As the end of June approaches, Cape Town and its surrounds are definitely settling into the winter season! During June - August, the days are shorter, there is a crisp chill to the air and the rain arrives. Locals swap shorts and sandals for scarves and thick jackets. Just because the weather is colder, winter here is far from boring!
It’s the time of year for all things cosy; from nights spent snuggling up next to the fire with roasted marshmallows and a glass of red wine, to warming up with a decadent cup of hot chocolate in one of the region's lovely cafes! One of the best places to enjoy the winter season is the Cape Winelands. There are a variety of activities to enjoy during winter. Whether you want to warm up with a wine tasting, gallery viewing or get your blood flowing outdoors, there is something to capture all interests in the Winelands!
Take a look at these top Winelands winter activities:
Enjoy delicious wine tastings next to cosy fireplaces
Sipping on a glass of red wine while sitting next to a crackling fire is a quintessential winter experience! Make it a wine tasting to remember by visiting one of the Cape Winelands’ wellloved wine farms. Pay a visit to Spier, Glen Carlou, Grand Provence, Delaire Graff, Waterford and many, many more! Make a list of the spots you want to visit and start planning a day trip to the winelands! For a unique winter experience, enjoy a glass of hot glühwein!
Find an alternative tasting experience
The Cape Winelands is famous for its wine - just look at the name! However, the vineyards and vintages aren’t the only tasty things to discover in the region. For a fun winter warmer activity, why not find a unique, alternative tasting to enjoy?
Try the botanical vinegars at Rozendal, taste olive oil at Tokara and find the perfect ice cream and wine pairings at Clos Malverne (this could be a great sunny winter day activity!). You could also enjoy fynbos cupcakes with wine at Delheim, partake in an opulent Russian High Tea at Hazendal Wine Estate and go on a biltong and droëwors wine pairing adventure at Stellenbosch Hills!
Admire the art galleries on select wine farms
Get your creativity flowing this winter with a visit to one of the estates in the Winelands that are home to incredible galleries and art works! Visit La Motte to peruse the museum and permanent gallery exhibitions. Delaire Graff is a premier art destination in the Cape; it is home to the famous ‘Chinese Girl’ painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff which is one of the biggest selling art prints of the 20th century! Each artwork on display at the estate is hand-selected by Laurence Graff.
More notable wine estates to visit include Spier which boasts an extensive sculpture and art installation collection, The Gallery at Glen Carlou which features curated exhibitions of South
African artists, Cavalli Estate where you’ll find a subterranean gallery, and Hidden Valley which is famous for its sculptures dotted throughout the grounds.
Warm up outside and get active!
Any spot of sunshine that finds its way to the city and surrounds is greatly appreciated and it’s definitely time to head outside and enjoy the outdoors in the cooler weather! And pleasant weather during winter in Cape Town is not as rare as you may think! Enjoy a round of golf at De Zalze Winelands Golf Estates, Devonvale Golf & WIne Estate, and the gorgeous Pearl Valley golf course located at the Val de Vie Estate.
Hikers are in for a treat too in winter! The winelands landscapes are topped with impressive mountains and hills. Visit Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch for shorter hikes and full day treks filled with fynbos and waterfalls! Mont Rochelle Private Reserve is a fantastic option for hikes in Franschhoek as there are a range of trails for all hiking levels and beautiful scenery. Admire the scenery, fynbos and flowers that begin to bloom closer to spring!
Better yet, even when the weather is overcast, you can still enjoy outdoor activities along the coast like surfing and kiteboarding! More on that below.
Check out exclusive winter time events in the Winelands
Winter brings with it a number of exciting events in the Winelands! Visit Babylonstoren to get involved with one of their captivating workshops - from food foraging and winter decor to bread making and crafting handmade soap. Experience Winter of Wander - a food and wine pairing evening series at Durbanville Hills and enjoy live music at Lanzerac Wine Estate. Make a stop at Delheim for an afternoon or evening of cheese fondue! (Note: Usually, Delheim hosts Cheese and Jazz evenings in winter; however due to Covid-19 restrictions, these have been paused for the time being. You can book a table for up to eight guests to enjoy a personal fondue tasting for now!). Finally, Franschhoek traditionally hosts an annual Bastille Day event. The town is alive with French-themed festivities for the French National Day. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, last year's event was held virtually and it may be the same case for 2021. Keep an eye on their social media pages for updates.
Follow your favourite Winelands destinations on social media to keep up with winter events!
What’s on in the rest of Cape Town in winter?
If you’re in Cape Town or exploring along the coast this winter season, there are a ton of things to do to keep yourself entertained! One of the most popular is whale watching. Hermanus is the country’s most famous whale watching destination and visitors flock to the coastal town to spot pods of Southern Right Whales from July to November.
While it might sound strange, winter is a great time for all kinds of surfing around Cape Town! The season brings bigger waves, good wind conditions and warmer ocean temperatures. This makes it a great time to enjoy surfing, kitesurfing and kiteboarding.
Winter time is the quiet season for tourists in Cape Town. This means popular landmarks will have fewer crowds. This is your opportunity to travel to the top of Table Mountain without waiting in long lines or stroll around the V&A Waterfront minus the big crowds!
What are you waiting for? Get out and warm up this chilly season with some fun-filled winter activities!