SA Winelands secrets: 9 stops to make along the Devon Valley Detour

The Devon Valley just outside Stellenbosch is a well-guarded secret, kept by the locals. Behind an industrial streak on the ‘wrong’ side is where you will find a cozy little winding wine route – where the locals get their wine-and-dine fix away from the crowded masses.

The House of JC le Roux is certainly the most popular estate in this valley, and it’s well worth a visit. But don’t deprive yourself of all there is to experience in the Devon Valley by speeding past all the other treasures just to drink sparkling wine.

It’s just as well, The House of JC le Roux sits right at the end of the Devon Valley, so you’ll have no excuse but to savour every spot on (and off) the road.

Where to go?

Stellenbrau Brewery

Taste the likes of the Craven Craft Lager and the Alumni Ale – stuff legends are made of (or named for…). The tasting kicks off with a quick tour giving guests just enough insights into the craft brewing process, before – you guessed it – beer drinking commences.

When to go: Anytime, but be sure to contact them to make a reservation.

Middelvlei 

The boere tapas platter will hit you right in the heart – these tiny, proudly SA bites are paired perfectly with good SA wine (the pinotage is something else) and along with the unpretentious outdoor experience, you’re truly immersed in all things South African.

If you’re after a more hearty meal, Middelvlei does an authentic Boerebraai for Lunch on Monday to Sunday. Bookings are essential.

When to go: Lunch: Monday to Sunday

Clos Malverne

If the excellent Sunday set menu and stunning setting isn’t enough to convince you – let the locals’ choice be your guide. The packed dining room is a clear indication of how scrumptious the meals are, and how excellent the service is. Well-informed waiting staff guide you through the various wines to pair with your meal.

Oh, and did we mention they do an ice-cream and wine pairing?

When to go: Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 – 17:00 (Kitchen closes 15:00)

The Devon Valley Hotel

Although primarily an accommodation offering, the valley’s hotel also caters for outside guests in their ‘Flavours’ restaurant.

The canapés and SylvanVale Wines pairing is just enough to give you a glimpse of what you can expect from a full meal in the restaurant – and it’s delightful!

When to go: Breakfast buffet is served from 07:00 – 10:30; Sunday buffet lunch is served from 12:30 – 15:00 at R185 per person.

The House of JC le Roux

This most-popular offering in the Devon Valley is an institution for a reason. They have their South African clientele’s best interests at heart. Try their MCC pairing with Meringues and Marshmallow… mmm!

When to go: Summer (1 Oct – 30 April) Monday – Friday 09:00 to 16:00; Saturday & Public Holidays 10:00 to 14:00; Sunday 10:00 to 13:00. Winter (1 May – 30 Sept) Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:00; Saturday & Public Holidays: 10:00 to 16:00; Sunday 10:00 to 15:00

Brenaissance Wine & Stud Estate

In search of the best pizza in the Winelands? Here you go…

When to go: CLOSED: MONDAY & TUESDAY; Wednesday – Friday 11:00 – 21:30; Saturday 11:00 – 21:30; Sunday & Public Holidays 11:00 – 17:00

Aaldering Vineyards & Wines

This wine is on all the locals’ lips in the Devon Valley (literally), and you know if the locals love it, it must be really good. The tasting room has a magnificent fire place which makes winter wine drinking all the more wonderful.

When to go: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00; Saturdays (only between April and October) 10:00 – 15:00

The Woodmill Lifestyle Market

The last Friday Night of every month from 17:30 to 22:00 the Woodmill Lifestyle Market is abuzz with live music, good food and great craft beer and wine. Don’t miss it, or you’ll have to wait a whole month for the next one!

When to go: The next market will be on 30 October 2015

Traveller24’s Top Three Accommodation choices in the Devon Valley are:

Aaldering Luxury Lodges


The Devon Valley Hotel

Sugarbird Manor

The following locations in the Devon Valley also provide top class accommodation: La Verger,Brenaissance Stud & Wine Estate.

The Detour

The Devon Valley offers a unique package called the Devon Valley Detour. This is a food and wine tasting experience of the area that includes five tasting experiences.

The five tasting experiences are: a brewery tour and beer tasting at Stellenbrau, boeretapas and wine tasting at Middelvlei, ice cream and wine pairing at Clos Malverne, ‘flavours’ canapés and SylvanVale Wines tasting at the Devon Valley Hotel and a MCC tasting at The House of JC le Roux.

The package can also include a two course lunch at either Middelvlei, Clos Malverne, the Devon Valley Hotel or The House of JC le Roux.

Cost: R230 per person for the five tasting experiences, or R380 per person, including the two course meal

The package must be booked in advance.

Traveller24 tip: Book the package, but combine the experience with a stay-over at one of Traveller24’s Top Accommodation pick for the area. This way you’ll get the Devon Valley Detour experience, with enough time to explore the other Devon Valley gems too.

(Disclaimer: Traveller24 was hosted by the Devon Valley Detour, including all meals and activities)
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