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A Journey Through Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek

South Africa, with its breath-taking landscapes and diverse cultures, is a treasure trove for wine enthusiasts. Nestled within its scenic vistas lie some of the world’s most renowned wine regions, each boasting its own unique charm and character. Among these, Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek stand out as beacons of excellence, offering a fascinating journey through the country’s vinicultural heritage.

Stellenbosch: The Jewel of the Cape Winelands

Located a stone’s throw away from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is synonymous with South African wine excellence. This historic town, with its Cape Dutch architecture and oak-lined streets, exudes an old-world charm that perfectly complements its modern winemaking prowess.

Stellenbosch’s Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm summers and cool sea breezes, provides an ideal environment for growing a wide array of grape varietals. From the classic Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to the indigenous Pinotage, Stellenbosch wines showcase the region’s rich terroir and skilled craftsmanship.

Paarl: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

Just a short drive from Stellenbosch lies the picturesque town of Paarl, renowned for its majestic mountain ranges and world-class wineries. With a winemaking heritage dating back to the 17th century, Paarl seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, producing wines that are both timeless and cutting-edge.

One of Paarl’s standout features is its diverse terroir, which ranges from granite slopes to fertile valley floors. This terroir diversity allows winemakers to experiment with a wide range of grape varietals, resulting in wines that showcase the region’s dynamic character.

Franschhoek: The Gourmet Capital of South Africa

Nestled in a lush valley surrounded by towering mountains, Franschhoek is a paradise for both wine lovers and food enthusiasts. This quaint town, with its French Huguenot heritage, exudes an air of sophistication and elegance that is reflected in its world-class wines and gourmet cuisine.

Franschhoek’s cool climate and mountainous terrain make it ideal for growing cool-climate grape varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The region’s boutique wineries, many of which are family-owned and operated, focus on small-batch production, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.

In addition to its superb wines, Franschhoek is celebrated for its culinary scene, earning it the title of the “Gourmet Capital of South Africa.” Visitors can dine at award-winning restaurants, enjoy farm-to-table experiences, and partake in wine and food pairings that highlight the region’s gastronomic delights.

A Tapestry of Wine and Culture

In conclusion, the wine regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek offer a captivating glimpse into South Africa’s vinicultural heritage. From the historic streets of Stellenbosch to the scenic vineyards of Paarl and the gourmet delights of Franschhoek, each region tells its own unique story through wine and culture.

Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or a curious traveller seeking new experiences, a journey through South Africa’s Cape Winelands promises unforgettable moments and sensory delights that will linger long after your visit. So, raise a glass to the beauty and bounty of South African wine country, and embark on a voyage of discovery that will tantalize your taste buds and enrich your soul. 

Meet our Wine Farms from this iconic region. 

Alto Wine Estate

Alto Wine Estate, ensconced in the picturesque Stellenbosch winelands, stands as a testament to the seamless fusion of heritage, tradition, and innovative viticulture practices. Embarking on its journey more than a century ago, Alto has become a beacon of excellence in South Africa’s winemaking landscape.

Perched gracefully along the steep northern slopes of the Helderberg, the estate’s history unfolds against a backdrop of rolling vineyards and rich terroir. It is here that Alto has meticulously crafted its reputation as one of the oldest and most revered producers of red wines in the region.

The roots of Alto’s legacy delve deep into the past, tracing back to 1693 when the first title deeds were penned, marking the inception of what would evolve into a storied winemaking endeavor. However, it was in 1919 that the estate’s destiny took a decisive turn, as Manie Malan, alongside his father Hennie, recognized the unique potential of the property’s aspect, soils, and slopes. With unwavering dedication, they transformed Alto into a vineyard haven, specializing in the creation of full-bodied red wines. The name “Alto,” a homage to both the farm’s altitude and the pursuit of vinous excellence by the Malan family, became synonymous with quality and distinction.

Over the ensuing decades, Alto’s journey continued to unfold, guided by a lineage of visionary winemakers. From Piet du Toit’s stewardship in the mid-20th century to the legacy of Hempies du Toit, whose prowess extended beyond the rugby field to the winemaking realm, Alto remained steadfast in its commitment to crafting wines of unparalleled character and complexity.

In 2015, the mantle of winemaking was passed to Bertho van der Westhuizen, marking the fifth generation to uphold Alto’s illustrious heritage. Bertho’s deep-seated connection to the estate, born from his very beginnings in a wine cellar nearby, imbues his winemaking with a profound sense of tradition and reverence for the land.

Today, Alto stands as a beacon of vinicultural excellence, with its award-winning wines serving as a testament to the estate’s unwavering dedication to quality and innovation. From the iconic Alto Rouge, first produced in 1919 and celebrated for its dark ruby hues and exquisite blend of varietals, to the prestigious Alto M.P.H.S., a flagship release embodying the pinnacle of the estate’s winemaking prowess, each bottle encapsulates the essence of Alto’s storied past and promising future.

As visitors traverse the historic vineyards and sample the fruits of Alto’s labor, they become part of a timeless narrative—one rooted in tradition, yet ever-evolving in pursuit of vinous perfection. In every sip, in every swirl of the glass, the spirit of Alto Wine Estate lives on, a testament to the enduring legacy of South Africa’s winemaking heritage.

Friesland Wines

The Steenkamp family’s Friesland farm, nestled in the Bottelary Hills of Stellenbosch, South Africa, boasts an ideal location for cultivating premium wines. With its Dutch heritage, the farm pays homage to the Steenkamps’ roots dating back to the late 1600s. Led by husband-and-wife team De Bruyn and Marilise Steenkamp, Friesland produces certified Stellenbosch wines sourced from their own vineyards and select neighboring farms.

Their range comprises five premium labels, emphasizing Bordeaux-styled blends. The farm’s elevated slopes and well-drained gravel soils create optimal growing conditions, resulting in rich, fruit-driven wines with robust structure. Notably, the farm showcases its Karoo heritage through its dedication to red wine and Karoo lamb, symbolized by a windmill on the property.

The family’s winemaking legacy spans generations, with De Bruyn being the fourth generation on the land. The farm, acquired in 1999, has since been meticulously planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc vines. Additionally, the farm hosts sunset tasting events, inviting visitors to experience the beauty of the landscape and enjoy panoramic views of Table Mountain.

Friesland offers three main ranges: the M-Klas Range, the Terroir Range, and the Winemaker’s Range, each showcasing the farm’s commitment to quality and heritage. These wines, characterized by Platter’s ratings and international acclaim, reflect the passion and dedication of the Steenkamp family to producing exceptional Stellenbosch varieties.

Groenland Wines

Groenland Wines stands as a testament to four generations of winemaking prowess, stewarded by Piet Steenkamp, in the picturesque Bottelary district near Stellenbosch. For nine decades, this family-owned estate has been synonymous with the production of exceptional red and white wines. The latest jewel in their crown, the Steenkamp Ou Bosstok Steen 2022, epitomizes their commitment to quality. Crafted from grapes meticulously handpicked from vines planted on Groenland’s slopes in 1981, this wine reflects both tradition and innovation.

The “Landskap” range, meaning Landscape, pays homage to the scenic beauty that surrounds the vineyard, intertwining with the Steenkamp family’s deep-rooted passion. Notably, the Windmill on Groenland serves as a poignant symbol, embodying the reverence for nature and Karoo heritage instilled by Piet Steenkamp’s father, Kosie. This blend of tradition and innovation is at the heart of Groenland’s success.

Comprising 190 hectares, with 150 hectares dedicated to vineyards, Groenland produces a diverse array of wines, with red varietals comprising 80% of their output. Their repertoire includes esteemed varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, and the meticulously crafted blend, Antoinette Marie. Maturation of their wines occurs in carefully selected American and French oak barrels, adding layers of complexity and refinement.

Beyond their flagship offerings, Groenland’s commitment to excellence is evident in their ongoing dedication to research and development, spanning over 85 years. This relentless pursuit of perfection has firmly established Groenland as a premier producer of distinguished wines, celebrated both locally and internationally. As they continue to uphold their legacy of winemaking excellence, Groenland Wines remains a beacon of quality and innovation in the South African wine industry.

KWV

KWV Wine Estate stands as an iconic figure in South Africa’s viticultural landscape, tracing its roots back to its establishment in 1918. Originally founded as a cooperative venture, KWV has since burgeoned into a premier producer of wines and spirits, earning both national and international acclaim for its dedication to excellence.

Situated in the picturesque Cape Winelands region, KWV boasts a sprawling estate encompassing vineyards of diverse terroirs, each contributing to the distinct character of its wines. From the sun-drenched slopes of Stellenbosch to the cool, maritime-influenced vineyards of Walker Bay, KWV sources grapes from some of the country’s most esteemed winegrowing regions.

At the heart of KWV’s winemaking philosophy lies a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. Drawing upon decades of expertise passed down through generations, the estate’s winemakers meticulously craft each wine, employing time-honored techniques alongside cutting-edge practices to ensure exceptional quality and consistency.

KWV’s portfolio showcases the full spectrum of South Africa’s winemaking prowess, featuring an array of varietals ranging from the vibrant Chenin Blanc to the bold Pinotage and the classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, the estate is renowned for its unparalleled expertise in crafting world-class brandies and fortified wines, a testament to its versatility and mastery across different categories.

Beyond its commitment to producing outstanding wines and spirits, KWV is deeply invested in sustainability and community development initiatives. From environmentally conscious vineyard practices to social empowerment programs aimed at uplifting local communities, the estate strives to leave a positive impact on both the environment and society.

With its illustrious heritage, commitment to quality, and dedication to innovation, KWV Wine Estate continues to set the standard for excellence in South African winemaking, captivating wine enthusiasts around the globe with its distinctive offerings and unwavering passion for the craft.

Painted Wolf Wines

Painted Wolf Wines is a dynamic and socially conscious wine producer based in Paarl, renowned for its exceptional quality wines and unwavering dedication to wildlife conservation. Founded by Jeremy and Emma Borg, Painted Wolf Wines not only seeks to capture the essence of the Western Cape’s diverse terroir but also actively supports the conservation of African painted wolves, also known as African wild dogs, which face severe threats in the wild.

What sets Painted Wolf Wines apart is their unique approach that combines a passion for winemaking with a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. Collaborating with conservation organizations such as the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Programme, they donate a portion of their proceeds to fund research and conservation efforts aimed at protecting these endangered predators.

In addition to their philanthropic endeavours, Painted Wolf Wines boasts a diverse portfolio of wines that showcase the richness and complexity of the region. From the crisp and vibrant Chenin Blanc to the bold and expressive Pinotage, each wine is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, reflecting both the unique characteristics of the grape varietals and the distinct terroir of the Western Cape.

Beyond their wines, Painted Wolf Wines has cultivated a loyal following not only for the quality of their products but also for their commitment to making a positive impact on both the environment and the communities they operate in. Through their dedication to conservation and sustainable winemaking practices, Painted Wolf Wines exemplifies how the pursuit of excellence in winemaking can go hand in hand with the preservation of biodiversity and the protection of endangered species.

Landskroon Wines

Landskroon Wines boasts a captivating history that traces back to 1689 when Jacques de Villiers, an early ancestor of the present-day de Villiers family, made his way to the Cape along with his brothers Abraham and Pierre. Their journey from Niort in the La Rochelle Province of France culminated in the establishment of the family’s enduring legacy in South African winemaking. Initially, the farm Landskroon found its roots under the ownership of Jan Holsmit, a Swede from the town of Landskrona, as granted by Governor Simon van der Stel in 1692.

The narrative of Landskroon intertwines with the broader history of winemaking in the Cape. Jacques de Villiers’ ventures led him to acquire the prestigious Boschendal farm, where the family cultivated the land until 1879. Notably, it was Jacques’s grandson, Paul de Villiers, who ventured forth to establish Weltevreden in Suider-Paarl in 1874. It was on this very farm that the foundation for Landskroon Wines was laid, with Paul being the first to produce wine under this esteemed label. The torch of winemaking prowess was passed down through generations, marked by notable milestones such as the reconstruction of the cellar in 1948 and the introduction of classic grape varieties in the 1980s.

The year 2000 marked a significant accolade for the estate as Paul de Villiers (V) was honored with the Diners Club Wine Maker of the Year award for his exceptional 1997 Port. Through subsequent years, the estate underwent expansions and modernizations, including the introduction of a new label design in 2020 featuring the iconic De Villiers family crest.

Today, the fifth generation of the de Villiers family, led by Paul de Villiers alongside his brother Hugo and cousins Madelief and Huguette, continues to steward Landskroon with unwavering dedication. Their commitment to excellence has firmly established Landskroon as a leading producer of premium white and red wines, Blanc de Noir, and Cape Vintage Port-style wine. Visitors to the estate are treated not only to exquisite wines but also to breathtaking views of the vineyards and Table Mountain. Whether indulging in food-and-wine pairings, savoring cheese platters, or enjoying picnics amidst the scenic splendor, a visit to Landskroon promises an unforgettable experience steeped in tradition and passion for winemaking.

La Motte Wine Estate

Nestled within the breathtaking Franschhoek Valley of South Africa, La Motte Wine Estate stands as a beacon of excellence, renowned globally for its exquisite wines and unwavering commitment to authentic Cape Winelands hospitality. The journey of La Motte began in 1970 when the visionary industrialist, Dr. Anton Rupert, acquired the estate, setting the stage for a remarkable transformation.

Dr. Rupert, a revered figure both in business and conservation circles, embarked on a mission to not only produce exceptional wines but also to preserve the estate’s natural beauty and heritage. Alongside his wife, Huberte, a passionate art enthusiast, Dr. Rupert played a pivotal role in the conservation of art and culture, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of South Africa’s cultural heritage.

Today, under the stewardship of Dr. Rupert’s daughter, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, and her husband, Hein Koegelenberg, La Motte continues to flourish as a testament to the family’s enduring legacy. Hanneli, a former leading mezzo-soprano in South Africa, brings her artistic sensibilities to the estate, inspiring La Motte’s renowned Classical Music Concerts program.

Steeped in history, La Motte traces its origins back to 1695 when a parcel of land was granted to German immigrant Hans Hendrik Hattingh. Through the centuries, the estate exchanged hands until it found its way into the care of Pierre Joubert, La Motte’s first French Huguenot owner. The name “La Motte” itself harkens back to a quaint village in Provence, France, reflecting the estate’s deep connection to its heritage.

In 1970, Dr. Rupert’s acquisition marked a turning point for La Motte. A comprehensive development, restoration, and conservation program ensued, catapulting the estate into the ranks of the world’s leading wine producers and premier tourist destinations. Vineyards were meticulously replanted with noble grape varieties, modern viticultural practices were adopted, and a state-of-the-art cellar was established.

Not content with merely producing exceptional wines, La Motte is also a trailblazer in environmental sustainability. The estate proudly holds coveted certifications such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification and is recognized as a WWF Conservation Champion. Through initiatives like the Integrated Production of Wine Scheme (IPW) and a commitment to biologic farming principles, La Motte exemplifies a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation.With its rich tapestry of history, commitment to excellence, and dedication to environmental stewardship, La Motte Wine Estate stands as a shining example of the transformative power of passion and perseverance in the world of winemaking

If you fancy trying these wines, explore the region or any other South African wines. Contact us to host your very own South African wine safari. We travel all over the UK to share their wine stories & wines with you. 

Gerhard & the team at Perold Wine Cellar