A visit to the iconic Stellenbosch would not be complete without experiencing one of the many beautiful wine bars. In what feels like an overnight event, the streets of South Africa’s wine capital are now lined with world-class wine bars. All within a cork-pop of each other. Walking down Andringa or Church Street, you are surrounded by sounds of sommeliers telling wine stories, glasses clinking, and enthusiastic conversations. In the late afternoon, you see the sun breaking through the leaves to touch tables filled with carafes, small plates and the shimmering wine glasses.
Wine bars are certainly not a new phenomenon. Incumbents such as Beyerskloof WynBar, Brampton Wine Studio, and Bartinney Wine Bar have been filling up glasses for the past decade. But in what feels like a post-covid resurgence, this year saw a flurry of new establishments open their doors to the public. 2020 alone saw the launch of Quin Rock’s QBar, The Wine Glass, Stellenbosch Wine Bar, Le Grande Domaine Enoteca, Simon’s Wine Emporium, Le Chant Wine Bar, and our very own Bertha Wine Bar.
The four blocks in the heart of Stellenbosch now boast more than 15 wine destinations. There is something for everyone. From the wine curious to the wine enthusiast.
I found myself asking how all of these establishments can succeed so close to one another. I recently had the pleasure of learning about wines in Bordeaux and was awestruck about the sheer breadth of wine offering. There I encountered hundreds of wine bars all one after the other all bustling with energy. I couldn’t help but draw the similarities to our beautiful corner in Africa where our wines compete with the very best.
So why has this concept become so popular in recent years? Wine bars allow customers to experience a wider variety of wine offerings with more flexibility and ease. Wineries are able to bring the cellar experience closer to you together with food pairings, curated tastings and live entertainment. It is an opportunity to experience familiar favourites and curious new-comers.
At Bertha Wines, we have found our home on the corner in the picturesque Church Street in the heart of Stellenbosch. Here you can enjoy our wines for any occasion, together with the beautiful Meraki menu and our own Marnella Macaron pairing. Bertha shares her wine list with some of South Africa’s ground-breaking winemakers such as Eben Sadie, Miles Mossop and Bruwer Raats. Our capas evening’s offer an innovative layered food experience together with Eben Sadie’s limited release Counoise wines.
In an ever-changing and digital world, we aim to create postcard moments filled with meaningful connections. I can’t help but picture my grandmother, Bertha, finding her corner at her wine bar to complete her Blokkiesraaisel while enjoying a chilled glass of Rosé.