Stellenbosch is the most famous wine-producing region in South Africa. The town, in Western Cape's Coastal Region, is steeped in wine producing history and is home to the country’s best-known wine estates. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape variety, and is often combined with Merlot to create Bordeaux Blend wines.
Stellenbosch is South Africa's second-oldest settlement, after Cape Town. Established on the banks of the Eerste River in 1679, it was named for the then Governor, Simon van der Stel (who is also notable for having established the wine estate of Constantia in Cape Town).
The French Huguenot protestants (fleeing religious persecution in Europe) arriving in the Cape found their way to the town in the 1690s and began to plant vines. Today, Stellenbosch is home to nearly one-fifth of all the vines planted in South Africa.