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Summer in the winelands: 10 must-dos

Isn’t it just the most wonderful time of year? Summer holidays are just around the corner and things are starting to feel festive.

If you’re planning on spending some time in the winelands this summer – which we highly recommend you do – you simply have to add the following 10 activities and experiences offered by our Joburg Wine Club partners to your to-do list.

Indulge in a cheeseboard at Alto

If you’re a red wine fan, no trip to Stellenbosch will be complete without a visit to Alto. For close to a century this estate has built a reputation as one of the most respected red wine producers in South Africa. In fact, their Alto Rouge – an exquisite blend of Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot – is something of a cellar staple among wine-lovers in South Africa.

While visiting the picturesque farm, set against the northern slope of the Helderberg mountains on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, be sure to order a delectable cheeseboard. Each board includes three cheeses, biltong, fresh fruit and preserves, all hand-selected to perfectly blend with your red wine tasting experience.

Click HERE to find out more.

Explore Avontuur Estate during a Farm Walk

Known as the ‘home of fine wines and fast horses’, there sure is a lot to see and experience at Avontuur Estate and Stud Farm. Take it all in at your leisure during a self-guided farm walk, which will take you past the paddocks, vineyards and a range of spectacular views.

The walk is designed to be taken at a leisurely stroll, with plenty of time to stop for photos and really soak in your surroundings and should last between 20 and 30 minutes. All walks end with a speciality tasting afterwards. While booking isn’t essential, it does tend to get busy during the holiday season, so might be best to let them know you’re coming.

Don’t forget to bring a hat and some sunscreen – the winelands can be scorching in the summer!

Click HERE to find out more.

Enjoy a relaxing treatment at Boschendal’s Farm Spa

What’s a holiday without some well-deserved pampering? Get the best of the best when you visit the beautiful and serene Boschendal Farm Spa.

Operated by Wellness in the Wild, the spa offers a quiet environment for guests to unwind, recharge and be pampered and is open from 10h00 till 18h00 daily. All treatments are done using Healing Earth, a 100% organic natural South African product.

They have an impressive spa menu with everything from teen facial treatments to top-to-toe pamper packages. Take note: pre-booking is absolutely essential.

Click HERE for more details.

Try the 5-Course Summer Tasting Menu at De Grendel

Always wish you could try a bit of everything when dining? We have a solution to your problem: De Grendel’s 5-course summer tasting menu.

Available between Tuesdays and Sundays for lunch service only, the menu will take you on a delectable journey of flavours. You can opt for a wine pairing to go with each course, or simply stick to the one you love best. Some of the dishes on the menu include: sweet potato vichyssoise, butternut tortellini, pork belly, tuna tataki, beef fillet and citrus cheesecake.

Enjoy 5 courses with wine pairing for R750 or 5 courses without wine pairing for R545.

Click HERE for more details.

Enjoy an Estate Tasting at Diemersdal

Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Durbanville valley, while tasting award-winning wines at the Diemersdal tasting room. The noble varieties that go into Diemersdal wines are grown under optimum conditions in deep red Hutton soils on the slopes of the Dorstberg. Slowly ripened to perfection in dryland vineyards by cooling sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, the grapes develop concentrated flavour, creating elegant wines with prominent varietal character.

“We’ve got the natural advantage of different aspects, slopes and soils which produce wines that are distinctly Diemersdal,” says winemaker, Thys Louw.

When you opt for the Estate Tasting, you will get to taste any 6 wines from the Matys & Estate Ranges for R50. Not bad at all!

Click HERE to find out more.

See the vineyards on horseback at Diemersfontein

Explore the myriad routes and pathways through vineyards, pine plantations, olive groves and buchu plantations when you join Fynbos Trails for a horseback ride at Diemersfontein Estate in Wellington.

During outrides, owner Katrin Steytler, a qualified tour guide, and her assistant, Carol-Ann Jeffrey, will regale you with interesting anecdotes and provide valuable information concerning the history, agricultural activities and fynbos of the area. Rides can range from 1 hour to half day or full day trips.

If you’ve never ridden before, no problem – Steytler knows her horses well and will choose a gentle-mannered steed just for you. Do take note that novices shouldn’t opt for outrides that last longer than an hour-and-a-half.

The Seasons Restaurant at Diemersfontein provides excellent meals and picnics to riders and the tasting room offers the opportunity to enjoy the award winning estate wines.

Click HERE for more details.

Watch the Symphony Choir of Cape Town in concert at Groot Constantia

One of the festive season’s most charming concerts takes place for one evening only on the lawns of Groot Constantia Wine Estate with The Symphony Choir of Cape Town’s annual Festive Concert.

Taking place on Tuesday, 11 December this year, the choir will be conducted by well-known musical director Alexander Fokkens and joined in song by the critically acclaimed Gentlemen’s Ensemble. Bring your own rugs, low chairs and a picnic and join us under the stars for this once off festive celebration. Picnics can be ordered from Simon's at Groot Constantia, 021 794 1143.

Book your tickets on Quicket

Browse the Pierneef Heritage Collection at La Motte

The La Motte Museum plays permanent host to the heritage collection of one of South Africa’s most celebrated artists, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef.

The estate’s association with the art of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886 – 1957) dates back to early 2002, with the creation of the estate’s premium wine, the Pierneef Collection. There is a strong synergy between La Motte and Pierneef with reference to a love for the South African landscape and nature, Afrikaans culture as well as an interest in the preservation of architecture.

Apart from the Pierneef collection, the La Motte Museum also presents other rotating exhibitions. Currently, guests can enjoy Ink on Paper focusing on the main categories of printmaking, illustrated by a special selection of Rembrandt van Rijn etchings as well works by relevant South African artists and printmakers.

Click HERE to find out more.

Shop local gifts at Lourensford’s Festive Market

Between 30 November and 1 December, Lourensford Wine Estate will be heralding the holiday season with the annual Festive Market.

Apart from a host of stalls offering unique crafts and gifts, there will also be plenty of delicious food, wine, beer, coffee and all sorts of sweet treats.

On the Friday, the market will run from 4pm to 9pm, which makes for a fun-filled early evening outing. On the Saturday and Sunday, the market will run from 10am to 3pm. Entry is free throughout the weekend.

Click HERE to find out more.

Take a drive to Bonnievale

Planning a little roadtrip to the country side? Be sure to stop for a tasting at Lozärn, and meet Salome, the winemaker. You will adore the wines, and her attention to detail. This family farm’s maiden range includes a single vineyard Carménère, Sauvignon Blanc, Carménère Rose and a special Kay's Legacy.

To make an appointment, click HERE or phone 023 616 2972.

Take a cellar tour at Plaisir de Merle

Explore the rich history of 400 years of wine-making excellence at Plaisir de Merle in Franschhoek during a cellar tour. It includes sightings of architectural features dating back to the early years of the Marais family taking up residence here, as well as murals designed to pay tribute to the founders of the estate. We highly recommend combining the tour with a wine tasting experience. Booking is essential!

Click HERE to find out more.

Haven’t had a chance to book your summer winelands getaway yet? Pop us an email and we’ll help put a bespoke itinerary together for you OR book our existing three-day itinerary.

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