The Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival may be the most pet-friendly festival with many of the participating wine farms allowing you to bring your dog on a leash. Here’s a list of the wine farms that were pet-friendly so you can make a note for next year.

When is it? 
This year the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival was held from 28-29 April.  

Where is it? 
The Elgin Valley, Western Cape

How much does it cost? 
This year the tickets cost R150 per person per day, or R200 for a two-day Golden Ticket, which also entitled you to special tastings and experiences.   

Why should I go? 
The Elgin Valley is just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town so it’s not far to go for a day out exploring their lovely wine farms. Plus the tickets are very affordable (wine tastings included) and it’s mostly pet-friendly so you can take your four-legged bestie along with you too.

This year I attended the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival for the first time and I was amazed at how pet-friendly it was! There were dogs to be found at nearly every wine farm on the route. I was suitably impressed as most festivals are not pet-friendly. Out of the 13 participating wine farms, 10 were happy to have dogs on a leash and the organisers even went as far as to mention which farms were pet-friendly in the festival programme.  

I didn’t take Valentino along with me this year, but here’s a list of the wine farms that were pet-friendly and what was on offer for everyone so you can make a note for the next one. I do hope they have the same approach next year as Valentino already has it on his list!  

Note: Some of these images are not mine – the ones that aren’t are from the wine estate’s website or Facebook page.


  • Tasting of three of their vintage wines.
  • Ardis Food Truck serving Egg / Bacon / Cheese Rolls for breakfast and Cheese Beef Burgers, Vegan Falafesl, Hot Fried Sweet Potato Chips and a Chicken Salad for lunch.
  • Home baked cheese or cherry pie cakes, muffins and scoop ice cream also available, along with coffee and cappuccinos.
  • The Classic Revival band played classic rock, blues, jazz and pop in the Almenkerk Courtyard.
  • Large lawns to roll on and a small playground for the little kids.  

The Estate has two dogs of it’s own so your own dog was welcome on a leash if it got along with theirs.


  • Tasting of five wines.
  • Cheese platters.   

Dogs were welcome at your own risk.  


  • Tasting of three of their current wines, being Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.
  • Sushi platter (10 pieces) with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  

Dogs were welcome on a leash.


  • Tasting of their whole range of seven wines.
  • Food Truck serving burgers, wraps and ribs with kids meal options.
  • An ice-cream truck.
  • Live music.

Dogs were welcome on a leash.  


  • Free tastings available, including their new Syrah 2015 which was launched at the festival.
  • Food Truck.
  • Live music. 

Dogs were welcome on a leash.  

Note: I visited this estate previously and it still remains a firm pet-friendly favourite of mine. Read my post on Highlands Road Estate here.


  • Free tastings of their wines.
  • Scrumptious pizzas.
  • Live music.  

Dogs were welcome on a leash.    

Note: Another one of my favourites! Lothian has a magnificent setting and you’ll find it hard to leave, trust me! See my photoblog here.


  • Guests could enjoy Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs under their stretch tent, or under the trees or at one of their pop-up farm-styled lounges.
  • Breakfast at the Pool Room.
  • Lunch at the Pool Room with an a la carte menu, including their famous acorn-fed pork belly with roasted apple, and a beef burger topped with emmental cheese and tomato jam on a homemade bun.
  • Outside Pool Platter pop-up stall with a selection of oak valley cured meats, pork rillettes, duck liver mousse, cheeses and homemade preserves.
  • Homemade rocky road choc bars and brownies.
  • Pop-up farmers’ market with fruits, flowers, meats and more from Oak Valley.
  • Kidz zone outside with menu and selection of sweet treats, along with various activities to keep them entertained.
  • Live music.  

They said no pets allowed on the programme, but I saw a few dogs there so perhaps they changed their minds!


  • Free tastings of their Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and new style Riesling.
  • Informal lunch in the garden – a street food style braai, including some light snacks for breakfast and lunch.
  • Huge lawns for kids to run around.
  • Live music.  

Dogs were welcome on a leash.  


  • Free tastings of their Little Flirt Sauvignon Blanc, Black Dog Malbec and Bordeaux-styled blend, Crackerjack.
  • Paul’s famous beef fillet rolls with trimmings.
  • Belgian chocolates for sale.
  • Chocolate-based activities for children.
  • Live music.
  • Fishing enthusiasts were also welcome to bring their rods and try their hand at catching (and releasing) their Largemouth Bass.  

Dogs were welcome on a leash.  


  • Free tastings of three of their wines.
  • Three homemade South Hill paté’s. South Hill daily menu with healthy home cooked tapas items made from locally sourced and prepared ingredients.
  • Live music.  

Being pet-friendly was not mentioned in the programme, but there were dogs on leashes here.  

Note: If you are on a budget, these guys serve fantastic tapas at exceptionally reasonable prices!

Inside information: 
You really do need to do this over the full two days if you want to fully enjoy all the valley has to offer. So book a night or two in one of the local accommodation options and explore! Plus there’s plenty of pet-friendly accommodation options if you are taking Fido along.

Published May 2018 | Own cost