Everyone loves the popular wine farms, restaurants, and activities in Stellenbosch. After all, they’re easy to find on Google and lots of people are talking about them – but what about those special hidden gems on the path less travelled? We asked ‘boschers in the know (aka our own Visitor Consultants) to share with us their favourite, slightly lesser-known treasures in the area, and this is what they had to say.
You’re hit with the warm hospitality of this family-owned and family-run wine farm from the moment you set foot on the estate. Located near the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, Morgenster is best-known for its Bordeaux-style wines and Italian cultivars. It’s also the place to be to pick up a few bottles of ultra-smooth extra virgin olive oil, a few jars of lovingly grown olives, and some tasty olive paste.
Settle down to a relaxing wine or olive oil tasting experience in the estate’s contemporary tasting room, perched on the edge of a dam, all while taking in the stunning views of the neighbouring mountains and wetlands. Alternatively, head on over to Botanicum at Morgenster for a hearty lunch or dinner. Breakfast is also served on weekends!
Tel: 021 852 1738
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm
Kleinood wine farm is where you’ll find ten hectares of vineyards, complemented by two hectares of olive trees, as well as wild fynbos, colourful rose bushes, and delicious vegetables. It’s small, but it’s precious – hence its name, which translated from Afrikaans means, you guessed it, “something small and precious”.
It’s a fantastic stop for tourists in search of a taste bud tantalising experience, whether in the form of wine, olive oil, or gourmet soul food, but who also want a cosy atmosphere where they can enjoy being together and celebrate the best things in life.
Be sure to stroll through the breath-taking gardens following your tasting adventure. It’s one of the most memorable ways to de-stress in Stellenbosch!
Tel: 021 880 2527
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am 4pm
You’ll find De Toren perched on a hilltop where you can instantly feel the cool breeze floating off of the nearby ocean. Sit down to a premium wine tasting in the luxurious tasting lounge or on the terrace if you’d prefer to sip on the selection with a view to further enhance the experience.
It’s also possible to book a private wine tasting and cellar tour where a senior member of the De Toren team will let you in on the finer details of the estate’s wine-making philosophy and process, followed by a generous serving of the De Toren Délicate, De Toren Z, De Toren Fusion V, Book XVII and The Black Lion.
Tel: 021 881 3119
Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm
Closed on weekends and public holidays
If you enjoy a good bottle of Merlot, Bein Wine is the ultimate destination to add to your itinerary on your holiday in Stellenbosch. This boutique wine estate focuses exclusively on the production of fine Merlot wines and is the quaintest, smallest wine estate in the Cape, comprising only two hectares.
Savour an intimate wine tasting experience where you’ll sip on the estate’s best-loved vintages, or take a tour through the cellar and the thriving vineyard.
Tel: 021 881 30 25
Hours: Visits by appointment only. Closed on Sundays.
Stellenbosch is celebrated for its organic fresh produce and delicious seasonal ingredients. According to locals, visitors who are keen on taking some of these mouth-watering eats and essentials home with them should definitely make a beeline for Usana.
The farm is run by two brothers who were brought up in a prominent winemaking family and who have dedicated themselves to sustainability and ethical farming practices ever since. Usana offers incredible must-haves for purchase, from premium-grade grass-fed beef and pasture-reared eggs to fine wine. Email Usana to get a price list and place your order.
Website: www.winshaw.co.za (new website coming soon, follow them on FB and IG)
Tel: 083 650 9528
Meinert Wines is a small premium producer situated in the picturesque Devon Valley. Each and every bottle of wine is created with personal attention and care to ensure uniqueness and individual character. With only 80,000 bottles produced annually, every blend is personal and distinctive. It’s the perfect stop if you’re looking to stock up on velvety wine best characterised by its unique flavour and texture.
Tel: 021 865 2363
Hours: Viewing by appointment only
Boschkloof is a family-owned wine farm, spearheaded by Jacques Borman. The farm is named after its natural ravine or ‘kloof’ and boasts some of the richest soil in the region. It consists mostly of decomposed granite and koffieklip, ideal for growing vines chockfull of flavourful grapes. Not sure what to try or buy while you’re there? The most popular selection at Boschkloof is the Syrah, especially the single vineyard bottling called ‘Epilogue’. It was the first red wine of South Africa to score 98 points by an internationally acclaimed critic.
Tel: 066 396 2689
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. By appointment only
Lucky tourists can stumble upon Idiom Wines in the heart of the Helderberg range – a hidden gem offering more than just mesmerising views. Here, you can treat yourself to a spot of wine tasting, a sensory walk, and even a wine class where you can learn how to pair wine with a diverse array of culinary flavours.
Be sure to make a reservation at Idiom Restaurant and Wine Tasting Centre for a dining experience that you won’t be quick to forget. Take in dramatic 360-degree views of the False Bay Peninsula, a rugged mountain backdrop and picturesque sweeping vineyards of the Cape, as you tuck into a tasty three-course lunch or a classic breakfast.
Tel: 021 858 1088
Restaurant: Monday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm
Wine tastings and experiences: Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm
The Table at De Meye
The Table at De Meye is dedicated to supporting local suppliers, small-scale farmers, and delis, and it has them to thank for its delectable, fresh, organic seasonal ingredients. You’re always in for a treat and the opportunity to try something new as the menu changes weekly (and sometimes daily) depending on the fresh produce available. The restaurant only offers a set, three course, sharing-style menu so that loved ones sitting down to a meal can enjoy their food in conjunction with a stronger sense of togetherness.
Tel: 072 696 0530
Hours: Open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday
Mooiplaas is a wine estate and private nature reserve situated on the steep slopes of ancient mineral rich soils in the Bottelary Hills of Stellenbosch. Stop by to enjoy an afternoon picnic in a gorgeous garden setting where you can dig through a basketful of tantalising goodies, such as handmade chips, quiche, fresh baguettes, and chocolatey brownies.
Once your tummy is full, walk it off by embarking on the reserve’s 5.6-kilometre hiking trail where you’ll be delighted by sunny views of Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Table Bay and False Bay. It’s a great idea to book a hike led by the viticulturist, Tielman Roos, during flowering season (September – November) if you’d like to learn more about the sprawling fynbos.
Tel: 021 200 7493
Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm
Saturdays from 10am to 5pm
Closed on Sundays
Distillery Road is a ‘hidden’ road in Stellenbosch with the most wonderful offerings, from gin distilleries to wine estates and more.
Dalla Cia is a wine estate known for its age-old traditional Italian approach to putting a smile on the faces of its guests. The winemaking team specialises in Bordeaux-style masterpieces and Pinot Noir.
In addition to producing seven different wines and six varieties of Grappa, the estate is also home to an Italian food and wine bar, called Pane E Vino, right next door to the distillery. This restaurant gives patrons the opportunity to experience the true meaning of Italian hospitality.
Tel: 021 883 8312
Hours: Pane E Vino is open Monday to Saturday from 10am – 6pm (Saturday 5pm) and closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Autograph Gin Distillery
Who says that Stellenbosch is just about the wine? Those who prefer gin will appreciate Autograph Gin Distillery on Distillery Road. The micro distillery specialises in three premium gins, all crafted using fragrant fynbos grown onsite, and bottled by hand. Schedule an interactive tasting experience or stop by the bar to quench your thirst on a Thursday or Friday evening.
Tel: 0/2 550 2604
Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4pm. (By appointment only)
Bar open Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm – 9pm
Rascallion is a fairly new négociant and wine estate, established in 2018. The focus is on easy drinking and the estate specialises in sourcing finished wine from partner wine cellars in Stellenbosch, the Swartland, Darling, Roberston and Piekenierskloof. You can pay a visit to pick up a few bottles of wine to enjoy at a later date or make a booking for a memorable wine tasting onsite.
Tel: 078 886 2246.
Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. Tastings by appointment only
The High Road
For those whose sense of taste favours the elegance and complexity of classic Bordeaux-style reds, The High Road is the perfect destination. Bordeaux aficionados just can’t get enough! Why? The brand has been built on four unwavering pillars of distinction: exclusive sourcing of quality grapes perfected by the Stellenbosch Terroir, a single-minded focus on Bordeaux Varietals, an insistence on using a considered selection of fine French Oak barrels, and the estate’s proprietary High Road Practices. Schedule a wine tasting to see for yourself!
Tel: 076 044 5020
Hours: Tasting by appointment only