A Leisurely Drive around the Greater Simonsberg
This area encompasses exactly its name—the greater Simonsberg that lies to the north of the town. Start on the R44 northbound and, if you’re feeling lucky, try an experimental wine at the government-funded research facility Nietvoorbij. You might just discover a gem. L’Avenir recently rebuilt their cellar, where you can also taste offerings from Michiel Laroce’s French and Chilean estates.
To the right lies a little cluster of wine farms, including Knorhoek, Muratie, Delheim and Quoin Rock. Relax with a cheese platter on Delheim’s stoep while the kids do some bird watching, and try their honey, olives and olive oil. And then onwards for a spot of bubbly tasting at Simonsig, or something to eat at Cuvèe Restaurant, or if something stronger is more your cup of … um, brandy, head for Uitkyk for Estelle Lourens’s estate brandy, great on a rainy day. And on the way down, try some Kanonkop Paul Sauer.
Now there is a choice between circling Klapmutskop from the left or the right. The former will take you past Elsenburg and Westbridge,De Meye with its lavender oil, onward to Ernst & Co, Hoopenburg and Eaglevlei, where you can stop for a bite to eat—the kids will go wild for the jungle gym, which will give you some time to savour a glass of Pinotage Rosé.
If you continue on the R44, however, Delvera will probably take up the rest of your day, as you eat lunch or visit the various shops on the property selling everything from wine and cheese to olives, wool and ceramics. If you can tear yourself away, however, you can visit the wine farms all the way to Klapmuts—Laibach, Lievland, Warwick and maybe even try a Pinotage bath at Mont Destin. A leisurely drive around Simonsberg will bring you back to Stellenbosch from the Pniel side, taking you past farms like Zorgvliet with its great picnics, Rainbow’s End, Tokara and Delaire, the latter under serious construction and promising to be one of the winelands’ most stunning spectacles once done.
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