23 October 2012

Stellenbosch named on TripAdvisor’s list of best wine destinations

Fabulous wines and glorious food – it’s no wonder that Stellenbosch makes TripAdvisor’s ‘Best Wine Destinations 2012’.

Terroir Restaurant Terroir restaurant at Kleine Zalze wine estate

Over the past few years, Stellenbosch has fast become the new foodie capital of the Western Cape, with beautiful wineries giving rise to award-winning restaurants showcasing the local fresh produce paired with the region’s best wines…

The town of Stellenbosch appears on TripAdvisor’s recently released list, 'Best Wine Destinations 2012'.

This popular Western Cape town, with its predominantly Cape Dutch architecture and oak-lined streets, keeps prestigious company on the list, alongside Tuscany in Italy, Sonoma County in California, Australia’s Hunter Valley and the province of Mendoza in Argentina.

'You'll find a number of excellent wineries ranging in size from grand estates to small mom-and-pop operations in the Stellenbosch/Franschhoek area,' says the TripAdvisor accolade, which goes on to recommend Franschhoek for its white wines and Stellenbosch for its reds. 'Definitely seek out a Cape Blend made with local Pinotage grapes,' it suggests.

The well-travelled Stellenbosch Wine Route, 1st established in the early 1970s, is South Africa’s oldest (and perhaps best known) wine route. Fertile soils and an ideal climate have ensured the production of quality wines in the area. Today, there are close on 150 wineries in the vicinity that open their cellars to tourists and wine fundis. The route has grown to include 5 sub-routes.

On TripAdvisor’s list of top-rated wineries in the Stellenbosch/Franschhoek area are Jordan, Warwick Wine Estate, Lynx Wines and Stony Brook Vineyards. A glance through other Stellenbosch estates reveals some world-famous names, like Le Bonheur, Simonsig, Lourensford, Zevenwacht, Uitkyk and Neetlingshof.

And where there's good wine, good food follows. One of the most authoritative voices on quality cuisine in South Africa, the Eat Out DSTV Food Network Restaurant Awards, has just published the nominees for its 2012 list of top 10 eateries countrywide. Of the 19 finalists, 7 are Stellenbosch-based restaurants, while 2 are located in Franschhoek (the winners will be announced late November).

Michael Broughton, executive chef at Terroir restaurant at Kleine Zalze (one of the eateries nominated in the Eat Out Awards 2012), says: 'Over the past few years, Stellenbosch has fast become the new foodie capital of the Western Cape, with beautiful wineries giving rise to award-winning restaurants showcasing the local fresh produce paired with the region’s best wines…'