Vergenoegd Wine Estate is a fantastic family destination in the Stellenbosch Winelands. The farm, under new management for the past year, has been through an exciting upgrade and development stage with the introduction of new activities on the farm. It is easy to linger here all day from the Duck Parade to a variety of Blending Experiences, Wine Tasting, delicious food, artisanal picnics and plenty of fun activities for kids and a playroom. The farm aims to create a journey of unique experiences, creating memories that last a lifetime and they certainly achieved that with our visit.
My family and I had a superb day visiting the farm, with a rustic charm, on a cold winters day. On arrival the unassuming entrance, down the dusty road, might disguise what lies ahead.
The kids, all prepared in their wellies, we arrived at 9:40am in time for the first Duck Parade of the day. The, approximately 1070 Indian Runner Ducks, with very long necks, do the cutest parade around the historic Manor House, much to the kid’s delight and once they have finished their parade the kids can feed them.
Ducks are a vital part of the Vergenoegd Experience and not only bring much joy and excitement to kids and visitors but are an essential part of the eco-friendly farming process. The Ducks assist in the farm’s natural pest-control consuming a surprising number of snails and bugs in the vineyards on their daily patrols. They are a big part of why Vergenoegd proudly carries the WWF Biodiversity Certification.
After the Duck Parade we did a Duck Tour of the nursery and duck pens with Denzel. He is wonderfully passionate and has a very important job on the farm managing the nursery. He explains the whole process from collecting the eggs, washing them, the incubation process, marking each egg, the hatching process and then looking after the little ducklings. So cute! It is very fascinating and informative and it was wonderful to learn all about this process on the farm. Thanks Denzel, we loved the tour.
Next it was time for a Wine Blending experience for mom and dad in the Manor House, while the kids played in the playroom nearby, which has a childminder whoopie! The Wine Blending experience is incredible and informative and Ryan gave us some first-hand knowledge of the complexity of the wine making process, and we learnt about the history of the farm. After Ryan talked us through the blending process, teaching us some interesting facts about the different red varietals, we chose our base and blend and made our very own bottle of wine, which you get to label and take home. There is also an option to do Olive Oil, Tea or Coffee Blending.
After a fun blending experience we tucked into a delicious three course Winter Feast. The food at Vergenoegd is a wholesome and delicious with traditional farm style heartiness, perfect for a cold winters day. There is no menu for the Winter Feast and the three course meal is explained to us by the chef, which is then served on platters for two to share. If you have any dietary requirements I suggest to discuss this with them ahead of time when booking. The lunchtime Winter Feast is served every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and costs R275 per person.
For starters we had a roasted vegetable couscous served with herbed butter, roasted pepper pesto and bread. The main course consisted of Pork fillet wrapped in prosciutto, slow cooked Lamb with Red wine sauce, Seabass served with potato au gratin and peanut bok choy – yum! This was absolutely delicious and we loved it all.
Dessert was a delicious chocolate brownie served with orange ice cream and a selection of cheeses served with bread. Yummy this was the perfect Winter Feast. The food presentation and quality was outstanding.
The kid’s meal was very well done and arrived in a little box for them to unwrap. They had a ham and cheese croissant, a juice, yoghurt and fruit. For dessert they received another surprise box which our lovely waitress kept them waiting in anticipation through the meal to keep them excited and intrigued. Inside was an assortment of cookies, icing and sprinkles for cookie decorating to keep them busy while mom and dad finished off their delicious meal.
The service was excellent and our waiter was very attentive and wonderful with the kids and made sure they were entertained and looked after so we could relax and enjoy our meal. The playroom is right next to the dining tables and the kids were back and forth between the playroom and our table and the childminder and all staff where happy to assist with the kids to enhance our relaxation and experience on the farm.
This was a wonderful day out, and we could have easily lingered here all day if it was not for nap time and the wheels falling off our little 2-year-old. We easily spent 4 hours on the farm with the kids very well entertained and the time flew by with everyone having a fun time. It was a great winter destination for families, we will definitely return in summer for a picnic by the dam.
Vergenoegd was established in 1773 and was the third oldest wine farm in the Cape and has evolved many a farm ritual over the centuries. Vergenoegd means “satisfaction has been achieved” and is derived from the old language of the early Dutch settlers who established the farm. The farm started as a midway station for the early settlers and the Vergenoegd Manor House is a registered historical monument.
Here’s What To Expect On A Visit To Vergenoegd
When visiting Vergenoegd you can easily linger here all day, there is plenty of entertainment on offer. Here is some information to help you plan your day.
Breakfast is available daily, with a changing menu. Delicious coffee and cake is served daily.
The Vergenoegd Winter Hot Pot is a 1 course set menu, served 7 days a week. This unique dish changes daily.
The Vergenoegd lunchtime Winter Feast is a three course set menu consisting of farm-fresh food including veggies and herbs from their garden, set in the restaurant area at the fireplace served every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and costs R275 per person.
Artisanal picnics are available to order daily. Visitors can expect an ever-changing menu and plenty of gourmet discoveries as they feast in comfort on the farm’s peaceful lawns. There are specially prepared kiddies picnics too. Picnic blankets are available or guests can opt for a table.
Artisanal Picnics range from R450 for two people with wine or R395 with no wine.
Kid’s Picnics are R125 for lunch, drink and surprise activity or R75 with no activity.
Duck Parade and Duck Tours
The Duck Parade times are Monday to Friday 9:45am & 3:30pm and Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 9:45am, 12:30pm & 3:30pm.
Visitors can take a tour of the duck nursery and pens with Denzel, the duck farmer. There is a basic research and breeding program in place to keep the workforce of ducks productive, healthy and happy. This is highly informative.
Interactive Wine, Olive Oil, Tea and Coffee Blending Experience
Learn about the source and technique of the Cape’s best food and drink products in a hands-on educational blending experience. Experience wines from Vergenoegd Wine Estate, olive oils from the Western Cape’s Swartberg region, coffees from throughout Africa and an infusion of tea tastes and storytelling. Personalised blended products will be available for purchase to take home after the blending experience.
Experience a range of Vergenoegd’s varietals and vintages in a highly informative tasting. Vergenoegd produces three ranges. The Classic Range, the Runner Duck Range and the Vintage Range. The Classic Range is a combination of terroir, history, tradition and passionate winemaking produce these distinctively elegant, yet well-structured and complex wines. The Runner Duck Range, young and sexy, but by no means frivolous. The unique name and label pays tribute to the flock of Runner Ducks that patrol the vineyards, keeping our vines free of pests. A Vintage Red Wine Tasting and Cellars Tours can be arranged by appointment.
Kids @ Vergenoegd
Vergenoegd is an idealistic destination for kids and families with plenty of entertainment to keep them busy. Vergenoegd believe in good, old fashioned entertainment for the kids. Outdoor games, giant chalk boards, cookie decorating and, of course the Duck Parade, Duck Tour and feeding the ducks.
There is also a playroom in the Manor House and kiddies are catered for with special care.
The Saturday Market @ Vergenoegd
Starting on Saturday 3rd September 2016 (and every Saturday thereafter for the duration of summer), they will be hosting what is set to be one of the most popular markets in Stellenbosch. Perfect for a relaxed day outing with the family and live music events will be held once a month.
Thank you Vergenoegd for hosting my family and I, we had a wonderful day on the farm.
*Prices correct at time of publishing