Rolling hills, sprawling vineyards, and mountain views are just a few of the reasons why South African wine country should be a destination on your wine tour bucket list. But before you begin booking your flights, CMS Level I and WSET II certified Cas Herwaldt (@bythestem) takes us on a trip to some of the best wineries in the region. Read more on her recommendations and take careful notes!
Between the absolutely stunning views, the unbeatable hospitality and unique and delicious wines, South African wine country is one for the books!
Just 30 minutes outside of the city of Cape Town lies the Stellenbosch region and Mulderbosch Winery. The name has made its way around the US a little bit (you’ll recognize their red wax seal and unique labels) and is certainly one to try. Not only is the property gorgeous, but the people inside are welcoming and passionate about their wines. They have such pride in their finished product and are so eager to share their whole line up with anyone that walks in the cellar doors. The best part is that you can enjoy these wines in the US, including The Faithful Hound and the Mulderbosch Rose and Chenin Blanc.
Also in the Stellenbosch region, just 15 minutes east, lies Byerskloof Winery. If you’re looking for a perfect example of the famous South African Pinotage, this is the spot! Pinotage is the signature variety of South Africa and is cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (Hermitage). It’s known to be a big and bold red wine with some spice, oak, and meaty characteristics. It’s an acquired taste! Pair it with some lamb at a traditional South African braii (barbecue) and you won’t be disappointed. The line-up of wines to try was absolutely incredible, and with the prices being in Rands, (right now it’s 14 Rand to 1 US Dollar) it’s difficult not to send multiple cases back home!
From one great winery to another, next was Vrede en Lust. This wine farm has been producing wines for over 300 years and is passionate about keeping the terroir characteristics in the wine and it really shows. They have a wide spectrum of varieties from Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Sparkling, Malbec, Syrah, Rose and many more! Unfortunately, none of these beauties are available outside of South Africa yet, so it’s highly recommended to stock up and ship some back. The stunning view (and wine) is best paired with a tasty charcuterie board.
Lastly, residing in the Franschhoek region is Haute Cabriere—a dreamy vineyard for any wine enthusiast! What’s most unique about this location is the tasting room built right into the side of the Franschhoek Mountains. Their Burgundian terrior also creates some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir out there. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, their Sparkling Wines are made in Methode Cap Classique (classic Champagne method). Does it get much better than that!?
Cheers to an incredible wine tour! If you haven’t gotten your hands on some South African wine yet, give it a try. And if you’ve tried it and wrote it off, give it another chance because there are some stunning wines being made here!
Looking for more winecation inspiration? Check back for more regional snapshots from other wine experts traveling to beautiful vineyards around the globe. If you have a favorite region of yours you’d like to share, tag us (@Coravin) on all social channels!