South African Wineries With Haunted Histories

Few things are more captivating than a great bottle of wine, but ghost stories certainly run it close. From mysterious sightings to grisly histories, there are quite a few South African wineries who will bring a little more chill to your glass. Open a bottle of wine, turn down the lights, and get ready to enter the dark side of the country’s wine history.


The Gables Audio Walk at Spier tells the tale of a slave woman and her life on the Cape wine farm. Set in 1836, the audio walk offers insights into the dying days of a colonial society that relied on slavery. The story holds some juicy content, from a slave woman’s affair with the ‘klein baas’, a wayward ‘klein nooi’, romance and love-children, as well as some heartbreaking stories of the treatment of slaves at that time. Although Sannie de Goede is a fictional character, we are sure that there are plenty of other spirits looming around the property.

Groot Constantia

The manor house at Groot Constantia is one of the oldest buildings in the country, so it is not all that surprising that ghost stories share the spotlight with the estate’s wine. Simon van der Stel, the first owner of the property, has been seen strolling to the gardens and taking a dip in the pool.


Situated in Banghoek (originally known as ‘De Bange Hoek’), Zorgvliet is one of the oldest wine farms in the Stellenbosch region. One of the main attractions at the estate is the Herenhuis 1692 Restaurant, which as the name implies, dates back to 1692.  It’s said that the restaurant is home to mischievous spirits who open and close doors or play with light switches.


There are some who believe there is a ghost in the Manor House at Lanzerac. David, an employee at the estate, had this to say, “When I was reading in the library with my spaniel, the door would open slowly, then close. The dog’s hackles would rise. It happened again and again.” Another visitor claimed to have seen an old lady with a Dutch kappie in the mirror in Mrs English’s bedroom.


This unique ensemble of standalone favourites is brought to life by the story of Ilse Graue. Better known as The Beautiful Lady, Ilse’s music box would fill the Manor House at Nederburg with song when she lived there with her husband, The Brew Master. Today, Ilse’s ghost still frolics between the spaces of her old home. Rumour has it that her music box will magically play on occasion.