Sharing all the details of our day trip from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and the famed South African wine region for a day of fun with Wine Escapes!
One of the definite highlights of our trip to South Africa was the day we spent exploring Stellenbosch and South Africa’s wine region. We knew before the trip this was an activity we wanted to do, so our dear friend Amy made a recommendation to book with her friend, John, who owns Wine Escapes.
Let me just preface this by saying, we usually aren’t tour kind of people, but Amy is intimately familiar with South Africa and any friend of hers is a friend of mine, so I booked without hesitation. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we made and without a doubt one of the best days of our trip.
Not only did he take us to three different wineries, he was incredibly knowledgeable on the region, wine, and history of South Africa. He is so friendly and goes out of his way to make your day special – this was apparent in our pre-booking when he asked what wines we liked so he could tailor our itinerary – and we felt completely safe and secure from our initial deposit (secure server) to being dropped back off at our hotel.
Worth noting: John even did a little side trip to show us Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ at the prison. If you book one thing ahead of time, make sure it’s a day in the wine region and, obviously, I highly recommend Wine Escapes (request John!). Our total cost for two people was around $350USD for 8 hours, which included pick-up/drop-off at our hotel, private transportation, tastings, and lunch.
Okay, onward! We drove through three popular regions — Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl — and the wineries we visited were Avondale, Anthonij Rupert, and Mitre’s Edge. We also enjoyed lunch at Tokara.
Avondale Winery was our first stop and where we were able to taste wine straight from the grapes without fermentation – was so sweet! Here, we learned that they need 1 ton of grapes to make 720 bottles of wine. We loved the Queverian, which was made using clay pots, and bought a bottle to take home.
South Africa Wine Region
Anthonij Rupert Wines
This was a larger winery, but we loved it, and got to see the main house, which was built in 1883. We tried so many different varieties here (including a delicious Chenin Blanc), but our favorites were Laing, a highly-rated food wine, and Riebeeksrivier, a smooth mix of grapes.
While Tokara was only a lunch stop for us, it was a highlight, because I ate the best meal of my life – a pasta dish that included goat cheese. Dane had springbok with peaches and said his was amazing, too! We also shared a dessert that had the most beautiful presentation I’ve ever seen.
South African Wine
The estate is owned by the first banker of South Africa and has some of the most picturesque views from the restaurant. Would 10/10 recommend a stop here!
Our third and final stop of the day was Mitre’s Edge, where we were treated to a wine and cheese tasting in their cellar. Their Malbec was rated the best in the country, so Dane was especially eager to test it out. We really loved their Vigonier and Solto.