Almost all our visitors to the Cape make their way into the fabulous wine lands, be it on a day trip or for a few nights to soak up the atmosphere of this incredibly scenic region. Here are 5 of the best estates to visit, for classic architecture, fine food or restaurants and of course wine tasting!
Rust en Vrede
For 321 years Rust en Vrede has stood peacefully among the vineyards of Stellenbosch. Through centuries there were periods when wine was produced, but for the last 32 years their family have specialized in producing only red wine with the focus on Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot.
Many accolades have been bestowed upon the estate and some of the more memorable were when Rust en Vrede was chosen by President Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner and hosting the Queen of Denmark for a lunch with their family at the Manor House. Rust en Vrede was nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World and repeated this achievement for four consecutive years.
Founded on 1 February 1700, Vergelegen (meaning "situated far away"), has been under the ownership of some of the world's great explorers and visionaries, each of whom, in their own way, have helped shape Vergelegen to what it is today: a world-class Estate.
With its world renowned handcrafted wines, history spanning over 300 years, heritage, exquisite gardensand refined cuisine, it comes as no surprise that Vergelegen continues to be the choice of the discerning visitor seeking a total sensory experience. For this reason, the Estate has borne witness to many visits of heads of state and celebrities from all over the world.
Think of Vergelegen to spend quality time on your own, with your family and friends or business associates -wine tasting centre and cellar tours, Camphors at Vergelegen Signature Restaurant, Stables at Vergelegen Bistro Restaurant and the Picnic, are only a few of a myriad of enjoyable activities at Vergelegen.
Mullineux Family Wines
Mullineux Family Wines was established in 2007, and was owned and managed by Chris and Andrea Mullineux, with business partners, Keith Prothero and Peter Dart. Within a very short time period the winery established itself as one of South Africa’s most celebrated wine brands, both locally and on the international front. By 2014 they had received twelve 5 star ratings from Platter’s South African Wine Guide, as well as being awarded Red Wine of the Year in 2013 with their 2010 Syrah and Winery of the Year in 2014.
Analjit Singh’s love affair with South Africa started when he first visited the country with his daughter for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. On visiting the Franschhoek valley he felt “a deep sense of belonging, of energy, a sense of place” and subsequently purchased 3 adjacent farms which have been amalgamated within his Franschhoek hospitality portfolio Leeu Collection under the name Leeu Estates. The Afrikaans word leeu (meaning lion) is the Sanskrit derivation of Singh.
In 2013 Analjit joined forces with Chris and Andrea by purchasing Keith’s shares and the company was renamed Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
In 1695, a piece of land in the Franschhoek Valley was granted to German immigrant, Hans Hattingh. In 1709 the land was purchased by French Huguenot Pierre Joubert, who is believed to have named it after the village of his birth in Provence – La Motte d’Aigues. Viticulture on La Motte was established in 1752 with the planting of 4 000 vines by Huguenot descendant Gabriël du Toit.
In 1970 the farm was bought by Dr. Anton Rupert and a major development, restoration and conservation programme followed, which reinvented La Motte into a leading global wine producer and sought-after tourist destination. Vineyards have been progressively replanted with noble varieties, the latest viticultural practices have been introduced and a modern cellar has been built.
Today, La Motte Wine Estate is operated under the guidance of owner Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and her husband Hein Koegelenberg, Chief Executive Officer of the estate.
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm's name means "ravine of the Boekenhout" (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making.
In 1993 the farm and homestead was bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier.