Boschendal Wine Estate is an astonishing success story located in the magnificent Franschhoek Winelands, awash with beautiful fynbos, protected natural spaces and lush farmlands. The lands stretch for 1 800 hectares at the foot of the Drakenstein and Simonsberg Mountains less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
Boschendal is South Africa’s second oldest wine estate, established in 1685 by Jean le Long. Since then, it has changed hands several times and undergone a series of ups and downs in its long history.
Less than five years ago, Boschendal was on the brink of failure, due to a series of misfortunes but with careful investment and planning, it has risen from the ashes to become more successful than ever before.
Things to Do at Boschendal Wine Estate
Boschendal has reemerged as an oasis of tranquility and abundance, with a host of pastoral delights available on site. These are the main attractions:
Wine in All its Glory
One thing that’s never changed at Boschendal is their excellent range of wines, and you can follow their journey on a variety of guided tours that take you through the process:
Start your journey of discovery with a trip down lanes of premium grapes, tended by a flock of ducks and geese, to a mountaintop viewpoint. Here you pause to enjoy panoramic views over the farm before heading down the hill for your next adventure.
Get to the heart of Boschendal as you meander among row upon row of oak barrels filled with maturing wines and learn about what goes into preparing world-class wines.
Boschendal offers premium wine tastings for private functions and events in the Manor House’s three venues, Agter Kamer, Exclusive Lounge and Chaise Lounge.
For a more relaxed experience, the Cellar Door Wine Tasting Centre offers tastings amongst the roses and gardens of the estate. These venues are available for pre-bookings as well as walk-in guests.
When it comes to wine-related activities, the grapes come first, and some tours may be restricted during the harvest season. It pays to call ahead and book to avoid disappointment.
It’s hard to believe, but Boschendal’s main crop is in fact plums and not grapes. The farm sprawls for miles beyond the vineyards, with every inch of it used for income-generating or farming activities of some kind.
Find out what makes this well-oiled machine tick on a tour of the lands in the company of an expert guide to fill you in on all the sustainable practices that come into play here.
As proud hosts of the Cape Epic during 2016, Boschendal has epic mountain biking routes winding among its grounds. There’s a trail for anyone who’d like to get in the saddle and explore – from first-timers to expert riders. You can hire a bike or bring your own.
Likewise, an abundance of horse trails stretches among the forests and fields of Boschendal, where sure-footed well-mannered steeds will show you the lie of the land. Riders of all abilities are welcome to join in on these guided trips while small children can enjoy pony rides in the Werf area.
If you hanker after some me-time or aren’t that into physical exertion, the Farm Spa is your perfect escape while the family gets out and about. You can choose from a range of pampering massages, facials, mani, pedi, tinting and waxing at the hands of expert therapists. The Farm Spa uses only the best all-natural products.
Dining at Boschendal
You can expect to dine on some of the Cape’s finest Cuisine at Boschendal at a range of venues scattered among the grounds. These are:
The Werf Restaurant
This award-winning establishment prides itself on sourcing 90% of its ingredients from the farm itself. You can watch your food growing from the upstairs balcony, which has views over 200 acres of prized fruit and vegetable gardens. The menu changes with the whims of nature, but you can guarantee that you’ll be enjoying exceptionally fresh, creative dishes, masterfully put together by talented executive chef, Christiaan Campbell.
Hailing from 1795, the exquisite Rhone Homestead is available for group bookings of 20 guests or more and offers an ever-changing buffet of traditional Cape dining. It’s located alongside the cellar and wine tasting room among a garden of heritage roses and is the ideal complement to a curated tour and wine-tasting outing.
The Deli is located in an old wagon shed and sprawls out into serene gardens where you can devour classic farmer’s breakfasts and fresh baked goods while the children enjoy the run of the land.
Picnics are a favorite way to enjoy immersing yourself in the countryside while nibbling on local-produced delights. Exceptional views and a relaxed ambience are guaranteed at both the Rhone Rose Garden and The Werf picnic sites.
All the dining options at Boschendal are extremely popular and made to order, so it’s imperative to book at least 24-hours in advance.
Farm Shop and Butchery
Boschendal’s farm shop celebrates the abundance of the land, offering up a selection of fine-grass fed black Angus beef, fresh produce, free-range eggs, artisanal preserves, local olive oils and just-baked bread.
Conferences and Weddings
Thanks to its excellent location and amazing ambience, Boschendal is a popular choice for events and conferences. There are three conference venues available and a host of packages to choose from. The Olive Press can accommodate up to 150 guests, Rhone homestead is equipped for up to 50 Pax, and The Retreat caters for 72 delegates at a time.
All catering is courtesy of The Werf restaurant, and all the usual conferencing equipment is available on site.
All these conference venues are suitable for weddings too, or you can opt to say your vows in the sprawling gardens of the estate. The estate offers a range of exquisite add-ons for your wedding including accommodation, special dinners and activities for the bridal party and guests.
There are several accommodation options to choose from if you want to make a weekend of it at Boschendal.
Children at Boschendal
There’s no better outing for children than a day on the farm. By its very nature, Boschendal is a welcoming and inviting place for children of all ages. They love the gardens, wide-open spaces and animal life found here and are catered for with an exclusive tree-house venue created just for them.
All children are welcome to join in the daily program of supervised activities at the Tree House, which include cookery, art, farm foraging, fun educational games and free time at the nature-themed playground.
It’s essential to book activities in advance as they’re one of the highlights of a trip to the estate, providing fun for children and free time for their parents. To ensure your children have the best time, avoid dressing them in their Sunday best so that they can enjoy running riot in the open air and doing what children do best.
When you stay in Boschendal accommodation or dine at The Werf, all Tree House activities are complimentary.
Boschendal accommodation is everything you expect it to be – elegant, peaceful and spacious.
Here’s what’s on offer:
- Private Cottages
Rhodes Cottage consists of a main house as well as an annex and can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time. The cottage has a self-catering kitchen, housekeeper, swimming pool and an outside dining area under the trees for added convenience.
- Trout cottage is located on a secluded portion of the farm, surrounded by vines and orchards. The cottage has quick access to the mountain bike trails and can accommodate, 4 adults, 2 children and the family dog.
- Ideal Group Accommodation
The self-catering Orchard Cottages consist of stylishly revamped 1,2,3 and 4-bedroom labourers’ houses and holds a prime position close to the farm trails, dams and mountainside paths. The cottages have a shared swimming pool as well as private outdoor entertainment areas.
- Secluded in a far corner of the farm, The Retreat features 18 two-bedroom self-catering cottages, ideal for large groups, wedding parties and events. The cottages boast expansive lawns and gorgeous mountain views.
- Garden Suites
The Werf Garden Suites are located in the heart of the action, close to The Werf Restaurant and The Deli. Each one has a kitchenette and fireplace. When you stay in this accommodation, you get free access to breakfast, a wine tasting and several activities on the farm.
Overnight guests have privileged access to the farm and can take advantage of the Tree House activities at no charge.
What to Bring
You are in for an extravaganza of activities and experiences when you visit Boschendal. Don’t forget your camera!
Plan your wardrobe to match your chosen outings and remember that sunscreen is essential for outdoor activities. If you’re overnighting in self-catering accommodation, you’ll need all your personal items, groceries and swimming towels.
To get the most out of your stay, plan well in advance and book for all your preferred activities to avoid disappointment.
Boschendal is ideally placed near Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch. Here’s how to get there:
From Cape Town along the N1
- Take the N1 towards Paarl, then head off on Exit 47 to Stellenbosch.
- At the bottom of the slip road, turn onto the R44, leading directly under the N1.
- Proceed over the 4-way stop and turn left at the R45 (Franschhoek/Simondium).
- Travel for about 8.5km to the T-junction and turn right to Franschhoek.
- After another 3.6km, turn right onto the R310 to Stellenbosch and you’ll come across the entrance to Boschendal on the left, about 1.5km further along.
From Cape Town Airport (along the N2)
- Take the N2 to Strand/Somerset West, then turn onto Baden Powell Drive (R310) and left again to Stellenbosch.
- Travel towards Stellenbosch until the T-junction after Spier and Van Rijn Brandy Cellar.
- Keep left and slide off onto the R44 which takes you past the Simonsberg Cheese Factory on the left.
- At the fourth set of traffic lights, turn right towards Franschhoek (R310).
- Follow this road for 16km past the villages of Kylemore, Johannesdal and Pniel. The entrance to Boschendal is on the right about 1km after Pniel Primary School.
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