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Sunday 5 March 2023

Stellenbosch: where wine meets art and culture

I am an unashamed fan of the wines and wine tourism offerings in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek and Robertson all have a swag of great wines to taste, and superb cellar doors with additional experiences including restaurants, art galleries and museums.

In and around the historic university town of Stellenbosch, it is easy to combine tastings with some gallery and museum hopping.

Here are some suggestions - from tranquil gardens to thought-provoking pieces dotted on the historic streets - from the team at Visit Stellenbosch.


Rupert Museum
The Rupert Museum (top) is home to a superb collection of modern South African art collected from 1940 to early 2000s by the late Dr Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte Rupert. The museum also manages the Rembrandt van Rijn collection of more contemporary South African art and the Huberte Goote collection, featuring modern French tapestries and Italian paintings and sculpture. The MakerStudio and event lawn, active library and vibrant Museum Café are open for all to enjoy.

Stellenbosch Museum
The Stellenbosch Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the history and cultural heritage of the region. Offerings include the Village Museum, guests are transported into the past by a walking tour of four restored period homes dating between 1709 and 1850, each with a guide in period costume, and the Toy and Miniature Museum.

Glenelly Glass Museum
May de Lencquesaing’s spectacular glass collection housed in a winery complex is one of the largest privately-owned collections in the world. The exhibits range from the 1st and 2nd century to modern classics, including pieces by Salvador Dali and Lino Tagliapietra.

Worth a visit

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
This garden borders the manicured suburbs of Stellenbosch and a rugged mountain wilderness where leopards still roam. The artist aims to explore the Jungian notion of "the wilderness within". More than 60 sculptures are sited along 4km of pathways.

Winelands Art: Sips and Sights tour

This tour in and around Stellenbosch promises to explore nature, wine, food, beauty and creativity. It visits wine farms around Stellenbosch, looks at collections in art galleries, museums, sculpture gardens and art studios, with the opportunity to meet some of the artists. Includes lunch, coffee and wine tastings.

Oom Samie se Winkel
Oom Samie Se Winkel (above) is an institution in Stellenbosch and a recommended tourist attraction. Continuing the tradition of the rural trading post, it sells a range of odds & ends, traditional wares and handicrafts and local wines.

Art on wine farms

The Gallery at Cavalli Estate
This gallery aims to encourage local artists through its platforms of a public retail art gallery and public sculpture spaces. Contemporary exhibitions are presented at regular intervals in the m main gallery space on the below ground level.

The Art and Gardens at Delaire Graff Estate
A spectacular mountain setting features acres of tranquil gardens planted to reflect the changing seasons. Spectacularly in bloom every day of the year, the estate acts as an incredible backdrop for art and sculpture, where Laurence Graff’s personal collection is a curated showcase of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists.

Marvol Gallery at Hazendal Wine Estate
Cape vineyard meets emerging artists, creative collaborations, and a glimpse into Eastern European culture. Contemporary artworks are alongside the owners’ extensive private collections and sculptures.

Muratie Wine Estate | MOK Gallery
MOK gallery is an abbreviation for modern kontemporêr, Afrikaans for modern contemporary. Muratie has centuries of well-preserved history and MOK gallery is located in a building that dates back to 1685.

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