Stellenbosch is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, situated about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Cape Town, along the banks of the Eerste River.It is the second oldest European settlement in the province, after Cape Town.The town became known as the City of Oaks or Eikestad in Afrikaans and Dutch due to the large number of oak trees that were planted by its founder, Simon van der Stel, to grace the streets and homesteads.Stellenbosch has its own municipality (incorporating the neighbouring towns of Pniel and Franschhoek), adjoining the metropolitan area of the City of Cape Town. The town is home to Stellenbosch University. Technopark is a modern science park situated on the southern side of the town near the Stellenbosch Golf Course.The Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek valleys form the Cape Winelands, the larger of the two main wine growing regions in South Africa. The South African wine industry produces about 1,000,000,000 litres of wine annually. Stellenbosch is the primary location for viticulture and viticulture research. Professor Perold was the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University. The Stellenbosch Wine Route established in 1971 by Frans Malan from Simonsig, Spatz Sperling from Delheim and Neil Joubert from Spier, known as Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes since 2002, is a world-renowned and popular tourist destination.
The region has a mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Stellenbosch lies at the foot of the Cape Fold mountain range, which provides soil favourable to viticulture. Grapes grown in this area are mainly used for wine production, as opposed to table grapes. The region possesses a wide range of soils in the area, from light, sandy soils to decomposed granite. Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is beginning to get a good reputation as a fine wine.Rugby is arguably the most popular sport, with the local Maties Rugby Club being one of the oldest and biggest clubs in the world. Stellenbosch has several world class Astro hockey fields where local teams train and which have hosted international matches and squads.In cricket, Stellenbosch hosted the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier, which the South African team won. Other popular sports include cycling, particularly mountain biking, tennis, swimming, and athletics. The Maties sports clubs of Stellenbosch University are among the best in the country and the town also has some of the best sports schools in South Africa, like Paul Roos Gymnasium and Bloemhof Girls' High.