Explore the winelands glass by glass in a trendy wine bar

An exciting array of wine bars in and around Cape Town now offer wine lovers the opportunity to sample the best of the winelands in a relaxed atmosphere, without traveling to estates. Most wine bars also offer platters and more substantial meals that can be enjoyed with a glass or bottle of wine. What a wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon or early evening with friends.

Your guide to Cape Town's best wine bars

Your guide to Cape Town’s best wine bars

The Best Wine Bars In The Cape

A great selection of estates scattered across the Cape and the globe are offered at Culture Wine Bar in Bree Street; Publik Wine Bar in Kloof Nek Road; Leo’s Wine Bar in Bree Street and Penny Noire Winebar in Heritage Square, all in the Mother City.

Culture Wine Bar

Culture Wine Bar features wines from South Africa such as Cavalli, Crystallum, Momento, and Sijnn and wines from Italy, Burgundy, Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Rioja and Champagne. Shop Italian and French wines here.

Culture Wine Bar

Culture wine bar offers a wide selection of wines to enjoy from around the globe

The perfect place for friends to meet up

The perfect place for friends to meet up

Culture Wine Bar also offers the Wine Library, Culture’s members’ club and a lounge. Membership options and benefits are carefully designed to meet the unique requirements of members, which includes professionals, wine trade individuals and collectives, as well as those who are passionate about wine.

The Wine Library is a hybrid between a fully serviced co-working space, tasting and events room, inner city wine cellar and networking lounge.

Publik Wine Bar

Publik Wine Bar has the slogan “Turning wine upside down” and it thus does not come as a surprise that they focus on artisan and sustainable South African wines made by smaller, independent producers. Their focus is on wines made in limited volume that follow a ‘minimal intervention’ approach in the cellar. Many of these are organic, biodynamic, or natural in their methods.

Visitors can enjoy wines from Avondale, David & Nadia, Mullineux, Storm and Waterkloof.

A wine bar with an edge

A wine bar with an edge

Leo’s Wine Bar

Leo’s Wine Bar is a bagel shop by day and a vibey wine bar by night. The focus is low intervention wines from smaller producers, with a healthy selection of natural wines.

Penny Noire

Penny Noire, owned and run by Zambian-born sommelier Penny Setti, previously sommelier at Chefs Warehouse and Canteen, is an impressive collection of her favorite wines from the region. The setting in the Heritage Square where South Africa’s oldest fruit-bearing vine (planted in 1771) grows, offers a variety of eateries, and you can enjoy wines from producers such as Keermont, Paul Cluver, Raats and Sijnn.

Penny Noire wine bar featuring South Africa's oldest fruit bearing vine

Penny Noire wine bar featuring South Africa’s oldest fruit bearing vine

The Cellar Club

Other wine bars to explore on a visit to Cape Town, are Open Wine in Wale Street, which is also an Italian concept store and Cape Town’s first wine bar to serve a large selection of wines by the glass. The Cellar Club Tunnel under the V&A Waterfront (find gems such as Southern Right and Tokara), hosts Masterclass evenings every week in a 160-year-old tunnel, to showcase South African winemakers and wines. Shop South African wines here.

Simon Wine Emporium

In the heart of the Cape Winelands, the new Simon Wine Emporium in Stellenbosch in association with Stellenbosch Wine Routes is dedicated exclusively to labels that are Wine of Origin Stellenbosch – the first offering of its kind in South Africa. The emporium is located at De Warenmarkt on the corner of Van Ryneveld and Van Riebeeck streets. The Simon in its name is a nod to the town’s founding father, Simon van der Stel, while the 18th-century building that is its home lies at the nexus of Stellenbosch’s vibrant cultural district. De Warenmarkt has long been the town’s favorite eatery and oyster bar, and now it’s also the showcase of wines from the Stellenbosch region. Shop Stellenbosch wines here.

An incredible collection of Stellenbosch wines can be found at Simon Wine Emporium

An incredible collection of Stellenbosch wines can be found at Simon Wine Emporium

The online wine emporium showcases 145 top wines from no fewer than 73 Stellenbosch Wine Routes member estates. The portfolio has been curated by an expert committee to reflect the gamut of the region’s wines and cultivars. The wines on offer represent all five sub-routes of the Stellenbosch Winelands: Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Berg, Stellenbosch Valley, Helderberg and Bottelary Hills. Carefully considered tasting notes have been provided for each wine, as well as information on the wine estates and the various cultivars, and assistance with food pairing.

Some other wine bars in Stellenbosch include Bertha, Bartinney Wine & Champagne Bar, Stellenbosch Wine Bar and Le Grand Domaine Enoteca.

The Simon Wine Emporium is located in the hub of Stellenbosch's cultural district

The Simon Wine Emporium is located in the hub of Stellenbosch’s cultural district

The Wine Hive

In Paarl’s Main Road the new The Wine Hive is the face of Nomoya Wines, established in 2021 by marketing professional Michela Sfiligoi, Agronomist Attilio Dalpiaz, and Viticulturist Talia Engelbrecht. As Michela and Attilio are both Italian, albeit now rooted in South Africa, the wine list comprises a wide selection of Italian and local favorites. Ten wines are served by the glass and change weekly.

The perfect way to spend an afternoon in Paarl

The perfect way to spend an afternoon in Paarl

Enjoy top South African wines from AA Badenhorst, Beaumont, Idiom, Swerwer and Thelema.

Says Michela, “The Wine Hive will be offering an exciting selection of fine wines from the country’s most respected names, cult classics, hidden gems, Old Vine wines, and special imports from across the globe. In our world, food and wine will never be parted, so we offer a small Italian menu to stimulate your taste buds and to enhance your experience of enjoying the selected wines.” A selection of wines from France, Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania is also on offer. Read about a great New Zealand winery here.

Wine bars are a great way to sample many wines from different wineries in the region

Wine bars are a great way to sample many wines from different wineries in the region

Your next wine adventure awaits, which wine bar are you going to first? A selection of wines from all wineries mentioned in this post can be purchased here.

BY Maryke Roberts | July 1, 2022

Maryke Roberts Maryke is an award-winning, Cape Winelands based journalist who has been writing about local and international wine and travel for over three decades. When she's home, her days are almost exclusively concluded with a walk on the beach and a glass of South African fine wine or spirits.

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