Wine Tours

Ernie Els Winery in Stellenbosch excels in red wine making

There’s nothing quite like the view of the Helderberg Mountains washed clean from winter rains; deep saturated purples and greens pop underneath the mid-morning sun.

We’re driving down Annandale Road towards this vision to Ernie Els winery, the scene unfolds like a fairytale; birds wheel in the air, red tractors move lazily through long grass, and if there were any brooks you can be sure they’d be bubbling.

Wine-y folk will tell you that the Helderberg area of Stellenbosch is great for shiraz and red wine in general. Why you ask? Well, apparently it has something to do with the granite-rich soil. The entrance to Ernie Els drives this home as it’s punctuated with large granite boulders—the kind you see on Llandudno Beach—in-between are ponds, not quite bubbling brooks, but splashy enough and filled with orange and red flashes of darting koi fish.

“The granite flakes right off,” says brand manager Duncan Woods, demonstrating by running his hands over the monolithic boulders. “You see those?” he asks pointing towards deep rivets on the stone’s crown, “While we were building the winery, we dug through the earth until the tractors hit—the grooves show just how delicate the granite is.

Not just pretty to look at though, the boulders form a secret passageway to The Library: a room under the wine cellar that houses the premium wine collection. We enter instead through the main entrance. In a word; impressive, an arched passage leads you to the tasting area, which in turn opens up to an expansive view of the aforementioned Helderberg Mountains.

First things first, we’re off to see the trophy room. “People want to feel as if they’re in Ernie’s home,” says Duncan walking into the room. On the walls, in-between the trophies, are blown-upphotographs of Ernie in impossible positions with golf clubs as well as a family portraits. (This room can be hired out for functions.)

The elevated patio of the tasting area has a small square of green grass and down below is a sloping green lawn; making it just the spot to tee-off from.

“We have a chipping competition the last Friday and Saturday of each month,” says Duncan. “Anyone can enter. And you can win a magnum of our flagship blend, The Ernie Els Signature.” The focus here is on red wine, and there are six to try. Duncan tells me that they’ll be launching two white wines soon called Big Easy white, a Chenin Blanc, and the Ernie Els Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine and Chocolate at Waterford Estates

A day in the country side can soothe most symptoms of stress. A glass of wine can dissolve most moments of misfortune. A mouthful of chocolate can mend a multitude of sins. A day in the countryside spent tasting trios of wine and chocolate would probably contribute to world peace if only the UN knew where the gem of Waterford Estate was hiding out.

This acclaimed vineyard roots its vines on 120 hectares in the Blaauwklippen Valley. Surrounded by mountain and lavender the arresting Stellenbosch scenery rolls lawns into ancient citrus groves leaving the scent of oranges and a floral herbal mist lingering in the sunlight. Fuse red and dessert wines with milk and dark chocolate in a courtyard of fountains and fancy.

Handmade cocoa creations awash with hand picked grape sensations plump afternoons with delight. Tranquil wine tastings on white sofas backdropped in stone architecture contemplates flavours of fullness accompanied by decadent Von Gesau chocolates. Cocoa beans contain natural tannins as does grapes resulting in a seamless sip matched to a beautiful bite as a result of chemical similarities in the bean structure and grape skin.

Melt rock salt dark chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon, dip taste buds in a sweet late harvest followed by a rose geranium milk chocolate treat and smoothly travel from Shiraz to a land of Masala chai dark chocolate. These custom chocolates are especially made to match Kevin Arnold's specially grown varietals served in this land of landscaped cocoa and twine.

Hidden Valley Wines

Hidden Valley is a holistic brand, catering for all venue-related aspects for your big day. The estate is positioned atop the slopes of Helderberg with panoramic views of the vineyards and mountains. Photographic opportunities are many including a spectacular indigenous garden trail, a tree flanked dam, vineyards and olive groves, a gorgeous barrel cellar, a unique hand-hewn stone wall and sweeping views from the tasting room.

De Toren Private Cellar

De Toren Private Cellar, the iconic boutique producer nestled on the Polkadraai Hills outside of Stellenbosch, has been consistently hailed as one, if not the finest, Bordeaux style blend producers in the country.

With its unique gravity driven tower and the biodynamic practices used throughout the entire winemaking process, the finished products have garnered local and international recognition over the years, that included 5 Stars in John Platter Guide, being rated as the 68th top wine in the world and nominated for New World Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Alto Wine Estate Stellenbosch

The Estate's sound reputation for producing world-class red wines can be ascribed, in part, to its excellent terroir. It is no coincidence that the area is known, locally, as the Golden Triangle.

Our history dates back to 1693, when it formed part of the larger Groenrivier farm granted by Simon van der Stel. Today, our wines are crafted by celebrated winemaker, Schalk van der Westhuizen whose devotion to his craft is ever present.

Spier Wine Farm

Spier Wine Farm is situated in the Stellenbosch region approximately 50 km from Cape Town, South Africa. The farm has enjoyed a long history which dates back to 1692 when the first free burghers trekked from the Cape colony to establish farms in this region. As one of the oldest farms in the region, it has long been noted for its cultural and historical significance particularly of its architecture.

The farm buildings bear twenty one Cape Dutch Gables, more than any other farm in the area. This particular architectural style known as Cape Dutch architecture is based on styles from medieval Europe and is unique to South Africa and in particular, the Western Cape. Wine production and sales as well as leisure activities are the core business activities on the farm today and the farm has become well known for its sustainability initiatives.

Famous for its nougat tasting, the House of J.C. Le Roux invites you on a journey of pure sparkling enjoyment as well as a selection of mouth-watering meringues and marshmallows to pair with five exquisite J.C. Le Roux Cap Classique and sparkling wines.