For years, local Capetonians called winter ‘The Secret Season’ for the perfect time it is to unveil the wonders of the Cape Winelands in a more relaxed manner, with even friendlier attention than during the season and opportunities for patrons to engage with owners and winemakers once the latest harvest is well tucked in the cellars for nature to take its course.

Most of us, coming from urbanized surroundings, expect and prefer to see vineyards in their utmost glory- greenish with fruit ripening on the vines while the sun fondly storks our air-conditioned skin. On the other hand, people of the winelands appreciate winter for being the time of hibernation for the vines, maturation of the wines and rejuvenation of the soil. It is the time when magic happens. Out of men’s hands, invisible to the non-agriculture eye- all by the grace of nature.

From special accommodation rates to hearty seasonal menus, specific events and small gatherings with wine professionals and stunning events deals, even more relaxed atmosphere in what are the busiest restaurants over the season and time of hospitality professionals to put their guards down and share in-depth knowledge about their venue without the stress of getting to the next visitor.

We’ve handpicked a few examples to dazzle you with the opportunities:

Dieu Donné Vineyards just of the center of Franschhoek is well positioned up the valley slopes providing a panoramic view from Roca restaurant and a few charming self-catering cottages that allows you to experience village life for a few days.

Winter is the perfect season to enjoy Leopard’s Leaps South African Table. An indulgence like no other across our winelands.

Sharing the diversity that is South African food, the Leopard’s Leap South African Table presents guests with the opportunity to taste authentic South African dishes and to learn more about the food heritage while sharing a meal.

A nibble platter will welcome guests at the table, followed by a two-course meal celebrating the typical dishes, ingredients and wine that make out part of South Africa’s rich culinary tradition.

Spend a relaxed hour of food and wine conversations around the generous kitchen table, with Chef Pieter de Jager preparing the food and sharing the stories and history of the dishes. A well-informed Wine Tasting Ambassador will join the meal to introduce guests to Leopard’s Leap wines and their unique South African attributes.

Please take notice that the estate is closed to guests between 17 June to 11 July for the yearly break and that pre-booking for the South African Table is a must.


La Motte is all geared up for winter with a decadent Winter Warmer lunchtime soups menu at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant, looking out over the picture perfect sculpture garden.

At the wine cellar you can chose between the current vintage tasting, the wine and food tasting or best, take your time and book for the Vinoteque Tasting- a vertical, tutored tasting set in the elegant private tasting room, soaked with wine aromas of yesteryear.

Vrede en Lust estate runs a spectacular special for those looking for a mid-year function or conference in the heart of the winelands. A day visit or an overnight stay at the modern luxury accommodation should be complemented by a bicycle ride through the vines- a stunning activity for a soft, sunny winter day.

At Lust Bistro & Bakery on the estate, headed by Chef Jean Pierre Smith, you will meet locals all through the year- a testimony to the ongoing quality. The restaurant is the sole caterer for the events at the estate and participates in the Mid ‘year-end’ Special for events booked in the estate or just at treat bush at the bistro itself.

Dieu Donné Vineyards, Leopard’s Leap, La Motte and Vrede en Lust are also some of the stops along the different routes of the Franschhoek Wine Tram which all together makes it a pure romantic combination: an historic, re-purposed rail, dreamy two story cars and some of the best estates in the Cape Winelands.

Mooiplaas Wine Estate in private nature reserve – now, that the season is quiet you are welcome to spoil yourself and book a guided tour to their private nature reserve, part of the Bottelary Conservancy with Tielman Roos. One of the Mooiplaas owners, a third generation at the estate and a walking encyclopedia with both educational and perosnal experience knowledge about vines, soils, nature and the history of Stellenbosch.

Either in the beautifully preserved vineyard cottages or in the modern accommodation villas, Diemersfontain Wine & Country Estate runs a not-to-be-missed winter special that includes a free wine tasting. Aan Tafel Kontrei Restaurant on the estate is an authentic winelands cuisine experience with a special edition of leisurely breakfast and lunch on Sundays.

The tasting and the exquisite, multiple, award winning restaurant at De Grendel Wine Estate enjoys un-interrupted views of Table Mountain and the city that surrounds it. This estate is simply a must visit to every wine and food lover and always, always book in advance. It is full, all year round so we don’t need to add any more text than that.

For a few years now, Delheim Wine Estate brings back the live jazz and delicious fondue Sunday lunch as soon as winter kicks in. it is so popular that it became a seasonal tradition among many locals. Each week hosts a different ensemble making each visit one of a kind. Make sure to get your tickets online.


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