As inseparable as Posh and Becks, wine and cheese have been partners since the first bottle of house red sidled up to a cube of cheddar and whispered, “Do you come here often?” Happily, South African cheese has come a long way, as you’ll discover at the best winelands cheese venues.

Did you know?

Fairview has recently been awarded as the first Carbon Neutral Cheesery on the African continent.

One of the Cape’s most popular and best winelands cheese venues is Fairview Winery in Paarl. Fairview has over 13 different Jersey and goat’s milk cheeses to try and buy. Taste their cheese with wine, on its own, or as a platter in the estate’s Goatshed restaurant. Don’t leave without their flagship Camembert Roydon Camembert.

At Anura Vineyards, you'll find French style, soft-rind cheeses. Try the irresistible Brie and Camembert, Anura Marisch – a mozzarella/edam blend and the Anura Mountain Cheese; a well- matured Swiss style cheese, with a rich, nutty flavour. Enjoy them all on the estate’s cheese platter.

Zevenwacht Wine Estate is one of the best cheese venues in the winelands, known for their knock-out, all natural Farmhouse Cheddar. Recently, Zewenwacht joined forces with Italian cheese producers Puglia Cheese, adding authentic mozzarella to their repertoire. Also available are Burrata, Fior di Latte, and a semi-matured caciotta cheese called Primo Fiore.

Healy’s Farmhouse Cheddar is a handmade unpasteurised cheddar cheese. Made from meadow-grazed Friesian milk and cave-aged from 8 to 24 months, it’s been voted in the world’s top four cheddars since its inception in 2005. Enjoy this multi award-winning treat at Waterkloof Estate on the outskirts of the Helderberg in Stellenbosch.

Another popular winelands cheese venue, Klein River Cheese outside Stanford makes 12 varieties of award-winning cheeses. Known for their outstanding Gruyere, cheeses can be tasted and purchased all year round or enjoy a picnic on the farm from November to May.

Look out for the products of Dalewood Fromage, unfortunately not open to the public. Their handmade, mature semi-hard estate cheese, Huguenot, has won gold medals at the World Cheese Awards, and local foodies drool over their brie, available in blue-veined or with green fig, chilli, porcini or crushed olive.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Healy's Cheese @ Waterkloof Wines
Waterkloof, Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
Tel: +27 (0)21 858 1292

Fairview Vineyard Cheesery
Suid-Agter Paarl Road
Tel: +27 (0)21 863 2450

Forest Hill Cheese @ Anura
Simondium Road, off the R44, Klapmuts
Tel: +27 (0)21 875 5360

Zevenwacht
Tel: +27 (0)21 903 5123/4
Email: info@zevenwacht.co.za

Klein River Cheese
Off the R326, Stanford.
Tel: +27 (0)28 341 0693

How to get here

All the cheeseries that are open to the public are are easily accessible by tarred roads.

Best time to visit

Cheesery opening hours may not correspond with the opening hours of the wine estate. Check the establishments' websites before visiting.

What will it cost

The cost of a cheese tasting varies from R30 to R50 p/person. Expect to pay between R60 to R80 for a cheese platter. Cheese tastings at Fairview, Anura, and Zevenwacht may also include wine.

What to eat

Besides delicious cheese, a number of these establishments sell gourmet deli products made on the estate, or sourced from local suppliers.

What's happening

The SA Cheese Festival, the largest cheese festival in Africa, takes place in April.