Did you know?
Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes recently celebrated 40 years of wine tourism in the region.
Imagine the biggest mall you can, then take off its roof, replace its escalators and lifts with breathtaking mountain passes and green hillsides, swap its stores for wine estates, and keep the restaurants, but give them exceptional menus, wine lists and glorious vineyard views.
Exchange the supermarkets for specialist cheese, berry and olive farms, and lastly, whitewash and thatch the store fronts and give the big-name department stores a signature scalloped gable, slave bell, or museum. Welcome to the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes.
Found around Stellenbosch (Van der Stel’s forest), South Africa’s second oldest town, this historic region reflects three centuries of occupation in its Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture.
The Stellenbosch winelands are a joy any time of year, boasting fabulous wine, rich Cape Dutch heritage, slick, professionally run wine estates, some of the country’s finest restaurants, and countryside.
Broadly speaking, the Stellenbosch wine district is a coastal wine region, containing the wards of the Jonkershoek Valley, recognised for cabernet sauvignons and blends; Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, known for cabernet sauvignon, pinotage and reds generally; Pappegaaiberg which is chardonnay territory; Devon Valley, producing wickedly good red blends; and Bottelary, noted for powerful shiraz, pinotage and Bordeaux blends.
Westward, the Polkdraai Hills and Banhoek are known for cabernet sauvignons and shiraz, while Stellenboschberg, the Helderberg and Faure (not official appellations) produce both good reds and whites.
The wine route in Stellenbosch has been divided into five sub-routes by virtue of their user-friendliness as opposed to official wards, wine styles, or geographical location.
This bite-size approach helps visitors get the most out of their winelands experiences, on a route that caters to history buffs, golfers, families, romantic couples, nature lovers, gourmands, casual quaffers and serious pilgrims of the grape.