In Cape Town and throughout the surrounding area, one common thread remains: the stunning landscape and the fruit it bears (read: grapes soon to become wine). It’s no secret that Cape Town’s wine scene is booming, as evidenced by the South African chenin blancs, chardonnays and pinotages (the country’s signature varietal) currently flooding the U.S. market. This in turn has drawn oenophiles near and far to Cape Town to witness local vineyards’ growing techniques and sustainability measures – adding to the region’s already-booming tourism industry. And while it’s not necessarily new to the game (some of its wineries have been in business since the late 1600s), Cape Town is making waves across the board as a modern-day wine destination for all the right reasons. Herein, a guide to the top producers to visit in and around the Cape Town area.
Asara Wine Estate & Hotel
Tucked away in the foothills of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, Asara Wine Estate & Hotel is a stunning getaway far from the buzz of Cape Town. It’s got all the makings of a wine lover’s vacation packed into one neatly wrapped package: world-class dining, onsite vineyards (sustainable of course), panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, spa treatments, a gin bar, and more. Tastings and winery tours are available for both hotel guests (complimentary when booked directly) and visitors (for a fee). Reservations not necessary but suggested for small groups.
Founded in 1682, this historic site was the very first farm on the Cape and has been going strong ever since. Steenberg is comprised of a charming five-star hotel, multiple award-winning dining outlets, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, and, of course, plenty of wine to go around (Steenberg is one of the only farms in the area to produce Nebbiolo, a top-shelf grape from Piedmont, Italy). A variety of tasting experiences are available on a walk-in basis for groups of 10 or less (larger groups must pre-book).
Creation Wines has been bringing innovative winemaking to the Cape region’s scene since 2002. The husband-and-wife team’s dedication to sustainability has earned them the prestige of receiving the EnviroWines accreditation. The terroir shines, and there’s an experience for everyone (including kids) — from chocolate and full-course meal tastings to non-alcoholic and 10 a.m. brunch pairings, the variety alone is worth the trip.
Breedekloof Wine Valley Region
Made up of a collective of local wine pioneers, Breedekloof is an exquisite experience for those who appreciate the grape. You’ll want to plan to spend a few days in the area at the very least; check out the map of wineries, accommodations, restaurants, and more here.
For over three centuries, Boschendal Estate in Franschhoek has been carving out its own niche in the Cape wine scene; today, it’s one of the most recognizable names in the country. Revered for its sparkling varietals but also lauded for its still red, white, and rosé ranges (all released through curated collections), Boschendal exudes class and heritage from the moment one sets foot on the property. Stay in one of the cottages for the full experience or stop by for a tasting or a meal at one of the many dining options.
Durbanville is a scenic, peaceful retreat full of history and elevated wine tasting experiences. Groot Phesantekraal is no exception. Dating back to 1698, this bucolic wine farm produces chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, shiraz, and cabernet sauvignon alongside seasonal fare in a repurposed 18th century stable, both intimate experiences best when paired. Booking is strongly recommended for dining and can be handled via email here.
Durbanville’s Nitída is quite possibly the most chic of all of the Cape’s wineries. The attention to aesthetic detail is noticeable, and to say that every corner of the property is photogenic would be an understatement. Stop here for lunch at one of Nitída’s two restaurants or arrange for a tasting on any day of the week (booking is recommended) — chances are you’ll fall in love with one of the many varietals on offer, ranging from delicate to bold to adventurous and everything in between.
Kleinood Farm’s roots can be traced back to Huguenot beginnings in the late 1600s; today, the distinct wines (Syrah, Viognier, and rosé) and olive oils produced onsite at the farm use an environmentally sound process from start to finish, honoring the land that makes it all possible. Kleinood is open for tastings on Fridays only, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.