The historic estate of Boschendal, granted to a Huguenot refugee Jean le Long in 1685, has long been well known for its vineyards and later its winery. Here are 5 things you can do on the farm.
Words Fiona McIntosh. Images by Shaen Adey and supplied.
In the 1880s, when the Cape wine industry was almost wiped out by disease, Cecil John Rhodes, the Cape Colony’s Prime Minister, decided to diversify, investing in fruit farming, which is a thriving industry today, along with tourism.
1. Rhone Picnic Baskets
The Rhone area of the farm home to the main wine tasting area – the Cellar Door – is a hub of visitor facilities. Rhone picnic baskets, made from fresh farm goodies, can be enjoyed by visitors at tables next to the tasting centre or on the lush lawns. Traditional Cape buffet lunches are offered every Sunday at the magnificent Rhone homestead, which dates back to 1795.
2. Tour the Farm on a horse-drawn carriage
You can tour the farm on a traditional horse-drawn carriage drawn by Percheron, Friesian and Clydesdale horses. Pack a bottle of the estate’s wonderful bubbly to make the occasion even more special.
3. Explore on a horse
One of the best ways to explore the farm is on the back of a horse or pony. If you’re overnighting sign up for a breakfast ride up to the game reserve on the slopes of the Drakenstein mountain. You’ll notice that much of the land is still covered with fynbos and natural vegetation. In a commitment to the environment nearly half of the farm is given over to conservation.
4. Explore the veggie garden
Boschendal has beautifully landscaped and extensive herb and vegetable gardens outside the Werf restaurant, which visitors are welcome to explore, as well as extensive free-range farming enterprises, including Angus cattle, pigs and sheep, elsewhere on the estate. Most of the produce is served in the restaurants or is available for visitors to buy at the Farmshop and Deli and the Werf Butchery.
5. Watch the free-range pigs
Boschendal has one of the few free-range droves of pigs in the Western Cape. Look out for them snuffling in the woods behind the vegetable gardens.