This Summer try something different and take the kids with when you and your family/ friends go wine tasting. We uncovered four wine estates that offer a grape juice tasting for children alongside their formal adult wine tasting experience. It is Spier’s kiddies grape juice tasting that first came to our attention through local media and we were curious to find out whether other wine estates were doing the same thing. We went on a hunt and searched out three other wine estates that also serve kiddies grape juice tastings in conjunction with their “grown up” wine tasting.
What we specifically like about the children’s grape juice tastings as presented by these wine estates are the emphasis on educating children on one or two aspects of viniculture. Between the four wine estates children are taught what role insects play in vineyards, to appreciate wine with the body’s five senses and how red wine derives its colour.
But now, the list of the four wine estates…
(As always, please remember to set an example for the children when you go wine tasting by taking it easy and not drinking and driving.)
We start with Spier that has always had a family-friendly approach to every activity presented on the Spier Estate. It was no wonder that the recently revamped wine tasting room with a view on the dam came with the additional offering of grape juice tasting for children. For R35 per kiddies tasting (2014 prices) three grape juices are available to be tasted by the young ones and they receive an educational activity sheet. The colouring-in/ activity sheet is designed around the important role that insects play in vineyards. More information about Spier’s wine tastings may be found on their website here.
Other family fun activities that the family can partake in at Spier are the Eagle Encounters and Segway tours of the farm. Eagle Encounters at Spier is well worth a visit for locals and tourists alike as it is one of the largest raptor education and rehabilitation centres in South Africa.
Middelvlei is very much a family affair and traditional South African barbeque (boerebraai) is served daily at the farm for lunch. Children can be their own little braai masters and take care of their own stokbrood* and marshmallows on the barbeque. The kiddies wine tasting experience is a mini-introduction to the art of wine making and wine appreciation. For R45 and 30 minutes the kids will be taught how red wine gets its colour and to appreciate wine with all five of the body’s senses. The farm also offers the opportunity for children to play in its large sandpit, kick it back on kick bikes and feed the animals on the farm.
The farm serves up a true South African barbeque (braai) prepared the traditional way – a sure hit among locals and a must for tourists wanting to experience true South African braaikos. The farm can also be booked for functions and parties.
* a South African bread baked on a stick over an open fire, almost like marshmallows over the fire!
At Lanzerac the whole family can join in the fun and experience this historic wine estate in town in its full splendour. A recent addition of a deli, new tasting room and picnic area on the terrace is a breath of fresh air on the traditional wine estate. In keeping with the historic importance of the site the new addition does not take away from the rich history, but modern luxuries and amenities are subtly introduced and the decor is modern with a touch of the old grandeur.
Lanzerac serves wine and chocolate or cheese pairings for adults and a children’s juice pairing consisting of a red Grapetizer* served with three chocolates. The tasting room is adjacent to the deli and afterwards patrons can enjoy some delicious pastries, cheese & cold meat platters for breakfast or lunch. Picnics are available to order from the deli and can be enjoyed in the deli’s garden. Two things we like about Lanzerac is the fact that it is situated right in town and that the tasting room is so close to the deli that it rather becomes an extension of the deli itself. This makes it easy for families and visitors to make the transition from breakfast or lunch to a wine tasting (or vice versa).
* a South African brand of grape juice
In Franschhoek the Grande Provence Estate is known for being a family-friendly destination. For R20 per child a red and white grape juice tasting is offered together with colouring-in activities so parents can make the most of their wine tasting experience. There is a jungle gym for children on the estate but it is not situated near the tasting area and you will have to accompany your child to it. However, there is plenty of lawn space around the tasting area for the children to run around and still be “seen”.
Do take note that the children’s juice tastings have to be booked in advance. The venue advises that one day in advance is sufficient for arrangement of a children’s tasting.