In Their Words
Ernie Els History & Location
From the world-renowned Helderberg region of Stellenbosch comes an award-winning range of wines named after South African golf legend, Ernie Els – and skillfully crafted by winemaking legend, Louis Strydom.
Thoughtfully selected for its prime position, Ernie Els winery is framed by panoramic views of Cape Town and Table Mountain to the west and Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountains to the east. Modern and contemporary, it also epitomises the beloved character and celebrated prestige of our namesake, with all four of our collections delivering iconic wines of characteristic style, exclusivity and generosity.
The winery opened in 2005 and since then the focus has been on producing a range of wines, with a particular focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Recent renovations have transformed the winery into an iconic symbol of the Helderberg region, with a celebrated Restaurant, prestigious Wine Cellar and expansive Tasting Room, located just 15 minutes from the centre of Stellenbosch.
Ernie Els Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily 10am-5pm.
Restaurant: open Wed to Sun for lunch 12pm-3.30pm.
Chipping Green & Trophy Room: open daily 9am-5pm.
Cellar Tours & Vinothèque: free, on request.
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.
Ernie Els Wine Tasting
Navigate your way beyond our grand granite boulders, through our wooden farmhouse-style doors and into our homely, expansive Tasting Room and Restaurant. Venture through our prestigious Wine Cellar, with its vast concrete tanks and rows of maturation barrels and pay a visit to our Trophy Room, which displays many of the lifelong achievements of golfing legend Ernie Els.
Our selection of premium wines range from the crisp and fruity Chenin Blanc to the full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style Blend. Make yourself at home in our warm and welcoming Tasting Room, with its wide terrace and majestic Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain views.
Guests are welcome to visit the cellar and ‘Vinothèque’ – please see Tours below for more information.
Wine Tasting Prices
Ernie Els offer two wine tastings: a 4 wine Player’s Tasting for R60pp and 4 wine Major Tasting for R100pp. Wines are also available by the glass or bottle. Accompanying your wine, visitors can also order a cheese or charcuterie board for 2, prices start from R160.
Ernie Els Restaurants
Savour modern farmhouse cuisine at its finest in a charming open-plan space that extends out onto a terrace with picturesque views of Stellenbosch and the Helderberg mountains.
In the warmer summer months on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, we also offer Grillworks – where your chosen dry-aged cut is cooked on our outdoor Grillworks fire (weather dependent).
Menus & Pricing
Our aim is to delight you with hearty, farm-style dishes comprised of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, supplemented by fresh herbs and produce from our own vegetable gardens. We celebrate live-fire cooking in the long tradition of South Africa and our locally-sourced beef is dry aged in-house in our meat locker, located in the Grillworks building.
Our à la carte menu includes options such as salads and homemade pastas, grilled fish, dry aged steaks and our popular Camembert burger. Cheese and charcuterie platters and a small kids’ menu are also available. Main courses from R130pp.
Ernie Els Tours & Activities
Ernie Els features a number of unique facilities sure to educate and entertain.
Guests are welcome to join a guided Wine Cellar tour, to view the exquisite, state of the art fermentation cellar, home to large concrete tanks, amphora clay pots and rows of barrels containing maturing wines. Then ask our staff about visiting the impressive ‘Vinothèque’: a striking, modern space housing an array of older vintages and our current wine portfolio available for purchase.
Don’t miss a visit to the Trophy Room, where you can salute the lifelong achievements of golfing legend Ernie Els, with an exhibition dedicated to his exceptional accomplishments including many of his original trophies and awards.
The Wine Library is positioned in the homely lounge of the Tasting Room where you can browse through a selection of books whilst sipping on a glass of a wine – the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
On our Chipping Green, you can hit a golf ball off of our chipping block – please ask the Tasting Room staff for assistance.
Finally visit our exclusive Wine Shop for a selection of items to purchase, including Ernie Els branded golfing merchandise.
** Images courtesy of Charles Russell **
When Lucy Visited
As an avid golf fan, my husband was keen to visit Ernie Els Wines as soon as my wine farm project started - and I’m so glad I agreed as they really set the benchmark for me in terms of service and quality. It simply oozed both!
So What Makes Ernie Els Stand Out?
Whether you’re a golf fan or not, a visit to Ernie Els in Stellenbosch is an absolute must and a full afternoon out. Yes they have the wine, the views and the amazing decor (more on that later) but they also throw in a whole load of freebies: a guided cellar tour, entry to their pristine ‘vinotheque’, a fun chipping green and a trophy/memorabilia room which was interesting.
But all of that would mean nothing without a warm welcome and for me that is what’s lasted in my memory. They have painstakingly refurbished the wine estate to create an abundance of cosy warm spaces, the staff are impeccably trained and it honestly felt like a 5 star hotel experience, with none of the stuffiness.
So What About The Farm Itself?
Accessed via a scenic winding road up from the R44 (between Stellenbosch and Somerset West) or down from the spectacular Helshoogte Pass, Ernie Els Wines enjoys a prime position in the heart of Stellenbosch’s ‘Golden Triangle’ of winemaking. The estate has been a player for many years but only recently reopened after a complete and extensive refurbishment.
Externally they have attractive manicured gardens and water features set amongst enormous granite boulders on one side, plus views out towards the vineyards and mountains on the other. Inside, they’ve weaved imported American oak throughout the open plan space, which pairs beautifully with the exposed brick and sleek, contemporary furnishings which evoke a sense of urban cool. Where the wine tasting area starts and wine library finishes I can’t tell, but they’ve spent a lot of time (and money) making sure the inside is just as welcoming as the outside, with clever lighting, deep couches, bookcases and plants all adding to the warm and welcoming feel.
Inside you’ll also find the cellar, wine vinotheque, trophy room and their restaurant, which boasts an interior rivalling any found in nearby trendy Cape Town, with stylish fireplaces for winter and floor to ceiling retractable doors which open fully in summer. We visited in April and chose to sit outside on the patio but I would love to return in winter, as it was so beautiful and cosy.
Outside there is a large patio area for dining and wine tasting which runs the length of the building, offering 180 degree panoramic views of the valley below. This extends into a separate large patio area at one end, which I believe is also additionally used for their weather-dependent ‘Grillworks’ (BBQ) events. Check the website for details and dates.
The ‘chipping green’ is directly in front of the main patio and if you’re like me and have no idea what a chipping green is, it’s basically a spot where you stand and try and ‘chip’ the golf ball into the hole, for a hole in one. Even though you’re right in front of everyone (yikes), it’s actually really fun to try and most visitors had a go.
What About The Food & Wine Tasting?
Ernie Els have 4 wine ranges and are particularly famous for their single varietal reds and red blends, however they also produce a Chenin Blanc and a Cab Sav rose, plus you can order Graham Beck bubbles here too.
Only 2 of the ranges are available for tastings. I opted for the premium ‘Major Tasting’ which includes 4 mid-range ‘Ernie Els’ reds for R100pp, with the EE Cab Sav being my favourite: they were still on the 2017 vintage. These reds will age really well however if you prefer a more easy drinking approachable style, their more affordable ‘Big Easy’ range is hugely popular and showcased in their ‘Player’s Tasting’. This includes 4 wines for R60pp including 2 non-red options too. Our wine host was warm, friendly and patient and each wine was served individually which I hugely prefer; so much more personal.
We opted to stay for lunch afterwards and I did think for such an amazing restaurant, the food menu wasn’t enormous – having said that the options pair well with the wines and I really enjoyed my classic steak and hand cut chips, well priced at around R200. The menu is quite meat-heavy but they offer a number of veggie alternatives and they have a couple of kids’ items. We did see a few kids here (they loved the chipping green!) but on the whole I would say the estate is more adult-focused.
What About The Activities?
It would be a crime to come here and not enjoy the free guided tour of the cellar and vinotheque. Anyone can recite what’s in a wine glass, but when you hear the stories behind the brands – the passion, the purpose, the hard work which goes in year after year – then you gain a new found respect and small understanding of what goes on to create that glass of wine you’re holding.
I was so impressed with the staff. So professional and well trained. Needless to say the cellar is state of the art (and was so clean you could eat your dinner off the floor), the vinotheque a homage to Ernie’s unbridled passion for wine and the trophy room a visual step back in time to see the journey the great man has been on, to get him where he is today. I didn’t want to leave!
A stylish, elegant wine estate with superb views, plenty of cosy nooks and excellent staff. It would be an ideal venue in summer or winter for couples or groups who love red wine and like to browse and be entertained for a few hours.
Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the relaxed pace of this estate and definitely do the free cellar tour. It was so interesting to see how they are embracing different wine production methods and their passion really shone through.