Stellenbosch is always high on my places to go to get out of the city and it doesn’t matter what season it is there is always somewhere to go and something going on! Obviously we go for the delicious wine but the food, the accommodation and even the beer is top class. We visited some amazing places recently ( and had a lot of wine so we could tell you which is the best obviously! ) and I thought I would put my highlights from each place in a post for you because maybe you will visit Stellenbosch and fall in love with it just like I did!
The House Of J.C. Le Roux:
Our first stop was J.C. Le Roux for a bubbly breakfast and I was unreasonably excited as you are when you are allowed to drink before 10 in the morning 😛 The estate is gorgeous and the interior super pretty, all white and sparkly. It was a gorgeous day so we decided to sit outside and enjoy the spring weather while we ate and drank and had a great time. The two most prominent breakfasts on the table was the Eggs Benedict which delicious salmon and the french toast with bacon. I have to try eggs benedict wherever I go and it was really delicious but when I saw the french toast I had some severe breakfast fomo. It was served with candied bacon ice-cream and it looked so good I had to steal some off Mike’s plate. Ice-cream and MCC for breakfast? Yes this place can just as well be called heaven in my books. After a very indulgent breakfast we were treated to a olive and MCC pairing which turned out to be way better than I thought it would be. I am not the biggest fan of olives but it worked so well and I definitely recommend giving this pairing a try.
I am not the biggest fan of beer but lately I have developed quite a taste for it and it was fascinating to see what went into making it. Stellenbrau launched their first beer in 2012 ( the Craven Craft Lager ) which even won an award in 2014 at the global craft beer awards. After a tour through their brewery and a bit of a lesson on how beer is made and the passion that goes into it we got to do a tasting which Michael was extremely excited about. I have to say the lager was definitely my favorite as well and I can see myself drinking it on a hot Summer day.
Middelvlei Wine Estate:
After all that beer we had built up quite an appetite so it was great that our next stop was for lunch at the gorgeous Middelvlei Wine Estate. It was just any kind of lunch either, it was the perfect South African experience aka a real braai! While our meat was on the fire we sat around on the sun drenched lawns with some delicious wine just relaxing and enjoying the vibe. This is the perfect place to bring some foreign guests in my opinion because they get to try out two things we love here in SA, wine and braai! The lunch consisted of braai broodjies ( toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches with onion that you make on the fire ) , potato salad and pumpkin fritters, some salad and delicious wors, chops and chicken sosaties. It was such a treat and with the amount of food they serve its difficult to not eat until you roll onto the lawn again.
After lunch we were put into two teams and were given the tools to blend our own red wine. The team I was in luckily won and we went home with some Middelvlei wine as prizes! We really didn’t want to leave as we were having such a great time but we needed to get to our guest house to check in and chill about before dinner that night, so off we went to Wedgeview!
Wedgeview Country House & Spa:
When we arrived at Wedgeview we were blown away! This hidden gem is surrounded by vineyards, valleys and mountains which makes for breathtaking views. It has a huge pool, a spa area and a lovely outside garden area where you can enjoy breakfast or dinner on warm days. We were lucky enough to stay in the Presedential suite which was basically a massive apartment with two balconies, the biggest bed ever, an outside and inside fireplace, fully stocked kitchen and so much more. I was almost ready to say goodbye to Cape Town and permanently move in! While Michael took advantage of the spa I had a luxurious bubble bath in the jacuzzi bath and then got ready for a sunset shoot in the vineyards outside the guest house followed by dinner.
Fleur Du Cap Wines:
After a chilled breakfast we headed off to Fleur Du Cap Wines where we got a tour around and then headed up to Bergkelder for a salt and unfiltered wine pairing. The setting where we had the tasting was absolutely amazing with carved wooden barrels all around. I had never done a salt and wine pairing before and salt isnt my favorite thing so I was scared we were just going to have to taste raw salt but thank goodness the chef had made up special little tasters using the different salt for us to try. It was really good and the pairings were amazing, especially the one with the salted fudge!
Stellenbosch Vineyards & Bistro 13:
For some reason I had never been to Stellenbosch vineyards and Bistro 13 which is such a shame because its pretty damn awesome. We started off with a short tour and a tasting and I loved how informal the tasting was. We even had a challenge we could complete for a prize but unfortunately I just wasn’t fast enough. This all made the experience fun and relaxed and the way all wines should be enjoyed!
We decided to have our lunch outside at Bistro 13 so we could catch some sun while enjoying some really good food. I had the trout salad to start which was so fresh and crisp and then I decided for something a bit heavier in the form of fillet for my main which was just so good! The venue, the view and the food all made for a great experience and we left full and satisfied!
Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery:
Our last stop on our Stellenbosch adventure was quite unexpected but really awesome. Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery looks like someplace from another time and we were lucky enough to see where they make the brandy ( which looks like a steampunk machine! ) as well as where they keep it which we found out is a place you can basically get tipsy off the fumes! After the tour we were treated to a little bit of a show if you can call it that. Their cooper showed us how he makes a barrel by hand and if you haven’t seen it for yourself put it on your to do list! the skill is amazing and what is even crazier is that they make all their tools themselves so not one cooper uses the same thing to make his barrel. We left the tasting for last and although brandy will never be my drink of choice i could really appreciate it, especially since we paired it with chocolate!
I still cant believe that every time we visit Stellenbosch we find so many amazing places and people. It really is a destination for everyone and you will never be bored no matter how many times you go!
Photos by Michael Eloff