Winelands Winter ideas

2013-06-25 12:10
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Winelands hot air balloon adventure

If you have ever wanted a bird's eye view of a particular destination, try a hot air balloon ride. We check out the Winelands Hot Air Balloon adventure during the filming of a rebranding Advert for Dstv's Travel Channel.

If you’re not into hibernation during the colder winter months, then you should definitely take a trip to Cape Winelands.  It’s got everything you need to get your mind off the weather and enjoying the rugged mountain scenery that looks more majestic than usual at this time of year, especially with the odd dusting of snow.

Here's how to get your fill of the sumptuous food and world-class wines on offer...


Blaauwklippen Family Market:
Head to the Carriage Museum on the corner of Libertas & Adam Tas Streets for a spot of lazy Sunday afternoon shopping where you will find a delicious range of prepared food that includes homemade pies, olives, baked treats and much more. Make a note of tasting the excellent wine that Blaauwklippen has to offer. Otherwise enjoy a delicious cocktail or a chilled craft beer along with the live music. It’s on every Sunday at 10:00 to 15:00. Contact: 021 809 7380 / 7473

Slow Market, Oude Libertas

Situated at the historic Oude Libertas wine farm, the popular Slow Market is on every Saturday from 9am until 2pm. It's a great place to partake in some local wine and microbrewery beers, pick up some artisanal wares, second hand books or vintage clothing or just indulge in the best of Stellenbosch’s locally-produced fare. There are also two special winter events to look out for at the Slow Market: the Orange and Lemon Festival in June and the Red Hot Chilli Festival in August.

Audacia Farm Market

Another good bet is the Audacia Farm Market, a new craft and food market that runs every Saturday and Sunday all year round. Live music and workshops add to the vibe whilst with a woodland children’s play area, this is a very family-friendly market.

Nitida Farmers Market, Durbanville

This market takes place on the last Saturday of every month. It's ideal for a lazy farm breakfast, with a selection of fresh homemade products from around 50 different suppliers including the local  butchery. Sample the chilli products, farm butter, free range eggs and chickens, exotic mushrooms, preserves & jams, biscuits & rusks, home baked pies, organic dried fruit and nuts, morning-baked bread, and home roasted coffee beans accompanied by slices of decadent chocolate cake. Contact 083 651 0699 or email:

Franschhoek Bastille Festival

A regular when it comes to celebrating all things French in SA’s leading wine and culinary destination. It takes place over the weekend of 13th and 14th July with the Food and Wine Marquee being the main attraction as Franschhoek's award winning and famous wine estates offer their finest up for you to savour. There will also be a farmers' Market, Craft Stalls, children's activities and a minstrels parade.

Music Festivals

The Chamber Music Festival

Over a ten day stretch, the Chamber Music Festival looks to highlight talented young musicians and give them a chance to be coached by experts in the field and then perform on an internationally-recognized stage. Universities from around the world (including Austria, the USA, the UK and more) send representative student groups to attend the festival and meet South Africa’s own top young talent. As well as the concert performances there are also public master classes and a lecture series.

Metal 4 Africa Winterfest
Metal 4 Africa brings together all of South Africa’s top metal acts at Klein Libertas theatre for the region’s biggest metal festival. So get ready to let your hair down for some good old-fashioned head-banging.


La Marianne Wine Estate, Stellenbosch: Most of the wine farms in and around Stellenbosch offer excellent accommodation, though prices tend to be quite high at the more popular locations. La Marianne Wine Estate, though a little far from town, is among the best for value and doesn’t disappoint in terms of its picturesque location and facilities either. There are also numerous good-quality, comfortable guesthouses within a stone’s throw of the town centre.

Fynbos Villa Guesthouse: This guesthouse is  among the best-located and most popular, with fine antique furnishings in all the rooms, a cosy and rustic feel and experienced and helpful staff. But be sure to book in advance. Even in winter Fynbos tends to be booked out most weekends. It would seem then that at least some people have realised that winter doesn’t have to stop you getting out and about. So put out that fire, open the curtains and head over to Stellenbosch this winter, whatever the thermometer says.

Pearl Valley Golf Estate, Paarl
: Nature and golf lovers will find this an obvious choice. PPearl Valley Golf Estates in Paarl has invested R1.2 million into the refurbishment of the Estate’s entrance including the use of sustainable and eco-friendly infrastructure and plant options. With its 19 lakes spread throughout the Estate, Pearl Valley also has an abundance of birdlife with 120 different listed species and, while a Cape Leopard was spotted near the Estate’s super-secure perimeter fence last year, numerous smaller mammals which inhabit the property’s pristine fynbos include Bat Eared Foxes and the endangered Cape Clawless Otter.  In turn, the natural beauty of Pearl Valley is well integrated into its leisure activities including its own Equestrian Centre and hiking and biking trails.

Grande Provence, Franschhoek: Recently awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013, Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, part of The Huka Retreats offers a truly unique Winelands experience - whether they are staying in The Owner’s Cottage or La Provençale, dining at The Restaurant, experiencing the award-winning wines in The Tasting Room, browsing through The Gallery at the latest exhibitions or visiting The Shop.  During the winter months Grande Provence invites guests to experience The Tasting Room for educational wine tastings, indulge in an irresistible culinary curry evening on Tuesdays in The Restaurant or the intimate Chef’s Table in The Jonkershuis from May until 30 September excluding The Restaurant’s hibernation period from 15 July until 5 August.
Wine Tastings

Woodmill Night Market
: This Friday market in an arena with a contemporary street feel is ideal for a night out. It happens between 17:30 to 22:00 and boasts live music element and the offerings of  30 diverse stalls including exclusive boutique wines, craft beers and a variety of delicious foods.

Franschhoek Winter Wines : More than 20 of the valley’s finest wineries will be showcasing their top winter wines at this exclusive event. Because it is small and intimate, you'll get to meet the winemakers as well as taste to your hearts content. The festival will be open from 12pm until 5pm and tickets cost R180 per person. Tickets can be purchased online and booking is essential as tickets are limited to 350 people only.

Overgaauw Estate: the historic and pioneering fourth-generation Stellenbosch wine estate, which embraces innovation while honouring its rich legacy has released top-quality new vintages across the Overgaauw wine range, such as the 2012 Overgaauw Chardonnay, Overgaauw Merlot and the  2010 Overgaauw Merlot, which was recently voted among South Africa’s Top 100 Wines at the 2013 Top 100 SA Wine Challenge.


Cuvee, Simonsig
: Every Saturday throughout winter, Simonsig’s acclaimed Cuvee restaurant takes diners on a culinary and cultural tour to another part of the world, showcasing authentic food and live music from a different country every week, with carefully selected red wines to compliment whatever dishes might be served up. This round the world experience will take you to Morocco, France, Italy and Asia without even having to leave your table. Tickets are R350 including wine and the festivities kick off at 7pm.

Delheim wine farm
: On Sunday afternoons through July and August, Delheim wine farm offers a combination of warm, hearty fondue and warm, hearty live jazz in their cozy underground wine cellar, all washed down by a glass or two of great Gluhwein. Tickets are R150 rand and booking is essential.   

Tokara Restaurant
: Winter sees the team at Tokara revving up the culinary engines with enticing themed evenings as well as an excellently priced winter special. Chef Richard Carstens has also whipped up a special lunch menu which includes crisp linefish served with sushi rice, coconut tamarind sauce, coriander and macadamia. The main dish makes the most of seasonal ingredients with springbok, pomme purée and Brussels sprouts. Dessert of “Tiramisu” is signature Carstens, creating the unexpected in a delicious manner.  The winter special menu is priced at R275 per person, including wines expertly paired with the first two courses and is available until end of September 2013.

Spier Winelands Bridal Fair
For anyone looking forward to a summer wedding, you can start planning early at the spectacular Spier Winelands Bridal Fair on the last weekend of July. This event showcases the best of the Cape’s designers, photographers and companies specialising in wedding cakes, jewellery, wedding invitations and much more and there are daily fashion shows where the finest bridal wares are shown off on the catwalk.

Fusion of Fleur du Cap and exotic salts at Die Bergkelder dinner
Enjoy your dinner with Fleur du Cap and a tad more than just a pinch of salt when Chef Craig Cormack marries a selection of award winning unfiltered wines and salts from around the world at Die Bergkelder, the famous ‘cellar in the mountain’ in Stellenbosch. This takes place on the 05 July 2013.

Excelsior Fit Farm, Robertson
Fit Farm is a residential immersion of health and outdoor fitness at Excelsior Estate in the beautiful Robertson wine valley, two hours from Cape Town. It's the first step to achieving a healthier you.
Excelsior Estate , Robertson Valley. It takes place between 28 June and 06 July 2013.

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