How to Spend a Dream Weekend at a Stunning Stellenbosch Wine Estate
This post was written in collaboration with the Stellenbosch wine estate, Clos Malverne. If you’re familiar with Berlin & Around content, you’ll know that all opinions expressed here are my own.
“This may be the first time I enjoy being in the countryside”, I thought to myself, as I sat on my private patio at the Clos Malverne Wine Estate, gazing out at the vineyards and mountains of Stellenbosch.
It was a hot afternoon – summer hadn’t yet given up the ghost in the Winelands. But the wind was blowing and there was enough shade for me – and for the cows grazing some 100 metres from my suite.
So there I was, about an hour from Cape Town, in the famous wine region of Stellenbosch. (How I ended up doing winter in Cape Town this year is a tale for another blog post.)
I spent the weekend on the award-winning, family-run wine farm, which kindly gifted me with a fabulous lifestyle package.
This included 2 nights in a luxury suite with vineyard views, breakfast, a 3-course lunch paired with wines from the estate and – get this – a 1-hour full-body massage. Plus, I received 3 bottles of the estate’s best to bring home with me.
Locating Stellenbosch in Space and Time
From the moment I started planning my South African escapade, everybody and their mother was telling me about the Stellenbosch wine estates.
I’m almost ashamed to admit it now, but I remember systematically thinking “what’s the big deal? I’m going to South Africa for the BEACH.” Oh, how wrong I was to underestimate the Western Cape’s wine regions!
Imagine rolling hills and sprawling vineyards, encased by mountains seemingly rising out of the mist. Stellenbosch’s lush green surrounds, fertile soil and array of microclimates immediately appealed to the region’s French settlers, who planted the first vines here over 300 years ago.
Today, Stellenbosch is considered one of the top wine regions in South Africa – and the world – with a variety of historic wine farms each proudly producing unique, local specialties. One of these Stellenbosch wine estates is, of course, Clos Malverne.
Clos Malverne’s Evolution: From Grapes to Award-Winning Wines
Before making wine, Clos Malverne sold grapes to the region’s farmers, until a family friend convinced the owners to try their hand at wine production on Christmas Eve of 1985.
The idea to create hand-made, premium wines took hold. Soon, Clos Malverne built a name for itself with elegant blends of Cabernet and Pinotage, recognized on the international stage within the decade.
Now, the 27-hectare Stellenbosch wine estate not only features a working wine farm, but also a widely acclaimed restaurant (the most highly rated in the area), a spa, two pools, 9 luxury rooms and a self-contained cottage.
Beauty, Nature and Privacy
I’ll say this – I’m usually the first to go out and explore a destination. But this time, I was perfectly content to stay on Clos Malverne’s premises for 48 hours of R&R.
As I ambled about the estate, making my way through the vineyards to the main villa’s stunning pool area and back, it often felt as if I had the entire property to myself. And this was on a busy weekend, with accommodation options fully booked.
I loved that sense of privacy and space, so rare to find at home or on holiday. But that’s exactly what you get at this special Stellenbosch wine estate.
Clos Malverne’s Deluxe Accommodation Options
I spent two nights in a very spacious suite in a row of sleek townhouse-style rooms, right in the middle of the vines.
Complete with a king-size bed, rain shower, sitting area, desk space, fridge and private furnished patio, this was the ideal pied-a-terre for a weekend – and, I would imagine, even longer.
The room had everything one could need and more – down to plastic wine glasses for poolside drinks and insect repellant to ward off mosquitos. Though, as I sat on my patio, I didn’t feel the need to use it at all (perhaps it wasn’t the season).
Best of all, my unit was directly facing one of the property’s pools, so I could walk straight outside, go for a dip and enjoy those vineyard views with the mountains beyond.
Food & Wine at Clos Malverne
Clos Malverne’s restaurant enjoys an impressive reputation – and for good reason. I hadn’t had such sensational fare since I visited the Michelin Starred einsunternull in Berlin last December.
Beautifully presented dishes and bay windows opening up to a panoramic terrace (from which you can watch the sunset) only added to the experience.
My package included breakfast and a 3-course lunch, but I also indulged in a mouthwatering steak for dinner. Literally, the kind that melts in your mouth!
Enjoying a 3-Course Lunch
The 3-course meal included my choice of appetiser, main and dessert from the lunch menu. The selection wasn’t fixed as it so often is in these cases, which I appreciated. (Vegetarian and vegetarian dishes were also available.)
Each course was, as mentioned, paired with wine from the estate. I also kindly received a welcome glass of homemade sparkling.
I opted for a starter of grilled tender stem broccoli and artichoke, accompanied by sundried tomatoes and hazelnuts, seasoned with tahini dressing.
My main dish was the deboned springbok shank mixed with charred cauliflower and Medjool dates, with a side of pearl couscous tabbouleh.
And for dessert, I chose a classic with a semifreddo twist: the chocolate parfait, topped with caramelised banana.
The only downside: I wish I had a bigger stomach! Fortunately, I was able to take my leftovers home for dinner.
The Spa Experience
Last but most certainly not least, let me share my relaxing Clos Maverne spa experience with you. The full-body massage I received was exactly what I needed to set the tone for the weekend.
My one-hour session flew by. When my therapist told me it was over, I couldn’t believe it and definitely wished I could have stayed on that massage bed a lot longer.
The Clos Malverne spa offers a number of treatment options, including couple’s massages. After a session, guests can relax on the terrace overlooking the estate’s main pool (and with direct access to it).
Clos Malverne Is a World of Its Own And You’re Cordially Invited
Between the restaurant, spa, pools and network of pathways amidst the vines, Clos Malverne is a world of its own – a little slice of paradise where time seems to stop so that we can stop for a moment.
And, sure, you could leave this stunning Stellenbosch wine estate to explore the surrounding area. But if you’re looking for city sophistication in an idyllic country setting, you’ve already found the perfect weekend getaway right where you are.