Unique and surprising: Wine tastings with a difference

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Unique and surprising: Wine tastings with a difference

Locals share their favourite wine tastings and pairings

Last updated: 21 July 2022

The Western Cape is known for producing excellent wines, and locals love to drink it. So we’ve asked them to share their favourite and most unique tasting and pairing experiences. We have a world-class wine-producing region with many top-notch farms, so there’s definitely something to suit every wine drinker and their budget.


Traditional cheese-and-wine pairings are way too passé for Black Elephant Vintners – it offers something far more rebellious: Every Saturday this eccentric cellar tastes wine to the rousing sounds of rock ‘n roll. Lauren Jeffrey highly recommends this pairing to those who appreciate music. Taste champagne or wine and boogie to classic rock

More to try: If you enjoyed Black Elephant Vintners wine, pop by for Drive-Buy Wednesdays to buy takeaway wine at a 15% discount.
Cost: R150 - R300pp
Times: Every Saturday, from 11am

40a Uitkyk Street | Franschhoek | 021 876 2903 | Image: Tasting Cape Town (@tastingct)


We have to agree with Sally Thynne, that “wine and pies at Imbuko” are at the top of the list of unique wine-tasting experiences. Situated in the heart of the Boland Winelands, Imbuko, meaning ‘admiration for’ in Xhosa, offers a pairing that includes four wines and four cocktail pies. These pies bring you traditional South African flavours, like chicken, melanzane, lamb shank, and bobotie. There’s also a jungle gym and vast lawns for the kids to play on.

More to try: Put your wine knowledge to the test and try a Blind Tasting (stand a chance to win a hamper)
Cost: R90 pp
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm; Saturday, 9am - 3pm

Imbuko Wines | Wellington | 021 873 7350 | @imbukosa | Image: Juliana Pretorius


This family-owned wine estate offers both vintage and non-vintage MCCs, dessert wines and award-winning chardonnays. It also boasts a range of interesting wines such as Turkish delight gewürztraminer, vanilla chardonnay, cherry-choc merlot and a cigar-box shiraz. An exceptional thing to do, recommended by the team, is a candlelit wine tasting of the estate's premium wines in the underground tunnels which were used as cooling vaults for wine during the earlier days of winemaking. How cool is that? 

More to try: Create your own bottle of Cap Classique to take home
Cost: From R60 pp
Times: Monday to Saturday, 8.30am - 5pm

Weltevrede Wine Estate | Bonnievale | 023 616 2141 | @weltevredewines | Image: Weltevrede Wines


For Eonay Terblanche, “Popcorn and wine at Stellenbosch Hills” is a must-try if you’re looking for unusual pairings. Pair hand-crafted gourmet popcorn, with flavours such as cupcake, salted caramel, cinnamon-and-pretzel, and dark chocolate, with four wines from the Polkadraai range when doing this playful tasting. Each session is about 30 minutes, whereafter you can explore the beautiful vineyards. Bookings are advised.

More to try: The Biltong and Droewors Adventure, which pairs cured meats with six wines
Cost: R60 pp
Times: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm; Saturday, 10am - 3pm

Stellenbosch Hills | Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch | 021 881 3828| @stellenbosch_hills | Image: Stellenbosch Hills


The team recommend a visit to Klein Goederust Boutique Winery, the first fully black-owned wine farm in Franschhoek. Its buffet restaurant is in an elegantly restored 1920s building and serves a variety of fresh salads and warm side dishes with braaied lamb, roosterkoek and chicken. Do try the MCC, named after the owner’s mom, a former farm labourer. Its wine tasting rooms are ready to host you. 

More to try: The lamb-on-a-spit buffet
Cost: R180 pp (taste 5 wines)
Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am - 4.30pm

Klein Goederust Boutique Winery | Franschhoek | 076 278 7569 | @klein_goederust | Image: Klein Goederust


This estate offers a variety of wine-tasting options and is loved by the team. Try the Vinoteque Tasting, a personalised tasting in a private room, where wine ambassadors tell you about the history of La Motte wines. Or opt for the Current Vintage Tasting, it includes the estate’s award-winning Pierneef wines. Plus, you can do this tasting from home, order the wines online and book a virtual tasting. But do try to go in person, if you can – to experience the great atmosphere at La Motte Wine Estate.

More to try: MCC tasting or a cellar tour
Cost: From R30 (depending on the experience)
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm 

La Motte Wine Estate | Franschhoek | 021 876 8000 | @lamottewine | Image: La Motte Wine Estate


Reader Janine Mitchell recommends “wine and mushrooms in George”. Houtbosch Wines is set in the heart of the Garden Route at Redberry Farm, a family-friendly venue where the tasting options are broad. The wild-mushroom pairing matches a variety of Shiitake mushrooms with three wines. And while parents do adult things, kids can get messy with a chocolate fondue.

More to try: Chocolate, fudge, biltong or donut and wine pairing
Cost: R75 pp
Times: Monday to Saturday, 9am - 4pm 

Houtbosch Wines | Redberry Farm, George | 066 218 6321| @houtboschwines | Image: Houtbosch Wines


Visit the House of J.C. Le Roux, where you can try Erin Taai’s favourite tasting of “bubbly and nougat”. On summer days, take a seat in the outdoor tasting area – it offers breathtaking views. This sparkling wine pairing includes five wines paired with a selection of nougat and Turkish delight. If you’re under 18 or the designated driver, you can still be part of the fun and opt for the non-alcoholic version of this pairing. 

More to try: A cheesecake or pizza pairing 
Cost: R105 or  R95 (non-alcoholic)
Times: Monday to Thursday, 10am - 4pm; Friday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm  

House of J.C. Le Roux | Stellenbosch | 021 876 8000 | @houseofjcleroux | Image: House of J.C. Le Roux


Jakkalsvlei Wines is a popular destination in the Garden Route area. Visitors are amazed by the breathtaking vineyard and mountain views on the farm. There are a variety of wine tastings, but reader Zelda Gallagher gives her vote to the “macaroon with wine” tasting. Macaroon flavours include honey and lavender, strawberry, coffee mocha, chocolate and cherry, and dark chocolate and salted caramel. Plus, kids can do a meat and juice pairing.

More to try: The prawn-and-wine pairing
Cost: R150 pp
Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am - 4pm 

Jakkalsvlei Wines | Garden Route | 044 333 0222 | @jakkalsvleiwines | Image: Jakkalsvlei Wines


Another team favourite is Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, it offers an affordable wine-tasting experience in its modern tasting room. There are three ways to do this: if you prefer a DIY option, choose any six wines from the estate’s five ranges of wine; if you like guidance, a wine ambassador will guide you through it and then all the members of the group will drink the same wines; or you can order the wines online and do a virtual guide of them. The venue is family-friendly, so bring the kids along to Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards.

More to try: Have a hearty rotisserie lunch
Cost: R55 pp
Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am - 5pm 

Leopards Leap Family Vineyards | Franschhoek | 021 876 8002 | @leopardsleap | Image: Leopards Leap


Visit this wine lounge for a truly unique experience. Reader Tanya Ford remembers having an interesting pairing of “wine and blue cheese at Longridge Wine Estate”. Plus you can have a wine tasting for two at a special price. You’ll get four wines each, paired with a snack platter that includes blue cheese, biltong, droewors, onion marmalade, grapes, strawberries and lavash. Plus, enjoy panoramic views of False Bay and Table Mountain.

More to try: Jasper Raats Single Vineyard Wine Tasting (taste five wines)
Cost: R150 for two people
Times: Monday to Saturday, 8am - 10pm; Sunday, 8am - 5pm 

Longridge Wine Estate | Stellenbosch | 021 855 2005 | @longridgewineestate | Image: Longridge Wine Estate 

By Simone Strydom 



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