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Escape from Cape Town to the Stellenbosch Winelands

Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town lies Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second oldest town, deeply ensconced in the country’s history and home to the first established wine route in South Africa. There are so many spectacular wine routes and spots to choose from that you’ll be completely spoilt for choice. If you’re looking for breathtaking views, top-notch wines and five star restaurants, then Stellenbosch and surrounds will not disappoint. Here are three estates we highly recommend for a wine and dine combination.

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The first stop is at Ernie Els Wines, owned by the world-renowned South African golfer. A magnificent building opens its doors to breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch mountains and vineyards. The setting alone will leave you feeling instantly relaxed. The wine ranges from quaffable reds, whites and blends through to the prize-winning Ernie Els Signature 2010 bottle (based on a Cabernet Sauvignon). Choose a cheese platter to go with the portfolio of wines on offer and, after you’ve sipped your wine on the terrace and admired the view, take time out to explore the cellar. If you play golf take a peek at the Trophy Room, where memorabilia from Els’ finest golfing achievements are on display.

Now that you have wine flowing through your veins, the hunger pangs may be calling – your next stop should be at Rust en Vrede, where the fine dining experience is a feast for the senses.  Besides featuring as one of the top ten restaurants in South Africa in 2012, Rust en Vrede wine was also selected by the late President Nelson Mandela to accompany the dinner he was served in Oslo, Norway when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. This incredible farm is also fit for a queen, having hosted the Queen of Denmark for a luncheon. As if those accolades are not enough, Rust en Vrede has won many wine awards, including being nominated as the first South African red wine in the Top 100 Wines of the World, and has repeated this achievement for four consecutive years.

Your last stop should be at the Waterford Estate, a spectacular wine farm situated in the Blaauwklippen valley. This charming estate offers a unique chocolate and wine tasting experience to tie up your tour. Selected wines are paired with a series of dark and milk chocolates that will give you a totally unique and unforgettable wine tasting experience.

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