Where to Find The Best Wine in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is perhaps South Africa’s most famous wine-producing region and is home to some of its best-known wineries, renowned for the quality of their wines.
French Huguenots were the first to plant vines in the Stellenbosch region in the 1690s and the region is still at the forefront of the growth in the country’s wine industry, home to nearly a fifth of all South African vines today. It represents the true home of the Cape’s flourishing wine industry.
Did you know? The second Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, is widely credited with bringing winemaking to the region in the 1600s and setting up a wine estate in Constantia. The Stellenbosch region is named after him.
Stellenbosch is amongst one of the best-known towns in South Africa. It is the oldest settlement after Cape Town, established on the banks of the Eerste river in 1679, and its quaint streets still bear witness to its unique Cape roots.
The term Eikestad (Town of Oaks) is still used to describe this picturesque town today. The town boasts a plethora of museums, landmarks and lifestyle centers, and there are plenty of enticing shops and cafés in which to pretend you’ve taken a quick weekend trip to Paris.
How to Find the Best of Stellenbosch
While there’s no such thing as the “perfect” soil, winemakers around the world believe alluvial soil is as good as it gets. The highest rated wines tend to come from vineyards that are on alluvial fans of granite mountains. The wines from these locations are often described as having a subtle mineral note which many believe is from the decomposed granite soils.
These soils can be found in the Bottelary, Malmesbury and Darling hills, and the granitic foot slopes of the sandstone mountains, including Table Mountain, Stellenbosch Mountain, and the Hottentots Holland, Helderberg and Simonsberg mountains. These granite mountains are approximately 600 million years old, over 3 times as old as the soil in Napa, a famous wine-making region in America which boasts considerably similar climates and wine-styles as that of Stellenbosch.
Blaauwklippen (meaning “Blue Cliffs'') iS an unofficial area just southwest of Stellenbosch that is hedged by the Hottentots-Holland Mountains. The region is most famous for its bold, blackberry-and-spices Syrah, excellent rich-styled aromatic white wines, tobacco-laced Cabernet blends and easy drinking Roses. This is also where you will find Stellenzicht.
Stellenzicht, founded in 1692, is as old as Stellenbosch. Flanked by the Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountain, between Stellenbosch and the False Bay coast - known as the Golden Triangle - lies this exceptional tract of land that benefits from terroirs eminently suited to the cultivation of the highest quality wine grapes.
At Stellenzicht you will notice a dedication to excellence. The focus is on getting the very best out of nature, with minimal intervention, though no less attention. The cultivation of a fine Stellenzicht wine requires knowledge, skill, experience and patience. That’s why you will find it in abundance with L’Re Hughes at the helm as winemaker and estate Manager, and Nico Nortje our viticulturist hailing from the ancient karoo semi-desert.
We nurture the vast, micro-climate soil pockets of Stellenzicht to steward and sustain what nature provides each year. Our wines truly are expressions of our terroir. Nature has adapted around the farm throughout the years as we have rehabilitated the soil and brought Fynbos back down to the farm from higher up the Helderberg mountains. This is most prevalently seen by the return of the dragonfly population on the farm. This highly adaptive creature symbolizes our future: we adapt when needed in pursuit of balance.
Enjoy three distinctive Stellenzicht wine ranges that tip a hat to the ancient terroir upon which we grow our grapes: The flagship Acheulean Range comprising a Red Blend and Chardonnay that no doubt commands the palate.
Delight in our Varietal Range – the Arenite Syrah, Tristone Cabernet Sauvignon and Silcrete Cinsault. And, our lifestyle range, the aptly named Thunderstone after the Dutch settlers named ancient Acheulean hand-axes found on the farm "dondersteuntjies”, thinking that their sharp appearance was the result of lightning striking them. The Thunderstone Range consists of a Red Blend and a Chardonnay which encapsulates a pleasure that is, quite simply, down-to-earth. Shop the best wines in Stellenbosch today!