Fact: There are over 568 wine farms in the Winelands offering first-class views and outstanding wines. So let’s just caveat right at the start to say that picking our top 10 Instagrammable wine farms was no easy feat. Points went to the variety of activities available, location and sheer jaw-dropping power. While each to their own, we don’t think anyone could deny the likes these wine farms would collect on your feed:
It’s almost like a mirage. A relative newcomer to the 300+ year old wine industry, Bosjes (meaning ‘small bushes’ in Dutch) is a luxury country estate located in the Breedekloof Valley. When the estate first opened in 2017, the now much-lauded chapel (designed by Coetzee Steyn from Steyn Studio) stole the show on Instagram, thanks to the dramatic glass walls and white curves of the roof. Located just over an hours drive from Cape Town, this gorgeous destination produces wine grapes, olives, peaches and proteas. Besides the avant-garde chapel, there are photo ops all around, including the Chapel Gardens, the Bosjes Kombuis and Tea Garden. A perfect day trip.
We’d be shot if Babylonstoren wasn’t on our list, as this is the Winelands’ Instagram Mecca. And for good reason too! Since opening their doors in 2010, Babylonstoren has focused on surrounding all visitors with a thoughtfully designed and curated offering. No stone has been left unturned – quite literally. This 200-hectare farm, dating back to 1692, lies in the Drakenstein Valley (halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl). The 3.5-hectare garden is not only beautifully manicured, but it also supplies three award-winning restaurants on the property. Between the cactus garden, the greenhouse, the spa (boasting a stunning salt room built with blocks of Himalayan salt no less!) and the scent shop, your Instagram won’t know what hit it.
One thing South African wine farms know how to do very well is to offer more than just wine to its visitors. These days, most wine farms are turning into coveted destinations, ensuring there is something for everyone. Boschendal is leading the way with this concept, offering TWO tasting room spaces (the Cellar Door and Manor House), Die Werf (a fine-dining restaurant) as well as a deli, a farm shop and butchery, a spa, manicured gardens, picnics, mountain bike trails and of course, guesthouses for those wanting to spend more time there. Between all of these activities, there is also a rich history dating back to 1685, when the estate was granted to a Huguenot refugee Jean le Long. But we won’t judge you if you’re just there for a shot in Die Werf’s bathroom – a surprisingly unmissable space for a snap!
Now, before you start thinking that only places beginning with a ‘B’ are worthy of Instagram, don’t worry – we have plenty of other wine farms from all letters of the alphabet to share! But before we do, let’s give a shout out to Constantia’s little gem – Beau Constantia. After devastating fires destroyed the fynbos and pine forests on the property in 2000, the slopes were cleared and terraced, thereby exposing the great potential for the planting of vineyards. Pierre and Cecily Du Preez purchased the 22-hectare property in 2002, and since then, the striking vineyards have gone on to produce an impressive range of cultivated varieties including Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. What makes this a gem are the sweeping views (all the way to False Bay on a clear day) from the top of Constantia Nek, as well as access to one of the best-rated restaurants in Cape Town, Chef’s Warehouse. The balance between cutting-edge cuisine and a laid-back atmosphere make this an Insta-friendly hotspot.
Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it – you’re not alone. But that’s not the point of this idyllic wine farm. As South Africa’s second oldest estate, this location is brimming full of history and atmosphere, inviting visitors to take a slow walk around the 17 manicured gardens (remember to take a shot in front of the tree planted in 1700!) or dine casually or top-end at the estate’s award-winning restaurants. What’s extra lovely is that if you have little ones with you, there is an excellent child-friendly playground outside the Stables Bistro, which is not only practical but also designed with good aesthetic and safety in mind. Side note: If you have a chance, book a cellar tour to check out the modern, multiple level, gravity flow cellar first hand! Totally Insta-worthy, trust us.
There’s good reason for Delaire Graff being known as the ‘jewel of the winelands’ and lands itself as one of our top 10 Instagrammable wine farms. Located between the Hottentots Holland mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, the estate belongs to Laurence Graff OBE – Chairman of Graff Diamonds Holdings. No expense has been spared in creating a perfectly executed tasting room, spa, hotel, restaurant and retail store. One of the most striking spaces to visit is the heavily-guarded on-site Graff Diamonds jewellry store, which houses pieces comfortably priced in the hundreds of thousands. But for a perfect shot, our recommendation is to sit outside on the Wine Lounge terrace at sunset, enjoying a tasting and soaking in a truly breathtaking view that will have your followers sending you heart eyes.
When you think Noordhoek, ‘wine farm’ might not immediately come to mind. But as it happens, Cape Point Vineyards is situated at the very end of Chapman’s Peak Drive in Noordhoek. This mountainous location means the venue overlooks the Atlantic ocean, the False Bay coast, as well as a vast area of fynbos leading up to the coastline. The views are nothing less than breathtaking – where else do you get direct ocean and vineyard views? As it’s within Cape Town city limits, this is a great spot to head to for a wine tasting followed by a leisurely lunch, or if you’re up for something a little more romantic, a picnic on the lawn next to the lake (yes, a lake). Hello pretty!
So remember we mentioned how South African wine farms are really good at becoming destinations? Spier is another example. It’s actually quite hard to keep up with how much they have going on – whether it’s an art exhibition (this past summer they had a super Instagrammable ‘Light Art Festival’), a new restaurant opening (Vadas Smokehouse has an American-style pecan nut pie that will make you want to drive out there just to try it), or an Eagle Encounters birds of prey rehabilitation centre, there is A LOT to take in (and take photos of) at one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa. Beyond the perfectly manicured gardens, the hotel is found in a cluster of colourful, flat-roofed buildings that are reminiscent of homes in the historic Bo-Kaap – inviting visitors to walk around and get lost in the bucolic beauty of this private paradise.
When you hear the words ‘Mr Singh’ and ‘Franschhoek’ together in one sentence, you know the outcome is going to be nothing short of amazing. And so it is with Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines. First opening in 2016, The Leeu Collection’s founder Analjit Singh partnered in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines alongside Chris and Andrea Mullineux, the skilled winemaking duo behind these award-winning wines. The Wine Studio, their elegant tasting venue, is housed on Leeu Estates. Upon entering the estate, you will be gobsmacked at how much attention to detail there is across the 68 hectares (168 acres) of landscaped gardens, manicured vineyards and indigenous fynbos. As Mr Singh is an avid gardener himself, the Leeu Collection properties have been stylishly and meticulously landscaped and is worthy of your feed. As is the wine, the spa, the hotel and just about everything else on this pristine property.
Last but certainly not least is another Cape Winelands ultimate ‘destination’ – the Spice Route. Named after the historic Dutch East Trading Company shipping route, this restored wine farm houses a diverse collection of artisans that celebrate Cape culture and flavour. While the main call to action is the Spice Route Wine tasting room located in a cosy cellar-inspired space, there is a veritable cornucopia of activity to keep all visitors busy. Start the day with breakfast at Chefs Liam Tomlin and Neil Jewell latest restaurant, Jewell, which has a picturesque view of the Simonsberg mountains. Next up, head for a beer tasting at one of the Cape’s pioneering craft beer breweries, CBC, before enjoying a chocolate tasting next door at DV Chocolate. If there’s room for lunch, try a burger special at Barley & Biltong, before wrapping up the day with a coffee at DV Cafe.
There you have it, our top 10 Instagrammable wine farms! We’re confident to say that by the end of the day, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have filled up your phone memory with all of the images you’ll take between tastings and adventures. Snap, upload – and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram! And if you have any other wine farms worth mentioning, let us know in the comments below.