Cape Town falls in a region of the southern hemisphere that is ideal for growing vineyards. The city has a good share of wine farms on its outskirts, producing top-notch products that are exported and well known across the globe.
Apart from wine tasting and wine sales, most wine farms also offer a restaurant that typically offers their own wines on the wine list at very reasonable prices. Of course, these prices can always be beaten if you buy the wine in a liquor store, but that’s life!
- Address: Klapmuts Simondium Road, Simondium
- Contact: 021 863 3852
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Located in 200-hectare farm in the Drakenstein Valley, almost halfway between Franschhoek and Paarl, is owned by the inimitably stylish former magazine editor Karen Roos, who has masterfully created the ultimate destination.
What can you do:
- Food: There are various edible offerings available: the casual Greenhouse restaurant, the more sophisticated Babel, and The Bakery where pizza evenings take place.
- Wine: tasting Next to the vintage wine cellar is a warm yet modern tasting centre, where oenophiles are invited to sit back, relax and enjoy a few glasses of excellent Babylonstoren wine.
- Kids’ facilities: The whole farm is a haven for kids, with farm animals to visit and feed, most notably a porcupine; neverending gardens with mazes and water features to splash around in; ice-cream trucks; Porky Hefer’s Nest chairs; and so on.
- Shops: The Babylonstoren Farm Shop stocks freshly baked bread, a selection of cheeses, biltong and charcuterie, while the adjacent Lekker Room is filled with sweet treats, nuts and chocolates. There is also the beautifully merchandised Scented Room stocked with soaps, candles and bath products.
Also there is a Garden Spa, The Spice Garden, The Healing Garden and Tea Ceremony, and The Juicery.
You can get accommodation if you wish to immerse themselves in this garden paradise overnight, the hotel at Babylonstoren offers a sumptuous yet unpretentious taste of farm life.
- Address: Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
- Contact: 021 870 4200
- Email: email@example.com
Boschendal is surrounded by ancient oaks and forest areas with beautiful gardens. Boschendal dates back to 1685, the estate’s scrupulously preserved heritage is palpable throughout, most obvious in the various antiques and artefacts on display in the Manor House.
What you can do:
- Food: Visit The Werf for a casual fine-dining farm-to-table feast with floor-to-ceiling vistas of the massive vegetable and herb garden. The Deli serves more-casual options such as sandwiches and burgers; or book a scenic picnic in the Rhone rose garden.
- Wine tasting: The Cellar Door, under the oats, is open on weekends and public holidays for wine tasting – order a charcuterie board to accompany your wine. Or try a choc-and-wine pairing…
- Kids’ facilities: Kids between 5 and 14 years will go mad for the Tree House, an immersive and contained playground and pump track. The full Outdoor Experience Programme is facilitated by professional guides and offers an awesome array of fun and educational activities for children.
- Shops: The newly renovated Farm Shop and Butchery is packed to the rafters with freshly baked goods, condiments and preserves, wholesome readymade meals and a curated selection of bespoke homeware.
- Things to do: Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy one of five mountain-biking trails, farm hikes or book a horse-riding experience.
There are various luxury accommodation offerings at Boschendal, including self-catering cottages and luxury tents in the pipeline.
- Address: Lourensford Road, Somerset West, Cape Town
- Contact: 021 847 2100
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vergelegen Wine Estate is as expansive as its “far away” moniker suggests, yet it is conveniently located in Somerset West in one of the most fertile valleys in the country (between the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg Mountains). The historical wine-producing estate offers guests (including the Queen of England) to explore its ancient gardens, dine at the award-winning restaurant and discover history at the museum.
What can you do:
- Food: Vergelegen offers three different dining experiences: Camphors, its award-winning signature restaurant; The Stables, a family-friendly breakfast and lunch spot, and picnics in the forest.
- Wine tasting: The wine tasting centre overlooks an extensive herb garden and is open for tastings daily.
- Kids’ facilities: The estate and its extensive gardens are a wonderland waiting to be explored. Resident cat Abby is an attraction in herself. A wonderful jungle gym and play area is close enough to The Stables to allow adults to enjoy a relaxed family-friendly lunch.
- Things to do: Vergelegen is a history buff’s haven. Visitors should visit the Homestead, Library, Mill Ruins, Slave Lodge for a slice of fascinating history. Tree lovers will be in their element. The first camphor trees were planted on the estate by Simon van der Stel in 1700.
4. Constantia Uitsig
- Address: Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia, Cape Town
- Contact: 021 794 6500
- Email: email@example.com
Uitsig is a veritable cornucopia of surprises, offering a reprieve from the city, a short drive from the centre. Family-friendly restaurants and endless activities make this wine farm an easy choice for a day out with the kids, without sacrificing good food and wine and an expansive country-style experience.
What can you do:
- Food: There is a wonderful assortment of dining options available on the farm: Blockhouse Kitchen for flavourful, fuss-free family-friendly food; tasty Italian dishes at La Grotto Ristorante; Sushi Box, Nest Deli for comfort breakfasts and lunch; Aegir Project for beer, live music and casual meals, Fisherman’s Cottage for finger-licking fish and chips; and Kristen’s Kick-Ass Ice Cream for divine dessert options.
- Wine tasting: Buy and taste wine at Uitsig Wine Shop. Or do a craft-beer tasting at Aegir Project Ale House.
- Kids’ facilities: The Bike Park at Constantia Uitsig offers cyclists of all ages and skill levels hours of fun. All of the restaurants are also kid-friendly. And there’s a wonderful enclosed playground at Blockhouse Kitchen.
- Things to do: The Bike Park caters for all ages and stages, so you can enjoy a day on the track regardless of your experience.
- Address: R310, Stellenbosch
- Contact: 021 809 1100
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a typical Stellenbosch wine farm, with ancient trees, sprawling vineyards and a flowing river, Spier has a unique array of bells and whistles on its seemingly endless grounds that will thrill children and adults alike.
What you can do:
- Food: There are three distinct offerings: Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery (home of Vadas’ famous pasteis de nata), the casual Farm Café, and the Hotel Restaurant, which is perfect for a drink on the terrace. You can also find a secluded spot under the oak trees or by the dam and enjoy a picnic.
- Wine tasting: Sit on the shady stoep overlooking the dam and mountains beyond while enjoying a wine tasting or a chocolate-and-wine pairing.
- Kids’ facilities: Kids can interact with the birds at Eagles Encounters, and those over 10 years can join their parents for a segway tour. All the restaurants are kid-friendly, and there are special kids picnics and grape-juice tastings available as well.
- Shops: For unique gifts and souvenirs, try the Hotel Shop or the Craft Market. The Farm Café stocks an assortment of edible goodies for your pantry and fridge.
- Things to do: Glide through the vineyards on a segway, observe artists in action at the Spier Artisan Studio, explore the gardens on a self-guided walk or restore your inner calm at the Spier Spa.
Stay Spier Hotel’s village-style buildings, lush green lawns and spacious rooms are situated next to the Eerste River.
- Address: Bottelary Road, Stellenbosch
- Contact: 021 205 5620
- Email: email@example.com
Hazendal Wine Estate offers a truly unique mix of Russian and South African traditions. Russian-born owner Dr Mark Voloshin has brought the rich heritage and traditions of his birthland to the Cape, judiciously combining them with the overarching Cape Dutch aesthetic so prevalent in this corner of Stellenbosch.
What you can do:
- Food: Guests may enjoy a traditional Russian high tea at the opulent Avant-Garde Restaurant, which is also the location of Jazz Club events and Chef’s evenings. Babushka Deli has a homely and comfort-food style offering that includes picnics, while the Pivnushka Beer Garden serves contemporary pub fare.
- Wine tasting: The Wine Tasting Lounge is located in the estate’s original cellar and offers three wine-tasting options as well as a cheese and charcuterie board.
- Kids’ facilities: Wonderdal is an out-of-this-world edutainment centre that combines advanced technology and physical activities to create an innovative indoor space and a fun outdoor play area for children between 5 and 13 years.
- Shops: Babushka Deli stocks a variety of preserves, spices, freshly baked goods, take-home meals and souvenirs.
- Things to do: Apart from the culinary and wine tasting experiences, Hazendal also has a golf course and the Marvol Gallery, which offers a glimpse into Russian art, culture and history.
Raise your glasses
These six wine farms are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and there are many others to explore. Visitors can be forgiven for getting stuck in beautiful Cape Town, but they should venture out to the wine farms, most of them less than an hour’s drive from the city. Let us raise our glasses!