Things to Do in Stellenbosch
There are some places so exceptionally welcoming, hospitable, comfortable, and friendly, that you feel like family from the moment you arrive and wish you never had to leave. Delheim Estate is one of those places, and this family owned farm outside of Stellenbosch has been growing grapes and making wine since the middle of the 1950s. The legendary patriarch, “Spatz” Sperling, helped formulate South Africa’s very first wine route back in 1971, at which time only three other wineries were part of the Stellenbosch wine route, though that number today has swollen to include over 600 different farms. Despite their success and pioneering spirit, Delheim has made sustainability a focal point of the vineyard, and believe that we are but stewards of this land who are placed here to care for it, show it respect, and it, in turn, will care for us. You can feel that spirit in the cellar door and famous Garden Restaurant, where the view stretches out to Table Mountain across rolling, vineyard-lined valleys.
In addition to tastings, picnics, and tours, Delheim is also known for their quirky pairing of wine with cupcakes, and the vineyard is often a favorite stop on Cape Winelands day tours.
Professional golfer Ernie Els, who hails from Johannesburg, opened the Ernie Els Winery in Stellenbosch in 1999. The wines produced here vary by year, but tend to be predominantly reds. You'll taste cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and merlot, as well as a popular red blend. The winery also makes a sauvignon Blanc, a syrah rose, and a chenin blanc.
The estate's tasting room is fun for golf fans and wine lovers alike, as it's decorated with some of Els' golfing trophies. The on-site restaurant serves lunches from Tuesday-Saturday, and each month there is a chipping competition on the estate grounds.
Because of the climate that’s needed to grow wine, vineyards are often located in areas with exceptional natural beauty. In the case of the famous Cape Winelands, however, the rolling hills and jagged mountains provide an awesome sense of wonder that’s stronger than most other wine regions. Of all the wineries in Stellenbosch, the Jordan Wine Estate is one of the more scenic, luxurious, and storied places, and has been family-owned since 1982 well before the area had become famous.
In addition to the spectacular natural surroundings, Jordan Wine Estate owes much of its success to the area’s mineral-rich soil, which tour guides discuss and explain in depth while strolling the vineyards before heading down to the impressively engineered cellar. As a winery that focuses on blending methods from the New as well as Old worlds, Jordan Winery has stainless steel tanks as well as wooden barrels, which along with the fresh, flavorful grapes and decades of winemaking knowledge, help create the distinctive flavors that Jordan Wine Estate is known for.
The Delaire Graff Wine Estate, near Stellenbosch, is a beautiful winery destination in the Cape Winelands region
Laurence Graff, a diamond dealer of many years, bought the Delaire Estate in the early 2000s. The estate was re-opened as Delaire Graff in 2009, and now features not only the winery but also world-class dining, luxury lodges, a spa, an excellent art collection, a diamond boutique, and picturesque botanic gardens.
Delaire Graff Estate is a luxury destination where you're tempted to stay for a few days, but you can also visit for a day to sample the estate's wines. Sip Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, rose and sparkling wines, and both white and red blends.