Perfect places for picnics
Take advantage of the somnolent late summer weather to head out to the winelands for a relaxed al fresco meal
dubbed Black Lady. But don’t neglect the estate whites, a lean, minerally sauvignon blanc and a mouth-filling chardonnay, as possible picnic companions.
Make your choice to pair with gourmet salads, tabbouleh, humus, poached chicken breast with truffled mayo and local charcuterie. The picnic box also contains paté and camembert, chocolate brownies and watermelon preserve, plus traditional winegums.
Children’s picnics cost R49 while the adult treat is R299, which serves two or three, depending on appetite. The optional safari is R50 a head, with children free. Warwick is the first Stellenbosch estate to be open for visitors every day of the year. To book, ring 021 884 3144.
If Franschhoek is your choice of destination, Rickety Bridge offers picnic baskets at R135 a head and blankets to spread on the lawns between their vines, from 10am to 5pm. When I was there the menu had a distinct Med theme. The new vintage chenin and rosé will make perfect partners.
Nederburg offers picnics every day except Mondays, and their charge of R140 a head gives diners a satisfying menu with vegetarian alternative, while children’s fare costs R55.
The picnic basket from Buitenverwachting is a perennially popular choice, for which booking is essential.
It costs R110 for adults, R45 for children under 10 and is open every day except Sundays.
Those looking for a more affordable option can settle for one of the farms where visitors can bring their own feasts and buy wine and grape juice at the cellar – this is true of many a boutique cellar, so it’s worth checking out facilities.
Devotees of hanepoot grapes can head to Calitzdorp in 10 days and pick their fill in the vineyards of De Krans daily except Sundays until the end of February. Your sweet harvest will cost you R4.50 a kilogram.
Make your excursion on a Wednesday or Saturday and you can enjoy a braaied brunch or lunch for R45 a head, prepared by the local seniors’ home, washed down with one of the cellar’s many enjoyable wines. Phone 044 213 3314 to book.
Talking of braais, cities in Europe, Britain, Scandinavia, Latin American and the Far East will make the venues for a series of midyear barbecues hosted by Wines of South Africa for key figures in our export markets.
South African chefs and winemakers will be invited to these televised events which will co-incide with big matches during the World Cup. There will be a permanent souvenir as well. A cookbook of braai recipes, al fresco delights created by Cape winemakers, is being assembled to complement their wines. The compilation will be available locally as well as abroad.
WINE SAFARI: Rocking through the vineyards spotting grape varietals.
PORTABLE FEAST: Picnics can be savoured at a choice of venues.
SALAD AND SAUVIGNON: Try the gourmet couscous and rocket salad with pairs well with sauvignon blanc.