Our selection of must-try sip and swirl sessions for locals and visitors alike
Living in or visiting the Western Cape means that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to wanting to indulge in a mind-blowing wine tasting session. With world-class wine regions and top-notch wine farms practically on your doorstep, a mouth-watering sip-and-swirl sitting is often, literally, minutes away.
But in order to help you negotiate and make the most of the Winelands, we’ve rounded up a few of the coolest wine tasting options in and around Cape Town. From sessions that include a tasty food pairing- think chocolate and cheese- to ones preceded by a Segway tour (more on that later), there’s definitely something for everyone and every budget.
WINE TASTINGS IN AND AROUND CAPE TOWN
Where: The Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch
What to expect: With award-winning vino and delicious nosh on offer, a wine tasting at Spier is one of the most popular options in the Stellenbosch area. There are three options: The Spier tasting, which lets you sip three of its Signature range wines as well as one vino from each of its 21 Gables and Creative Block premium ranges; the chocolate and wine pairing, which, as the name suggests, sees the farm’s signature Méthode Cap Classique and Creative Block blends complemented by specially curated chocolates; and the Frans K Smit session, which comprises two premium ranges and the farm’s flagship offering, Frans K Smit. Planning a family outing? Well, there is also a kiddies’ grape juice tasting available. Do note that food platters to accompany the sitting are available to order as well – think cured meats, olives and cheeses. Sounds delicious, right? P.S: check out this Segway tour offering from this forward-thinking farm, the two- hour option includes a complimentary wine tasting.
Price: Sessions will set you back between R35p/p and R90p/p.
Opening times and booking info: Spier’s tasting room, which sits on the banks of the Spier dam, is open daily from 10am to 4:30pm. A reservation is required for groups of eight or more and can be made by calling +27 (0) 21 809 1143.
R310 | Lynedoch Road | Stellenbosch|
Where: La Motte Winery in Franschhoek
What to expect: You can channel your inner Dionysus and sip and swirl the winery’s acclaimed reds and white. La Motte also offers specialised tastings, like the Shiraz Comparative Tasting, which lets you explore and savour various Shiraz blends, style and vintages, as well as a Vinoteque Tasting, which comprises the estate’s older and current vintages so as to discover the evolution of its award-winning wines and to investigate the effects of bottle ageing and maturation. Furthermore, there’s a one-of-a-kind pairing that matches five bite-sized portions of haute cuisine with five of the winery’s highly rated reds and whites that is presented in a private room in the farm’s elegant tasting centre every Friday.
Price: Expect to pay between R50p/p and R200p/p depending on which tasting you opt for.
Opening times and booking info: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm. The tasting room is closed on Sundays and all Christian holidays. Reservations for groups, themed tastings and cellar tours are essential and can be made by calling +27 (0)21 876 8820 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
(R45) Main Road | Franschhoek|
Where: Avontuur Wine Estate and Thoroughbred Farm
What to expect: If you are on the hunt for speciality wine pairings then Avontuur has got you covered. Its monthly combos feature tantalising and scrumptious options like biltong, nougat and chocolate and wine pairings. Tastings take place in Avontuur’s gorgeous, newly renovated tasting room, which claims views of the farm’s paddocks, where some of South Africa’s champion race horses spend their days off the track.
Price: The monthly pairing only costs R50p/p (includes three varietals and pairing of the month).
Opening times and booking info: Booking is required and can be done by calling +27 (0) 21 855 3450 or mailing email@example.com.
R44 | Between Stellenbosch & Somerset West | Somerset West | +27 (0) 21 855 3450
Where: Fairview Wine Estate in Paarl
What to expect: Wine and cheese! Need we say more? Fairview’s stunning tasting room is made up of a number of pods that facilitate a less pretentious and more social session. All of the tasting options include a range of Jersey milk and goat’s milk cheeses and between six and eight wines. Not to mention, there are dedicated tasting room hosts and guide to ensure you make the most of your visit.
Price: A super affordable option; prices range between R12p/p and R60p/p.
Opening times and booking info: The tasting room is open seven days a week (with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Day) from 9am to 5pm. Bookings are required for groups of 10 or more guests and can be made by calling +27 (0)21 863 2450 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Suid-Agter Paarl Road | Paarl
Where: Stellenbosch Hills
What to expect: What’s better than a wine and cheese pairing? If your answer was something along the lines of a biltong, droëwors and vino combination, then look no further than Stellenbosch Hills. The estate partners six of its premium wines with a selection of cured and dried meat and sausage. For example, a springbok biltong and Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve Whitecombo anda kudu droëwors Stellenbosch Hills Cabernet Sauvignon serving form part of the six-course pairing. Apart from the “Biltong & Droëwors Adventure”, the winery also offers a straightforward tasting session where you can select a maximum of five wines.
Price: The meaty option costs R40p/p while the regular session will set you back a measly R15p/p. Do note: should you choose to purchase a bottle of vino after the tasting, the fees will be waived.
Opening times: Tastings are on the go from Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.Bookings can be made by emailing email@example.com calling + 27 (0) 21 881 3828/9.
R310 | Stellenbosch
Where: De Grendel Wine Farm in Durbanville
What to expect: Sip and savour top-notch reds and white on the farm’s sprawling veranda, which boasts gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding vineyards. In terms of the actual tasting, you have the option of sampling the full range of De Grendel vino or any three varietals that are available that day. Furthermore, cheese and charcuterie platters are available to elevate your already fantastic wine tasting experience. Not to mention, De Grendel is roughly 15 minutes away from Cape Town CBD.
Price: Offering great value for your hard-earned cash, tastings will only set you back between R20p/p and R50p/p.
Opening times and booking info: The tasting room is open every day of the week: Monday to Saturday (9am to7pm) and Sunday (10am to 4pm). Booking is essential for groups of eight or more, and can be done by calling + 27 (0)21 558 6280.
Plattekloof Road | Durbanville
Where: Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in Franschhoek
What to expect: This modern tasting room, which effortlessly blends elements of wood, glass and chrome, is where you can indulge in an affordable wine tasting experience. And in terms of the elixir that you will be sampling, well you get to choose any five wines from the estate’s Family Collection, Classic or Lookout ranges. Side note: On weekends, the winery also serves a colourful range of wine cocktails made specifically to enhance and complement the natural flavours of 10 of its vintages. Options include a cranberry Rosé Cosmopolitan, a pineapple-based Sauvignon Blanc Cooler and a cinnamon-tinged Chardonnay Margarita.
Price: A wine tasting session costs just R25p/p (R30 p/p for the tutored group option).
Opening times and booking info: The tasting room welcomes visitors Tuesdays to Saturdays between 9am and 5pm and on
Sundays from 11am to 5pm. The tasting room is closed on all Christian religious holidays and can be reached on +27 (0) 21 876 8002 for bookings.
R45 Main Road | Franschhoek Valley
Where: Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch
What to expect: The folks at this no-frills no-fuss winery are adamant about giving you an exciting wine experience. How? Well, in addition to facilitating dirt-cheap tasting sessions, they also offer FREE cellar tours! And while the sip-and-swirl sessions usually take place in the tasting room (its massive fireplace makes it great for winter by the way), you also have the option of indulging over a meal at the estate on-site restaurant, Hermitage. Of course if you are not in the mood for a full meal, you can order a cheese or snack platter to accompany the tasting.
Price: Believe it or not, wine tasting at Hazendal costs a mere R15p/p!
Opening times and booking info: Tastings run from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Booking is required for groups of five or more and this can be done by calling +27 (0) 21 903 5034.
Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch
Where: Creation Wines in Hermanus
What to expect: To say that there is a wine pairing for everyone at this heavenly estate would be somewhat of an understatement. From gourmet canapés served with a specially curated selection of wines and a vino and chocolate pairing to a non-alcoholic tea and snacks combo and secret wine and food pairing, Creation Wines certainly caters for all. Not to mention, there is a specialised kids’ offering that features juices, flavoured milks and a selection of tasty treats.
Price: With prices ranging from R75p/p to R250p/p, wine tasting at Creation Wines is a little pricey, but totally worth your hard-earned pennies. Do note: the price includes the food pairings.
Opening times and booking info: The tasting room is open daily from 10am to 5pm. However, food and wine pairing run until 4pm daily. To book, contact +27 (0) 28 212 1107.
Hemel-en-Aarde Road | Hermanus
Where: Doolhof Wine Estate in Wellington
What to expect: The sip–and-swirl sessions at this stunning estate, which is nestled in the Bovlei Valley, take place in the farm’s original 19th-century wagon house, which has been transformed into a classy tasting room. Here you can channel your inner wine connoisseur and indulge in any five of Doolhof’s award-winning varietals – think rich Bordeaux blends, crisp Chardonnays and refreshing Chenin Blancs. What’s more, if you work up a bit of an appetite during your session, you can order a light lunch that will be prepared by the estate’s chef. Options include gourmet sandwiches, salads, pastas and a “wrap of the day”.
Price: A wine tasting session at Doolhoof costs just R20p/p for five vinos, and pensioners get to indulge for FREE on Wednesdays. This fee is waived if you purchase any bottle(s) over R100. The light lunches range from R50 to R100.
Opening times and booking info: The tasting room is open every single day of the week including public holidays: Monday to Saturday (10am to 5pm) and Sunday (10am to 4pm). Lunches can be ordered from Tuesday to Sundays between 11am and 3pm. Reservations should be made 24 hours in advance for groups of six and more and can be made by calling + 27 (0)21 873 6911 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Hemel-en-Aarde Road | Hermanus