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Exploring Secret Spots in the Stellenbosch Valley

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I’ve been lucky enough to have attended some pretty amazing press trips of late, but being able to hang out with the same bloggers from our #DiscoverHelderberg experience on our recent 36 hour visit to the Stellenbosch Valley really sticks out!

The bloggers that joined on the trip were, Carlinn from “SuperficialGirls“, our local mermaid Natalie Roos from “Tails of a Mermaid”, the cartwheel queen Lauren Fowler from “Lost is a Place Too“, Leigh from “Pretty Mint“, our pink Tutu wearing Alfred from “Vuurtoring”, the super talented Dee from “The Good Holiday” and of course the talented foodie Thalia from “Too Much Loveliness“.

We kicked things off at the waterfront again where we were shuttled through to Stellenbosch to go explore a bunch of farms and estates that I’d never been to before.

The House of J.C. Le Roux

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The first stop of the day was at The House of J.C. Le Roux for breakfast, which was accompanied by Sparkling Wine! There really is nothing like a “champagne breakfast”, but if you are planning on making your way for breakfast, I highly recommend either what I ate, which was the French Toast with fresh fruits and candy bacon ice cream, or what Carlinn had, the Eggs Benedict that came with Salmon!

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After breakfast, we were taken on a short tour of the cellar where we saw the production line of their MCC being bottled and after, we were taken to their tasting room for an olive and sparkling wine pairing! Not only was it delicious, but I got to chop the cork off a bottle with a sword, or otherwise known as Sabrage.

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The olive pairing is only R65 per person and well worth it! The House of J.C. Le Roux does offer additional pairings and tours that range from R45 – R100 per person. Click here to find out more.

Stellenbrau Brewery

Beer is one of my favourite things in the entire world, so our stop at the Stellenbrau Brewery is one I was most excited about when I was checking out the itinerary before we left Cape Town.

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Upon arrival we were taken on a tour of the brewery itself and shown how they brew their different beers, but from there we made our way to the Stellenbrau Tap Room, where we got to taste their Craven Craft Lager, the Alumni Ale, the Governer’s Red Lager and the Jonkers Weiss.

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My favourite was the Craven Craft Lager and before we left, I made sure to buy a 6 pack for only R129, which is CHEAP AS for craft beer in my opinion!

Book your own tasting from R70 per person at Stellenbrau!

Middlevlei Wine Estate

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Good boerekos is right up there with dishes I love eating and rightly so, I am South African and was brought up with it! The food at Middlevlei Wine Estate is right up there with some of the best braai food I’ve ever eaten!

We arrived on the estate at lunch time but before eating, Carlinn and I spent some time walking around the farm checking out the animals with picturesque landscapes behind them while others took to the massive grass lawn to chill out in the sun.

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Once everyone was at the table, we got split into two teams to blend our own wines using 3 different types of wines and various sweetening agents, which we only used one single drop in ours.

Our bottle didn’t win, but the group Carlinn was in did, so you can see who the beer drinker is vs. the wine drinker in our household. Nevertheless, the wine was amazing and we were each given a bottle of the “Bitches Blend” to take home with our very own label on it.

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Lunch was a variety of choppies, steak, boerewors, pumpkin fritters, salads and of course, braai-broetjies! YUM!! Here’s a link to the full menu of delicious options in the Boerebraai!

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Middlevlei Wine Estate has a lot more to offer visitors from Barrel Wine Tastings for the adults, to kids activities like alcohol free tastings to test their senses!

Wedgeview Country House & Spa

 

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After a day of eating and drinking we were taken through to the Wedgeview Country House & Spa, where we would be spending the night, as well as getting a spa treatment!

I opted for the foot massage over the neck and shoulder massage because there really isn’t anything better than a good foot massage or tickle!

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After the pamper session, Carlinn and I were taken our room, which was actually the friggen presidential suite. It was amazing!! It has a huge lounge area, an open plan kitchen, an office, pantry, 2 balconies, MASSIVE bedroom with a King Size bed and the best part, a bathroom that had a huge shower and a bath with jets in it!

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We ate both dinner and breakfast at the guesthouse and both were super delicious, but the highlight of the stay there was the winking wonder, Leon or otherwise known as Leonardo DiCaprio because he looks just like him!

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Rooms range from R895 to R1,295per person sharing and the suites start at R3,500 per night. Book your stay with these welcoming Dutch Hosts, breakfast is always included!

Fleur Du Cap Wines

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Our first stop of the day was at Fleur Du Cap Wines and this was without a doubt my highlight for the day because after doing a little walk around their museum and cellar, we were taken to Die Bergkelder, which is an underground cellar that was founded in 1967 and home to some of Cape Town’s finest wines!

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The long tunnel you walk down has an ghostly vibe to it with little doors to the left and right as you walk down, each a different storage area for various fine wines! One of the rooms is the Lazlo Room which is a tasting room with a very old school design. It’s all underground, so there are no windows, only the awesome aroma of wine!

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At the end of this tunnel we found ourselves in the tasting room surrounded by hand carved barrels from back in the day. This is where we had our taste buds treated to a wine and salt tasting.

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If you want to find out more regarding tastings and tours, click here.

Stellenbosch Vineyards & Bistro 13

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Our next stop was at the Stellenbosch Vineyards for a wine tasting which we were lucky enough to have straight from the barrel while being walked around the cellar. Once back in the tasting area, we were taken through a variety of their wines and sparkling wines by the wine maker, Abraham De Villiers.

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The farm itself produces award winning wines and exports to 39 countries around the world!

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From the tasting we made our way to Bistro 13 for lunch which was spectacular! I feel proud to be South African when I eat the dishes prepared we ordered! I had the smoked paprika dusted calamari to start with the fillet as mains! Both were cooked to perfection and I left completely satisfied.

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Tastings at Stellenbosch Vineyards start at R30 per person and lunch at Bistro 13 has an a la carte menu as well as their famous Naked Menu!

Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery

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Our last stop in the Stellenbosch Valley was the only place I had visited earlier this year on a Bikes & Wines tour, and it was the amazing Van Ryn’s Distillery for a tour of the distillary with a demonstration by their in-house cooper on how he puts a barrel together from scratch!

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The tools he used and the song he created using the beats of his hammer on the wood was something I’d never seen before.

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When the demonstration was done, we made our way into their tasting room to finish off the trip with chocolate and brandy pairing! I can honestly say, it was amazing and the perfect way to end an incredible 36 hours in the Stellenbosch Valley.

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Check out more photos from the amazing 36 hours in the valley on the Life of Mike Facebook Page.

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