Known for being one of the oldest cities in South Africa, Stellenbosch is just a 40 minute drive away from the Cape Town city centre. Established in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, the town grew in popularity and became an independent local authority in 1782. With its rich history, sites and landmarks, this became a popular method to attract tourists to the area.
In 1971 Stellenbosch became the first wine region to establish a wine route for the public to enjoy. Now with over 200 wine and grape producers actively trading, there are ample places to visit. If you’re planning a Stellenbosch wine tour, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience.
Ensure All the Essentials Make It into Your Backpack
As the weather in the Western Cape is a bit unpredictable, you’ll want to pack a warm top, sun glasses and a hat in your backpack. You want to be comfortable while on your wine tour and these essentials will certainly help you. Before leaving home, be sure to apply a generous layer of sun cream as you’ll be outside for a substantial part of the day.
Whether using your phone or camera, make sure your battery packs have been charged and are ready to capture the beauty of the town. Most of the wineries have cash and card facilities available but do keep some cash on you just in case. This will work in your favour if you see something along the way that you want to get.
Aim to Visit No More than Three Wineries at a Time
With so many incredible wineries to visit, aim to visit at most, three at a time. The reason for this is you want to take in all that the wineries have to offer. From wine and chocolate pairing, biltong and cheese tastings, animal sanctuaries and wine cellar tours, there are so many activities for you and your family to take part in. By limiting your visit to just three wineries, you won’t need to rush between them and you can savour every sip of your wine.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Enjoy the best of both worlds when on your wine tour. Take in the different flavours, scents and ingredients of the different wines as well as the history of the winery. Be sure to ask your guide questions about the wine, the history of the farm and the ingredients used to produce the wines you are tasting. This will make you appreciate your experience so much more.
Be Sure to Drink in Moderation
As you’ll be visiting more than one winery, be sure to be conscious of your limits. If you participate in a wine tasting, you’ll be provided with a spit bucket. The purpose of this bucket is to discard of any wine you don’t drink. It’s common practice to swirl the wine around in your mouth, swallow a small amount of it and spit the rest out. Don’t be shy to do this as it will allow you to enjoy many more wines.
Remember to Have Fun and Enjoy Your Experience
The Stellenbosch Region has many historical sites for you to visit. There’s nothing that says you need to visit the wineries back to back. Be sure to request a few additional stops to be added to your tour. From leisurely walks through the town, art museums, Giraffe House, toy and miniature museum and weekend markets, these additions are a great way of ensuring you really make the most of your time in Stellenbosch.
Book a Stellenbosch Wine Tour with Explore Sideways
With so many wineries to visit, it’s impossible to get through them all in a day. To ensure you get to make the most of your day in Stellenbosch chat to one of our experts. With over a decade of combined experience within the travel and tourism industry, we’ll put together a wine tour that is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience!