is the epitome of warm hospitality and old-world elegance, with a proudly modern-South African twist. The terrace has uninterrupted views of the majestic Simonsberg Mountain, making it a lovely venue for a leisurely breakfast, lunch or dinner. The passionate and dedicated culinary team uses local and seasonal ingredients to create an ever-changing menu full of fresh but comforting flavours, with dishes that pair well with the terroir-driven wines.
Location Simonsig Wine Estate, Kromme Rhee Road, Koelenhof
15. Red Leaf Bistro at Beyerskloof
Beyerskloof’s Red Leaf Bistro is where you should head for serene views across the Boland vineyards, lovely food, and superior wines in a relaxed family-friendly setting. This tidy bistro, where vast lawns are edged by lush vineyards, is still something of a hidden gem in the region, but we don’t expect it to remain that way for long!
Location Beyerskloof Wine Estate, Koelenhof Road, R304
16. The Restaurant at Clos Malverne
Set amid vines and lush meadows, this inviting winelands restaurant fulfils the need for fuss-free yet elegant dining. Guests can order from an à la carte menu, or choose the popular four-course food-and-wine pairing, enjoyed with the breathtaking views from the restaurant’s wraparound balcony.
Clos Malverne is a small family-owned farm steeped in tradition. Wines are handmade, using time-honoured wine-making traditions such as basket-pressing, and open-top fermenters in the cellars. Good to know If you’re looking for a unique wine-tasting experience, you should try Clos Malverne’s ice cream and wine pairing. Afterwards, you’ll wonder why no-one thought of it before.
Location Clos Malverne, Devon Valley Road