With a history that dates back three centuries, this lovely estate is one of the Cape's major attractions. You can easily spend half a day here. Cradled between the Simonsberg and Groot Drakenstein mountains at the base of Helshoogte Pass, the farm—formerly called Bossendaal—was originally granted to Jean le Long, one of the first French Huguenot settlers in the late 17th century. Boschendal runs one of the most pleasant wine tastings in the region: you can sit inside
at the Taphuis, a Cape Dutch langhuis (longhouse), or outside at wrought-iron tables under a spreading oak. In 1981 Boschendal was the first to pioneer a Cape blanc de noir, a pink wine made in a white-wine style from black grapes. The Boschendal Blanc de Noir remains the best-selling wine of this style. Of the farm's extensive range of wines, a recent addition is the Cecil John range named after Cecil John Rhodes, the late-19th-century Cape prime minister who owned Rhodes Fruit Farms, of which Boschendal was once a part. There are two premier wines under this label, an impressive Shiraz and an intense sauvignon blanc. From the Taphuis it's a two-minute drive through vines and fruit trees to the main estate complex. The excellent Boschendal Restaurant serves a buffet of Cape specialties, Le Café serves light meals at tables under the oaks leading to the manor house, and Le Pique Nique (October–May) provides picnic baskets that you can enjoy on the lawns. Reservations are essential for the restaurant and picnic services. Expect to pay around R150 for an adult picnic, while kids' hampers are R59. This excludes wine and other drinks. The estate is wheelchair-friendly.
R310, between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, Groot Drakenstein, 7690, South Africa
021-870–4210; 021-870–4211-for winery; 021-870–4274-for restaurants