• Noni


If you love wine (or wineries) then I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the beautiful region around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch in South Africa will change your life.

The only bad thing about the Cape Wine region is deciding WHICH wineries to visit - especially if you’re only there for a few days. When trying to decide on which wineries to visit in the region, we looked for estates that offered something a bit more special than your regular cellar door. So without further ado and in no particular order (except for number 1 - Babylonstoren is PARADISE), here are our top picks:

1. Babylonstoren

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Wander the spectacular gardens - gorgeous plots of lavender, prickly pear, and an array of vegetables await you

* Hang with the animals - chickens, donkeys, tortoises, a secret garden of bees and more can be found in the gardens

* Eat - They make their own bread and cheese, rear their own meat, and offer a range of exquisite dining experiences

* Indulge - Pick up some body products, linen, and candles in their ‘scented room’. Everything’s made with produce from the estate.

* Forage - Pick, taste, smell, and touch an endless variety of fruits and vegetables

2. Vergenoegd

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Time your visit with the duck parade. There is a DUCK PARADE. 3 times a day the ducks walk from their pond, around the colonial estate, and through the vineyards. It’s a duck parade. Need I say more???

3. Spier

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Pair your wine tasting with the the amazing, locally produced, cheese or charcuterie boards (or get something for the kids with specialty grape juice tastings)

* Wander the beautiful estate which is committed to conservation, sustainability, and the arts - there is a local craft market and art gallery on site

* Check their calendar of local events like comedy nights, the annual easter egg hunt, and specialty food nights

* Get up close and personal with their resident birds of prey

4. Jordan

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Break bread. They have an onsite bakery where everything is baked in a large wood-fired oven and it’s delicious.

* Listen to the stories. This was probably the most enjoyable wine tasting we did because of the service. Our ‘wine guide’ was extremely knowledgeable and presented each wine with a ‘story’, which made the tasting so much more special.

5. Tokara

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Enjoy the architecture. The architecture of the estate is stunning, as are the views. It is the most magical spot to sit and enjoy a tasting overlooking endless rolling hills of vineyards

6. Grande Provence

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Visit the cheetahs! This is estate is also home to the Franschhoek branch of the Cheetah Outreach Program, which works hard to promote the survival of the free ranging, South African cheetah. The organisation is involved in a number of education and conservation initiatives, and you can even meet some of the program ‘ambassadors’, who actually love spending time with visitors.

7. Middelvlei

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Enjoy a typical South African BBQ lunch, or ‘braaivleis’, where local produce is cooked over an open fire and tastes delicious.

* Soak up your welcoming committee! You’ll be greeted as soon as you arrive by pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys, and a billion tortoises. Also, I dare you not to fall in love with Merlot - the resident great dane.

8. Anura

Other than sampling the great wine…

* Check out the new micro-brewery where you can observe the brewing process in action, while sampling a selection (with or without some delicious gastro-pub style foods)