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Cape Winelands: Where Spices and Wine Collide

by Brittany Hawkins

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South Africa is the motherland of melktert, malva pudding, and koeksisters, smoked snoek and sosaties, chutney and chakalaka, waterblommetjie bredie and bobotie, potjiekos as well as the birthplace of biltong and droëwors.

Then there's Cape Town, known as the mother city, with its own unique flavors. It is a place where food offers the ultimate glimpse into its cultural diversity. Like a fine wine, this delightful South African town offers a cuisine full of richness that produces delicate and unusual intricacies to impress even the most critical and ambitious of palates.

Cape Town is very much about Cape Malay spices, the most incredible samosas and milk tart you can find on practically every street corner.

So, in celebration of its unique characteristics and diverse food scene, we have put together a list of 5 wine farms that journey into the heart of Cape Town heritage, the place where spice and wine collide.


Cape Malay Curry at Delheim Wine Estate



The Cape Malay folks found their way to the Cape from Indonesia in the 1600's, and today their food still forms an essential part of Cape cuisine. The Cape Malay style of curry is quite different from the Kwa-Zulu Natal curries, which has a strong Indian flavor since it contains smaller amounts of chili and has a sweet element to it.

The best wine to pair with Cape Malay curry isn't a full bodied red but rather a light fruity wine, such as a rosè and that is how they do it at Delheim Wine Estate. You can enjoy an authentic, spicy, yet mild curry with their Pinotage Rosé.


Traditional Bobotie at Spice Route


Spice route at Brenda's Deli


When visiting Spice Route, you simply cannot leave without visiting Brenda’s Deli. The moment you enter, the smell of spices surrounds you and evoke visions of bustling North African markets and fragrant dishes. You can even mix your own blend of spices to create an unusual taste for your next meal. You will also find a unique range of preserves made with only the freshest ingredients. Once you’ve spent half your salary, make your way to the Bertus Basson Restaurant for a meal you will dream about for months to come.

A well known South African Chef, Bertus Basson, has a food philosophy rooted in old fashioned South African food tradition mixed with a contemporary twist. He is also the owner of Bertus Basson @ Spice Route where they feel that some things are just meant to be, and even though he likes to dabble in modern variations, he considers that certain South African dishes are not supposed to be recreated but served as authentically as they are. 

The menu comprises of traditional South African favorites like Braised Lamb Bobotie. Bobotie is a dish well-liked by many South Africans and a standard within Afrikaans and Cape Malay cultures. This dish is a delectable combination of curried meat and fruit covered with a rich and creamy golden layer served on a bed of yellow rice.

Bobotie is best served with red wines such as the Spice Route Pinotage, and for those who prefer white wine, you can try the dish with Spice Route's Chenin Blanc.


Cape seafood at La Motte


Using recipes that have been adjusted for over three hundred years from various cultures in the Cape Winelands, you can expect nothing but true Cape Winelands Cuisine at the Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant.

As you might expect from a city surrounded by two oceans, it offers great seafood tours as it has the best and freshest seafood. Enjoy a Cape seafood and aniseed bowl consisting of mussels, calamari and deep fried oysters with a pan-fried catch of the day, braised in fennel and aniseed cream, at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant.

Seafood should always be paired with white wine, and the ideal wine to complement this dish will be the La Motte Chardonnay.


Biltong and Droëwors at Stellenbosch Hills


Stellenbosch Hills - Biltong


Thanks to our forefathers, curing and preserving meat to produce biltong and droëwors has been part of our tradition and culture. Biltong is a form of cured, dried meat cut into strips or flat pieces and spiced to your taste. Droëwors is cured sausage. Both can be served rawish and moist, or less raw and dry, but this depends on the cut, the amount of salt and spice used, as well as the time permitted for drying.

Stellenbosch Hills brought together biltong and droëwors and wine for a unique tasting experience that celebrates our Cape heritage. Biltong and droëwors are best enjoyed when paired with red wine, so make your pick from the Stellenbosch Hills red collection, and you won't go wrong. My favorite is the Bushvine Pinotage since it possesses an abundance of chocolate, red berry, vanilla and sweet wood spice flavors and compliments anything that contains beef.


Braaivleis (BBQ) at Middelvlei Wine Estate


Middelvlei Boerebraai


An inherent part of the South African culture is to cook outdoors. Having a braai has evolved into a uniquely South African social event, where family and friends get together to share a delicious bottle of wine (or three) while creating a memorable experience.

Visit Middelvlei Wine Estate for their famous Boerebraai where you can expect to be served with chops, boerewors and chicken sosaties (kebabs) cooked to perfection. As if the appetizing aromas of pot brood and braai broodies (cheese, tomato and onion sandwiches, grilled over the coals)  are not enough, you can look forward to homemade snoek pâté and pumpkin fritters.

Each of these dishes will be paired with a different wine. The Middelvlei Chardonnay complements the stokbrood and snoek pâté, where the chops and boerewors are better enjoyed with the Middelvlei Pinotage.

From the most exquisite spicy dishes to braaivleis and potjiekos, the variety of palate pleasers is unrestricted. Since food and wine have always been perfect companions, it comes to no surprise that Cape Town, the only wine region in South Africa, can offer the ultimate unique spice and wine pairings.

If you wish to experience a unique fusion of many different external cultural influences such as Dutch, French, Indian, and Malaysian flavors, make your way to South Africa – a place where this mix of cuisine has been pleasing locals and visitors alike, for many centuries.


Can’t wait to explore all that Cape Town has to offer firsthand? Why not book a culinary and wine holiday with South African Wine farms? We bet you won’t regret it! Want to discover more insights on South Africa? Be sure to check out Exploresideways’ blog

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