Nestled between the towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek at the enclave of the Simonsberg Mountain is family-owned wine estate, Vrede en Lust.
Dating all the way back to 1688, this historic gem, its name derived from the Dutch term for ‘Peace and Passion’ is certainly is one worth visiting. With cellar tours, generous wine tastings, panoramic views of the vineyards and their buzzing Lust Bistro and Bakery – casual wining and dining on a summer day just couldn’t get better.
In Love with Lust Bistro & Bakery
The heady scent of freshly baked bread wafted us into the bustling bistro where we stopped for a spontaneous pre-wine tasting bite.
The menu is extensive and hearty, with a full list of fresh salads, pizzas, bistro-style starters and mains that change daily, and, of course, delicious baked goods and desserts! They even serve breakfast all day- wonderful for those whose love for eggs benedict knows no time limit.
We started with a shared cheese platter and thoroughly enjoyed the abundant spread and unusual sunflower and fig pate. As it was a scorcher of an afternoon, we opted for salads as our mains, the Salt-Roasted Beetroot and Barley option a firm favourite of the table.
Vrede en Lust’s estate wines are all available to order by glass or bottle, and each meal also comes with a suggested wine pairing which we found to be a helpful touch.
Tummies lined and ready to taste wine, we took our leave past the wood oven that produces their display of moreish baked goods. I couldn’t help but order a slice of cheesecake to go and confess that it may not have lasted the drive home.
Wine Tasting with Panoramic Views
Flanked by rows of white roses in full bloom, Vrede and Lust’s gorgeous wine tasting cellar and patio offer spectacular views of the vineyards and mountains beyond. Those visiting on balmy days are welcome to flop down on squashy couches, shaded under their plaza. The roof also doubles up as part of their sustainable solar power system – the biggest of its kind in the South African wine history and the means by which they’ve managed to half their carbon footprint.
When our tasting flight began with a generous glass of their just released Sarah Bubbly By Nature sparkling wine (so named for the estate owner’s lively daughter), paired with freshly baked macaroons, we knew we were in for a treat.
Our vivacious host (part of a team known as the Red Ladies – for the red dresses) guided us through our tasting flight of six wines. Their range is extensive, sourced from their vineyards in Simonsberg and Elgin, and blended by their award-winning winemaker, Susan Erasmus. If you’re looking for something a little more out of the box, do try their Viognier as well as their Mochalate Malbec- with a nose of rich chocolate and coffee that is simply irresistible.
While we opted for the basic wine tasting at R40 per person, visitors can also choose from their Lindt chocolate and wine pairing, or paired platter options – ordered from the bakery.
Join in the Harvest Festival Fun!
Vrede en Lust will be celebrating their summer harvest with a festival of fun on 11 March 2017. With live music, wine stomping, exclusive fruit and wine pairings, cellar tours, kiddies’ entertainment as well plenty of food stalls to choose from, this is one festival you won’t want to miss.
Tickets are available via Webtickets here.
Visit Vrede en Lust
- Vrede en Lust is open 7 days a week for tastings, from 10 am – 5 pm.
- Cellar tours need to be arranged prior to visiting.
- Read more about their wines and rich history on their website here.
Book Your Seat at Lust Bistro and Bakery
- Lust Bistro and Bakery is open from 7:30 am – 5 pm, Monday to Saturday and 8 am – 4 pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
- Book your table by calling +27 21 874 1456 and visit their website to view their summer menu.
Keen on extending your Franschhoek exploring? Read more about our MCC Route experience.
Blog post by: Tarah Darge