24 hours in the Boland: what to see, do and taste
The Boland is synonymous with wine and mountains and it draws thousands of people each year to experience all its wonderful winelands have to offer, such as wine and cupcake,Winelands meringue, and even brandy and chocolate pairings.
But why stop there when there is so much more? Have you ever thought of blending your own wine? Going on a wine safari? Or perhaps mountain biking from Stellenbosch to Jonkershoek? Then there’s also experiencing the oldest hotel in Stellenbosch dating back to 1687, and the wine tram in Franschhoek.
Here are the ins and outs:
Blend your own wine at Middelvlei
Middelvlei is located in Stellenbosch and offers visitors the unique opportunity to learn how to blend their own wine. Don’t worry, the professional staff will teach you all you need to know about the process and will help you throughout. A blending session takes about 1.5 hours and requires a group of minimum six people. The experience costs R135pp and you can get a personalised bottle of your blend for an extra R115.
For more information, call +27 21 883 2565. Booking is essential.
Go on a wine safari
Not only does South Africa boast the big five animals, but did you know you can also go on a ‘big five’ vineyard safari? Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch offers fun and educational mountain journeys through the vineyards. Visitors can then compare the big five animals with its ‘big five’ grape varieties. Remember to book special tastings and tours in advance.
For more information, call +27 21 884 4410 or email [email protected]
If you haven’t made your way to Spice Route yet, well, sorry for you. Visit renowned chef, Bertus Basson, as he celebrates the best of traditional South African cuisine with a unique, modern twist. This is an ideal lunch outing for the whole family – lounge about under the oak trees or on the stoep while taking in the majestical natural surroundings. Another option is to grab a basket from the restaurant and head to the lawn for a relaxed picnic.
For more information, go to https://www.spiceroute.co.za
Visit the oldest hotel in Stellenbosch
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that South Africa’s oldest hotel is situated in Stellenbosch. Since 1802, Oude Werf has welcomed guests from statesmen and artists to explorers, the university’s first female graduates and, apparently, even the odd ghost. It is located on the site of the country’s first church, built in 1687 (destroyed by fire in 1710).
Treat yourself to a lovely breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner as the chef explores the region’s many flavours and vintages. For more information, go to https://www.oudewerf.co.za/.
Why get an Uber when you go wine tasting when you can hop on an old-school tram? The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to experience the Franschhoek Valley.
Journey through the rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus and enjoy stopping at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.
You can hop-off at each stop and experience whatever is on offer, from wine tasting, to cellar tours, lunch or strolls through the vineyards. You can then hop back on to continue the tour to the next stop.
For more information, go to http://winetram.co.za
Mountain bike in Jonkershoek
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, home to the striking Jonkershoek Mountains and located close to Stellenbosh, comprises many mountain bike routes, for all types of riders.
There’s a 10km jeep track that circumnavigates the valley, as well as some challenging routes over mountainous terrain with magnificent scenery.
Since this area is owned and managed by the Department of Forestry, there is an extra cost involved for mountain biking at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. For more information, go to
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