Stellenbosch wine farms are integral to any trip to South Africa. Here’s why the eco-friendly Spier Wine Farm is your best winery option.
A visit to South Africa is hardly complete without a trip to a winery. Stellenbosch, a university and wine-rich town 45 minutes from Cape Town, has a mix of granite-based soils (for reds) and sandstone soils (great for whites).
As South Africa’s second oldest wine region, Stellenbosch is filled with vineyard accommodations, but one that rose to the top for us was Spier Wine Farm. This 300-year-old farm is one of the oldest in the region. It has free-roaming livestock and chickens with produce grown onsite, not to mention locally sourced artwork.
If you’re planning a trip to a winery in Stellenbosch, here are five things to know about a visit to Spier Wine Farm.
1. You must try the chocolate-and-wine tasting
Wine tasting is a must at the Spier Wine Farm, particularly when paired with chocolate. Chocolatiers hand-make the tasty bars to complement the Spier wines; each pairing brings out new and distinct flavors in each product. (Keep an eye out for the tasting room’s chandelier; in the farm’s eco-friendly fashion, it’s made from 334 recycled wine bottles!)
2. Spier’s farm-to-table dining is purely delicious
Come for the wine, stay for the incredible farm-to-table food. Spier’s diverse assortment of restaurants includes the eco-friendly and organic Eight Restaurant, the riverside hotel restaurant, scenic picnics, and the Vadas Smokehouse, which specializes in low-and-slow cooked meat and delicious, freshly baked bread.
3. The hotel is like its own little village
IMHO, a trip to Spier Wine Farm is hardly complete without an overnight in the colorful hotel. The hotel feels more like a quaint little village than a four-star hotel (although it is four stars); it has spacious, artsy rooms and suites with wine, balconies, and a pool. We only stayed here one night, but let me tell you: It was super luxurious. I’ll definitely be staying here on our next trip!
4. You can buy local crafts and artwork at the Craft Market
Just outside the tasting room is a small local market with handmade arts and crafts from local artisans. Pieces range from home décor to jewelry, with many artists actually onsite selling and willing to chat about their pieces. Those looking for a custom experience can schedule artist lessons to learn some tricks of the trade from the best of the best.
5. Spier has scenic trails to walk off those (well-worth-it) liquid calories
Stroll through the gardens and along the river to take in the farm’s colorful vegetation. We took the 30-minute River Walk the morning of our long-haul flight home, and enjoyed some of the most vibrant and unusual flowers I’ve ever seen.
While Stellenbosch is a must-see, there’s much more to South Africa than tasty wine.
Check out my Cape Town guide to make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime visit!