In Their Words
GlenWood History & Location
GlenWood is a boutique winery located in an area of outstanding natural beauty and tranquillity, close to the village of Franschhoek. We offer top quality wines, personal service and a range of unforgettable experiences. A 50 hectare farm developed with love and passion since 1984, with award-winning wines enjoyed around the world.
Owner Alastair Wood says, “GlenWood is, first and foremost, our home which we have built up over the years and enjoy opening for guests to share. I personally welcome as many visitors as possible and conduct some of the tours and tastings myself”.
Visitors to GlenWood can choose from several superb experiences including our Showcase Wine Tasting, Vine to Bottle tour and Nature’s Window Walk and Wine Tasting tour.
GlenWood Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open Tue to Sun 11am-4pm.
Gourmet Sushi Restaurant: open Wed to Sun 11am-4pm (kitchen closes 3.30pm, booking essential).
Vine to Bottle Tour: available Tue to Fri at 2.30pm (booking essential).
Nature’s Window Walk & Wine Tasting Tour: please contact the Estate for details and prices.
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.
GlenWood Wine Tasting
GlenWood produces 4 award-winning wine ranges, with a total of 10 different wines. From the noble heritage of our Grand Duc Wine Range to our Glenwood range, a choice of 3 delightful everyday drinking wines of the highest quality.
Wine Tasting Prices
Our Showcase Wine Tasting includes a personal tasting of 5 of our wines, guided by hosts who will describe the wines (see, smell, swirl, sip, swallow) to give you confidence in discussing your own conclusions, R100pp. No booking required.
At our idyllic outdoor Gourmet Sushi Restaurant, we pride ourselves on our naturally beautiful surroundings, top quality wines, gourmet sushi and great guest service. We serving the finest and most authentic sushi in town, with our dishes prepared by our master sushi chef.
Menus & Pricing
Our menu includes individual sushi items, plus combos and platters. Sample items include traditional Hand Rolls, Maki Rolls, Sashimi, Nigiri, Roses, Tempura and a selection of Chef’s Signature Dishes such as a Deep Fried Prawn Volcano Roll with Spicy Crumbed Tuna. Individual items from R75, platters from R260. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. Bookings essential.
GlenWood Tours & Activities
Our 90 minutes Vine to Bottle Tour starts in the vineyards, where you will learn about our viticultural practices and taste wines from the blocks where their grapes were harvested. Back in the cellar, learn about crushing, fermentation, maturation, and bottling – including further tastings and a barrel tasting. Priced from R500pp, booking essential.
For the Nature’s Window Walk & Wine Tasting Tour, enjoy a 20 minute walk through indigenous fynbos to our tasting room in the mountains: ‘Nature’s Window’. After ascending 70 metres on the walk, relax with a wine tasting to enjoy the natural beauty of our mountainous valley. Sushi can also be pre-ordered to enjoy at the top. Please contact us for prices and times (min 6).
When Lucy Visited
The absolute definition of a hidden gem! Between the entrance gate of GlenWood and their Tasting Room, I had to pull the car over twice to take photos. The most incredibly lush setting with 360 degree views of mountains, vineyards and sparkling lily ponds. Once you add great sushi and wine into the mix, this is Franschhoek at its best!
So What Makes GlenWood Stand Out?
Although situated in one of South Africa’s most famous wine growing areas, family owned GlenWood flies a little under the radar, and that is half of its incredible charm. Situated around 10 minutes’ drive from Franschhoek, you’d be forgiven for not knowing this spectacular valley even exists. For those lucky enough to discover it, it’s an absolute feast for the eyes and senses, with an incredible ecosystem of birds, wildlife and fynbos (indigenous plants).
As for the farm itself, GlenWood is laid back and rustic, with a charming authenticity and keen staff. They are the only wine farm in town offering sushi (and it’s great quality), plus their wines offer something for everyone. For a view to blow your mind, book the ‘Nature’s Window Walk and Wine Tasting’ experience. Simply the most incredible views I’ve ever seen in Franschhoek (scroll down for more details) which can only be accessed on this particular pre-booked tour.
The Location & Facilities At GlenWood
If you’re driving from Cape Town (1 hour 15) or Stellenbosch (30 min), you’ll approach Franschhoek on the R45 road and just before the town itself, take a right turn down Robertsvlei Road, towards the picturesque Robertsvlei Valley and GlenWood. The farm is situated around 4 kilometres down this side road, some of which is gravel, but well maintained. If you’re coming from Franschhoek itself, it’s an easy 10 min drive – although it feels a world away!
GlenWood is 50 hectares in size and the only wine farm in this incredible valley, which is also home to the Berg River Dam and vast swathes of indigenous fynbos. It receives a lot of rainfall every year, which contributes to its lushness. Once you enter the farm’s gates, you pass row upon row of vines before finally reaching the Tasting Room/Restaurant, which is essentially one modern building with outside patio seating – either under umbrellas, swaying oak trees or a canopy of leafy vines. You can wine taste or tuck into gourmet sushi inside or out, enjoying mountain and valley views. There are no dedicated facilities for kids here such as jungle gyms or kids’ menus, however there is plenty of outside space should you have them in tow.
Inside, the traditional and casual Tasting Room boasts a large stone fireplace and limited seating, which is useful in inclement, wintry or very hot weather. No matter where you sit though, you’re treated to that magical view, which really captures the majesty of the entire undulating valley, of which 30 hectares are under vine. Owner Alastair Wood purchased the farm in 1984 and said part of what attracted him to the site (aside from the suitability of the terroir for winemaking) was its incredible natural setting and close proximity to the village.
Inside there is also a separate area which leads towards the cellar, with barrels and tanks and an atmospheric brick enclosed dining room, which hosts ad-hoc events such as wine club dinners. GlenWood have a strong local following and I can see why – my wine host Bob was so friendly and chatty and I get the impression the staff know their regulars well. I can imagine wine club dinners being very popular!
GlenWood also have the most magnificent viewing deck at the top of the estate, known as Nature’s Window. At the time of writing this can only be visited if booked as part of a group wine tasting experience called the Nature’s Window & Wine Tasting Tour (min 6, please enquire for prices). This experience includes wine tasting and you can pre-book sushi to be transported to the top. Usually guests walk however I was transported by the owner Alastair by golf cart, which was the most spectacular (and bumpy) 5 minute ride, with a panoramic view to end all views. It’s hard to describe how magical this spot is and I am already looking for 7 friends to join me on this tour, so I can visit again!
Wine Tasting at GlenWood
OK on to the real reason why you want to visit – wine and sushi. GlenWood specialise in Chardonnay, however also have plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot and Shiraz. They have 3 tasting options including their main Showcase Wine Tasting, which includes 5 wines for R100 (which is subsequently waived if you purchase more than 500 Rands of wine per person). There are also two tours available to pre-book, which include their vineyard and cellar ‘Vine to Bottle Tour’ and the ‘Nature’s Window’ Tour which I have already mentioned above. Visit www.glenwoodvineyards.co.za/wine-tastings/ for more details. as not all tours and experiences are available daily.
I had the Showcase Wine Tasting and my wine host Bob was so cheery and helpful, talking me through different options and suggesting different sushi pairings which would go well with my wine choices. I ordered the Prawn Tempura Crunch Bomb for R190 (yum) however they have quite a wide range of veggie, meat and fish sushi options, which are ideal for sharing with friends.
I visited on my own this time and so overheard quite a bit of the interaction at the farm, and loved how friendly and personal it seemed. I saw the owner Alistair walking around chatting to guests at each table, and although he had no idea I was coming (or indeed who I was), he eventually spent over an hour with me, speaking passionately about this little piece of paradise.
In terms of the wines themselves, all are estate grown, produced, bottled and aged at GlenWood, making them truly reflective of this exact valley’s terroir. They have several wine ranges, from their everyday GlenWood range, up to carefully selected Vigneron’s wines and their pinnacle Grand Duc noble range. They also have two wines under the specially curated ‘Save Our Rhinos’ label, designed to generate profits for Rhino Revolution, a non-profit wildlife organisation.
I ended up sampling 8 wines including the ‘Save Our Rhinos’ Rose and Shiraz (love that Rose!), variations of their iconic Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Blend, Merlot, Shiraz and beautiful limited production Grand Duc Noblesse. The Noblesse is not usually on the tasting list but wow, it’s incredible! I am sucker for a sweet wine and the flavours of orange peel and honey blew me away.
Personally I enjoyed their white wines more on this occasion however this is because most of the reds I sampled were very young (i.e. 2020, 2021) and so will really come into their own in the next few years. I did however really like the Shiraz but my favourite was definitely their flagship Vigneron’s Selection Chardonnay 2021, a fantastically rich and textured oaked wine, with beautiful citrus and complex oaky notes which had such a bold flavour. Outstanding!
Secluded and immersed in nature, with delicious sushi on tap and a bottle of their flagship oaked Chardonnay to hand, I can’t think of a more relaxed afternoon on a sunny Franschhoek day than a visit to GlenWood. Bring your friends, kick back under the twirling vine canopy and soak up those incredible views at this understated, charming little gem.
I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again – the incredible 180 degree views from Nature’s Window have to be seen to be believed. Definitely one of the highlights of my visit to GlenWood! Do yourself a favour, get a few friends together and book their Nature’s Window Tour, so you too can experience these awe-inspiring vistas.