Let’s be honest. There’s not much that can top a picnic in the winelands on a beautiful day. Literally kicking back to enjoy a spread of delicious eats paired with your favourite bottle of wine, surrounded by vineyards and views.
Oh, and it’s kid-friendly too so you can gather your family and friends to share your picnic feast without fear of glasses tumbling or bored kids eating the table’s sugar sachets.
Here’s our round-up of 15 fabulous pre-packed picnics on South African wine farms that you’ve got to try during the sunny seasons.
1. Cape Point Vineyards
With panoramic sea, dam, mountain and vineyard views Cape Point Vineyards definitely has one of the best picnic settings in the country. Lounge on their large, comfy bean bags at a spot of your choice, spread out your delicacies and enjoy the drink service on offer whilst the kids play.
What’s in the basket? Choose between a traditional or a vegetarian menu for two, all offering more than 10 delicious bites. There’s also a kiddies option with healthy snacks and a yummy treat.
2. Groot Constantia
Simon’s Restaurant, a popular bistro-style eatery on the Groot Constantia farm, now also offers relaxed al fresco picnic dining. Choose your possie on some of the oldest lawns in the country and decide if you want to chill out on blankets or go for comfort with chairs and tables.
What’s in the basket? The picnic menu changes seasonally but you can expect a selection of pâtés, fresh breads, cold meat, salads, cheese, biscuits and preserves with a sweet ending.
3. Groote Post Vineyards
For a country picnic the West Coast Way head to Groote Post Vineyards. Their daily-prepared fresh picnic platters are made by their restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, named after the writer of South Africa’s very first cookbook.
What’s in the basket? A selection of Darling cured meats, local cheese, relish, quiche, salads and delicious brownies. They also do kiddies picnics packed with sandwiches and other snacks.
4. Canto Wines
The new kid on the block right next to Meerendal in Durbanville, Canto Wines, now also offers Saturday picnics. Fill your trendy wooden box with their boutique selection of deli-goods and enjoy the expansive views on comfortable stuffed blankets. It works on a first come first served basis, currently only accommodating 10 guests per day, so hustle.
What’s in the basket? Set off by choosing one of two standard options as a starting point where after you can tailor your box by adding any items from their menu offering more than 20 gourmet and artisanal items.
5. Allée Bleue
One of the main reasons people love to visit this historic French wine farm is to experience their gourmet picnics, or rather “chicnics”. Yes, their fresh air basket dining is so elegant that they’ve renamed it. Aside from the delicious food and wine, the massive lawns offer ample space for kids to run and there’s a jungle gym and jumping castle too.
What’s in the basket? They offer a standard, vegetarian and kiddies option, all including fresh farm breads, spreads, preserves and desserts that you can order either as a single or double serving.
Boschendal’s farm to table (or perhaps farm to basket) approach will make sure that your menu’s ingredients change every day. Depending on your mood, you can choose between two different locations and vibes. Either the classic and upmarket Rhone Rose Garden Picnic or the more relaxed Werf Picnic where you can even bring your own blankets and chairs.
What’s in the basket? Both the Rhone Rose Garden and the Werf Picnics boast with wholesome and artisanal farm produce in either original, vegetarian or kiddies versions. The difference? Rhone’s gastronomic offering is slightly more refined whilst the Werf is more rustic.
7. Herold Wines
Add this unexpected gem to your Garden Route itinerary – a picnic on a little wine farm on the highest peak of the Outeniqua mountains. Whilst you’re there, enjoy the hiking or cycling trails, see the San rock art or even swim in the farm river at Herold Wines.
What’s in the basket? A rustic and delicious combination of charcuterie, cheese, fresh bread, pâtés and spreads, figs, biscuits, nuts and relish.
If life’s a picnic, why not make an event of it? Aside from their standard weekly picnics, Rhebokskloof also hosts picnic occasions like magical moonlight picnics and live concert picnics. For the little ones there’s a trampoline, jungle gym, jumping castle and free pony rides on Sundays.
What’s in the basket? The Lakeside menu features cold meat, chicken, various salads, farm bread, cheese and dessert, with the veggie option replacing the meat with plant-based options. The kids’ option is too cute with their goodies being packaged on a wooden stick.
9. Bramon Wine Estate
Pick and choose just what you’re in the mood for with Bramon Wine Estate’s tapas style menu. Ask for a table outside in the vineyards to enjoy the beautiful views on the Tsitsikamma mountains or opt for a cosy spot inside when the weather turns.
What’s in the basket? DIY picnic extraordinaire. They have a great selection of cheese, cold meats, pâtés, salads and hot dishes that you can combine with freshly-baked bread and local wine.
Create your own picnic at Viljoensdrift by popping into their self-help deli right next to the tasting room. After filing your basket with your heart’s (or tummy’s) desire, you can enjoy it on the deck, lawns or one of their hour-long river cruises departing hourly.
What’s in the basket? The deli’s fridges and shelves are filled with cheese, pate’s, meat, salmon, biscuits, chocolate, nougat, bubbly and wines to build your perfect lunch basket.
11. Sir Robert Stanford Estate
As sunshine announces the start of summer, the Zesty Lemon restaurant on Sir Robert Stanford Estate starts with their seasonal picnic offering. The lily pond and surrounding lawns with bright yellow benches are the ideal location to spend an afternoon while your children enjoy the jungle gym.
What’s in the basket? They have a couple of picnic menus all filled with homemade South African farm produce prepared with a modern twist. Choose between a luxury basket, or a rustic homey option.
12. Warwick Wine
Deserving the title of the First Lady of gourmet picnics, Warwick Wine have six distinctly different picnic locations to choose from depending on your mood. From old school lawn-lounging to trendy wooden picnic pods, a forest courtyard with waiters at your service, a deck, a stylish boardroom and even an open-air penthouse venue overlooking the valley.
What’s in the basket? Their Executive Chef sources the basket ingredients from local artisans with quality and seasonality being non-negotiables. They have a gourmet, vegetarian / vegan and children’s menu available.
You can easily book out an entire day to spend at Vergelegen, which has become a winelands destination of note. Their upper-class picnic is a white tablecloth affair set amongst their magical camphor tree forest.
What’s in the basket? Expect a gastronomic menu with lots of little fine-dining quality picnic nibbles. Think truffle flavoured farm butter, cured salmon and pastry tartlets. Vegetarian replacements can be organised as well as a kiddie basket and blanket to play on.
For a fun outing for the whole family arrange a picnic at Zevenwacht. The beautiful tree-shaded lawns in front of the Cape Dutch house with a lake in view is a relaxing setting for adults, whilst the young ones can have a ball on the jungle gym, jumping castle and slides.
What’s in the basket? Yes, they have traditional farm house, vegetarian and kiddies baskets available, but their most exciting offering is their braai basket where you get to cook your own meal over vine wood fires.
Pair Hartenberg’s award-winning Shiraz with a lazy picnic lunch set in their tranquil courtyard garden. Ask for a long table under the trees for a sharing feast with friends or request a private spot with blankets and cushions.
What’s in the basket? Dig into fresh bread with spreads and pâtés as a start before moving on to locally produced cheese, charcuterie and jar salads. There’s a kid’s option too and a waiter service throughout your visit.
Other fabulous wine farm picnics to try: Spier, Oak Valley’s The Pool Room, Jordan, Grande Provence, Zorgvliet, Mont Rochelle, Holden Manz, Blaauwklippen, Newstead Lund Family Wines, Lodestone Wine & Olives, Mooiplaas.
Top Picnic Tips:
- Most wine farms request a 24 hour/48 hour heads up, so book your basket in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Your wine is seldomly included in the picnic basket, so make sure you purchase a couple of bottles at the farm’s cellar-door prices before you start your feast.
- It’s often not possible to do wine tasting at your picnic spot, but why not start out with a tasting beforehand or end it on a high note?
- All 15 of these farms only do prepared baskets and kindly ask that you don’t bring your own goodies along.