If your idea of a good day out is a long lazy lunch in the sun, a picnic with friends or even tasting great wines in variety, then a trip into the winelands will be just fine.
South Africa’s winelands have come of age in recent years having chaged from the old cooperative system to myriad small wine farms producing a huge variety of wines with a particular South African flavour. The original vines were brought by French Huguenots in the late 17th century to the Cape, one of the best wine areas being Franschoek valley, Franschoek literally meaning French Corner.
Set in some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa the wine routes comprise a number of farms where you can stop and sample the wines if you want and usually eat. Some have restaurants and at some you can just phone ahead a book a picnic to eat in the amazing grounds. No pressure, no rush; if you like real relaxation in beautiful surroundings away from the city that is for you.
There are wine many routes and many visitors come for a holiday mainly spent touring the wine areas. The most popular are the Stellenbosch wine route, the Franschoek, Constantia, Darling and Paarl but there are many more.
If you are not into wine, these farms are still a great place to go to enjoy good food, explore the surrounding countryside with its hikes and scenery and the small towns that surround them. Many of the inhabitants of the small towns are workers on the farms and descended through many generations of families who have worked there. The farms cater very much for families so everyone can enjoy and it is not expensive with no obligation to buy.
The food varies from fine dining to rustic, made with local produce and amazing value for money. Some good farms to visit but not an exclusive list, Boschendal for picnics, Spier for the tastings and activities, Delaire for its restaurant and on the Darling route Kloof where the annual rocking the daisies music festival is held.
It’s a great day out, relaxing interesting and just fun