Stellenbosch Wine Region Guide

Where Ancient Terroir Shapes Exceptional Flavors


Last updated: April 10, 2024


If one region represents the enormous progress achieved in South Africa over the past few decades, then it is undoubtedly Stellenbosch. Despite stiff competition, it remains the center of premium wine production in South Africa. It is also the first place tourists head to, and with good reason. The region is one of the most attractive to visit anywhere in the world, with towering mountains rising seemingly out of the ocean and gorgeous white-washed Dutch homesteads filling the landscape.

By the 20th century, Stellenbosch was celebrated as a center of agriculture and learning. The region’s first university was inaugurated in 1918, and to this day, it remains an internationally recognized education center and one of the leading universities in Africa. Today, over 150 wineries in the Stellenbosch zone are led by a new generation of young talent who have traveled the world and done a few vintages abroad. Considerable amounts of money continue to be invested, and the standards of the region’s best wines now rival any in the world.

Stellenbosch is home not only to some of the largest wine companies in the country but also to some of its most impressive. De Morgenzon, Mulderbosch, Meerlust, and Ken Forrester are all globally recognized and revered names. However, although some of these brands don’t boast a long history of quality winemaking, the Western Cape has been planted with vines for centuries. Its official history begins in 1697, when the then-governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, discovered a small island on the Eerste River and named it Stellenbosch. The first Dutch settlers, marveling at the benign climate of the region and rich fertile soils, soon planted crops, including, of course, the first vines.


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James lawrence

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