The dramatic mountain pass that connects Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is Banhoek Valley, quietly dotted with multiple award-winning restaurants and wineries, with its mountain altitude and proximity to coastal winds producing some of the country’s best Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines. Within 5 km of Banhoek Guest House are a bounty of options, from the grand Delaire Graff and Tokara, to country bumble hidden gems ‘by appointment only’.
Here are some of our favourites in the Valley….
Bartinney Private Cellar is set on the dramatic slopes of the Botmaskop alongside the Helshoogte Pass overlooking the picturesque Banhoek Valley in Stellenbosch.
Established in 1912, Bartinney has been in the Jordaan family since 1953. Now Rose and Michael Jordaan tend to the 28-hectare farm, with a vision to create excellent wines and reawaken the charm of the historic land. Creating excellence in wine has not been a singular pursuit. Our belief is that every aspect must work in harmony: agriculture with nature, people with animals, sustainability with excellence. The old vines are planted to a height of 550 m above sea level and with slopes as steep as 45 degrees, creating wines that have exceptional expression and character. Small pockets of low yielding, hand-tended Chardonnay vineyards offer up perfect fruit on the cooler elevated slopes. On the slightly lower foothills of the Botmaskop mountains the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are tended to.
Seven kilometres outside Stellenbosch in the heart of the Winelands you will find a place of serenity and ultimate beauty. Our warm and welcoming Country Lodge offers guests an opportunity to truly experience the unique personality of the Stellenbosch Winelands. Our “Herenhuis” dating back to 1692 showcases our unique Cape Dutch architecture, come, and enjoy a wine-tasting and be part of history. The Zorgvliet picnic area and restaurant are situated in the most picturesque setting. You and your family can come and enjoy a piece of heaven fallen from the sky where you can be lost in your dreams, inhale the fresh air of the Banghoek Valley and bask in the warm sunshine. The vineyards with their different shades of green, depending on the type of cultivar, are a perfect backdrop to the historic whitewashed Cape Dutch architecture of Zorgvliet Wine Estate’s buildings.
Situated on the South Easterly side of the Simonsberg Mountain with elevations 530m above sea level with mainly south-facing slopes, possessing some of the highest elevations in Stellenbosch. The high altitude and the rich red soils are ideal for premium quality wine grape production.
Through the understanding of our optimal climate and soil type, we have firmly entrenched ourselves as one of the leaders in Cabernet Sauvignon, placing Stellenbosch Cabernets firmly on the global wine map.
As we believe grape quality is the single most important factor in serious winemaking, our policy in one of minimum interference, allowing the wines to be a true expression of each vineyard.
A hidden paradise in Stellenbosch nestled between majestic mountains, Delaire Graff is the ultimate Cape Winelands experience, dedicated to excellence and beauty in its many forms.
Much like polishing a diamond to reveal its brilliance, jeweller Laurence Graff has transformed an extraordinary natural setting into a world-class destination for wine, art, cuisine and escape from the everyday. With 20 hectares of vineyards situated on the slopes of Botmaskop Mountain, planted with Bordeaux reds and Chardonnay grapes, Delaire Graff Estate produces supremely elegant vintages and we are honoured to have been named one of the Top 50 wineries by the World’s Best Vineyards — placing first within the African continent in 2020.
Set in acres of fragrant gardens, the Estate also serves as a gallery for an extraordinary art collection. Handpicked by Laurence Graff from his private collection, over 400 pieces of art and sculpture await discovery.
What sets Tokara wine apart from other award-winning wines is our soil. The farm forms the watershed between two beautiful valleys on the foothills of the majestic Simonsberg, the dramatic backdrop and foundation for Tokara’s unique terroir. Tokara rests on the Stellenbosch side of the Banghoek Valley, between 350 m and 550 m above sea level.
The combination of altitude, deep, rich, decomposed granite soils and the unique aspect of the property make for exciting variability between the vineyard sites.
Soil profiles are of weathered sandstone and decomposed granite, the combination lending structure, perfume and longevity to our wines. Over the years, we’ve honed parcels of excellence in the vineyards to create exceptional individual batches. Our winemakers then blend these batches to produce the top tier wines we’re known for.
Established in 1685, Boschendal is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa. Nestled in one of the most picturesque valleys in the Cape with a wine-making tradition spanning over 330 years, our farm offers an array of activities for visitors to enjoy and explore. Today, Boschendal is a Cape Winelands icon and an acclaimed wine and food destination. The vineyards and fruit trees have been joined by vegetable gardens and a growing herd of pasture-raised Black Angus cattle all reflecting our commitment to regenerative farming, sustainability and serving wholesome farm-to-table food. From picnics, wine tastings and pairings, cycling and dining, we offer a family friendly destination for locals and our international guests.
The Cape Winelands is one of the world’s top gastronomic destinations, and we are right in the heart of it. Restaurants abound from Stellenbosch to Paarl to Franschhoek and we can assist with dining reservations and transfers to all of them. Here are a few of our favourite, right in the Valley:
Embark on a thrilling epicurean adventure with Head Chef Virgil Kahn at Indochine Restaurant. One of the earliest meeting points between East and West, Cape sailors returned from Asia’s spice lands with great riches, and it is these flavours that are celebrated at Indochine, together with the expression they found in South Africa’s Cape Malay cuisine.
Tokara Restaurant opened its doors in October 2001.
It was one of the very first iconic winery restaurants established in the Cape Winelands.
Chef Carolize Coetzee might be home-grown, but her cuisine is world-class. Inspired by the local countryside and farm produce, she’s designed Tokara Restaurant’s menu to celebrate refined farm-to-table cuisine. And she’s so looking forward to spoiling you.
Deli: Imagine an enchanting, child-friendly space nestled between olive groves and vineyards looking out on the iconic Simonsberg. Here you’ll find our Delicatessen. Shop for gourmet ingredients and the finest delicatessen offerings.
Banhoek Chilli Oil was established in South Africa’s Western Cape winelands in 2017; the founders inspired by a “sauce piquante” they’d discovered and enjoyed while living in Europe. You can now taste and experience the perfect bite of flavour, Banhoek Chilli Oil, in our family-friendly taste kitchen with a menu perfectly designed to showcase the amazing versatility of your kitchen essential.
Le Pommier Restaurant with its distinctive French name, is a reminder that the part of the farm on which it stands was once a flourishing apple orchard. Nestled amongst the vineyards at the foot of the Simonsberg, the setting offers a Banhoek country cuisine Restaurant with glorious mountain views.
Nestled in the heart of the Winelands and overlooking sprawling vineyards, Alluvia Restaurant promises a feast for the senses.
Awe-inspiring views are perfectly paired with tantalising cuisine and award-winning wines, turning every meal into an occasion and a celebration.