Stellenbosch Wine Region, South Africa - Abbey Travel - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Stellenbosch


Stellenbosch is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, located about 50 km east of Cape Town. Here one can enjoy the juice of the vine in an awe-inspiring historic setting. Founded is 1679, Stellenbosch is the oldest town in South Africa next to Cape Town. Walking through the streets of Stellenbosch, one can almost feel the history, the town is packed with many historic buildings dating back to the early 1700's. Stellenbosch is in a hilly region of the Cape Winelands and is sheltered by a valley. The Stellenbosch and Franschhoek valleys form the Cape Winelands, the larger of the two main wine growing regions in South Africa. The South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 litres of wine annually.

The Stellenbosch vineyards were established by the Dutch governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, who arrived in 1679 and noted that the combination of rich soil and ideal climate were perfect for viticulture. In 1971 the first wine route in South Africa was opened, and today the Stellenbosch wine route is perhaps the best known and finest that the country has to offer, producing award winning wines from estates such as Morgenhof, Kanonkop, Warwick and Zewenwacht. Spier Estate is renowned as a unique cultural resort that is famous for its Summer Arts Festival, and boasts the oldest working wine cellar in the country. Stellenbosch is also steeped in South African history and Afrikaans culture and was settled by the Dutch East India Company to produce food for passing ships. Old oak trees line the streets where Cape Dutch architecture, museums and national art collections are a reminder of the town's heritage. The town also boasts the world's only Afrikaans university, a premier educational institute, which has produced many great sporting heroes, including more than 155 Springbok rugby players.

Information & Facts


South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.


South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.


Local time is GMT +2.

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