The 5 best family-friendly South African wine estate picnics

South Africa is famous for its award-winning wines and the South African wine regions of Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl are incredibly scenic. It’s worth visiting them even if you don’t like wine. We do like wine but we also like to visit the wine regions and have a picnic there because it’s one of the many great family-friendly activities in South Africa.


There’s really nothing better on a beautiful sunny South African day than a family-friendly South African wine estate picnic lunch packed full of local specialities and treats paired with a bottle of award-winning wine.

South African wine estates picnic at Spier

Who wouldn’t be tempted by this beautiful picnic basket at Spier?

We have been to South Africa a few times and we have visited a fair few wine farms and enjoyed a fair few picnics. With this knowledge, we have compiled a list of our favourites based on their all-round suitability for families, including outstanding picnic food, idyllic settings and lots of fun for the kids in the form of playgrounds, activities and even family-friendly wine tasting where the kids can enjoy a special ‘grape juice’.

Before we cover our recommendations on the best family-friendly wine farms picnics, we just want to remind you that if you are going to sample the wines, pick your designated driver, or take an organised tour with a driver/guide or even book an Uber.

Keeping kids entertained on the wine farm

Kids love space to run around. They love nature. They love food. In fact, we all do. We’re a foodie family. But everyone has to eat, right? One thing we all agree on in our family is that eating good food in the great outdoors is a perfect activity for all of us. And if you throw wine into the mix, all the better! You may be thinking – ‘What? Eating is not an activity!’.  When we’re talking about family-friendly wine estate picnics, we do think of it as an activity – particularly in South Africa – because there is so much more to it than eating. Most wine estates have large, beautiful gardens along with a playground, so there’s plenty of activity for the kids!

South African wine estate Warwick picnic

The boys messing around at the informal Warwick picnic

We found when our boys were a little younger that they had a limited attention span at mealtimes and our meals would be rushed. There would be spillages, and we tried to get out of the restaurant quickly without causing any damage or upsetting other diners! It is a little better now that they are 6 and 4, but with a picnic, there is none of this stress. The boys can roll around on the grass, knock over a glass of water or wander off to have a play in the playground. It is a lovely, relaxed, informal way to eat and the novelty factor of the picnic means the boys try lots of different foods they may otherwise turn their noses up at.

The beautiful scenery of the South African wine regions

There are many wine regions in the south west of South Africa, and in our opinion they’re the most scenic places to visit in the whole of South Africa.

The most well known wine regions are probably Stellenbosch, Franschoek and Paarl, with Stellenbosch and Franschoek competing for the title of most scenic.

Views of the vines & mountains around Fanschhoek

These areas boast soaring craggy mountains, deep blue skies, rows and rows of vines, beautiful purple jacaranda lining the roads and traditional white Cape Dutch buildings.

Traditional Cape Dutch style building

Traditional Cape Dutch style building

Can you imagine a better setting for a picnic?

Here are our top 5 recommendations for family friendly picnics on South African wine estates

Vergelegen

One of our favourite wine estates for all round experience is Vergelegen.  It is located near Somerset West, about a 50 minute drive from Cape Town.

It was founded in 1700 and not only does it have a beautiful estate with spectacular grounds, it produces some top class wines. It has a couple of restaurants (one fine dining and one family friendly), offers vineyard tours and wine tasting and has a kids playground. The picnics are taken in an enchanted camphor forest. Each table (complete with white tablecloth) is quite secluded as you are surrounded by trees.

Enjoying a very civilised family picnic at Vergelegen

Enjoying a very civilised family picnic at Vergelegen

The kids don’t actually sit at the table. They have the option of a blanket or beanbag. We loved it because it kept them entertained at ground level and allowed a lovely peaceful meal in a beautiful setting for the adults.

The boys enjoying their beanbag seating at the Vergelegen picnic

The boys enjoying their beanbag seating at the Vergelegen picnic

You can find up to date menus on the Vergelegen website, but you will generally find home made breads, pates, chutneys, cold meats and cured fish, cheese and a dessert. There is something for everyone as you can also choose Vegetarian/Pescatarian/Vegan (R290).

Picnic prices are : Adult R275pp and Kids R105pp. They are served daily between 12.15 – 13.30 and you need to book at least 24 hours in advance.

If you want to try a little wine tasting before lunch, it starts from R30 and open between 9am and 4.30pm.

After lunch you can have a stroll around the grounds and the kids can have a play in the large playground while the parents can sit and enjoy the view of the mountains in the background.

Some of the lovely gardens to explore at Vergelegen

Some of the lovely gardens to explore at Vergelegen

An excellent spot to let the kids run off their lunch at Vergelegen

An excellent spot to let the kids run off their lunch at Vergelegen

Warwick

The Warwick estate is situated in the Stellenbosch area about 52km from Cape Town. It has an idyllic setting next to a lake with mountain views. Rugs are laid out under large umbrellas and the adult picnics are served on a wooden tray. They provide high-quality produce from locally sourced artisanal producers. We enjoyed their breads, charcuterie, cheese, onion marmalade.

The boys taking a juice break after running through the fountains to cool down at Warwick

The boys taking a juice break after running through the fountains to cool down at Warwick

The kids picnics come in a separate box with a cheese roll, hummus and crudites and a sweet treat. It also included an ice cream cone or lolly. They were so excited getting their boxes that they ran back from the play equipment to eat them, which has got to be a first!

High excitement levels as the kids' lunch picnic lunch arrives at Warwick

High excitement levels as the kids’ lunch picnic lunch arrives at Warwick

One thing to maybe note here is that there were a lot of wasps when we visited which was a bit annoying. They seemed to like the chutney!

The boys getting annoyed by the wasps at Warwick

The boys getting annoyed by the wasps at Warwick

Picnic prices are: Adult R550 for 2 or R300 for 1. Kids are R125pp. You can choose either Gourmet or Vegetarian/Vegan.

Allee Bleue

Allee Bleue is located in the Franschoek wine area about 60km from Cape Town. We gave Allee Bleue a try because it was close to where we were staying in Franschoek (and because we were quite frankly addicted to wine estate picnics by this point in our trip!). It is a little different to some of the other wine estates because it is more modern. We did a quick wine tasting before lunch but the boys were hungry so we didn’t linger over our degustation (check us out learning the lingo!).

The setting for the picnic is lovely. There are a number of picnic tables and you can choose where to sit. We chose to sit near the playground, under the shade of a large oak tree so that the kids could easily run off for a play when they had finished, and we could keep an eye on them while we finished up at a leisurely pace. They provided a huge selection of cold meats and cheeses and olives, salads and pies, chutneys and breads.

The relaxed setting of Allee Bleue with its huge play area

The relaxed setting of Allee Bleue with its huge play area

The kids gave a thumbs up to their cheese and ham ‘kebabs’ and the chicken wraps.

George enjoying his selection of food at Allee Bleue

George enjoying his selection of food at Allee Bleue

One of the great things about the Allee Blue picnic was that it was very informal, and the boys were allowed to bring their own balls to play with. There was so much space away from the other diners that there was no worry of a stray ball knocking over a glass of wine! They also decided to take off their tops and run through the sprinkler. Nobody batted an eyelid.

Picnic prices are: Adult R260pp / R495 for 2 (there is also a Vegetarian choice). Kids are R105pp.

Spier

Spier is another great all-rounder, and one of South Africa’s oldest wine estates, established in 1692. It produces some very highly rated wines; notably their Chenin Blanc. It is located in the Stellenbosch area, around 40km from Cape Town.

The picnics are taken down by the river, but you need to either bring your own blanket or hire them from the estate. Spier focus on locally produced, organic food and you can expect to enjoy a wide range of charcuterie and cheese and pickles, frittata, salads and brownies. The kids will have something simple like a ham and cheese sandwich, root crisps and a healthy sweet treat.

The amazing picnic spread by Spier including a lovely bottle of wine

The amazing picnic spread by Spier including a lovely bottle of wine

Spier is well known for having a lot of activities in addition to the traditional wine tasting. They have a number of restaurants and a craft market. They also have lots of child friendly activities including ‘wine tasting’ and cooking lessons. It is home to Eagle Encounters, a bird-of-prey rehabilitation and conservation project where you can see flight displays. You can also do a tour of the estate on a Segway tours – although maybe not if you have had a little too much wine!

A cooking class for little ones in the children's playroom at Spier

A cooking class for little ones in the children’s playroom at Spier

Picnic prices are: Adult R580 for 2 (with the option of Vegetarian) – this includes a bottle of Spier wine! Kids are R150pp

Delheim

Delheim is situated in the Stellenbosch area on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains and is about 50km or 50 mins from Cape Town. The picnics are served in wicker baskets on cotton blankets spread out under the oak trees by a river. It is such a beautiful setting, very much the traditional picnic setup. There is a wide selection of home-made delights including meats, cheeses, pickles, breads. The kids have a tomatoes, cucumber and samosas with a little sweet treat.


Picnic basket at Delheim

Picnic basket at Delheim

Picnic prices are: Adult R290pp (Gourmet) R250pp (standard) R250pp (Vegetarian). Kids are R40pp

They also offer wine tasting in their atmospheric underground ‘cellardoor’ and provide delicious food platters.

Delheim's atmospheric wine tasting room

Delheim’s atmospheric wine tasting room

It’s not always easy to find an activity or a day out that can keep the whole family entertained, but a family-friendly picnic on a wine farm ticks all the boxes.

Find accommodation in South Africa’s wine region



Booking.com

If you found this post helpful, why not bookmark it, share with friends or pin it for later?

South African wine estate picnics

Wine Estate picnics in South Africa

6 replies
  1. Danielle Ryan
    Danielle Ryan says:

    Loving all this information, Im taking my 2 and 4 year olds in November and although I have been before with my husband this time we need to have a family friendly trip, thank you!

    Reply
    • Jacs
      Jacs says:

      Hi Danielle. Thanks for your comment! South Africa has so much to offer families. We hope you have a fabulous time, and if you have any questions, please do get in touch!

      Reply
      • Danielle Ryan
        Danielle Ryan says:

        After booking all our accommodation now I’m planning more details, if you had to pick 1 of the above to go to which one would it be?

        Reply
        • Jacs
          Jacs says:

          Hi Danielle

          Sorry for the late response..we’ve been away on holiday with no wifi. So this is a tricky one as they all offer something a little different. For food and first class experience, I would say Vergelegen. For all-round child friendly, I would say Spier as there is so much for the kids. For views, Warwick was pretty special. The food was really excellent at all of them so you won’t go wrong whichever one you pick. Hope you enjoy your visit!

          Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] other countries like South Africa who welcome family visitors by offering playgrounds and sumptuous South African wine estate picnics, French vineyards are becoming more […]

  2. […] If you are travelling more widely around South Africa, check out this great guide to wine estate picnics for families. […]

Have an opinion? Please let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *