PHOTOS John Macgregor (Buitenverwachting), Danie Nel (Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines), Charles Russel (Delaire Graff)
We’ve compiled a selection of some of the most beautiful tasting rooms in the Western Cape to while away the hours during the summer. Offering more than just tastings, our top picks provide lean-back luxury.
Babylonstoren (Est. 2015)
Interior and architecture: Project-managed by TV3 Architects
Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm in season. Enjoy charcuterie and cheese platters with fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden. Booking is advised for groups of more than 11 people.
Experience… Daily cellar tours every hour on the hour from 11 am to 3 pm, which includes a tasting of five wines at R50 per person.
Buitenverwachting (Est. 2016 (main tasting room); 2017 (vintage wine library, Enotecca))
Interior and architecture: Nic Tamlin
Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm in season. The main tasting room offers charcuterie platters and quiches; reservation is not required. The recently opened Enotecca requires booking; it offers snacks and the full restaurant menu.
Experience… A tasting of pre-selected vintages at Enotecca, normally a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay and a red wine.
Cavalli (Est. 2013)
Interior: Cavalli’s owner and managing director Lauren Smith / Architecture: Lauren Smith and Bouwer Architects
Open: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, and for lunch on Sunday.
Experience… Outrides and stable tours.
Delaire Graff Wine Lounge (Est. 2009)
Interior: David Collins Studio / Architecture Derick Henstra, DHK
Open: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4pm. Snacks are available and booking is not required.
Experience… Grab a map at reception and explore Delaire Graff Estate at your leisure.
L’avenir (Est. 2014)
Interior and architecure: In-house
Open: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Charcuterie and cheese platters are available. No reservation is required, except for the exclusive older vertical tastings.
Experience… The popular carpaccio pairing featuring ostrich, springbok and crocodile. Stay at the four-star lodge.
Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines (Est. 2016)
Interior: Analjit Singh Architecture: Tomeu Esteva
Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Booking is essential.
Experience… Mullineux Single Terroir Tasting (R300): Taste highly rated terroir-specific wines from the Swartland. Some may be sold out but are still available for tasting should you wish to get your name on an allocation list for future releases.
Maison (Est. 2011)
Interior and architecture: Spaces (the interior design division of Weylandts Home Outfitters, overseen by Chris Weylandt, owner of Maison Estate)
Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Deli menu available. Reservations required for large groups.
Experience… The new Chefs Warehouse at Maison, Liam Tomlin’s fourth restaurant, opened in December. Booking is essential. It is open Wednesday to Monday for lunch and Wednesday to Saturday for dinner.
Rupert & Rothschild (Est. 1998)
Interior: Christiaan Barnard Interior & Design Stellenbosch / Architecture: Malherbe Rust Architects
Open: Monday to Friday 10 am to 4.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.
Experience… The Rupert & Rothschild Wine and Food Pairing (Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm). Booking is essential.
Newstead (Est. 2013)
Interior and architecture: Owners Sue and Doug Lund, with assistance from Draftech
Open: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm in season. Tastings don’t require reservations, but lunches do. (They start taking bookings for high season a year in advance.)
Experience… The legendary 11-egg chocolate cake and the double-gold award-winning Rosé and Brut bubbles, which are pre-sold.
Rust En Vrede (Est. 1985, with a revamp in 2014)
Interior and architecture: In-house (cellar roof designed by Gawie Fagan)
Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Experience… The Winemaker’s Lunch, a daily first-come, first-served two option menu to accompany the wines, served between 12 pm and 3 pm in the tasting room.
Saronsberg (Est. 2004)
Interior: In-house / Architecture: John Doyle
Open Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday 10 am to 2 pm and Sunday 10 am to 1 pm.
Experience… A BYO picnic under the oak trees in front of the cellar. Stay over at one of the self-catering cottages.
Steenberg (Est. 2009)
Interior and architecture: Richard Perfect Architects / Architecture Jan Desseyn Architects and Richard Perfect Architects
Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Booking required for groups of more than 10 people. Cheese and wine pairings available upon request.
Experience… The Flagship Tasting of the estate’s four flagship wines.
Springfield (Est. 2005)
Interior In-house Architecture Christof Albertyn
Open: Weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and public holidays from 9 am to 3 pm.
Experience… The classic Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc while enjoying a leisurely BYO picnic.
Waterkloof (Est. 2009)
Interior Frank Böhm Studio Architecture Castle Rock Design
Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm in season. The Waterkloof Platter for two has a selection of cured meats, cheeses and preserves.
Experience… Groups of 10 to 15 can be accommodated in the Private Dining Room, which is on the top floor and has a private balcony and beautiful views.