I lived and studied in Stellenbosch for 4 years and only found out about the Devon Valley Detour after my student days were over! If I had known about this wine tour right in my backyard, I might not have finished my 4-year degree in 4 years…
The Devon Valley is hidden just outside of Stellenbosch behind Onderpapegaaiberg. If you’re heading past Distell on the R310 you’ll see Oude Libertas on your right-hand side. If you just go over the hill, you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of one of Stellenbosch’s best-kept secrets!
You can either explore the wines of the Devon Valley on your own, or you can go on the official Devon Valley Detour. I prefer to buy the official tickets, since for only R255 per person you can experience 5 different tastings and pairings – and for an extra R165 you can get a 2 course lunch at any of the venues, excluding SylvanVale and Stellenbrau.
My favourite route to take along the Devon Valley Detour:
Stellenbrau is the perfect place to start your tour. It’s the first stop on the road if you take Vredenburg Road, and the guided Cellar Tour is a great learning experience. The tour includes a guided beer tasting in their Tap Room, teaching you what to look for in your beer and why elements such as aroma, appearance, flavour and mouthfeel are important.
For more, visit stellenbrau.co.za
Take the first right-turn as you leave Stellenbrau, and you’ll end up at Middelvlei in less than two minutes, where they offer a wine tasting paired with a truly South African Boerebraai. The Biltong and Mozzarella Braaibroodjie paired with their Rooster Merlot is not to be missed! The farm has a wonderful view of the surrounding areas, as well as a large outside seating area for those spectacular sunny Stellenbosch days.
For more, visit middelvlei.co.za
The next stop is Clos Malverne, where you’re treated to a wine and ice cream pairing. The current tasting includes a spicy apricot chutney, fennel and sesame ice cream, a peanut butter-banana pancake ice cream and a beetroot, walnut and thyme ice cream. These unique ice creams are paired wonderfully with the wines, which each highlight certain aspects of the pairing wines.
For more, visit closmalverne.co.za
Next up is canapés and SylvanVale wine pairing at Flavours at the Devon Valley Hotel. These canapés are anything but bite-sized and will help prevent the wine from rushing to your head The view from the terrace at Flavours is absolutely astonishing allowing you to see the whole Devon Valley in all its glory.
For more, visit devonvalleyhotel.com/sylvanvale-vineyards
J.C. le Roux
End your tour off on the best note possible, with some bubbles! The House of J.C le Roux offers a tasting of five different Méthode Cap Classiques and if you’re lucky they might even offer you a complimentary glass of one of their other MCCs while you’re there. The tasting room and surrounds are absolutely breathtaking, which makes this the perfect spot to end your day with some bubbly at sunset.
For more, visit jcleroux.co.za
For more information on the Devon Valley detour, head over to their website and remember to book all your tastings in advance! If you book through firstname.lastname@example.org they will even book your tastings for you!