East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Sipping some of the best of South Africa


In my experience, the neighbouring regions of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek in South Africa's Western Cape do wine tourism as well as anywhere on the planet.

Not only are both dramatically beautiful, they produce wines that are delicious and affordable, employ helpful, knowledgeable staff and offer cellar door extras like restaurants, museums and art galleries.

Stellenbosch is South Africa’s second-oldest town and an inspiring wine, food, art and cultural destination.

A 50-kilometre trip from Cape Town, the town is home to Stellenbosch University, one of the cradles of the Afrikaans language, and has a lively vibe.

Star Stellenbosch wineries include Delaire Graff, Kanonkop, Jordan, Kleine Zalzie, Meerlust, Neetlingshof, Rust en Vrede and Thelema.   

On my last trip to South Africa I stayed in the delightful Oude Werf Hotel, right in the centre of town.

The media folk in both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek keep me up to date with what is happening in their neck of the woods and - great news for when we can get back there - wine bars are the new ‘thing’ with plenty having popped up in Stellenbosch.


 Here's just some of the choices in the town itself:

Le Grand Domaine Enoteca is the new home of Le Grand Domaine Wines from the remote Devon Valley and is a combination of a wine emporium, wine bar, wine tasting venue and bistro with seating both indoors and al fresco.

Qbar by Quoin Rock Wine Estate No time to visit the impressive wine farm? QBar offers a taste of the Knorhoek Valley’s in a downtown courtyard setting. 

Stellenbosch Wine Bar is a casual meeting place with a serious wine focus. Think sharing plates and a place where you can meet after work for a drink, a quick business lunch, a pre-dinner drink. 

Beyerskloof Wine Bar brings the wines of legendary winemaker Beyers Truter into the historic heart of Stellenbosch. Experience the Beyerskloof range of wines - including pinotage - before or after a dinner in town or alongside a few snacks.

Simon Wine Bar at De Warenmarkt is a new wine bar with a tapas menu and a cosy fireplace in a heritage building that dates back some 300 years. 

Bartinney Wine & Champange Bar features sustainably produced, small-batch wines with nibbles and shared plates at the bar, or sit outside on the terrace. Cash free.

Brampton Wine Studio is in the heart of Stellenbosch’s village quarter and is an urban winery with  tapas, signature flatbreads and beer on tap. 

Spek en Bone is tucked away at a historic site next to the original Stellenbosch market and features some traditional Afrikaans dishes. Guests can sip under the oldest fruit-producing vine in Stellenbosch and enjoy a tapas menu curated by leading chef Bertus Basson. 

The Wine Glass offers over 130 wines available to taste and enjoy by the glass, by the bottle or in a tasting flight of six. Choose from wines from throughout the region and enjoy local cuisine. 

Not bad for a town of around 75,000 people! Time for a return trip sooner rather than later.

For more info see visitstellenbosch.org

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