Zak Smith thought he needed a little something to mop up all the fabulous South African wines he’d tried. Luckily the vineyards could oblige
For wine lovers after some imbibery in the winter sun, look no further than Cape Town. With its world-famous backdrop, the city’s environs play host to some of the most spectacular vineyards gracing this earth, nestled among mountain ranges, lush valleys and panoramic vistas.
From Stellenbosch to Franschhoek, Constantia to Somerset West, thousands of acres have been lovingly cultivated for hundreds of years, producing spectacular Chardonnays, ros’s and blends but to name a few.
However, wine is not the only draw for South Africa’s most notable vineyards: many have developed gourmet restaurants on site catering to the discerning palate of both international travellers and local gourmets. With some of South Africa’s finest food on offer, here are the estates that need to be on the top of your list.
Nestled in the hills of Somerset West with panoramic sea views, Waterkloof’s glass-wrapped winery is worth a visit before a tour of the grounds. There are few more breathtaking places in and around the cape to enjoy lunch (pictured top). Haute cuisine is served up, with springbok a lunch favourite for the discerning traveller. You are invited pre-meal to try their selection of wines, and bottles can be purchased for your lunch in the facility’s cavernous fermentation room. The 2014 Circle of Life Ros’ blend is a particularly impressive wine.
Delaire Graff Estate
Laurence Graff’s foray into wine has been a rip-roaring success. Sat restfully in the rolling mountains of Stellenbosch, this luxury vineyard-cum-restaurant-cum-hotel-spa serves up fabulous food (pictured above; try the Kingklip if it’s the line-fish of the day) on a beautiful veranda, where guests can sit peacefully watching the sun move its way calmly and amiably through the afternoon sky.
With a notable brand name it’s an incredibly popular destination, and with millions of pounds worth of diamonds also on display, one can assume there have been more than a few proposals within Delaire’s lush grounds.
Potentially the pick of the crop when it comes to wine, Jordan is tucked away along a windy road, hidden from view. The restaurant is sat low in the hills and mountains alongside a beautiful lake, with panoramic views of False Bay and Table Mountain, where the chef’s ever-changing menu never fails to surprise and delight. A multi-award winning estate for both food and wine (try the Riesling), Jordan is not to be missed.
With its rolling gardens, colonial style buildings, five-star hotel and spa and two impressive restaurants, Steenberg farm has something for everyone (pictured below). Situated in Tokai right outside the city, the estate is easily accessible and a perfect day out. The Bistro is lovely, but head to Catharina’s in the more private gardens for haute cuisine. An eclectic and inviting menu set the tone, the tuna tartare a noteworthy dish, and be sure to sip on the estate’s exotically named Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc for a luscious afternoon tipple.