South African wine is world-renowned. The majority of its wine production and of its wine farms are near Cape Town. There are four main wine areas: Constantia, Paarl, Worcester, and lovely Stellenbosch.
Stellenbosch is just 50km East of Cape Town. It is located at the bottom of the Stellenbosch mountains and has a Mediterranean climate – dry and warm summers and mild and wet winters. So what could be more enjoyable than taking some wine tours Stellenbosch in that gorgeous weather?
It is a beautiful region with rolling gentle hills and big skies. The town of Stellenbosch South Africa is full of character with its Dutch-style buildings and lots of cute boutiques and coffee shops/cafes.
But of course, it is all about the wine! And Stellenbosch wine is just fabulous! I am Australian so I love a big rich new world wine thus Stellenbosch wines suited me down to the ground. However, you don’t need to have an Australian palate to enjoy the wonderful wine estates Stellenbosch has on offer and there is an extensive variety of grapes and blends on offer.
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Wine Tours Stellenbosch
There are seven different types of wine tours of Stellenbosch. The different options for wine tastings are based around half or full days, one or more wine regions, adding food, private or group or method of transport.
1. The Vine Hopper Bus Stellenbosch
I loved this concept! The Stellenbosch Vine Hopper is a hop on hop off bus that takes you around the Stellenbosch wine farms. This Stellenbosch wine tour bus picks you up and drops you back at your accommodation so you don’t need to think about driving at all. There are three different routes and each has six winery stops.
I checked the wineries on the Stellenbosch Vine Hopper route beforehand and decided where I wanted to have lunch and which Stellenbosch wineries I particularly wanted to visit. That way I was able to easily plan my day to maximize the wine varietals that I like best!
Each Vine hopper route covers a different wine area in Stellenbosch – Southern, Northern or Eastern. The tours run on different days eg the Southern Route currently runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
This means that there is a vine hopper bus operating in Stellenbosch pretty much every day. It also means you can use the vine hopper a couple of days in a row and visit different Stellenbosch wineries. I thought this was a fantastic concept and it worked very well – and to me was probably one of the best wine tours Stellenbosch options.
I took the Stellenbosch Vine Hopper Northern Route and made a full day of it visiting five of the six wineries. Simonsig was my personal favourite Stellenbosch wine farm and where I ordered wine to get sent to the UK. I had lunch at Delheim wine estate which was lovely – sitting outside with a very tasty platter of cheese and meats.
2. Different Types of Transport Methods for visiting Stellenbosch wineries
How do you like to get between your vineyards? There are several transport options when it comes to Wine Tours Stellenbosch. If you like a cycling wine tour there is a Half Day Stellenbosch Winelands Mountain Bike tour which includes two wine tastings or if you’re really keen a full day cycling trip from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek Valley which includes lunch and wine tastings.
Or how about wine and horses? There are lots of options in Stellenbosch here! There is a one-hour vineyard trail ride option or a two-hour vineyard trail ride. There is a Stellenboschhalf day Wine Tasting Horse Trail tour that takes in both. Or if you really like horses there is a Full Day Wine Tasting and Horse Riding tour.
Or for a really different Stellenbosch wine tour check out this Full-Day Wine Tasting Tuk Tuk tour Stellenbosch. In addition to getting around Stellenbosch in a Tuk Tuk there are five wine tastings Stellenbosch stops and most of those also include food – from chocolate to biltong to cheese.
Expert Travel Tip: How to Get Stellenbosch Wine Home
Several of the wineries I visited work with Capreo. Capreo basically ships wine from South Africa all over the world. It is a great idea to sign up with Capreo and then make your purchases through them. They then provide costs that include duty and taxes in your currency which is great.
Also, once the wine arrives Capreo has already made all the payments so there is none of that hassle of having to organise additional payments etc. I highly recommend using Capreo as I had a great and easy experience with them!
3. Full-Day Group Stellenbosch Wine Tasting Tours
If you’re staying in Stellenbosch a Full Day Wine Tour is a great option. This wine tour kicks off at 930 and will take you to four wineries (with tastings of 4-6 wines per winery) and a cheese and charcuterie lunch platter wine pairing. This full-day wine tour visits Franschhoek and there is a chance to wander and it also visits a Nelson Mandela statue. They will pick up from Cape Town for an additional fee.
If you’re staying in Cape Town and limited on time but want to see as much of South Africa’s wine country as possible then this Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl Full Day Wine Tour is for you. It covers all three of the regions, cheese and biltong and three wine tastings. This one of the best options for wine route tours Cape Town.
Daily Different tours are a new offer. These are guaranteed small group wine tours (no more than 8 people) and focus on lesser-known “secret” wineries. 4-5 tastings are included as well as cheese or biltong and lunch.
If you’re staying in Franschhoek try this Full-Day Cape Winelands tour which visits 5 wineries and covers Franschhoek, Paarl, and Stellenbosch. It finishes with a Diamond Cutting tour and bubbles!
Or why not experience the wine region with an actual winemaker? This full-day wine tour with a Stellenbosch Wine Maker is a small group tour with pick up and drop off in Stellenbosch.
4. Half-Day Group Tour Stellenbosch Wine Route
⇒ Hop on your bike and head off on the Half Day Stellenbosch Winelands Mountain Bike tour.
⇒ Mix wine and horseriding on the half-day Wine Tasting Horse Trail tour.
⇒ Limited on time? Try this Half-Day Private Wine Tours Stellenbosch option.
5. Wine and More Group Tours
Combine wine with wildlife on the Full Day Wildlife Wine and Safari Tour. This tour’s first stop is a winery with wildlife. Then you’ll visit an Eagle rehabilitation centre and finish up with Crocodiles – and wine!
Or if you’re short on time and based in Cape Town this Half Day Wine Safari combines tastings at two wineries with a Big Cat Sanctuary and a Wild Bird Sanctuary.
Again, if you’re staying in Cape Town and like motors as well as wine then check out this Wine Safari with Franschhoek Motor Museum Tour. The tour focuses on Waterford Winery and also includes a chocolate tasting.
To get even more of a feel for lovely Stellenbosch watch my nice and short video!
⇒ If you love finding hidden gem wine areas and California check out my Livermore Wine Tasting Guide
6. Food and Wine Group Tours
For a bit of everything check out this Wine, Chocolate, Cheese and Olive Oil Tasting tour. It’s a full-day tour from Stellenbosch. On the day you can choose which wine region South Africa you would like to visit.
7. Private Tours
There are quite a few private wine tour options. If you are based in Cape Town and keen to see as much of the wine country as possible this Cape Winelands tour is a good full-day wine tour option.
If you’re based in Stellenbosch and want to set your own itinerary for the day then this Stellenbosch Private Wine Tour is a great option. You will set the agenda for the day and can visit up to six different wine farms. Or try a Half Day Stellenbosch Private Wine Tour.
If you are a big fan of red wine there is a South African Red Wine Focussed Private tour around Stellenbosch that will take you to 4 wine estates particularly known for their reds. Or if you’re more partial to bubbles check out this Sparkling Sensation Private Tour of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch that focuses on the experts in South African sparkling wine.
And of course, if you have a car there are many options for self-drive wine tours Stellenbosch. Stellenbosh and the surrounding wine regions are quite easy to drive around – just make sure you spit!
How to Get To Stellenbosch
The closest airport to Stellenbosch is Cape Town – which covers both international and domestic flights.
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Hiring a car is the best way to get around the Cape. The roads around Cape Town are good and clearly signed and the distances are quite large. Plus there are lots of areas to turn off and explore.
If you’re planning a big trip to South Africa check out this Ultimate South Africa Bucketlist to help you plan your trip.
And don’t miss the lovely Cape Town! Here is a fantastic post on 45 great Things to Do in Cape Town.
Where to Stay in Stellenbosch
I stayed at the absolutely lovely Wedgeview Country House and Spa – it was my perfect type of boutique hotel! Wedgeview Country House is located a few minute’s drive from the town of Stellenbosch on a one-hectare plot. It is very much a mix of a boutique hotel and someone’s very stylish yet relaxing country residence.
There are 18 rooms on offer at Wedgeview Country House Stellenbosch- ranging from deluxe to the Presidential Suite. I stayed in a Vineyard Room. The design style is comfortable Scandinavian – lots of soft colours, light, and wooden floors.
My Vineyard Room at Wedgeview house was on the first floor and came with stunning views over the vineyards. The room was a very good size – enough room for my things and to feel spacious without being too big.
The bathroom is a separate room with a separate bath and shower. I loved the wine-themed toiletries at Wedgeview Stellenbosch – I have always wanted to wash my hair in Merlot!
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The sheets are Percale Linen, there are bathrobes, flat-screen tv, strong wifi, and all the boutique mod cons. There is also a fully stocked mini-bar with wine and treats from the region.
Wedgeview also has two decent sized pools and loads of outdoor seating areas. There is an honesty bar – love that! It was possible to help yourself to different wines from the area and just write it down which was fun.
⇒ Looking for something else fantastic to do whilst in the area? Check out my post on Whale Watching Hermanus – where the owners of Wedgeview have the just as lovely Whale Rock Luxury Lodge!
There is a restaurant at Wedgeview but it tends to offer one three-course option in the evening which must be booked ahead. Having said that I ate there both nights I stayed and the food was excellent. Wedgeview also offers soup and/or Winelands platters with local cheese and meats. Wedgeview serves an a la carte lunch.
A fantastic buffet breakfast is included which also comes with a choice of hot meals and some excellent coffee.
If you’re looking for some balance in your enjoyment of the wine and food of Stellenbosch Wedgeview has a small gym. Its spa also has two treatment rooms and they offer facials, massages etc and there are a sauna and steam room. The spa at Wedgeview House is open to both guests and those who are not staying.
The staff is extremely friendly and helpful – and knowledgeable about the area! Indeed I was heading to Hermanus after my stay and was advised about the stunning Cape Whale Route by the owner Dave which was a brilliant experience.
Who Paid for What in this Post
Wedgeview very kindly hosted my stay – thank you! This covered accommodation and breakfast so I covered the cost of dinner and wine. Viator covered the cost of my Vine hopper tour. I paid for my hire car and flights in and out of South Africa. As always my opinions are all my own.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through on some of them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not impact on the price that you pay. I just wanted to make sure that you knew this.
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Also published on Medium.