08 Mar What to wear on a wine tour
The most important elements of a good wine tour are obviously the wine and the experience garnered at each destination. However, dressing for the occasion can greatly affect the extent to which we enjoy ourselves.
Depending on the season of your visit to South Africa, your wardrobe of choice will differ greatly and considering the varying monthly changes of our climate will help you to pack and dress accordingly. However, it’s not just the weather that needs to be planned for and here are several guidelines to adhere to when deciding what to wear on a wine tour:
- Lock onto Layers: Whether you travel to Cape Town during summer or winter, be sure to prepare for the varying weather changes we can have in just one day. During Summer, heat and wind can be at their most prevalent so opt for light fabrics you can layer up to protect you from the elements. For the cooler months of June, July and August don’t be fooled into wearing thick, heavy clothing. You won’t want to lug around a large jacket so rather choose a t-shirt or shirt, and gradually add light layers which you can easily remove should you get warmer at each stop. It’s important to choose fabrics that don’t crease as you will be travelling between wineries.
- Keep your feet happy: Whilst most wineries have dedicated tasting areas with seating, you may want to walk around the cellar, tour the vineyards, and you may have to walk over gravel, grass and cobblestone to some destinations. Choose comfortable shoes such as loafers, sandals or even sneakers. For winter, boots are a good choice.
- Drop the baggage: Rather than trying to manhandle cumbersome items on and off transport and through wineries, choose to minimize what you haul around. At each tasting, you may be sitting, or standing, trying to read brochures, enjoy food and wine pairings, and of course, holding various wine glasses. Pick a bag with a strap that only holds the essentials and that can be swung over your body and out of the way.
- Lip Service: This may seem like a strange addition to a “what to wear list” but the constant drawing of your glass to your mouth means that if you choose to wear lipstick, you will be leaving behind remnants and needing to continually reapply. Use a lip salve/balm/ChapStick to minimize time spent fussing with your appearance and to keep your focus on the important things…the drinking.
Don’t be the scent of attention. You will be smelling a lot of wine and trying to analyse and acknowledge distinct notes and fragrances – you do not want the smell of your perfume to interfere with this. Not wearing an overtly potent perfume is also a courtesy to the other members in your group as the only lasting impression they probably want is of the wines they enjoyed and not Chanel No5.
Should you be following a winery visit with a lunch or dinner at one of the many award-winning restaurants in the Cape Winelands, keep the location in mind when choosing how casual you wish to go. Overture at Hidden Valley and the restaurant at Delaire Graff require a touch of elegance to your dress code – think chinos rather than shorts. If comfortable dining is your dream, the picnics at Boschendal and Warwick would be best enjoyed with long skirts, flat shoes and a touch of Great Gatsby chic.
Whilst these guidelines are a great idea to follow, the most important thing is to focus on enjoying the tour, to be comfortable and not wear or carry anything that is too high maintenance.