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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
One of the oldest and most established wine farms in Stellenbosch is the Meerlust Wine Estate. Back in the 1970s, the Meerlust owners were one of the pioneers in creating a wine route offering wine tastings to the public. The idea quickly gained popularity and today wine tasting makes up most of Stellenbosch’s revenue.
The Meerlust farm was first allocated to a German settler in 1693 and used as a cattle breeding farm. Later owners planted vines and in 1756, Johannes Myburgh purchased the property which has been in the family ever since. The sophisticated manor house designed in Cape Dutch style architecture, the slave bell, the cellars, dovecot and cemetery have all been classified as national monuments. There is much history here and the owners have produced a book describing the evolution of the farm and its many outstanding features. The interior (not open to the public) is richly imbued with magnificent wooden ceiling beams and large fireplaces.
Meerlust is best known for their flagship wine labelled Rubicon and the first vintage was presented to the public in 1984 to great acclaim. Rubicon is a blend of 4 varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The best of each have been skilfully blended to create a unique and deep red that can be stored for many years.
The tasting room in the cellar is warm and welcoming, and a timeline on the wall shows the milestones reached at this fabulous farm.
As you enter the estate, look to your right and you will see a wind pump half submerged in the lake. The farm hands failed to remove the wind pump in time before water was released into the field to build a dam and it is now forever stuck in the middle of the dam!
Meerlust is one of South Africa’s national treasures and an important stop when passing through Stellenbosch.