Winter Activities in the Cape Winelands

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May 26th, 2010

Franschhoek, South Africa’s food and wine capital is rich in enjoyable winter pursuits.

The arrival of the Cape’s rainy season ushers in a host of warming experiences to keep the winter blues at bay. The Cape Winelands offers a surfeit of winter-compatible activities and attractions.

Nestled beneath the Drakenstein Mountain range, the Franschhoek Valley is the ideal location from which to enjoy the beauty of winter in the Cape Winelands.

The Franschhoek wine route is home to many celebrated wine estates, offering warm hospitality and a wealth of winter experiences and attractions. Spend your winter days at picturesque wine farms, warmed by crackling fires and frequented by discerning food and wine enthusiasts.

Visit Franschhoek for winter indulgences

Enjoy cosy dining in well-appointed restaurants with menus rich in hearty dishes and full-bodied wines.

Franschhoek restaurants offer winter menus featuring traditional Cape dishes with a modern twist. Afrikaner ‘boerekos’ dishes are firm South African favourites, especially during the winter months. These satisfying spreads are infused with distinct Cape Malay and traditional European flavours. Aromatic Cape Malay influenced cuisine is spicy with a hint of sweetness, the perfect comfort food for chilly winter days. Round off your winter indulgences with Dutch-inspired malva pudding, served warm, and draped in custard.

Dining in the Cape Winelands is incomplete without a glass of fine wine. Franschhoek boasts award-winning wines of varying intensities and distinctive styles. Rich reds, fruity whites and rosé blends complement a variety of winter dishes. Those with more adventurous palates can indulge in experimental wine varieties and warming port innovations.

Winter is wine tasting season

The Franschhoek Valley is one South Africa’s premier wine–producing regions, and visitors come from far and wide to sample the fruits of the Cape. Wine estates offer distinctive wine tasting experiences, from informal tastings under the Oaks to interactive cellar tours with knowledgeable connoisseurs.

Food and wine pairing

Cold, rainy weather sets the perfect backdrop for food and wine tasting in fire-lit venues. Experience food and wine pairing, coordinated by top chefs and winemakers. Pairing experiences can be enjoyed as a group, a great idea for winter socialising with family and friends.

Taste a synthesis of the flavours of African, Asian and European cuisine, precisely matched to complementary wines. A fusion of Cape wines and culinary delights are presented while chefs impart handy food and wine pairing tips.

Pairing menus are created to enhance dining experiences. Awaken all of your senses with fragrant foods, the nose of fine wines and a burst of harmonising flavours.

Explore Franschhoek vineyards and cellars

For those with an interest in history, guided wine tours in the Franschhoek vineyards are informative and exceed conventional wine tasting experiences. Resident farm workers regale guests with fascinating stories and cultural insights as they stroll through the vineyards. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for these walking tours, and it’s advisable to bring along a raincoat.

After exploring the vineyards, guests are lead to wine cellars, where they will have the opportunity to connect with winemakers and discover viticulture techniques and winemaking secrets.

Indoor activities

Winter is the ideal time to visit museums and historical buildings. These cultural excursions open your mind to the customs and events of yesteryear. Explore the history of the Cape Winelands, from the development of human settlements and the roots of colonial viticulture to vestiges of Cape Malay slavery and the apartheid era at the museums in Franschhoek.

Visit Franschhoek this winter

The ever-present beauty of Franschhoek cannot be overshadowed by cloudy conditions. Cosy wine estate interiors, fine food and an unlimited choice of acclaimed wines await visitors to the Cape Winelands. Savour all that Franschhoek has to offer this winter.

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