Stellenbosch, South Africa
Stellenbosch is a small town about 45 minutes drive inland from Cape Town. The transformation of the landscape begins gradually as you drive out onto the Cape Flats, with the mountainous terrain of Stellenbosch growing ever closer as you approach. Not 10 meters off the N2 do you start to see the first glimpses of the town’s claim to fame: Grape Vines.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route
The Stellenbosch wine lands are but one portion of a much larger wine terroir in the Western Cape of South Africa, stretching from the Overberg area near Hermanus, towards Stellenbosch and Franschoek, and ultimately into the Swartland and Cedarberg. Each vineyard exudes a grandiose appearance, and the iconic white Cape Dutch manors dot the landscape.
We will detail our favorite vineyards in their own posts, but some of our go-to wineries are Zorgvliet, Anthonij Rupert, and Rupert-Rothschild. Quite a bit outside of the Stellenbosch route and therefore overlooked, Vergenoegd is a great place to sample some port and sit down for a delicious meal. The numerous geese roaming the garden are also quite entertaining.
Slow Market at Oude Libertas
South Africa has no shortage of craft markets, but our favorite among them is absolutely the Stellenbosch Slow Market at Oude Libertas. It may not get the same attention as the Neighbourgoods Market and others in Cape Town, but in this case that is a very good thing. Situated amongst the trees overlooking grape vines, the Slow Market is named rightly so – it seems to bring a much more relaxed approach to the craft market. Go for a delicious breakfast sandwich and some poffertjes, grab a glass of wine, and pick up some cured meats and fresh olives for your afternoon wine tasting trek.
The town of Stellenbosch itself is quaint and bustling. Situated on a grid, the town is easily walkable. Be sure to pick up a coffee or some bread at Schoon while you peruse the local art galleries and craft stores. Several wine-themed restaurants line the streets; most so good I can’t pick one!
We have not yet even scratched the surface of Stellenbosch, and we will continue to visit and explore! It reminds us of an even larger Michigan wine region, which we loved so much. There are still innumerable vineyards for us to visit and restaurants to try, and we are looking forward to frequenting this great little weekend getaway.