South Africa’s winelands are a dream destination for wine and food lovers, travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports.
South Africa’s wine regions are among the most spectacular in the world. The wines are improving all the time, and the service at cellar doors is second to none. Whether you visit Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, or one of the more remote areas, you are guaranteed an excellent experience.
Stellenbosch not only boasts world-class wineries but is home to one of the world’s great universities, as well as art, culture and scenery. It is also home to Delaire Graff Estate, with 20 hectares of vines and recently named as the best vineyard destination in Africa.
The first-ever virtual vineyards awards recognised the top 50 wine farms from around the world. Delaire Graff took 14th spot in a field of over 3500 nominees and the top spot in Africa. Nestled at the crest of panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass, above the Stellenbosch valleys, Delaire Graff produces cabernet, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, rosé, chardonnay and chenin blanc as well as boasting two on-site restaurants with high-end dining at Delaire Graff Restaurant and Asian-inspired cuisine at Indochine.
Striking Cape Dutch architecture meets African artefacts and styling, while the estate’s lodges offer privacy and exclusivity for those wishing to spend a night or two. The accommodation (17 lodges and one villa) is part of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux group and prices start from an eye-watering $1,350 per night, rising stratospherically to the owner’s villa for around $30,000 a night – although it does sleep eight in style.
Each lodge has its own private heated plunge pool. The estate’s gardens are a celebration of natural wonder. More than 350 indigenous plants and flowers are artfully arranged. Each piece of art on the walls and gardens has been hand-picked by owner Laurence Graff from his personal collection. There is also a wine lounge, a luxe private swimming pool and, of course, a luxury spa facility – all a short drive from Cape Town.