We spent the most amazing day at Vergenoegd Wine Estate recently. Situated less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Vergenoegd has everything you need for a relaxing and delicious day out. We arrived nice and early so that we could get the full Vergenoegd experience, and were quite surprised when we were only ready to leave some 6 hours later. Our Vergenoegd experience was a day filled with cute ducks, beautiful views, delicious food and wine.
Vergenoegd Estate has been around since 1696 but has only recently introduced all the activities that are on offer today. This includes runner duck parades, wine, olive oil, coffee or tea blending, picnics, cellar tours and delicious food offerings.
Probably the biggest highlight of our visit was that we could really unwind and enjoy the full experience without having to go too far. Each experience felt completely separate from the rest of what was going on, yet we didn’t have to leave the estate until it was time to head home.
Our Vergenoegd Experience
The Runner Duck Parade
It’s always a good idea to start the day with a dose of cuteness. Vergenoegd has a team of Runner Ducks who take off into the vineyards in search of snails and bugs. It is the cutest thing to watch and it was lovely to see so many fans cheering them on along the way. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that the whole family can enjoy together, and there is also an option to take a tour of the duck pens and breeding rooms with Denzel, the duck farmer, if you wish. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed watching them shuffle around the estate.
After the excitement of the Runner Duck Parade, we headed into the manor house to try our hand at blending the perfect bottle of wine. We love a good wine tasting and this one was all about the red wine. One thing we found quite interesting was that although we were “blending our own wine”, we soon picked up that we were being guided through a fool-proof method. The wine blending at Vergenoegd follows a specific measuring process to ensure that you leave with a bottle of wine that is drinkable. At first we thought this took a bit of the fun out of it, but quickly changed our minds when we realized how many horrible tasting bottles of wine we had blended in the past. This way is especially good if you actually want to enjoy your creation one day.
A Winter Feast
After our wine blending, we headed outside for a bit of sunshine and lunch! We had worked up quite an appetite by this stage and were pretty excited to get stuck into the much talked about Winter Feast. And what a feast it was – we ate and ate, until we thought we could eat no more, and then we ate some more. The winter feast is a 3 course set menu that’s all about farm-fresh sharing style food. Think warm breads, hearty casserole, curry, vegetables and homely desserts – comfort food with a modern spin. Chef Ryan brought each course out to us and we loved that extra touch. It’s always so refreshing when a chef is in love with his creations. It just makes you want to savour each bite that little bit more.
Starters: Selection of bread with butter, aioli, mushroom pie and tuna tartare. That mushroom pie was light and crispy. A delicious start.
Mains: Coq au vin, Smoked beef fillet, Thai Seafood curry, Pomme Anna, Sweetcorn ragout, Ratatouille, Peas & beans topped in gremolata. We couldn’t fault a thing. The beef was tender, the veggies were full of flavour and there was enough of everything to keep us topping up our plates for seconds… and thirds.
Dessert: Rice pudding, apricot coulis, creme anglaise and halloumi cheese with a trio of sauces. I’m not a huge rice pudding fan but this was very tasty and the creme anglaise was amazing! The halloumi cheese added a savoury touch but was super heavy to end. I would have preferred it as part of the starter.
After a long day of eating and drinking and laughing, we were quite sad to leave… but very happy to have done the full Vergenoegd experience.
Vergenoegd Wine Estate
Tel: +27 (0) 21 843 3248
Faure, Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch Wine Route, Cape Town
The Duck Parades
Monday – Friday 09h45 & 15h30
Saturdays 10h00 & 15h30
Sundays and Public Holidays 09h45 & 12h30 & 15h30
Wine Blending @ R200 pp and includes your personalised bottle of wine to take home
Winter Feast @ R275 pp and includes 3 courses