Lunch on the lawns with vineyard views, farm-style fare, and award-winning wine.
With the slow, northward migration of the South Atlantic High-Pressure belt, taking with it the roaring summertime south-easterly winds, Cape Town is staring down the barrel at weeks of warm, wind-free days and gorgeous balmy nights. Autumn in the Cape is the perfect season for outdoor escapades and one blissful way to enjoy it is to head out to the winelands and spend the day in the shade of a towering oak tree, sipping on wine, looking out over the vineyards, and grazing your way through a pre-ordered gourmet picnic basket. Here are just a few of the Cape’s wine farms that offer this fabulous al fresco treat!
The Fine Print: In most cases, advance bookings for pre-packed picnics are essential, and changes or cancellations may require a day or two’s notice.
Lanzerac Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
The grand old Lanzerac, which has just recently undergone refurbishing and rebuilding after a devastating fire in May 2017, is a gorgeous wine estate in Stellenbosch with sweeping views of the Jonkershoek Valley. Its manicured lawns and stunning surroundings offer visitors the perfect venue for a picnic, which you can either order from the deli pre-packaged or custom created by making your selection from what’s on offer. The pre-packaged picnic baskets are stacked with delicious treats, including cheeses, charcuterie, a mini baguette, mini quiches, Mediterranean vegetable salad, chardonnay onion marmalade, gourmet cupcakes, homemade ice tea jar, and more.
Where: Lanzerac Wine Estate, 1 Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch
Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 to 19:00 (wine sales close at 18:00)
Cost: R385 for the Lanzerac basket, or you can create your own from the display of cheeses, cold meats, breads, pastries and desserts available at the Deli, along with a bottle of Lanzerac wine.
Contact: 021 887 1132 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Boschendal Wine Estate, Franschhoek Valley
With its sprawling, heavily shaded lawn, delightful rose garden, beautiful historic manor houses, and absolutely gorgeous food (most of which they grow in the farm’s organic garden), Boschendal wine estate is a real treat for picnic lovers. R480 will get you the Rhone picnic basket for two (booking necessary) featuring farm baked baguettes and butter, Camembert cheese, chicken liver spread, home-made hummus, coronation chicken and black-eyed bean salad, charcuterie, and baked chocolate and marshmallow pie. Don’t forget to stop at the wine tasting room to pick up a bottle of wine to go with your picnic!
Where: Boschendal Wine Estate, Pniel Road, Franschhoek Valley
Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 12:00 to 17:00; basket collection between 12:00 and 14:00
Cost: R480 for the Rhone basket for two or R95 for children’s basket (there is also a vegetarian option)
Contact: 021 870 4274 or email@example.com
Noble Hill Wine Estate, Paarl
For a unique experience in the winelands, head to Noble Hill in Paarl where the tranquil picnic grounds are complemented by the surrounding vineyard and mountain views, as well as its prime location next to a lake. The picnics are put together by the estate’s restaurant, Cosecha, and are crammed with traditional favourites and authentic, zingy Mexican treats, such as black bean and grilled corn salad, fresh avocado guacamole, homemade tortilla chips, a selection of local cheeses, a charcuterie board, Mexican wedding cookies, and more. You also get a bottle of Noble Hill wine and still or sparkling water. For an additional cost, you can customise your picnic menu.
Where: Noble Hill Wine Estate, Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Paarl
Opening times: Available from October to April, Monday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00 (closed on Tuesdays)
Cost: R540 for a picnic basket for two, R960 for a picnic basket for four, R50 credit for a picnic without wine, and R65 for a kid’s picnic basket. Vegetarian options available.
Contact: 021 874 3844 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
Located on the rugged, Fynbos-carpeted peninsula with sweeping views of Noordhoek beach, the award-winning Cape Point Vineyards is a regular destination for Cape Town’s picnic lovers. For R395, you and a partner can sink into a basket filled to the brim with local, gourmet-style treats, including bobotie wraps, curried chicken and grape salad, freshly baked ciabatta and crackers, charcuterie, local cheeses, potted chicken liver and bacon pâté, roasted aubergine with hummus and toasted cashew nuts, koeksisters, and other delectable dishes. Just make sure to book your basket 24 hours in advance.
Where: Cape Point Vineyards, Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
Opening times: 11:00 to 17:00 (except Thursdays)
Cost: R395 per basket for two, R65 for a kid’s basket. Vegetarian option available.
Contact: 021 789 0900, email@example.com
La Bri Estate, Franschhoek
Tucked away in the Franschhoek Valley lies the historic La Bri wine estate that, dating back to the 17th Century, is one of the town’s oldest Huguenot-allocated estates. As one of the hop-off points for the Franschhoek Wine Tram, it’s a convenient spot for a picnic and one that offers gorgeous private gardens and breath-taking vineyard and mountain vistas. Available on request (48 hours’ notice required, and bookings confirm upon receipt of proof of payment), La Bri’s delicious picnic baskets include a selection of cheeses, olives from the estate, freshly baked bread, salami sticks, sweet BBQ chicken strips, snoek pâté, salad of the day, chargrilled artichokes, and a dessert jar of the day’s sweet offerings.
Where: La Bri Estate, Excelsior Road, Franschhoek
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:00, weekends & public holidays, 10:00 to 16:00
Cost: R550 per basket (serves two people)
Contact: 021 876 2593 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Zorgvliet Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Think manicured lawns shaded by oak trees older than you are and views of the vineyards and dramatic mountain ranges beyond… this is Zorgvliet wine estate, which lies in the Banghoek Valley, approximately five kilometres outside the town of Stellenbosch. The estate has several cleverly curated picnic basket options for adults and children (depending on numbers, preferences, and appetites). The Zorgvliet basket for two packs a baguette, preserves, meat wraps, a trio of gourmet cheese and crackers, chicken drumsticks, a fresh green salad, and, to end off on a sweet note, a dessert. Also included is a bottle of Silvermyn wine of your choice.
Where: Zorgvliet Wine Estate, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:00 to 17:00, until 30th April 2018.
Cost: R490 for the Zorgvliet basket for two, R800 for the family basket for four (must be booked one day in advance), R110 for the kiddies basket, R465 for the vegetarian basket for two, R500 for the snack basket for two, R450 for the Silvermyn basket for two, and R450 for the meaty basket for two.
Click here to view the Zorgvliet picnic menu.
Contact: 021 885 1399 or email@example.com
Vergelegen Estate, Somerset West
Nestled into the Helderberg valley is one of the Cape’s oldest and, quite possibly, the country’s most beautiful wine estates. Here, guests can expect the standard offering of sprawling lawns, ancient trees, historic manor houses, exquisite wine, and delicious food. But what sets Vergelegen apart as a destination for picnic lovers is its truly magical camphor forest, where picnic tables bedecked with white tablecloths are scattered amongst the trees to provide a tranquil and romantic setting.
Each picnic basket is a symphony of gourmet indulgence, featuring artisanal bread with truffle flavoured farm butter, homemade duck liver pâté and port wine jelly, farm-style pork pâté layered with forest mushrooms, cured salmon, roasted beetroot and chive crème fraiche, freshly baked pastry tartlet, and lemon cheese cake with toasted cashew nut brittle (and more!). Picnic baskets are to be arranged prior to arrival and are available for pick-up between 12:15 and 13:30.
Where: Vergelegen Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Opening times: November to April, Monday to Sunday, 12:15 to 16:30.
Cost: R255 per person (excludes entrance fee, wine or beverages, and gratuity), R95 per child (aged 3-10 years), vegetarian picnic available (must be requested at time of making reservation)
Contact: 021 847 2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spier Wine Farm, Stellenbosch
Spier is a perennial, family-friendly favourite and perhaps one of the better-known wine estates in Cape Town. This enormous wine farm offers no shortage of beautiful, shaded places to spread out a blanket and enjoy the outdoors. The lawn in front of the Farm Kitchen, where you collect your picnic basket, offers stunning vineyards, while the fields opposite the wine-tasting centre is favoured for its proximity to Spier’s wine sales and the dam. The great thing about their pre-ordered picnic baskets is that you can pick and choose what goes into them. They offer a great assortment of fresh, organic produce and hearty, yet nutritious farm-style food and included in the price is a bottle of wine from Spier’s signature range. Alternatively, you can pre-order a seasonal basket (before 12pm for collection the next day).
Where: Spier Wine Farm, R310 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch
Opening times: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 10:00 to 16:30
Cost: R580 for two, and R290 per person after that.
Contact: 021 809 1172 or email@example.com
Allée Bleue Wine Estate, Groot Drakenstein
Embraced by the majestic Drakenstein Mountains, the historical Allée Bleue Wine Estate (dating back to 1690) offers a breath-taking setting for couple and family picnics. For only R195 per adult or R65 per child, you can get a pre-packed picnic basket that, in addition to the traditional farm fresh bread, cheese platter, and charcuterie, includes a rare roast beef wrap with Allée Bleue herbs, fresh tomato and spicy mayo; farm grown micro herb salad with an Allée Bleue Cabernet/Merlot wine reduction dressing and pecorino cheese shavings; homemade smoked olive tapenade and aniseed onion marmalade; and white chocolate mousse served with handmade pumpkin seed brittle and fresh fruit.
Afterwards, while you sprawl out on the shaded lawn or under an umbrella, there’s a jumping castle, soccer field, and trampoline to keep the kids busy and entertained.
Where: Allée Bleue Wine Estate, Intersection R45 and R310, Groot Drakenstein
Opening times: September to April, Monday to Sunday & public holidays, 11:00 to 15:00.
Cost: R195 per adult, R65 per child (booking essential). Vegetarian options available
Contact: 021 874 1021 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Warwick Wine Estate, Stellenbosch/Klapmuts
The stately and picturesque Warwick Wine Estate carries a well-deserved reputation for its “picnic pods”. Here, underneath a yawning umbrella and on the thoughtfully laid out picnic blankets and pillows, guests are invited to spend a leisurely afternoon, munching their way through a pre-packed artisanal picnic, and sipping on a glass (or three) of their award-winning wine.
The picnics are packed with delectable treats that include Sichuan pepper crusted beef fillet with aioli; Rosa tomato, mange tout, and butter bean salad; baby potato, red onion, and fried caper salad tossed in a light whole grain mustard aioli; matured cheddar cheese, homemade sweet chilli sauce, cream cheese, and basil pesto; Warwick’s famous biltong pâté, and a delightful gluten-free Key Lime pie jar (to name a few).
Where: Warwick Wine Estate, Between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts, R44
Opening times: September to April, Monday to Sunday, 11:00 to 17:00 (picnic baskets ready for collection from 12:00)
Cost: R550, for a basket for two, R300 for a basket for one, and R125 for a kiddie basket (vegetarian and vegan options available)
Contact: 021 884 4410, email@example.com