Returning to Stellenbosch and Franschoek for Wine, Western Cape, South Africa
Today’s visit to the Western Cape Wine Region was a trip to an often overlooked region of Paarl. Paarl is home to several major wineries and is a neighbour to the more popular Stellenbosch and Franschoek regions. Our visit to Paarl had us casually visiting several wineries as we enjoyed the region’s attractions and scenery.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates via Emirates First Class, South African Airways Business Class and Qatar Airlines Business Class
- American Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- American Airlines AAdmirals Club: Los Angeles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Los Angeles
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Doha
- The Westin Hotel and Spa, Doha, Qatar
- Souq Wahif, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha – Johannesburg
- The Slow Lounge, O.R. Tambo Domestic, Johannesburg, South Africa
- British Airways Club Class: Johannesburg – Cape Town
- The Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- Winelands of Paarl, South Africa
- Shark Diving at Gaansbai, South Africa
- The Hermanus Coastal Walk, Hermanus, South Africa
- Returning to Stellenbosch & Franschoek, South Africa
- A Repeat Visit to the Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Air Namibia: Cape Town – Windhoek
- Overland Travel: Driving to the Desert; Windhoek – Sesriem
- The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Namibia
- The Majestic Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Sesriem – Walvis Bay, Namibia
- The Pelican Point Lodge, Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Walvis Bay – Spittskope – Windhoek, Namibia
- The Hilton Windhoek, Namibia
- Air Namibia Windhoek – Maun – Victoria Falls
- The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Stopping Hippopotamus on a Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Feeling the Smoke that Thunders, a day at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- British Airways Club Business Class: Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
- The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class: Johannesburg – Mauritius
- The St Regis Mauritius, Le Morne, Mauritius
- Emirates First Class: Mauritius – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- The Heat of the Desert at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class Lounge Terminal “B” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class: Dubai – Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge, Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seattle
- Delta Sky Club Lounge Seattle South Terminal
- Delta Airlines First Class: Seattle – Vancouver
Activity: Returning to Stellenbosch and Franschoek, Western Cape Winelands, South Africa
“Our visit to low key Paarl Wine Region took us away from the mega heavyweights of Stellenbosch and Franschoek, but allowed us to discover a few hidden gems”
We took an easy breakfast at The Westin Cape Town and headed out to Stellenbosch and Franschoek. We had a bit of a late start as we were finally getting over the jet lag and our short turn around in Doha, and had a 12 hour sleep. The trip to South Africa via the Middle East really knocked us out since it was about 6-7 hours of flying out of the way instead of the usual North America – Africa connection in Europe.
Our visits today took us to some of the lessor known vineyards that had escaped us on our last visit.
Visiting Jordan Winery:
We first visited Jordan winery at the end of Stellenbosch Kloop. It’s tucked up against the hill and was well off the beaten path. This winery is not related to the Californian Jordan winery of the same name.
It was a quiet and peaceful place for a tasting overlooking a small reservoir. You can tell looking back at the photographs, there isn’t a soul here.
It was a very peaceful setting at Jordan’s Cellar Door. It was a quiet setting absent any real travellers or tourists overlooking a tranquil pond.
There were some outstanding whites, in particular their Inspector Peringuey Chenin Blanc. We collected a bottle of this for our future onwards travels to Namibia.
Calling on Neethingshof Winery:
We continued a short way down the road to Neethlingshof. It would be pretty special to have this view as your driveway.
The restaurant buildings are traditional Cape Dutch circa the year 1814, which is always a treat when visiting Western Cape Wineries.
To accommodate demand, the Neethingshof tasting centre was brand new. There were again some excellent whites of both the Sauvingon Blanc and the Chenin Blanc that received a five star rating from MrsWT73. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find these wines in Canada or the Pacific Northwest of the USA but the whites are highly recommended.
Returning to Haute Caribière:
We drove up to Franschoek to our old favourite Haute Caribière. The setting of this particular winery is set into caves tucked into the side of the mountains in Franschoek.
This was our favourite winery visit on our last trip, but it seems as though the quality of the wines are slipping just a bit. The Unwooded Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir were fabulous as always but the rest of the line up was only very good, not excellent like most of the rest of the wines on offer at other wineries.
There is a tasting menu on offer here and you can of course select what wines are interest to you. MrsWT73 always has her heart set on Cap Classique sparkling, so we started with the two good sparkling wines they have on offer, before moving onto the whites and reds in a nice setting outside on the patio.
All in all, it’s among the most beautiful settings for wineries in South Africa in my humble opinion and a quiet and beautiful way to close out the tastings for the day as the sun slipped down over the mountains.
The visit to Franschoek rounded off a nice second and last day of wine tastings in South Africa
Along with a lovely tasting, there were terrific valley views. This is one of the reasons why this is among one of my favourite corners in the world. The sheer beauty of the setting is spectacular.
Our visit to Stellenbosch and Franschoek:
The South Africa Western Cape Wine Experience remains one of my favourite wine regions to visit in the world. The wineries are approachable and easy to visit. The quality of the white wines remains outstanding and of excellent value. After you add beautiful mountains, it adds for a special experience.
Whenever we find our way towards Stellenbosch, it’s great to pop in at Neethlingshof – like you said, the beauty surrounding you while tasting wine, is just beautiful!
There are so many wineries and regions to discover in this corner of the world. It’s easily one of the better wine region experiences globally.
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