Cape Town’s culinary culture is alive and booming! The vibrant Mother City recently won first place in Conde Nast Travelers Best Food Cities in the World 2016 and is spoiled for choice when it comes to great wines as it’s surrounded by award winning wine estates. The food found on these estates are either grown on the property or sourced from local surrounding farms. Rest assured that you can expect the freshest organic farm produce and artisanal delights on plate when dining in the Cape Winelands.
In most modern trends, there is a large focus on the marriage between food and wine which is now drawing foodies to culinary-oriented estate doors – with top chefs and winemakers collaborating to produce the modern art of food and wine pairing into a symphony of flavours.
There is an undeniable connection between food and wine each one enhancing each other beautifully when paired correctly. Let us introduce you some of the top estate who have mastered this delicious phenomenon
Babylonstoren is a foodie destination worth planning a trip around. Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm that boasts one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape. Beloved for its magnificent garden that is laid out over 3,5 hectares (8 acres), the garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise fruit, vegetables, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens and more.
Every one of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value. They’re also grown as organically as possible and in a biologically sustainable manner. Fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in two farm-to-fork restaurants.
Babel Restaurant is beautiful. The architecture is a wonderful mix of Cape Dutch architecture with contemporary open glass walls, prepare to be visually lavished and your body renewed with delicious healthy cuisine.
Walk around the luscious gardens, then relax in their Greenhouse Restaurant and enjoy a variety of homemade cakes, artisanal breads with handcrafted cheeses. Don’t forget to check out their amazing deli where you can sample their incredible jams and artisanal delights and stock up on local produce and Babylonstoren wines.
2. Maison Estate
When the owner, Chris Weylandt first envisioned the estate he wanted to create a space that invoked a personal homely feeling paired with all the comforts of life so with the help of the food and wines that he would produce, he did just that. He named the estate Maison after the French word home and the estate grew in culinary fame.
Maison Estate in Franschhoek is one of our favourite spots to sit out on rolling the lawns surrounded by ancient oaks with a glass wine. The friendly atmosphere will have you feeling right at home almost immediately. Browse the deli where you’ll find a selection of delicious cured meats, cheeses and preserves, all freshly made on the farm.
3. Creation Wines
Set amidst the vines and perched high up on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge (meaning heaven on earth) near the coastal town of Hermanus is where you’ll find the gem of the valley.
Creation Estate houses a world class cellar and tasting room, here you’ll experience award winning cool climate wines paired with mouth melting morsels. Their tapas and wine pairings over the years having won awards. This venue promises is a foodie’s paradise- here food and wine come together to make magic.
The estate offers a host of different pairings. To start the day, try their Brunch Pairing – 8 breakfast-themed tapas perfectly paired with premium wines from the Creation Range think: Oyster and grapefruit paired with Creation Sauvignon Blanc and Pork belly, pork and leek croquet and chorizo scrambled egg with Creation Syrah Grenache. If wine after 12pm is more your style, try their 8 course Tapas Pairing think: Duck breast, beetroot, goat’s-milk cheese; raspberry and wholegrain mustard paired with Creation Pinot Noir and Cauliflower, hazelnut, coffee, thyme, blue vein cheese, truffle paired with Creation Merlot. I’ve only mentioned two out of the eight and I’m in foodie nirvana.
Finish the day off with something sweet and try their paradoxical wine & chocolate pairing to complete your journey through heaven.
Vergenoegd is famous for its waddling work force of 1070 Indian Runner Ducks, who you’ll undoubtedly encounter on your visit there. These worker ducks keep the estate in tip top condition when it comes to pest control and are the protectors of the farm fresh produce and wines you’ll get to enjoy on the estate.
For those who like to play with their food, Vergenoegd has a great interactive offering where you can blend your own wine, tea or coffee to take home with you. Use your own taste buds as your guide as you try each of the elements by itself and then blend your unique creation.
Satisfy your appetite with some farm fresh food straight from the Vergenoegd garden at their Cape Dutch styled restaurant Pomegranate or enjoy a lavish picnic on their emerald green lawns while you relax on a classic picnic style blanket enjoying the view with some delicious nibbles.
5. Moreson Wine Estate
Moreson wine estate is a garden paradise located at the end of the aptly named Happy Valley Road on the outskirts of Franschhoek. The tasting room is surrounded citrus trees, vines and a tranquil babbling brook and has delightful rustic charm and cottage appeal.
While you bask in the beauty of the estate we suggest take you take a seat and indulge in 3 handcrafted charcuteries paired with award winning Moreson wines. Each pairing strives to showcase the characteristics of both the charcuterie and wine, and how they can enhance each other. Neil Jewell’s renowned charcuterie is served on wooden boards, accompanied by ever-changing accoutrements. The artisan breads are all freshly baked daily on premises and served warm along with creamy herbed butter.
Take home Neil’s charcuterie, artisan bacon, preserves, and interesting pantry items including Espresso salt and Fynbos Honey Mustard.
6. Le Lude
Le Lude’s owner, Ferda Barrow, named the Franschhoek estate after the historic French castle, “Château Le Lude” because of its beautiful rose gardens. The interior of Le Lude Tasting room designed by Nic and Ferda’s daughter Olga Barrow is styled after the French castle with its gold trimmings, crystal chandeliers, elegant textiles, contemporary French appeal and fragrant freshly cut roses.
Being one of the newer estates in Franschhoek, the Estate was bought in 2009 and was originally an overgrown plum orchard. In 2012 they had their first harvest and the cellar was built as it was time to create some Cap Classique. Le Lude became the first and only South African winery to use the Agrafe® method in its sparkling wines, implying that during the time under bottle-fermentation a natural cork was used to seal the bottle instead of the more widely-used steel crown-cap, the result of this method has becoming the talk of the town luring people to their door. Le Lude, for such a young estate, has managed to put themselves on the map for producing high quality Cap Classique.
Enjoy Le Ludes crème dela crème MCC and Canape pairing while sitting in their sun room with the lullaby of French music flowing in the background. The pairing was created by Nic’s chef daughter Nicolene Barrow and is unique as every canape selection is made to pair with both MCC’s on offer giving you lots of room to be playful and explore.
7. Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate
Morgenster Wine Estate, a thriving olive and wine farm dating back to 1711, produces internationally acclaimed Bordeaux-style wines and extra virgin olive oil (one of the twelve best olive oils in the world). Enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by a flight of fine olives, oils and pastes. You won’t be able to leave empty handed!
Recently Morgenster partnered up with local chocolatier Jane Stewart who produces the finest quality Belgian chocolate and together they have created a perfectly exotic pairing which is a match made in heaven.
8. Hidden Valley Wines
Positioned atop the slopes of the Helderberg this modern estate, built from glass and wood plays host to some spectacular panoramic views. The cellar is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves with over 3000 olive trees, almond orchards and fynbos gardens and is known for being a feast for the eyes and taste buds with their exquisite olive oil and chocolate pairings.
Hidden Valley is known for its premium award winning extra virgin olive oil and flavoursome Kalamata and Noccelera de Belice table olives. Enjoy a pairing of olive oil, olives and bread. If wine and chocolate is your ultimate pastime, then this is the pairing that should be at the top of your bucket list. try 5 wines paired gourmet creamy truffles.
9. Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons
Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons owned by two great families the Ruperts and the Rothschilds and is home to a very prestigious tasting indeed. The five course Wines of the World Wine and Food Tasting paired with local wine and some international Rothschild wines from the exclusive Rothschild properties in France, Argentina and New Zealand make for an experience that is truly unforgettable.
The tasting room at Rupert and Rothschild has to be one of our favourites the decor designed by Christo Barnard and is elegant and fresh. The venue has large open glass windows that look onto the majestic Simonsberg Mountains, you’ll feel utterly spoiled as you relax on the deck with a glass of wine soaking up the views. The estate also has an outstanding restaurant, all food is freshly made from scratch and you’ll be able to experience some exotic South African offerings think Karoo Lamb and Springbok.
To end off, let’s start where it all began: Fairview was the first cellar to offer tastings and sales directly to the public, a movement we can agree we’re all appreciative of. When asked where you’ll find the best cheese and wine pairing most locals will tell you tales of Fairview with its famous goat tower.
If you love cheese, Fairview is the perfect a family friendly wine farm & cheesery that boasts South Africa’s first goat cheese. Located in Paarl, this sprawling estate boasts a population of over 100 does (female goats) that like to basque on the iconic “goat tower” located on the farm. Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, which includes a selection of 6 to 8 of Fairview’s Jersey milk and goat’s milk cheeses paired with 6 Fairview wines.