Boschendal lies between the Simonsberg and Drakenstein mountains, forty minutes from Cape Town.
The name Bos-en-dal, or bush and valley, reveals its essence: breathtakingly beautiful land consolidating twenty historical farms into a diverse property of 1800 hectares. Location, sheer size and history make exploring Boschendal compelling. It beguiles and inspires wonder – a unique spirit of place.
A luxury resort of forty cottages set inside a working farm offers an intriguing experience – a chance to live and begin to know the second oldest wine farm in South Africa. Dating back to 1685, Boschendal is a place where generations of families have worked. It is these combinations of stories and histories, mythical landscapes and mysterious mountains that compel repeat visits.
Nurtured in the Dwars River Valley, it is a place where 3000 species of fynbos and fruit orchards combine to produce a spectacular, bio-diverse environment. A place where grass-fed Angus cattle, forest-fed pigs and free range chickens work alongside our farmers to replenish and revitalise the soils. A place where Indian runner ducks help gardeners grow exquisite organic produce for our restaurants and their diners – we very much like the idea of farming and cooking with nature, and not against it. This is a place where guests swim in our dams and pick fruit from our orchards. The only choice to make is whether to explore this magical place by foot, by pedal or by horse.
It has not always been this way. As recently as five years ago, Boschendal was in a state of ruin and disrepair; with fewer than 50 employees. Five years later with the help of committed investment, Boschendal is revitalizing. The Company now employs 550 workers; we have planted 600 000 fruit trees (plums, pears, citrus and olives); we have started an ambitious project to regenerate soil health. We aim to farm ethically by improving our soil ecology and providing dignified employment that develops the potential of each person. Our core aim is to make Boschendal a place of ecological and social justice for the land, its workers and their communities.
Boschendal’s neighbourhood includes the villages of Lanquedoc, Meerlus Bosbou, Pniel, Johannesdal, Kylemore and Simondium. Dating back to the days of slavery, Boschendal has benefited more than it has contributed. We celebrate the challenge of reversing that legacy.
Boschendal’s partnership with the Bertha Foundation takes our commitment to a more just world far and beyond our boundaries. We see this proud partnership as a new and innovative way of doing things as we continue our journey towards being an holistically ethical business. We intend to do all this having fun and offering our guests a place of wonder, delight and the unexpected. Board member Tony Tabatznik sums up the philosophy as “Soil, Soul, Society and Celebration!”
There is something special happening at Boschendal. Join us on this exciting journey and come and find out for yourself.
We look forward to your next visit!
Where We Are
Boschendal lies in the beautiful Drakenstein Valley and is flanked by the dramatic Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains.
The farm is located in the centre of the illustrious Franschhoek and Stellenbosch vineyard region. It is some 60 kilometres from the city of Cape Town and the towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl are all within 20 kilometres of the farm.
The Drakenstein Valley was inhabited by nomadic Khoisan communities for tens of centuries prior to colonisation of the Cape. Boschendal was first granted to the French Huguenot Jean le Long in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape Colony. It was subsequently bought by Abraham de Villiers in 1715 and remained in that family for 164 years.
The De Villiers family developed Boschendal into a flourishing wine farm and built the manor house and outbuildings. In 1897 custodianship of Boschendal passed into the hands of the mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes who saw a lucrative opportunity in fruit farming. Rhodes Fruit Farms was established and began exporting deciduous fruit to Britain on a large scale. In 1976 the beautifully restored Boschendal farmstead and winery was opened to the public for the first time and began to emerge as the icon it is today of the Cape winelands.
What Matters to Us
We are driven to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits us all.
As custodians of Boschendal we want to share our rich heritage and natural beauty to give guests the opportunity to savour the best of winelands farm living. We want to ensure our staff and local communities to prosper, and we want to ensure our natural environment thrives.
Things to Do at Boschendal
There are many ways to immerse yourself in the goodness of farm life at Boschendal, starting with our passion for fresh food and fine wine. Guests are invited to indulge in a beautifully prepared meal at any of our three restaurants, to delight in our fruity and refreshing wines, or to enjoy a lazy day of picnicking with family and friends.
Let the historical tour of the Werf and the homestead transport you to the simple life of centuries past, or simply soak up the fresh country air while strolling through the old rose garden.
And if you’re craving adventure, you’re in for a treat. Boschendal’s rolling landscapes beg to be explored, boasting the awe-inspiring Silvermine caves, hiking and biking routes through the vineyards and mountains, and several farm dams to swim in. You can even try your hand at fly-fishing!
Boschendal’s idyllic Franschhoek setting lends itself to hours of fun and rejuvenation, and we welcome you to our home.