Wine Estates are no longer just for wine lovers, but offer a myriad of activities to choose from, and having something for the little ones is a huge draw card. More and more families flock to wine farms with their beautiful gardens and play areas, delicious meals and picnics, but what about those that offer a child friendly pairing as well.
Take a look at the 10 wine farms below that offer fun and fabulous pairings for kids, keeping in mind that many of us are children at heart too, so don’t feel bad if this is right up your street. I know I sure don’t .
On the Helshoogte Pass, with mountain views all around, is the rustic and relaxed Le Pommier Wine Estate. They have a vast range of offerings from delicious breakfasts and Cape Malay inspired lunches to country-style accommodation and wedding venues. Plus, they have two child friendly pairings to try. There is a 3 mini pizza and different juice pairing for the savoury side. Or you can try the sweet treat pairing of kit-kats, marshmallows, speckled eggs and jellybeans, paired with 4 different types of flavoured milks. Its colourful, its tasty and well paired. My mini team gave it a 9 out of 10 for the combos and presentation.
Nederburg’s rich history of winemaking spans over 231 years of excellence in the heart of the Paarl Wine Region. They have also moved with the times and brought in other offerings so there is something for all the members of the family. They have an amazing play area with ziplines and swing bridges, or lawn Jenga to try. For the kiddies pairing you can choose from either different flavoured milk or different flavoured hot chocolate to mix with your cookies.
We tried the hot chocolate and cookie pairing, which includes a cranberry cookie with a hazelnut hot chocolate, a choc-chip cookie with a cinnamon hot chocolate and then a vanilla cookie with a vanilla hot chocolate. The mini team gave it a 6 out of 10 as the hot chocolates were super sweet. I think we will need to come back and try the flavoured milk pairing next time.
One of the must-stop spots in Franschhoek is Rickety Bridge, and easily accessible via the Hop-on-Hop-off bus, which is loads of fun. Nestled against the slopes of the Franschhoek mountains, their wine ranges are well known for character and distinction, from easy drinking to elegant. They have accommodation and Pauline’s restaurant to satisfy your hunger.
But lets get to the sweet stuff…. their kiddies pairing consists of an apple juice, créme soda and strawberry flavoured milk, paired with Smarties, sour worms and wine gums. It’s a win, and this pairing was given an 8 out of 10 score.
Bellevue Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is home to the world’s first commercially bottled Pinotage, our South African signature grape variety. This relaxed and beautiful estate has gorgeous wines, a big restaurant, and some of the happiest staff. For the adults there is a pizza and wine pairing, or a sliders and wine pairing. To add to the festivities is the marshmallow and milkshake pairing for the little ones. The mini team gave this pairing a 6 out of 10.
Feel like getting creative with your own biscuit canvas, sprinkles, different colour icing and sweets? Then head over to Eikendal for their kiddies tasting where you can do all of this and more. It’s messy, it’s creative, it’s fun and it keeps them busy while you enjoy your tasting in this gorgeous setting with a big dam on one side and vineyards on the other. This received a definite 9 out of 10 for yumminess, fun and creativity.
One of the names that always comes to mind in Stellenbosch is Spier, as they have a plethora of activities on offer. From picnics and art pieces to eagle encounters and segway trips. Another fun activity to keep the kids busy is a tasting of two different grape juices and an educational activity sheet that highlights the role of insects in the vineyards. The mini team gave this a 6 out of 10.
The Durbanville Wine Valley is jammed packed with fantastic farms, and one of these beauties is Bloemendal. This farm is a family friendly gem, and the Bon Amis Restaurant has breakfast and lunches available with a large outdoor jungle gym and play area, slides, craft tables and a kiddies cycling track. Their sweet pairing includes an apple juice or berry juice paired with either a Bar One or Strawberry & Bubble-gum ice cream cup. Both parings include a box of smarties to sprinkle over and enjoy. A happy thumbs up for a 9 out of 10 here.
You don’t need to be a child to enjoy Koelenhof’s tasting, as these sweet and savoury treats can be enjoyed by young and old. The sparkling red and white grape juices are paired with delicious sweet and savoury treats such as biltong, a chocolate, dipping pretzels, and a packet of chips. This also comes with a fun themed activity sheet to complete before they run around the play area to burn off the sugar. A cool, or should we say KOEL 9 out of 10 for this pairing.
A popular family destination in Stellenbosch, with their music evenings and lively concerts is Skilpadvlei. The farm is aptly named after the legendary colony of tortoises that were found in the vlei in the 1800s. With a relaxed farm style restaurant and country accommodation, they also offer a fun pairing for the little ones. A red grape juice is paired with droewors, an apple juice paired with coloured caramelized popcorn and a pink milk with a kit-kat chocolate. A fantastic combo of sweet and savoury, without too much sugar. After dunking the kit-kat in the milk and admiring the rainbow-coloured popcorn, the mini team gave this a 10 out of 10.
Perdeberg’s has many a wine pairing, from chocolate or marshmallow pairings to their delicious Shiraz and Venison pairing which is running for the month of August. Children like to copy adults and join in the fun, so Perdeberg has made a fun and interesting pairing that includes three delicious shortbread cookies, with icing prepared in an icing bag so they can decorate the cookies to their liking. These are paired with three flavours of Parmalat Steri Stumpie milks to enjoy. A win on the creative side and tasty side. Even some of the adults got involved in the decorating, and this combo received a sticky-finger 9 out of 10 from the mini team.
So although our gorgeous Cape Winelands are renowned for beauty, world-class wine and delicious food, they also have fun activities to keep the kids entertained and often learn something, as you enjoy the view with a glass of wine in hand. Quality time together as a family is so important, so ignite your imagination, find your inner child or get the little ones together for an adventure. See you there!