There are a few ways to visit the Stellenbosch area.
- You can head directly there (via car, about 40 minutes) and drive from vineyard to vineyard.
- Get there (via car or and Uber from Cape Town for about $30) and Uber amongst the Vineyards
- Hop On Hop Off Bus amongst the vineyards
- Do an organized tour (picking you up in Cape Town or central Stellenbosch)
Stellenbosch Guided Tours
I recommend the guided tour. It’s great deal and it was extremely well organized so that we got to see and a do lot, plus had a very knowledgeable guide with all day. I recommend Wine Flies.
The one-day tour from Cape Town costs about $USD 67.
- Pick up and drop off in Cape Town
- Lunch (Braai, a traditional barbecue meal)
- Five vineyards with five tasting at each
- One wine pairing with cheese
- One wine pairing with chocolates
- One wine pairing with cured meats
The vineyards were all fun, interesting and unique. They ranged from large production facilities that feel slightly immense and corporate to smaller, family run boutique vineyards where you do a tasting in the cellar of the family home.
My Favorite Vineyards:
The family run boutique vineyard. The wines were excellent and were paired with the neighboring farm’s award-winning cheese. The ambiance and friendly atmosphere from Alex, the family friend who walked us through the tasting made it a memorable experience.
The wines were quite good and ran the gamut from reds to roses to whites, all exceeding expectations. Honesty note: this was my fifth vineyard, so my palette wasn’t all that judgmental at the time.
The unique and fun part of this vineyard was the Duck Parade. Instead of using chemicals on their vines, they train ducks to run through the vineyard, eating insects and snails. In order to train them to do this, there’s a ‘duck parade’ three times a day where the ducks all able in a line around the barn. It hilarious to watch.
Lovane Boutique Wine Estate & Guest House
This is a fairly small, boutique winery with a quaint feel. The wines were excellent here and the tasting room has a great atmosphere. The tasting room is in the cellar and is fairly small, giving you more of a one-on-one experience than some of the larger wineries in the area.
Unique to the Wine Flies tasting, they’ve worked together to create unique chocolate pairings for each wine that you taste. I was skeptical at first because I don’t really care for sweets, but some of the pairings did, in fact, enhance the flavor of the wine. Or maybe it was that I’d already visited three wineries that day. Either way, it was fun.
They also have a dining room which looked to have some great meals. On the premises are a few rooms that you can rent if you want to stay in Stellenbosch overnight. The nightly rates were quite reasonable. Try contacting them directly, as their prices were lower than those I found online.
One of the additional fun aspects to the group tour was that, because every had quite a bit of wine, our guide encouraged us to head off to another spot together, which most of the group did, resulting in a fun evening with new friends.