The small town of Stellenbosch sits amongst the rolling hills and picturesque mountain ranges of the region’s famous winelands. These massive stone giants cradle its citizens in a tender and doting fashion, preserving and nurturing both young minds of the future and contemporary, mature sophistication alike. The historic settlement itself is a beautiful display of classic, Dutch colonial buildings coupled with the feeling of a traditional people who enjoy keeping in touch with their roots.
Bonne Esperance seeks to provide a haven in which you can settle down and take it easy, preparing your days in the relaxed atmosphere of its classic Victorian architecture. There is much to plan so comfort is ideal when exploring the possibilities of the surrounds. Built more than a century ago, the stunning villa encompasses the glamour and beauty of a bygone era where a classic elegance was of utmost importance.
Journey out from the warmth of its walls to meander down narrow roads and leafy canopies which flank the main streets. Afterwards, escape from the exciting buzz of the urban hub to the famed vineyards. Looking down from their summits, the Simonsberg and Die Tweeling Pieke amongst others stretch their shadows to the green vineyards and rustic farms of the rural getaways. Wine-tasting and cellar tours are two of the main attractions in the area. Stellenbosch is a main stop on the renowned Wine Route, itself dating back to 1971. The route has subsequently become enormously popular and continues to attract members since its inception more than thirty years ago.
Regarding wine, Stellenbosch has become the centre of the South African wine industry. Spier is one of the oldest wine farms in the country by making use of its Mediterranean climate. Established in 1692, it carries with it a strong cultural and historic importance. Its collection of 21 Dutch gables is the largest in the world and is unique to the Cape Dutch architecture so popular to the area, specifically to the Western Cape. Other notable estates include Helderberg Wine Farm, Simonsberg and the Alto Wine Estate with many more to choose from.
The founder of Stellenbosch, Simon van der Stel, planted many oak trees in the area. This has led to the town becoming known as the City of Oaks, with many sure to be dotted around the course at Stellenbosch Golf Club. This par 72 is the 4th oldest golf course in South Africa. It upholds certain standards and its visitors are expected to stick to its dress code and maintain a certain level of dignified class, making it a fine establishment for lovers of the gentleman’s game. Of course, there is also a fine selection of wine on offer and the 19th hole will be a sure hit with anybody gracing the old clubhouse.
As stated, Stellenbosch is a university town. The University of Stellenbosch, officially founded in 1918, is one of the leading universities on the continent. It boasts a lively atmosphere which can be felt emanating from the numerous campus buildings found throughout the town. This has led to a pleasant combination of bohemian lifestyles coupled with the elegance and sophistication of higher class, country living.
Stellenbosch, without a doubt, offers something for everybody. But if you are looking for a classic getaway into the rustic foothills and old wine estates of the country, then look no further than this culturally rich and diverse town.