In Their Words
Bellevue History & Location
Located in the prestigious wine growing region of Stellenbosch and boasting an original Cape Dutch homestead dating from 1803, family-owned Bellevue Wine Estate also features some of the oldest vines in South Africa. Comprising of a wide mix of cultivars, together with the ripe age of the vines we produce grapes with a concentration of flavour and pure, elegant fruit characters.
After careful restoration in 1993, the homestead was declared a National Monument and together with the historical home, there is also a signal cannon which formed part of the important defence system of the original Cape Colony.
The Morkel family, especially under the leadership of Dirkie Morkel, have developed the old farm into a state of the art modern winery with a large production cellar, wide variety of noble cultivars, award-winning wines, heritage site and tourist attraction suitable for the whole family.
Bellevue Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily 9am-5pm (last tasting 4pm).
Main Restaurant: open Wed to Sun.
On Wed 11am-5pm for pizza, then full service menu Thu to Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 9am-7pm & Sun 9am-5pm.
Julie’s Creek Restaurant: open Fri to Sun 11am-5pm.
Live Music: usually late Saturday afternoons during summer – contact the farm for details.
We are open on Public Holidays 9am-6pm. Kitchens close 1 hour prior to closing time. All times, prices and facilities listed are subject to change. We recommend checking latest details directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
Bellevue Wine Tasting
In 1953, PK Morkel was one of the first farmers to plant Pinotage on a commercial scale. His bold step paid off and Bellevue’s Pinotage was awarded the Gen. Smuts Trophy in 1959 for best young wine in the SA National Young Wine Show. To salute his vision and bravery, Bellevue takes utmost care of the 1953 Pinotage block which is still in full production. It remains the pride and joy of the Estate and a very special wine is made from this block called “The 1953”.
Our recently renovated tasting room is inspired by old world elegance with modern finishes and comfort. It is very spacious and caters for medium-large tour groups while cosy corners also make small parties feel at home. Guests are welcome to enjoy a cheese platters, or can enjoy a tasting in the adjacent restaurant. We have a play area for kids and outside tables.
Wine Tasting Prices
The Standard Premium Tasting includes 5 wines for R80pp or the Ultra Premium Tasting includes 5 of our limited ultra premium wines for R120pp.
For something a little different, try the Pizza & 4 Wines Pairing for R110pp or the Burger Sliders & 3 Wines for R130pp (pre-booking recommended). Cheese and charcuterie platters are available from R175 per platter, plus we have a kids’ Milkshake & Marshmallow Pairing for R60pp. A wide range of beers, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks are available including a Gin-Infused Tasting for R120pp.
Bellevue’s main restaurant leads off from the Tasting Room and is a cosy indoor and outdoor space for couples, families and groups of friends. If having lunch in the restaurant you also have the option to have a wine tasting at your table.
Julie’s Creek is Bellevue’s smaller self-service restaurant, converted from a historic Dutch farm house that was originally built in the early 1700’s. Expect panoramic mountain views, luscious green grass and a brand new big kiddies play area!
Menus & Pricing
At the main restaurant, on Wednesdays we serve a selection of wood-fired pizzas only, however on other days expect blackboard specials such as Deep Fried Hake, Burgers, Grilled Steaks and a selection of desserts. A small kids’ pizza menu is available, as is breakfast on a Saturday and Sunday. Pizzas from R100 and main courses from R115pp.
Julie’s Creek self-service restaurant includes a smaller menu of delicious pizzas, burgers, platters and a lovely picnic menu. Prices from R100pp and a kids’ menu is available.
Bellevue Tours & Activities
Currently Bellevue do not offer any cellar or farm tours however are hugely popular for weddings, functions and conferences. Should you have a group enquiry, please contact the Estate and they will assist.
When Lucy Visited
Are you looking for a friendly and casual wine farm in Stellenbosch which is suitable for couples, families, groups or a special event? But it needs to also have great wines, a modern vibe and friendly staff? Well, Bellevue could well be it!
So What Makes Bellevue Stand Out?
Down to earth, bustling, friendly – there’s a rustic casual charm to Bellevue and the huge local support it receives is a testament to how well it’s suited to a wide variety of visitors, be it friends, families, groups or couples. Scattered around this heritage estate are a number of spacious areas to kick back and it’s ideal for get togethers and celebrations. Kids are particularly spoiled with two dedicated jungle gyms, a milkshake and marshmallow tasting, decent dining options and space to roam. Couple this with unexpectedly good wines and affordable food and its Bellevue for the crowd pleasing win!
The Location & Set Up of Bellevue
One of the closest Stellenbosch wine farms to Cape Town, it only takes around 45 mins to reach Bellevue from the city centre, or around 15 minutes from Stellenbosch itself. A number of other wine farms are also in the area (such as Hazendal, Simonsig and Hartenberg) which make it an easy wine hopping stop, if that’s your priority. As this is a rural area, you will need a car if you’re not on an organised tour, however there’s plenty of parking (note, the drive to the estate does involve a dirt road of around 1 kilometre).
On arrival, you’ll notice the estate boasts several buildings, although not all are open to the public. This includes the distinctive Cape Dutch Manor House which dates from the early 1800s, however you are free to admire it from the outside. The main facilities are instead accessed via one set of large wooden doors, which lead you into the cosy Tasting Room and expansive Restaurant area, which boasts a large amount of seating for groups of all sizes. It also spills outside onto a verandah and the lawns in front of the informal car park. Here you’ll find the first jungle gym and kids rope swing, covered patio tables and people enjoying lunch underneath shady oak trees.
Since my last visit and after these photos were taken, Bellevue have also expanded their offering into a section at the rear of the property. Here, they’ve converted an old 18th Century farmhouse into what is now a second dining venue – Julie’s Creek Restaurant. This is a smaller and more casual dining space serving a reduced menu of pizzas, platters and a few options for kids (which at the time of writing is open weekends only). There is also a second jungle gym here and pretty lawns to enjoy views of the horses and farmland scenery beyond. Do check Bellevue’s website for latest opening hours as these may change.
Finally I believe Bellevue are popular for weddings and functions, which they can use the old converted farmhouse for. As this is a charming and atmospheric space I think this would be really memorable for an event, with space inside and out. Alternatively I saw a birthday party and a baby shower event happening on the lawns, with balloons and a private table set up. If you’re interested in knowing more do give them a call or check out www.bellevue.co.za/weddings-functions/.
Wine Tasting at Bellevue
The indoor Tasting Room at Bellevue is traditional and cosy, with overhead timber beams, a woodburning fireplace and a lovely modern wooden bar at which you can sit – however it is quite a small space. As you can also wine taste in the adjacent restaurant area, many visitors find a table here as there are plenty of covered options for groups of all sizes. It’s a really pleasant spot as floor to ceiling retractable doors at the front of the restaurant ensure plenty of natural sunlight, greenery and a gentle breeze flow in.
I visited for lunch and opted for a tasting at the table prior to eating. There are two main options, both include a mix of 5 wines, with the ‘Ultra Premium’ option including some of their most awarded oaked wines. With almost 150 hectares under vine, virtually all of Bellevue’s wines are estate grown and produced, with the exception of their Pinot Noir MCC.
I was hosted for my wine tasting, so was offered a variety of wines across their collection. I was so surprised that I really enjoyed them all! I started with their bubbly dry Pinot Noir Cap Classique, which delighted with fresh strawberries on the palate. I then moved on to their tropical and zesty Sauvignon Blanc (if you love passion fruit you’re in for a treat), refreshing and slightly sweet Chardonnay-driven 2020 Rose, Certified Heritage Vineyard Chenin, plus the berry-driven 2018 Malbec and fruity and silky 2019 Cinsault. These are really crowd pleasing fruit forward wines, which are well rounded, smooth and affordable. Definitely better than I was anticipating.
My favourite though? Their superb 1953 Pinotage, which is tasted extra to their regular offering at around R45. So named due to the age of the heritage vines, this highly concentrated wine packs an enormous punch of cherry and plums on the nose and palate, with a silky smooth finish. Bellevue was one of the first farms in South Africa to plant Pinotage on a commercial scale and this incredible wine is still produced from one of the Pinotage blocks planted back in the 1950s. I tried both the 2015 and 2017 vintages which were distinctively and deliciously different (so interesting to sample different years, you can really get a sense of how climate has an impact on vineyards, year to year). My fave was the 2017!
Bellevue also offer wines paired with either burger sliders or pizza, plus there’s a gin tasting, or a fun milkshake and marshmallow pairing for the kids. There’s also a fully stocked bar and they serve a wide range of drinks, including non-alcoholic options.
Dining at Bellevue
As I last visited prior to the new second restaurant ‘Julie’s Creek’ opening in December 2021, I can only speak of my experience at the main restaurant, which is adjacent to the Tasting Room. It’s hard to convey in the pictures but this is a welcoming an airy covered space, with an open pizza kitchen at one end and a verandah leading off this for al fresco dining whills spills on to the lawns. For parents, the main jungle gym is just a few steps away but depending on where you sit it’s not completely in plain sight – so if this is important, ask for a table at the front or on the shady lawns, where a number of patio tables are set up.
In terms of the food, Bellevue offer a small breakfast menu in the mornings, plus an a la carte lunch menu and a few blackboard specials for later on in the day (note they only serve pizzas on a Weds, and at the time of writing are closed Mon and Tue). Expect the usual sort of South African fayre – platters, pizzas, burgers, steaks and seafood. The menu is quite meat and fish heavy so if you are a vegetarian or vegan take a close look before you go, or give them a call in advance to discuss.
I paid for my lunch (wasn’t hosted) and we had calamari, a pulled pork burger, the kids had chicken nuggets and chips and my hubby had the ‘Cinsualt Pizza’, with bacon, caramelized onion, Brie, roasted corn and thyme oil. Decent portion sizes and average prices. I believe the new restaurant Julie’s offers a similar but smaller menu, with more deli style items to purchase to eat on the lawns. I’ll update the review once I’ve visited.
A casual and friendly wine farm with an impressive array of delicious wine options, friendly staff and a number of sociable spaces for you to catch up with your nearest and dearest. Take the kids, order a pizza, sit back and soak up the quintessential winelands lifestyle!
Bellevue often host live music at the farm, especially on a Saturday afternoon during the high summer season. Check their social media channels for details or give them a call. It sets the scene for a great weekend of chilled vibes!