Summer and 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 and payment for pre-packed picnics are essential, and changes or cancellations may require a day or two’s notice.
Allée Bleue Wine Estate, Groot Drakenstein
Embraced by the majestic Drakenstein Mountains, the historical Allée Bleue Wine Estate offers a breath-taking setting for couple and family picnics. In addition to the traditional farm fresh bread, cheese platter, and charcuterie, their pre-packed “Chicnic” baskets include a bevvy of delicious treats from rare roast beef wrap and farm grown micro herb salad to white chocolate mousse. 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 entertained.
Bertus Basson at Spice Route, Paarl
Located at the delightful Spice Route in Paarl, the Bertus Basson restaurant celebrates the best of South African cuisine with an independent take on traditional dishes. If you are in the mood for something more casual, pop into the restaurant and help yourself at their “pak ‘n mandjie” (pack a basket), select a bottle of wine, artisanal meats, and delicious baked goods to enjoy on the lawn.
Boschendal Wine Estate, Franschhoek
Boschendal Wine Estate is amongst the oldest wine farms in the Cape. It’s also one of the most beautiful with its sweeping lawns, ancient trees, massive herb and vegetable garden, Cape Dutch architecture, and exquisite oak-lined avenues. Boschendal’s Rhone Rose Garden is popular for picnics and with the tasting room a stone’s throw away, you’ll have access to all the wine you could possibly want. Their deli also does delicious pre-packed picnic baskets featuring freshly baked bread, delicate pâtés, salads, cold meats, coronation chicken, homemade preserves, and a special dessert.
Buitenverwachting was founded by Simon van der Stel, the Cape’s very first governor, and so guests will find this Constantia wine estate bursting with history and rustic charm! The restaurant here provides a top tier dining experience but for those on the hunt for a more relaxed outdoor experience, go to their wine cellar, order a charcuterie platter and enjoy in outside on the lawns in the shade of 250-year-old trees!
Where: 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
Contact: 021 794 5190/1
Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek is well known and loved for its Thursday evening market, but this wine farm is also a glorious week-long venue for picnics, with its breath-taking mountain, vineyard, and ocean views, luscious lawns to sit and relax on, beautiful selection of wines, and stunning food.
Where: Silvermine Road, Noordhoek, Cape Town
Contact: +27 (0) 21 789 0900, firstname.lastname@example.org
Most wine estates in the Cape are blessed with spectacular views but at Delheim Estate in Stellenbosch, the views of the Simonsberg Mountains and vineyards are taken to another level. Pick up a hand-woven picnic basket from their Garden Restaurant and spread out on the lawn or next to the river for a feast of fresh produce, homemade goods, and artisanal treats. Afterwards, pay their spooky yet atmospheric underground cellar a visit for some wine tasting but watch out for the cobwebs: they’re likely older than you are!
Grande Provence, Franschhoek
Enjoy a delicious and relaxing country-style picnic under majestic oaks in beautifully landscaped gardens amidst Franschhoek vineyards at Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate during the months of September through to April inclusive. Prepared by Executive Chef, Guy Bennett, the Grande Country Picnic basket is filled to the brim with Dalewood camembert and preserves, tender roasted vegetables and chimichurri, smoked snoek pâté, estate-made hummus, freshly-baked bread, olives, and a crisp heirloom garden salad, along with a bottle of mineral water and their award-winning Angel Tears wine.
Holden Manz Wine Estate, Franschhoek
A picnic on the Holden Manz Wine Estate is all about enjoying fine wines and good food under ancient oaks by the idyllic Franschhoek River. Order 24 hours in advance and arrive to collect your picnic basket from their Franschhoek Kitchen; perhaps pick up a bottle or two of their award winning wines. A short stroll through the vineyards will lead you to the river, where you can graze your way through freshly baked bread, locally sourced cheeses, du jour pâtés and spreads, marinated Holden Manz olives, fresh salads, oven-roasted baby chicken, fresh fruit, and a special dessert.
Where: Green Valley Road, Franschhoek
Contact: 021 876 2729
Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Jordan Wine Estate – home to Chef George Jardine’s acclaimed Jordan restaurant – offers a highly memorable picnic treat, served in private picnic pods on their lawn with breath-taking views of the Stellenbosch Kloof Valley. Make a quick stop at The Bakery at Jordan to collect your picnic basket filled to the brim with delectable treats, as well as a bottle of wine from their Chameleon range, and whittle away the day in your picnic pod (blankets and cushions provided).
Klein Joostenberg, Stellenbosch
The causal taproom and picnic-style eatery at Klein Joostenberg is a paradise for families and friends. With a wide-open expanse of shaded lawns, there is plenty of space to throw down a blanket for a picnic and for the kids to run free. The “Best of the Boland Platter” is the go-to option and features local cheeses, Joostenberg charcuterie, homemade preserves, home-baked bread, herb butter, and more. For those who prefer to enjoy their platters picnic style, the farm provides wooden crates filled with biodegradable and compostable plates and cutlery.
La Bri Estate, Franschhoek
Tucked away in the Franschhoek Valley lies the historic La Bri wine estate that’s 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. 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.
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 iced 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)
Contact: +27 (0) 21 887 1132 or email@example.com
Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek
What was once a 17th Century hilltop estate in the glorious Franschhoek wine valley has now been transformed into “Leisure Land”, thanks to the work and influence of Sir Richard Branson. The Country Kitchen is Mont Rochelle’s informal restaurant located adjacent to their wine cellar and it’s from here that guests can collect a hand-packed picnic basket, featuring South African cheeses, homemade preserves, charcuterie with homemade pickles and chutneys, smoked salmon, chicken and vegetable wrap, and dark chocolate and cranberry torte, as well as a bottle of wine.
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, mountain, and lake views. 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.
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate is famous for their picnics and with rolling lawns and a dam surrounded by weeping willow trees, it’s easy to see why. This is especially the case for families over weekends when a jumping castle, trampoline, and free pony rides (on Sundays, 12:00 to 14:00) offers kids all the diversions they need to leave the parents alone to a little quality time. Picnic baskets are available for order and offer all the usual delicious suspects, from local cheeses and homemade bread to preserves, pâté, olives, and charcuterie. The estate also hosts various picnic-related events, including moonlight picnics and concerts.
Solms-Delta Wine Estate
Tuck into a scrumptious picnic, pop open a bottle of delicious Solms-Delta wine and enjoy the day with a view to match your feast: choose between their lush lawn alongside the forest, a sandy riverbank, or a shady spot overlooking the dam. On weekends and public holidays, Solms-Delta welcomes guests to make use of their free tractor-and-trailer service to get to your chosen spot. The Fyndraai Restaurant team freshly packs the picnic baskets and there are vegetarian and kid-friendly baskets available on request.
Where: Delta Road & R45, Drakenstein, Franschhoek
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. 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.
Where: Spier Wine Farm, R310 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch
Contact: +27 (0) 21 809 1172 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and can be arranged prior to arrival (available for pick-up between 12:15 and 13:30).
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, 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.
Zorgvliet Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Think manicured lawns shaded by oaks 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.