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Who said wine tasting and children can’t go hand in hand?

Mom shares years of experience touring SA’s best winelands while keeping youngsters entertained

Image: 123RF/karandaev

Visiting wine farms with children generally does not work so well, but there is a way of skinning this cat. Parents really can enjoy wine-tasting without bored tots.

Meet Hilary Anderson — a mother, adventurer and wine lover who recently relocated from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay.

Hilary and her family have been on a mission to explore and uncover the best of SA’s winelands for more than a decade.

Living in Stellenbosch, the heart of the South African winelands, she was inspired by the surrounding farmlands, leading her to begin her mission.

Her son was born in 2011, and being a wine aficionado, she was determined to keep visiting wine farms and enjoying the experience, despite a baby and then toddler in tow.

She was then challenged by her father to see whether they could make it to 100 Cape wineries in one year — all within the first year of her son’s life.

Determined not to shy away from this challenge, Hilary said: “And so we began this journey with friends and family visiting different wineries every weekend.

“And then I thought, we just had to share these finds, gems, with everybody as family-friendly destinations.”

She said it was an effort-free pleasure to share what they discovered, and it made sense to form a business helping families enjoy the best of wine farms — and so WineTots came about.

Since then, WineTots has travelled the winelands in pursuit of family-friendly experiences, focusing on good food and adventures along the way, while taking variety and value into account.

Although Hilary has vast experience in the Cape winelands, she has quickly adapted to her new turf in Plettenberg Bay and now offers bespoke personalised wine tours as well as family-day experiences in the Plett area.

These are some of her hot favourites in the Plett winelands — all geared to keeping little people happy while their parents enjoy the wine:

*Bramon Winery is a charming family-owned boutique vineyard with captivating views over the Tsitsikamma Mountains.

Bask in the sun while enjoying a delicious family picnic under the shade, or feast on their fresh tapas-styled dishes prepared for the entire family — either way you won’t want to miss out.

*Kay and Monty is a magnificent experience for kids and adults alike, with wine tastings being offered in their tasting room restaurant — an old greenhouse at the foothills of the mountains with a modern feel and rustic charm.

On chilly winter days you can keep warm in the comfort of their fireplaces, making for a cosy social affair.

The pièce de résistance here is the giant wooden Jenga for kids to play with.

And what’s more, they offer a picnic for children complete with a blanket and small umbrella while kids’ food and entertainment packs are available.

*Another Plett must-visit is Newstead Wines. It is a crowd-pleaser for all, with lively summer solstice parties, pleasant picnics in the vineyards, and exceptional wine and MCC tasting experiences.

With no shortage of outdoor space, you and the family can enjoy their famous picnics in peace and privacy while taking in the stunning surroundings.

*Luka Vineyards serves wine tastings and delectable food with views overlooking the Knynsa Elephant Park, making elephant sightings a regular occurrence.

They’re a charming child-friendly venue with a little play area on the side of the lawn and a jungle gym for the tots to clamber on.

Alongside their tastings, they also offer various gourmet picnic boxes that have been perfectly paired with their award-winning wines, as well as picnic boxes for the kids.

*If you are looking for an intimate private tasting overlooking the hills, valleys and vineyards of Plett, then Plettenvale Wines is the place to visit.

Broadly MCC and Rosé, this family-owned boutique estate produces only 1,000 bottles of wine each year — a true reflection of their quality and dedication.

With no specific play area, kids are still welcome so get your little ones to pack toys and a blanket to set up a comfy play-spot.

*Packwood Wine Estate nestled in the beautiful Harkerville Forests between Plett and Knysna is also a place for families to enjoy.

They offer an authentic countryside wine tasting experience and homegrown, fresh produce.

Ignite your tot’s adventurous side with awesome hiking or cycling through the pristine forests, spectacular ravines and cool coastal routes.

*And the latest addition to the Plett Winelands is Bitou Vineyards (situated just outside Plett along the Bitou River) which opened to the public this April.

Stop for a relaxed wine tasting and lunch with views over the vines, while your kids explore the super, new kid-friendly BAKE (Bitou Active Kid’s Eatery) venue next door — the perfect family day out. BAKE is a happy place for children on those rainy winter days with an inside restaurant and a special menu just for kids, serving yummy healthy food and also delicious organic milkshakes and waffles.

From a creative arty-station, to an inside treehouse for the tots, to a climbing and even a games room with air-hockey for the older ones, it’s sure to be a day to remember.

Hilary said: “Visit all these special spots benefiting from our local insight. Let us create the perfect tour just for you, whether it’s for a self-drive or the ‘Full Monty’ with us.

“You’ll find further hidden gems along the way, from warm, toasty fires to magnificent mountain views and tantalising wines that tingle the tastebuds.”

WineTots offers bespoke tours around the Winelands of the Western Cape, from Cape Town to the Garden Route and Plett Winelands.

Contact WineTots: On email: hello@winetots.com or WhatsApp: 079-612-2044



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