Is there any better way to spend a summer’s day than with a picnic in a pretty place? Nope, there isn’t!! Now make that pretty place an award-winning wine farm and you’re set for an all round excellent day!
We were very lucky indeed to spend one such day on a recent Saturday at the picturesque Hartenberg Wine Estate near Stellenbosch…
After a few hectic weeks of unpacking and sorting and unpacking and rearranging it was pure bliss to have an afternoon to do absolutely nothing. The only thing on our agenda was to lounge around on a picnic blanket under the dappled shade of a weeping willow tree, dipping into a box of delicious delights.
But first, a visit to a wine farm is not complete without a wine tasting, so we popped into the tasting area of Hartenberg before meandering down through the garden to select our picnic spot on the rolling lawns…
Hartenberg is known to produce some of the best Shiraz in the world and we knew we couldn’t leave without trying a few of their latest vintages… and a glass or two of their white wines too.
We’ve enjoyed lunch under the vine covered patio at Hartenberg before which was great, but the highlight of a trip to Hartenberg is hidden down the garden path and over the wooden bridge….
The gardens here are the perfect summer lunch setting and, as it’s still early in the season, we had our pick of picnic spots!
The beauty of a picnic at Hartenberg is that you just arrive! No cooking and packing. No blankets or cutlery. You don’t have to bring anything other than yourselves. Blankets and large cushions are laid out on the lawn while those looking for a more sophisticated picnic experience can choose to sit at a beautifully laid table.
We settled in to enjoy the authentic picnic experience on the ground and enthusiastically received our pre-packed picnic boxes. A box to share for the adults and 2 individually packed picnics for my kids…
Our picnic box was filled with the most delicious locally sourced and free-range items, including fresh bread, snoek pâté, beautiful local cheeses and charcuterie and a tasty tomato pesto. A gourmet sandwich, 2 x delicious quiches and freshly prepared salad ensured that we did not go hungry. (Each of these items come with a choice of 3 options including vegetarian options) We finished off our indulgence with 2 deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecakes presented in Consol jars.
The kids picnic packs were the perfect combination of healthy and tasty…. a mini box juice, crumbed chicken strips, sweet potato wedges and a huge chocolate brownie that was a highlight!!
Another fun element of spending the afternoon at Hartenberg are the outdoor games dotted across the lawns. My kids made a bee-line for the life-size Jenga and other guests enjoyed a game of boule. The whole vibe of the afternoon was relaxed and we lazed around for much longer than we expected after our picnic, soaking up the scenery and sounds of the winelands.
The kids ran off to discover the kids play area and trampoline while we had a few quite moments to chat but the highlight of the afternoon was actually the quality family time we spent together – laughing, playing, eating, chilling. We hadn’t had a Family Fun Day in a while, and, although this was a bit more low key than the usual high activity ones, it was so welcome. We all had the very best time just being with each other as a family of 4. All too often our weekends are filled to capacity with birthday parties and sports matches and church commitments and braai’s with friends – all good things to be sure, but sometimes too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing. It’s so important to spend down time with just your inner circle. Chatting and chilling, getting to know each other on a deeper level, and making connections and memories that will last a lifetime. This afternoon felt like a deposit in the family bank. I’ll be prioritizing ones just like it in future!
The cost of the picnic is R195 per person and includes a bottle of estate wine to share between two.
Picnic boxes for kids under the age of 12 cost of R80 per child.
Contact Hartenberg Wine Estate
Tel: +27 21 865 2541
GPS Co-ordinates: 33° 52′ 44.94″ S | 18° 47′ 32.73″ E
Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday 09:00 – 16:00
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00
Lunch is served: 12:00 – 15:00
Open except Christmas Day, New Years day and Good Friday
Underground Cellar Tours by appointment only (Monday to Friday).
Images: Kathryn Rossiter