The boutique wine estates in the Stellenbosch region of the Cape Winelands are all so unique and charming that it makes it very hard to pick a few favorites only! Nonetheless, I have done my best to narrow it down to what I believe are the best boutique wine estates in Stellenbosch that really stand out.
Camberley Wine Estate
Camberley is actually now a part of the Franschhoek Wine Tram so its popularity is growing. It’s an unmissable estate if you prefer a more homely, initimate feel while still enjoying excellent wines. They also have the prettiest rose garden and views, so you can enjoy walking around and sipping your wine while taking in the surrounding beauty. At Camberley, you can taste a uniquely created South African wine, namely the Pinotage, which is a cross between the Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes. They also offer accomodation in three beautiful cottages on the Estate should you wish to stay over at Camberley.
Wine Tasting at Camberley
The small tasting room or patio gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy a range of tastings, with a dominance of red wines. Alternatively, wonder the pretty rose garden while sipping on your wine. They currently (2022) offer the following tastings:
- A Standard tasting of 5 wines costs R120 / $7. Wines in the standard tasting are Chenin Blanc, a Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon & Vioneer Blend, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend and finally a 2014/2015 Pinotage Blend
- The Executive tasting of 4 wines costs R200 / $11. Wines in the executive tasting start with the Philosophers Stone, a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend. This is followed by a Shiraz 2020 (100% Shiraz) and the Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend. Lastly, the tasting ends with a 100% Pinotage.
Snacks & platters
To enjoy with your wine or as a stand-alone, you can also order some light snacks (crisps) or a cheese platter for R120 / $6.5
Note: There is no restaurant at Camberley and so I recommend eating a hearty meal first if you’re feeling hungry!
Tasting Room Opening Hours:
- Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 17:00
- Sunday: 10:00 – 15:00
Reservations for wine tasting at Camberley
Both walk-in and pre-booked appointments are welcomed at Camberley. However, reservations are recommended with an aim of providing you the best service and personalization.
Top tip #1: When I was at Camberley, they were a fairly young estate in terms of openings to the public. Subsequently, I suggest contacting them at the details below to confirm the tasting menu before visiting.
Contact Camberley at (+27)82 748 6338 or email@example.com
Recommended time to spend at a tasting at Camberley
If it isn’t too busy, then 40 minutes – 1 hour is sufficient at Camberley.
Top tip #2: Visit Early! At Camberley, the earlier the better as the small Estate prides itself on a more intimate and personal experience.
Camberley also has three beautiful private apartments on the farm if you wish to stay overnight. The cottages have beautiful garden and mountain views, while still designed with their own unique character. The luxury and cellar apartment go for about R2500 / $135 per night.
Click on the image below to read more about my time at Camberley Wine Estate.
Warwick Wine Estate
With a rich farming history dating back to 1771, Warwick Estate has a warm and serene atmosphere as well as friendly service and great wines. Not only do they offer wine tastings, but their wine pairings look incredible. Their delectable picnic baskets and lawn area look very enticing, too! They also offer hearty, seasonal meals, a Sunday lunch and Vineyard ‘Safaris‘. If you’re looking to celebrate a special event, Warwick is happy to provide a backdrop of gorgeous scenery, world-class wines and luxury cuisine to compliment your special occasion.
Wine Tasting at Warwick
There are three areas dedicated to wine tasting, these being the Indoor tasting room, outdoor tasting patio and the picnic gardens. Warwick currently offers the following tastings:
- The Premium Tasting: This range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pitch Black, The Cape Ladies Cape Blend and the Blue Lady Cabernet Sauvignon blanc – R100 / $5.5
- The First Lady Tasting: Warwick has a proud history of being home to South Africa’s first female winemaker, Norma Ratcliffe. In honor of her achievements, Warwick’s wine range ‘The First Lady’ was introduced. Wines in the range include the MCC, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon – R50 / less than $3
- Trilogy Vertical Tasting: Enjoy a vertical blind tasting of Warwick’s Flagship wine. Also, if you correctly match the vintage and pairing note you receive your tasting for free –R350 / $19
Wine pairing at Warwick
- A Gourmet Pairing with marshmallow, nougat, goats cheese and biltong
- A Sweet Pairing with figs, carrot cake, chickpea bites and peacan tart
Tasting Room Opening Hours
The Tasting Room is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.
Reservations for wine tasting at Warwick
Both walk-in and pre-booked appointments are welcomed at Warwick. However, reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment, especially during busier periods.
Recommended time to spend at a tasting at Warwick
For the tasting itself, one hour should be sufficient. However, if partaking in any of the other activities available, you may need longer.
Other Activities at Warwick Estate
Not just for the wine lovers, there are also other activities to enjoy at Warwick. These include:
- A picnic on the beautifully manicured lawns (limited to South African summer).
- A hearty, seasonal menu. Available Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 – 15:00 at the Bistro, tasting room and picnic benches. Winter menu items include truffle soup, steamed mussels, mushroom arancini, seared steak and potate skins – R450 / $24 for two people.
- Sunday lunch at the Bistro from 11:00 – 15:00 during May – September. Bookings are essential 24 hours in advance. The Sunday lunch is a five course meal, starting with a sample of olives and bread followed by soup. The main meal is roast chicken and braised beef short ribs accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and other vegetable dishes. The meal is rounded off with a delightful Amaretto crème brûlée with an almond praline – R365 / $19.
- A vineyard safari, an open-top tour through the vineyards.
- Warwick hosts events, celebrations and team-building activities
Note: The prices are what is currently available on Warwick’s website. Be sure to double-check prices and options by visiting their website or contacting them on the details listed below.
Click on the image below to read more about my time at Warwick Wine Estate.
Hidden Valley Wine Estate
As it’s name goes, Hidden Valley really is a hidden gem on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain near Stellenbosch. Both it’s eye-catching modern style and beautiful views give it a unique edge. In addition to great wine tastings, chocolate pairing and charcuterie & cheese platters, they also have a floating deck restaurant on-site with beautiful views over the valley and mountains. The nature trail is a 3km walk that takes you through the sprawling vineyards and olive groves. Furthermore, the Estates gorgeous Bush Lodge accomodation is a tranquil getaway for those wanting to stay longer at Hidden Valley.
The vineyards consist of 70% red and 30% white grape varietals. The fertile soils on the farm also provide the perfect climate for Olive production. The 3 hectare olive plantation produces approximately 30% table olives and 70% for olive oil production.
The Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio, with lovely views over the valley, vineyards and the Helderberg mountain in the distance. There is currently only one wine tasting on offer for 5 wines at R100 ($5-6).
Wine Pairing at Hidden Valley
Wine & chocolate pairing is available. The pairing includes five flavoursome chocolates pairing with five wines for R155 / $8 per person. Note: Advance booking is essential for group tastings of 8 or more.
Table Olives & Olive oil
While Hidden Valley is well-known for their quality wine, they are also excellent producers of Olives and Olive oil. Thus, you can enjoy Calamata and Noccelera de Belice table olives with your wine tasting or by themselves at Hidden Valley Estate.
Snacks & Platters
Hidden Valley serves charcuterie & cheese platters that you can enjoy by themselves or with a tasting – R385 / $20
Tasting Room Opening Hours
- Everyday from 9am to 6pm in Summer( September – April), with the last tasting slot at 5pm
- 9am to 5pm in Winter (May – August), with the last tasting slot at 4pm.
Reservations for wine tastings at Hidden Valley
When we visited in March (off-season), it was very quiet and so the Estate accepted us as a walk-in.
According to their website, however, bookings are essential for all tastings particular for large groups. To avoid disappointment, contact Hidden Valley on 021 880 2646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not just for the wine lovers, there are also other activities to enjoy at Hidden Valley. These include:
- A nature walk around the dam and indigenous gardens – FREE
- The Deck restaurant, an eatery on a floating deck serving burgers and wood-fired pizza. Wines, a coffee selection and non-alcoholic drinks are also available. Their opening hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 11:00 – 17:00, Friday and Saturday from 11:00-18:00 and Sundays from 11:00 – 17:00. No booking are available but for enquiries, contact the Deck restaurant on (+27)21 880 2721 or email@example.com – average meal costs R140 / $7.5
- Enjoy a picnic on the farm. Baskets include ciabatta bread, olives, meats, figs, cheeses and biscuits – R530 / $28. Note: If you want to enjoy wine with your picnic, be sure to purchase wine at the Wine Tasting Center
- Cellar Tours Available on request. Note: Cellar tours are not available during the harvest period.
- Vineyard sunset wine tasting experience. Note: This experience is only available during summer (September to April). It requires a minimum of 10 people and reservations are essential – Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Events, celebrations and conferences
To make a reservation or enquire about any activities, contact Hidden Valley at 021 880 2646 or email email@example.com
Read about our time at Hidden Valley Estate by clicking on the image below.
Top Tip: Be sure to check out Guardian Peak when you’re in the region. It’s a wonderful restaurant with beautiful views and a vibrant atmosphere less than 2km (a 5 minute drive) from the Hidden Valley Estate.
Alto Wine Estate
This quaint and peaceful wine estate specializes in red wine production only. Initiating its beginnings as a vineyard in 1919, the farm is a family-run estate with a simple, but wonderful charm. Their bistro style restaurant presents small but indulgent meals that pair beautifully with Alto’s wines. Excellent cheese and biltong pairings and cheese platters accompany their wine tastings. On Friday evenings the Estates hosts Sundowner events to the background of live music by local musicians.
The soils and slopes of the estate are ideal for crafting full-bodied red wines. Of particular note is their Cabernet Sauvignon, the estates most awarded wine to date.
The Wine Tasting
There are two areas dedicated to wine tasting: The cozy indoor tasting room and the outdoor tasting patio overlooking views of Stellenbosch hills and Table Mountain. Alto offers the following wine tastings:
- Alto tasting of 4 pre-selected wines – R55 / $3
- Premium tasting, which includes the full range of Alto’s 6 wines is R110 / $6
Wine pairing at Alto
To accompany the wine tasting Alto offers the following pairings as below.
- Wine & Biltong pairing: 4 Wines paired with a selection of 4 unique biltong flavours at R150 / $8
- Wine & Smoked cheese pairing: 4 wines paired with a selection of 4 unique smoked cheese flavours at R150 / $8
Snacks & Platters
At Alto, you can enjoy your wine with three different platter choices. Alternatively, enjoy the platters as a stand-alone dish!
- Cheese platter: This platter consists of a selection of Dalewood cheeses, beef biltong, olives, pickles, crudités, fig preserves, jalapeno jelly and seasonal fruit with fresh ciabatta & butter – R175 / $9
- Charcuterie platter: This platter consists of a selection of cured meats, beef biltong, olives, pickles, hummus, pesto, crudités and seasonal fruit with fresh ciabatta & butter – R250 / $13
- Alto Vineyard platter: This platter consists of a selection of Dalewood cheeses and cured meats, olives, pickles, hummus, pesto, crudités, fig preserve, jalapeno jelly, seasonal fruit with fresh ciabatta & butter. – R395 / $21
Tasting Room Opening Hours
The wine tasting is open Monday – Sunday from 10h00 – 17h00
Reservations for wine tasting at Alto
Alto accepts walk-ins but reservations are essential for groups of 6 or more. Reservations can be made online through Alto’s booking form.
Not just for the wine lovers, there are also other activities to enjoy at Alto. These include:
- A bistro style restaurant with locally sourced ingredients. Important Note: The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Bookings are essential.
- Enjoy sundowners on the deck, accompanied with live music from local musicians. This happens every Friday from 17:00 – 21:00
Read about our time at Alto by clicking on the image below.
If you loved reading about these wine Estates, then check out these other amazing wine estates near Stellenbosch Town by clicking on the images below: