Stellenbosch - Culture and Historical Heritage
The heart of South Africa's wine industry, Stellenbosch is a place of great beauty and culture steeped in South African tradition. History is reflected in many of its neo-Dutch, Georgian and modern Victorian architecture, which encompasses simple lines, fine detail and elegant proportions. Oak trees bear witness to its proud and dignified heritage. These old Oak trees etched against the white walls of its many old buildings, diffuse the heat of summer and transform the streets into soft shady avenues.
The historical roots of Stellenbosch go as far back as 1866. Interestingly, Stellenbosch University is the oldest university in South Africa. A century-long tradition of quality tuition and research has secured the University a place among the finest academic institutions in Africa.
The town lies on the banks of a river in the premier wine producing Jonkershoek Valley, and is encircled by majestic mountains. There is easy access to nearby fruit farms, wine estates, mountain ranges and neighboring rustic towns.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route is arguably the country's most famous, and the Stellenbosch Wine of Origin area includes over 300 members of which more than 100 are open to the public. Wine tours are a must for visitors, who have a choice of old-fashioned charm or more modern tourist orientated estates.
The Stellenbosch Wine Estates are surrounded by the natural beauty of some of the most spectacular mountains of the Western Cape. With the vineyards as a backdrop, the ever changing color of the leaves constantly transforms the landscape, with harvest time usually starting in January and lasting through March.
Stellenbosch provides the ideal location from which to explore the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, Paarl, Franschhoek and Wellington - all within an hours drive, or even the more distant Worcester, Tulbagh and Hermanus, returning at the end of the day to enjoy an evening in this charming town.