Cape Town | From Wine & Vineyards – The Best Estates for Wine Tasting

When you travel to South Africa, particularly the Cape region, a visit to the vineyards is just as self-explaining as a tour to the cape itself. From this year on, I promised myself to come fly down here on a more regular base. Discovering wines is a huge passion of mine and also quite helpful in my profession as a flight attendant for one of the world´s most respectable airlines.

So in this section, I will try to keep you updated over the years on all the wine estates that I personally find particularly worth visiting in and around Cape Town. Wherever it is for the beauty, location or just for the pure pleasure of tasting excellent and extraordinary wines from South Africa.

 

ANURA

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Anura is not the poshest estate you´ll find on the outskirts of Paarl vineyards, nor is the outdoor terrace the most breathtaking. But the wines are, in my opinion, simply delicious! Most tastings take place in the basic interiors of the main “barn” which at the same time adds to quite an authentic wine tasting experience. It does help to bring the wines into the center of attention without being distracted from it by gorgeous landscapes or views. Another thing that I liked a lot was the fact that the winery also produces wines from classic grapes such as Sangiovese, Mourvèdre, Grenache or Petit Verdot. For my personal highlights check the photo gallery right underneath!

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BUITENVERWACHTING

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Having a fine red from Buitenverwachting on our current special wine list in our Business Class cabin, it was more than natural that I needed to take a closer look on the manufacturer. The picture-perfect estate lies only about 30 minutes by car from downtown Cape Town and is surrounded by a most gorgeous premise with lush green meadows and ancient trees donating shadow during the hot noon sun. The outside terrace is fabulous to sit and enjoy the array of high quality wines. If you like, you can order small snacks and plates to accompany your tasting. Each wine can additionally be enjoyed as a full bottle, at extra cost, of course. While I was not too impressed by most of the reds (wine is always a matter of taste), I surprisingly fell in love with their Sauvignon Blanc called “Hussey´s Flei”. Besides the wines and their lovely sparkling one, another attraction are for sure their cute little puppy dog and a group of quite curious chickens that do not bother to get up-close and personal. A definite must do when in the area! They also offer excellent coffee from their in-house Cafe Bloc with nice in and outdoor seating.

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DE GRENDEL

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Again not far from downtown Cape Town, De Grendel is a great place to visit if you are keen to try some wines that might be a bit different in taste and on the nose from what you are normally used to. Particularly their Sauvignon Blanc from the Flagship Tasting Menu was absolutely surprising. I had never had a white before that was so intensely rich in green aroma that I literally thought I had a green banana in front of me. Melissa, our sommelière, was such a delight as she introduced us to each red and white with lots of background knowledge that helped to understand the wines much better. With its exposed location on top of a hill, it can get quite windy here from time to time. So you might not be able to sit outside. But once you catch one of the two arm chairs in front of the window, the view onto Table mountain makes all up for it again.

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DELAIRE GRAFF

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Probably one of the most exclusive estates that there is around with ultra-luxurious accommodation and a high-end restaurant. Once you would like to treat yourself with something outrageously special. Apart from sky rocketing prices and wines, the premise is worth a visit even if you are simply coming for the formidable view!

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DELHEIM

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The Delheim estate is a wonderful place if you are looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the view into the beautifully arranged garden. There are lots of green around and the many bushes and trees add to the idyllic privacy. The winery is of German ancestry and so it does not come surprisingly that you will find Gewürztraminer and sweet dessert wines on their menu. I personally enjoy their Pinotage rosé quite much and at the main entrance, there are always grapes available to taste before their cultivation. There is also a restaurant available which serves delicious food.

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DURBANVILLE HILLS

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Referred to as a more commercial wine producer, Durbanville Hills still impresses with its ultra-modern architecture and very cozy interiors. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful and there are several wine tastings to choose from. For those needing additional information and insights, the full tasting is conducted by sommeliers introducing altogether nine different wines. It takes at least 60 minutes, so if you are a bit of in a rush, there are also three different do-it-yourself wine pairings available. You may choose between chocolate, biltong (which is like different meat jerks) or cheeses. All wines and the corresponding nibbles are served at once on a wooden tray together with a written information about the wines poured. Not the most exclusive wines, but real fun to do in a group!

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NEETHLINGSHOF

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Again one of these fundamental beauties along the South African wineries. Neethlingshof may be a bit frigid when it comes to service, yet the estate and the premise themselves are just gorgeous to wander around. Wines you should definitely try from the cellar are the Malbec and the unwooded Chardonnay.

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TOKARA

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Just across the street from Delaire Graff lies wine hotspot Tokara. Always very, very busy, so not the most perfect place if you are seeking a wine tasting in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Particularly popular with younger crowds. But still worthy for the wines, the olive oil and the restaurant with unobstructed views into the Stellenbosch vineyards. Also quite impressive is the clean and minimalistic architecture of the estate.

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