Per­fect places for pic­nics

Take ad­van­tage of the som­no­lent late sum­mer weather to head out to the winelands for a re­laxed al fresco meal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODFOOD -

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.

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