In Their Words
History & Location
Established in 1682 and now the oldest registered farm in the Cape, Steenberg has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Roughly 25 minutes from the heart of Cape Town in the idyllic Constantia Valley winelands, it is a destination steeped in heritage.
In 1682, Catharina Ras was granted the title deed for a portion of land from Governor Simon van der Stel, which she named “Swaaneweide”: the Feeding Place of Swans. The farm grew over the years and included overnight dwellings, passing hands through the Russouw and Louw families, until Graham Beck bought the hotel and winery in 2005. Steenberg has since flourished into a complete destination, with a luxury hotel, two fine restaurants, an award-winning winery, a championship 18-hole golf course, private homes and a world-class spa set amongst the estate’s astounding natural landscape.
From vine to bottle, Steenberg’s cool-climate wines are primed to produce an experience that evokes the unique terroir of the estate. Steenberg produces some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cap Classique in South Africa, along with other celebrated wines.
Wine Tasting: open daily 10am-6pm (last tasting 4.30pm). Pre-booking essential, no walk ins permitted.
Tryn Restaurant: open daily for breakfast 8am-11am, lunch 12pm-3pm, plus dinner Tue to Sat 6pm-10pm.
Bistro Sixteen82: open daily for breakfast 9am-11am, lunch 12pm-3pm, plus tapas 5pm-10pm.
Steenberg Spa: open daily 9am-6pm.
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.
Steenberg offers guests a selection of pre-booked wine tasting experiences with a Wine Tasting Bar, Tasting Lounge and Outdoor Terrace to choose from. For groups of 11 or more, curated tastings are available in the dedicated Executive Tasting Room.
With infinity pools and reflective water features set before some of the most remarkable scenery in Cape Town, guests can relax and appreciate the natural beauty and architecture around them.
Wine Tasting Prices
For groups 10 or less, choose from an Express (R85 pp), Classic (R120 pp), Bubbly (R160 pp) or Flagship Tasting (R200 pp). Groups of 11 or more have the option of a Cheese & Wine Pairing (R250 pp) or an Executive Tasting (R250 pp). All wine tastings must be pre-booked.
The farm features two modern dining experiences: the elegant Tryn, located next to the estate’s Hotel – or the bustling Bistro Sixteen82, next to the lively Tasting Room. Children are welcome at both and childrens’ menus are available.
Tryn, named after Steenberg’s 17th Century founder, is the farm’s flagship restaurant. Boasting a bold interior and contemporary bar, guests are treated to gorgeous views of the vines from the rear terrace, garden views from the front terrace and a relaxed, refined atmosphere. Two rooms are also available for private functions for up to 16 & 40 guests.
Bistro Sixteen82, named after the year in which Steenberg was established, is an innovative and interactive wine and food destination. Sitting adjacent to the winery and Tasting Room, the informal restaurant spills into the surrounding indigenous gardens, with a terraced dining area leading to reflective water features and views of the magnificent stone mountain.
Menus & Pricing
Menus at Tryn and Bistro Sixteen82 constantly evolve, featuring dishes which complement the finest locally sourced produce.
Tryn offers staples such as homemade granola and eggs benedict for breakfast, with an emphasis on ethically sourced seafood, grilled meats, salads and luxurious risottos for lunch and dinner. Bistro Sixteen82 offers a similarly contemporary menu, with Asian-inspired fish courses, steaks, antipasti and tapas. Vegans and vegetarians are well catered for, with dedicated tapas menus. Childrens’ menus are also available at both restaurants and main meals start from approx. R150pp.
Tours & Activities
Currently Steenberg does not offer wine tasting cellar tours unless you are a guest of the hotel, however a self-guided garden walk with an audio guide is available for all guests.
Adjacent to the farm you will also find the Steenberg Golf Club, attracting golfers seeking a premium golfing experience. Special rates are offered to Steenberg Hotel guests and members.
Steenberg’s luxurious and family-friendly 5 star hotel boasts a serene setting amongst the farm’s immaculate grounds, with spectacular vistas of vineyards and mountains. Renovated extensively at the end of 2019, guests also have full access to the spa, award-winning restaurants, championship golf course, a secluded pool and an array of cycling, walking and running trails.
Accommodation ranges from superbly appointed Classic Rooms and Premium Suites right the way up to spacious Three Bedroom Villas. Prices vary and start from approx. R4000 for two adults including breakfast in low season (winter).
Please check www.steenbergfarm.com/hotel/ for more information as specials and packages are frequently offered.
When Lucy Visited
Each time I visit Steenberg, I tell myself the same thing: it can not possibly be as good as I remember. But it always is!
Steenberg remains a bit of a hidden gem to visitors from out of town, but for locals, it’s an institution – and not just because it’s over 300 years old. They just get it. Immaculate grounds. Friendly staff. Great wines. Great food. And now a beautifully refurbished luxury hotel too. They’ve managed to create an elegant yet welcoming buzz no matter which day of the week you visit – so whenever I have friends visiting from out of town, I always make sure it features high on our itinerary.
So what makes Steenberg stand out?
First things first, if you’re not familiar with Cape Town, don’t be put off by the distance from the CBD. The 25 min journey is easy by taxi and it’s quite a scenic route with the back of Table Mountain in front of you for much of the way.
Once through Steenberg’s gates, all thoughts of the city fade as you’re welcomed by rolling vines, mountain vistas and wide-open skies. It’s hard to believe this little pocket of rural heaven is so close to town, and it just oozes quality from the moment you enter.
The farm is split into two distinct sections and it’s really important to note this, as many visitors only visit one side – yet they are quite different. On one side you have the modern Wine Tasting Centre and lively Bistro Sixteen82 (see images of me Wine Tasting below) and on the other, the elegant restaurant Tryn and historic Hotel & Spa, which also houses the beautiful 17th Century Manor House (see images directly below). It’s a gentle 5-10 min stroll past the vines to get between the two.
If you ONLY visit the modern Wine Tasting centre/Bistro Sixteen82, you won’t see the old Cape Dutch heritage buildings which are on the Tryn/Hotel side, so when I take new visitors to the farm, I tend to take them to the historic side first, have a wander around, pop into Tryn for a coffee (they make a mean cup) and then wander up to the Tasting Room area on foot to get the best of both worlds.
But what really sets Steenberg apart from the rest?
For me it’s the way they cleverly embrace and fuse the old with the new. The barn-like Tasting Centre is surprisingly contemporary and glamorous inside, however they’ve sensitively weaved these same glossy, bold touches throughout Tryn and the historic hotel too, without losing any of the farm’s authenticity. Definitely no spit and sawdust here but also not SO over the top that you feel out of place in jeans.
Inside the Tasting Centre, they’ve carved out a number of cosy spots for you to enjoy your tipple. There’s a showstopping 360-degree circular bar, an indoor lounge (complete with plush, comfy sofas) and my favourite spot: an outdoor covered area overlooking the lawns, decorative water feature ‘pools’ and distant mountain top. The views are pretty and peaceful, however note you’re facing away from the vines, so the views are more reminiscent of a country garden than a sprawling vineyard. Come with an open mind and you really won’t be disappointed (and if you want a vineyard view, go to Tryn and sit out the back on their terrace for a meal).
There are 4 wine tasting options for couples or small groups, from a simple Express Tasting (R80pp, 1 glass of bubbles & 2 wines) right the way up to their Flagship Tasting (R250pp, 6 wines). Great value considering the quality on offer, the fact you receive table service and you can pick a variety of wines. My ‘Tasting Ambassador’ was excellent – attentive and friendly, explaining the farm’s history whilst recommending various options (I personally love their Syrah and Black Swan Sauvignon Blanc. Perfection).
What About Tours And Food?
Sadly there are no cellar tours currently available unless you’re staying at the hotel, and the only food pairing on offer is if you’re in a large group, which are hosted in a separate dedicated area. This may seem a shame however food-wise, you’d be crazy to pass up visiting one of their highly rated restaurants instead.
Tryn was completely refurbished a couple of years ago and is both a little quieter during the day and a touch more refined than the Bistro (which I love, keep reading). Tryn has both front and back patios with views of lawns and vines – and I know a few parents who like this restaurant more as they can sit on the front patio whilst letting their kids run wild on the lawns in front (and they also have some large lawn games for kids too). Whereas the Bistro, right next door to the Tasting Room, is always a hive of buzzing activity with less space for kids to go crazy (note there are no jungle gyms at Steenberg). The menus for both are not too dissimilar – modern South African – however the bistro has a slightly larger menu including tapas, vegan and vegetarian options. I usually finish my tasting then continue on to Bistro Sixteen82 for a late lunch.
What’s the Accommodation like?
I was lucky enough to stay a couple of nights at Steenberg’s 5* hotel a few years ago, however recently popped in to see what the rooms were like now they’ve been refurbished. My word… I was blown away.
To set the scene, the buildings are mostly old whitewashed Cape Dutch (or have been designed in a similar visual style, to blend in with the old buildings) and are set amongst beautiful gardens which you can wander around. You can’t help but feel totally at peace here surrounded by vines, lawns and birdsong. Inside, rooms have retained their old character (think exposed beams, deep set wooden windows) yet have been sympathetically updated with many handmade or one off striking and stylish pieces to bring them into the 21st Century (think velvet statement chairs, shimmering chandeliers, ornate mirrors and egg shaped baths).
The hotel is understated, relaxed and ideal for couples or families who like to get off the grid a little, but somewhere with character and charm. On top of that you have a tranquil pool area, beautiful spa, sprawling lawns, priority for estate activities plus you’re within a taxi ride of many other local attractions. The hotel can never be described as ‘cheap’, however they often advertise specials which make it more affordable, and its price is reflective of its spectacular, exclusive setting. What a gem.
For wine tasting, dining and a getaway, Steenberg is a really wonderful option for couples, groups or corporate guests who like a bit of glamour, in an elegant and atmospheric setting. Tryn and the hotel are peaceful, refined and historic, whilst the modern Bistro Sixteen82 a bit more casual and buzzing. Families are very welcome at the estate – and there is plenty of space to roam – however do bear in mind there are limited dedicated facilities to keep kiddies entertained.
Bookings for wine tasting are essential (no walk ins allowed) and the weekends can get very busy. When you call to book, if wine tasting ask for a seat outside if you can. As it’s undercover, you’ll get the best views in the house come rain or shine.