Spier Wine Farm is a traveller’s destination of note… and if you think that makes it in any way ‘commercialised’, you are gravely mistaken. Spier is known for its amazing experiences – everything from Eagle Encounters to Segway tours – but it is also a place where Cape beauty, interesting art and good food come together.
And, as our first visit to this stunning Stellenbosch wine estate revealed, it is the Spier picnics that truly steal the show…
After exploring almost every inch of the farm and engaging with some majestic birds, we made our way over to the charming Spier Farm Kitchen.
Inside, our eyes were greeted by freshly baked goodies, beautiful home-ware and of course, Spier’s quintessential Signature wines. A hive of excited activity and farm-to-table goodness, the Farm Kitchen is the perfect place to stock up on goodies for your picnic basket – whether you decide to book a pre-made picnic, or build up your own self-made one right there in the Farm Kitchen…
The Spier Farm Kitchen is where picnic baskets can be collected from 12:00 pm – 14:00 pm and returned to by 16:30 pm. Spier picnics must be booked before noon (a day in advance) in order to ensure that they are ready for collection the following day.
Spier’s seasonal or vegetarian picnics (they also offer a Children’s picnic for R150) strive to use locally produced, organic and naturally fresh ingredients and goods, making them healthy, as well as super tasty. With this in mind, private picnics brought from home are strictly prohibited and no outside drinks or food are allowed.
All of Spier’s ample picnic spots are completely public and work on a first come, first serve kind of basis. However, that said, they do accommodate group bookings in semi-private spots, if booked in advance.
Although you can bring along your own cushions, chairs and blanket for the picnic, Spier can also cater to those comfort needs. They havelovely blankets, baskets, ice buckets and glasses for loan. Deposits and refunds are as follows:
- Blankets: R300 deposit | R270 refund
- Baskets: R60 deposit | R40 refund
- Ice Bucket(s): R150 deposit | R110 refund
- Glasses: R30 deposit (per glass) | R20 refund
Please note: Debit cards are not accepted. Please present your receipt before 16:30 pm to qualify for your refunds.
Spier is one of the most beautiful wine farms you’ll find anywhere, so you’re really spoilt for choice on where to perch down to enjoy your picnic.
We had a secluded spot behind the dam, but there are plenty of benches and grassy oasises to enjoy your picnic at. The dam and rolling lawns make for the most wonderful backdrop – second only to the distant Helderberg mountains.
For our picnic, we opted for the Spring Picnic basket, choosing the Spier Signature Chenin Blanc 2017 (we also each had a bottle of Still spring water).
Summary of the Spring Picnic menu:
“Crispy wood-fired baguette, farm cheeses and preserves, smoked trout quiche and a sumptuous milk tart and koeksisters for desert.” Bottle of signature Spier wine is included in the price.
- Spier Signature Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
- Spier Signature Chardonnay
- Spier Signature Chenin Blanc
- Spier Signature Sauvignon Blanc
- Spier Signature Shiraz
- Spier Signature Merlot
- Spier Signature Pinotage
- Spier Signature Red Blend
What we found inside our Spring Picnic basket:
Cost: R580 for two; additional person(s) is R290 p/p.
- Crispy Hoghouse wood-fired baguette with biltong butter and spiced carrot marmalade;
- Local Camembert and wash rind hard cheese, traditional preserved fruits and crackers;
- Chrisna’s natural marinated olives;
- Spinach, smoked trout and Foxenburg organic feta crust-less quiche;
- Farmer Angus double-smoked bacon potato salad with egg and herbs;
- Lemon seared chicken with rocket pesto pasta;
- Garden salad, toasted seeds and raw apple cider vinaigrette;
- Farmer Angus spreadable salami with pickled mustard seeds and baby gherkins;
- Farmer Angus beef corn-dog with spiced tomato ketchup;
- Traditional cinnamon milk tart and koeksister;
- Our chosen bottle of Spier Signature wine.
In what is a rare instance, literally everything inside our overflowing picnic basket was delicious, providing a good selection of sweet and savoury. Our picnic really impressed me in how wonderfully put together it was and the full set-up was ultra-slick.
We were starving when we sat down and by the time we got to the end of our picnic, our tummies were full and contented, with barely any space for more.
My food favourites (in order) were:
- The Crispy Hoghouse wood-fired baguette with biltong butter (I wasn’t mad on the spicy carrot marmalade, so my boyfriend polished that off);
- Lemon seared chicken with rocket pesto pasta (I could have eaten this all day);
- Traditional cinnamon milk tart and koeksister (I never eat koeksisters but these were delicious, mini ones and I really enjoyed them – but the mini, traditional cinnamon milk tart was honestly the best I’ve ever had);
- The local Dalewood Cambert (always a winner!);
- The spinach, smoked trout and Foxenburg organic feta crust-less quiche (well-balanced and yummy);
- Chrisna’s olives (not usually an olive fan but these were perfectly balanced);
- Farmer Angus beef corn-dog with spiced tomato ketchup (both so, so good but the spicy tomato ketchup has a kick to it, which I loved).
My boyfriend ate most of the garden salad (simply because I was too full by then) and he really liked it. It was a well-presented, colourful and fresh salad!
Our Spier Signature Chenin Blanc, meanwhile, was really lovely. It was my perfect kind of light, fruity, yet still punchy, wine and my boyfriend – who’s not a huge wine drinker – seemed to really enjoy it too. Overall, I think it’s an ideal wine for both wine lovers and those who haven’t fully acquired a love of wine.
Our whole experience was comfortable (we had the full works: cushions, blankets, ice bucket and basket!), romantic (though it would be a special experience to share with a parent or close friend too) and highly enjoyable!
Overall, my picnic experience with Spier deserves a firm 10/10 rating for the following:
- Excellent service, friendly staff and a welcoming environment at the Farm Kitchen.
- A delicious, well-compiled picnic basket, able to suit all tastes.
- A wonderful selection of Signature Spier wine to choose from.
- Comfortable, elegant Spier cushions and blankets (available for loan on the day).
- Stunning picnic spots, with ample space for you to lounge about; let kids play or run around or simply to just sit and enjoy the tranquil farm atmosphere while you eat.
- Gorgeous natural backdrops, in the rolling lawns, majestic mountains, cool boulders and picturesque farm dam.
- A good, value-for-money picnic offering, especially considering how satisfying and filling it was.
Thank you very much to Spier Wine Farm for such a stunning picnic experience! We loved every minute of our time with you and will surely visit again soon in the coming months.
For more information on Spier Wine Farm and its wonderful farm picnics, please contact: Spier Farm Kitchen (021) 809 1172 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit their website or find them for yourself at Spier Wine Farm, Baden Powell Drive (R310), Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Tamlyn Ryan is a writer and blogger, who runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust. Despite a national diploma in Journalism, her preferred niche remains travel writing. She is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and above all else, the great outdoors.
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