The Western Cape is most often associated with warm weather, beaches, quaint coastal towns, bustling neighbourhoods and wine farms drenched in sunshine. As winter arrives from mid-May onwards, this changes! Cape Town and the wider Western Cape take time to chill out in the cooler weather.
As autumn drifts into winter, a change of season is clearly in the air. Trees lose their leaves, the days are shorter and the early mornings and evenings are much, much cooler. It may seem like there is not too much activity taking place as the Western Cape goes into hibernation mode during winter but don’t be fooled… There is still loads of fun to be had during the colder weather! You’ll need a way to warm up as winter approaches. These 7 winter wine festivals across the Western Cape are the perfect way to do so!
Top wine festivals to enjoy in the Western Cape this winter:
Nuy Valley Festival, 14 May 2022
Head to the charming Nuy Valley in mid-May to celebrate the end of the harvest season! Situated 13km from Worcester about 1 ½ hours from the Cape Town city centre, the vineyards, olive groves and mountain backdrops make Nuy Valley one of the most beautiful, hidden gems of the Cape Winelands!
Enjoy this outdoor family-friendly festival complete with activities for the kids, award-winning wines and fine country food. There will be wine and olive tastings, craft beers, live music, trail runs and more! The 2022 event will be hosted by Nuy Winery at Nuy on the Hill, Willow Creek Olive Estate, Leipzig Country House and Winery and Lions Creek Olive Estate. You can catch a tractor between wine farms to see it all! Take a look at the Nuy Valley Festival event website for more information.
Stoep Sitting in Graaff-Reinet, 26 - 29 May 2022
Technically Graaff-Reinet is not located in the Western Cape, however, we couldn’t leave this quirky event off the list! Located in the Karoo in South Africa’s Eastern Cape (just over 6 ½ hours drive from Cape Town), is Graaff-Reinet - the country’s fifth oldest town. Every winter, Graaff-Reinet hosts the Stoep Tasting Wine Festival. The event began as such: 5 wine producers came to town one year and hosted tastings on the stoeps (a name for a veranda at the front of a house) of local businesses. The people loved it! Today, it has grown into a major event with winemakers from across the country participating! It’s not only wine… visit and enjoy tastings of local produce, beverages, meals and more. See the Graaff-Reinet website for more info.
Vintage & Vine Faire in Tulbagh, 28 May 2022
Hosted at Morgansvlei Country Estate, the Vintage and Vine Faire in Tulbagh showcases the world-class wines, olives and rich cultural heritage of the Tulbagh Valley.
Visit Morgansvlei Country Estate in Tulbagh (1 hour and 20 mins from Cape Town city centre) for a fun-filled day out! Meet the winemakers, taste local produce and enjoy the live music and entertainment. Find ticket information and event details on the Tulbagh tourism website.
Retro Rouge Festival, 4 June 2022
Travel to Muratie Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch winelands to experience a vintage wine festival! Sample a variety of Muratie’s vintage wines and enjoy a day of festivities. There will be wine tastings (of course!), great local cuisine and live music to complete the day.
Check out the Muratie website for event details and ticket information.
Calitzdorp Expressed, 17 - 19 June 2022
Are you a port wine lover? This event is for you! Calitzdorp Expressed is a weekend full of wine tasting, local cuisine, cooking competitions and outdoor events! The event is hosted in the “port wine capital” of South Africa and was previously known as Calitzdorp Uncorked. Over the years, it has expanded to include a range of South Africa wines, gin, food and more. There are 31 venues involved in the 2022 events and a Catizdorp Expressed passport is the best way to get a taste of all of the exciting events.
Located just over 4 hours from Cape Town, Calitzdorp Expressed looks set to be the perfect weekend excursion for winter time! Check out the Calitzdorp Expressed event Facebook page for more information.
Christmas in Winter in Tulbagh, 25 - 26 June 2022
Shake out those Santa hats and Christmas lights… It's almost time to celebrate Christmas in June! While South Africa has the unique privilege of celebrating Christmastime under the sunshine during our summertime, it does mean we miss out on the classic traditions of a chilly Christmas in winter. However, now you can enjoy the best of both worlds! Christmas in Winter hosted in Tulbagh gives you the chance to warm up and celebrate Christmas early!
Visit between 25 - 26 June 2022 and look forward to Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, traditional Christmas dinners and even a Winterland Blues Festival! Christmas celebrations are combined with a wine festival as local winemakers host a variety of events. It’s the perfect combination of fun for the whole family! Check out the Tulbagh Tourism website for more information about Christmas in Winter.
Bastille Festival in Franschhoek, 16 - 17 July
Finally, practice your French in anticipation of the Bastille Festival hosted in Franschhoek. Bastille Day is France’s national day. Franschhoek is South Africa’s own “French corner” as this town was settled by the French Huguenots centuries ago. Therefore, thanks to the strong French roots in the town, Franschhoek embraces Bastille Day celebrations with gusto!
The town dons red, white and blue for a celebration of its French heritage. The Food and Wine Marque can be explored along Franschhoek’s main road and you can look forward to fine wine, food and revelry during the Bastille Festival! Keep an eye on the Franschhoek tourism website for further updates on the event.
Are you ready to shake off the winter blues and head out to enjoy these wine festivals? Fantastic! They are sure to be full of fun and memories, whether you are a local or visitor. Be sure to check out the various event websites to secure tickets (where necessary) and confirm times and dates. Look forward to an unforgettable winter in the Western Cape!