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Top spots for open-air sipping

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Top spots for open-air sipping

Top spots for open-air sipping

Make the most of the warmer weather with our list of top wines to sip al fresco in inspiring venues.

By Fresh Living

The winter days are gone and we’re all daydreaming about long summer vacations with friends and family. Why not escape to the Cape Winelands? There’s tons to do – from 5-star accommodation to relaxing spas and, of course, wine tastings. Many wine farms also offer ready-packed picnics to order. Here are a few of our top spots to enjoy a sunny day exploring the outdoors.

There’s tons to do – from 5-star accommodation to relaxing spas and, of course, wine tastings. Many wine farms also offer ready-packed baskets to order.

Boschendal

Boschendal wine farm boasts some of the most picturesque views in the Cape Winelands, with dramatic mountain vistas visible from the lush lawns. So it’s no surprise that the estate has become a popular picnic spot for families and friends to gather on a day out. The picnic areas are located in the wine-making and tasting hub of the farm and are available on weekends. You can enjoy your picnic at carefully laid-out tables or under the large oak trees that provide much-needed shade in the summertime. The kids and non-wine drinkers will also enjoy themselves as they tuck into the array of bites provided.

L’Avenir

Situated 4km from Stellenbosch on the slopes of Simonsberg, this farm’s history dates back to the late 1600s. It was one of the first sites identified for grape growing by the Cape’s earliest European settlers. This summer, book a wine-tasting or wine-and-cheese-pairing experience at their tasting room, Cellardoor, inspired by the flair and sophistication of French bistros. The countryside setting with its breathtaking gardens and calming lakes is the perfect backdrop for tasting their famous Chenin Blanc.

Bosman Family Vineyards

This wine farm is committed to fusing the old with the new, as it combines a long-established tradition with modernity and innovation. This family-run wine farm has a deep respect for both nature and its workers – it has implemented social, economic and environmental practices that develop the community and promote sustainable farming. With an ownership of 26% of the business, a solid skills-transfer system and numerous social projects, the workers are invested in every aspect of Bosman Family Vineyards. Book a tour of their Hermanus farm, where you can sample their wines and enjoy a picnic in fynbos fields while you take in the awe-inspiring views. For the more adventurous, hike up the mountain nature trail – the view of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley makes it all worth it.

Le Bonheur

Nestled between the picturesque Simonsberg mountains and Klapmuts Hill, this wine farm has a history that dates back to the 1700s. It epitomises the rich heritage of Stellenbosch and South African winemaking. Historically, it was a resting place for travellers and traders, which is not surprising when you take in the lush green surroundings and natural spring waters. The original owners of this scenic farm, the French Huguenot De Villiers family, fittingly named it Le Bonheur, meaning ‘happiness’. Today the estate retains its sense of place, timeless setting and rich heritage.

Spier

Situated in Stellenbosch, the Spier wine farm has a long history – more than 300 years. One of its top attractions is the wonderful collection of Cape Dutch buildings on the estate, boasting a whopping 21 gables in all, and one of the most impressive werfs (farm layouts), dating from the early days of wine farming. The farm’s gables have been honoured in the winery’s aptly named 21 Gables wine collection. Take a tour of the farm to marvel at these gables and then sit down for a picnic fit for any Instagram feed! The ready-packed baskets are filled with local seasonal produce – from dips and sandwiches to salads and desserts. There’s even a basket for the kids and plant-based eaters! Bring your own chairs and blankets or let them take care of everything.

A sip through history

Now that you’ve booked your winelands getaway, here are a few suggestions of which wines to purchase as souvenirs of a well-deserved and relaxing getaway or weekend. You can find these and more in-store or on the PnP online store.

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc (R250) – This wine has a buttery-gold colour, with soft aromas of dried apricots and ripe tropical fruit. It has a subtle oak and vanilla undertone and a good amount of acidity, and rounded rich flavours of white-flesh peaches, almond paste and creaminess. Serve with crispy pork belly, duck breast or pickled fish.

Le Bonheur Chardonnay (R100, exclusive to PnP) – A medium-bodied and creamy yet crisp wine. It has citrus, white peach and toasted brioche (yes, you read correctly) notes. If you’re building a wine collection, this wine cellars well, for 5 to 7 years. Pair with grilled fish and seafood.

Bosman Grenache Noir (R85, exclusive to PnP) – A medium-bodied wine with lovely fresh berry flavours with hints of spice and pepperiness. This wine is very versatile as far as food pairing goes. Pair with an antipasti platter, grilled meat, tomato- or pesto-based pastas and pizza. Can be cellared for 2 to 5 years.

L’Avenir Pinotage (R110, exclusive to PnP) – A ruby red wine with attractive notes of cherries and mulberries. It is medium-bodied and smooth on the palate. This wine is the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. Pair with mild curries and boboties.

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