South African wine harvest festivals for 2013
In celebration of the up-coming harvest season we have put together a list of harvest festivals happening across the Winelands. Not only do us South Africans adore our wine but we also love nothing more than to enjoy a good ol’ fashioned party, and harvest festivals are the perfect opportunity to indulge in both. Book early though as these events fill up fast!
Stellenbosch Wine Festival celebrates harvest
25 January – 3 February
The Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Route will be kicking off harvest season with the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. The festival will start with a Blessing of the Harvest and a Harvest Parade on Saturday, 26 January. Enjoy watching the farm workers parade the streets with their tractors and farm animals. There will also be church services across town to bless the harvest.
Over 150 wineries will be taking part! Estate restaurants will be offering wine and food pairing menus, unique tours and tasting programmes as a part of the festival’s “Wine & Dine” sensation. Other offerings include the inaugural charity gala, a ten-day promotion at many of the restaurants, special cultivar evenings and wine farm tours. Throughout the festival the town will be hosting events, art exhibitions and musical concerts.
The Wine Expo will take place from the 1st to 3rd February on Die Braak, the grassy town centre of Stellenbosch, with over 130 wine and gourmet food producers participating.
For more information on individual farm offerings, visit: www.stellenboschwinefestival.co.za or phone (021) 886-4310.
Stellenbosch: Eikendal’s Weintaufe Harvest Celebration
Laid-back weekend vibes meet family fun on the farm at Eikendal’s Weintaufe Harvest Celebration. Eikendal is known for its fine Chardonnay and superb flagship reds and visitors will get to taste the cellar’s first wine of the 2013 harvest – straight from the barrel, after the baptism of the new wine. Other attractions include live music, craft stalls, lucky draws, vineyard tractor rides, fly fishing, barrel stomping, pony rides and lots of activities for the little ones.
Delicious food and wine will be on sale, so bring your friends, family and picnic blanket and claim your spot at the water’s edge for the perfect ending to your weekend.
Tickets cost R60 per person (includes a complimentary glass and barrel tasting of the 2013 Chardonnay for adults), children under the age of 12 get in for free. Tickets available on the farm from now or at the gates on the day. Event starts at 10h00.
For more info phone (021) 855-1422 or email [email protected].
Stellenbosch: Muratie Harvest Festival
Muratie celebrates harvest with a family event that includes good food, fine wine, great company, live music, and lots of fun stomping the newly harvested grapes, all starting at 11h30. From 14h30 enjoy music, antics and comedy by The Rites (who offer something for everyone).
There is no entrance fee, plus visitors receive a complimentary glass of wine on arrival. Wine (by the glass or bottle) and cold drinks will be on sale as well as food from Muratie’s delicious new summer menu. Hamburgers and cheese platters will also be available. A vertical wine tasting for 20x people will be on offer at 12h00 at R50 per head.
For further information or to pre-book any of the above events, contact Thalia Alberts on (021) 865-2330 or [email protected].
Durbanville: Feast of the Grape
2 – 3 March
Harvesting the bounty of the vineyards is regarded as one of the most important moments in the making of good wine. Wineries from the Durbanville Wine Valley celebrate the harvest season at its annual Feast of the Grape, which takes place at the Durbanville Race Course over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd March from 12pm to 5pm daily. This event marks the end of the grape harvest and the arrival of autumn with a weekend feast filled with an array of activities and an abundance of seasonal wines to taste.
This festival offers visitors the complete package. Old school games will keep young and old entertained throughout the day, and kids can look forward to a jumping castle, face painting and so much more. Adults can sip and sample superb wines from the 11 wineries on show. Try your hand at grape stomping, milking a dairy cow, be amazed at the latest and greatest on offer at the tractor exhibition or simply browse the stalls for delectable local produce on offer. Local restaurants will ensure you’re kept well fed throughout the day.
Tickets cost R100 for adults and R50 for children, which can be booked directly through www.webtickets.co.za. Your ticket allows you access to the venue, as well as a complimentary tasting glass and tasting coupons. Additional coupons can be purchased throughout the day.
For more information visit www.durbanvillewine.co.za or phone 083 310 1228.
Calitzdorp: Hanepoot grape picking at De Krans
13 February – 10 March
De Krans Wine Cellar will once again offer visitors the opportunity to pick deliciously sweet Hanepoot grapes. This experience can be enjoyed every day (except Sundays) from 08h00 until 16h00 during the above mentioned dates. Grapes cost R5.40/kg and visitors are welcome to bring their own containers. Containers can also be purchased at De Krans. The Vygieshof Home for the Aged will be offering delicious braaivleis meals on Wednesdays and Saturdays, between 11h00 and 14h00 (booking is essential). You will also have the opportunity to sample De Krans’ range of award-winning wines (such as their Cape Tawny Port and Pink Port).
For bookings and further enquiries contact Helet or Bessie at the farm on (044) 213-3314 or e-mail [email protected]
Robertson: Hands-On-Harvest in the Robertson Wine Valley
The fourth Hands-On-Harvest Festival offers visitors a chance to partake in: grape picking, bunch sorting, stomping your own grapes, grape vs. wine tasting, a harvest market, vineyard tractor trips, a wine blending experience, wine tasting by horse cart‚. and much more. The group sizes for activities are kept small to ensure that you have the very best hands-on experience. All activities need to be pre-booked by 20 February. We suggest that you visit Robertson for the weekend and book as many activities as you can – there are so many exciting things to do, you don’t want to miss out. Check out the extensive program here.
For bookings and more information you can phone (023) 626 3167 or visit www.handsonharvest.com
Franschhoek: Grande Provence Harvest Festival
The day, which promises a great deal of fun and laughter, starts at 09h00 with coffee and fresh muffins followed by a tractor ride to the vineyard for grape picking. At 10h30 arrive back to the cellar for a short tour, wine tasting and a talk by the winegrower. This is followed by the fun part – stomping the grapes in the barrels, with a hose down of your feet afterwards! From 11h15 gather in the garden under the old oak tree for a scrumptious braai, accompanied by live musical entertainment.
Cost for the day is R295 per adult & R130 for children under 12. Included in the price, is one bottle of Angels Tears wine per adult, to be collected from the event organiser on your departure. The Harvest Festival is highly recommended as a excellent team building activity, special rates will be given to groups of 10 guests or more.
For more info or to book contact Nicole on (021) 876- 8600 or [email protected]
Franschhoek: ATKV Franschhoek Oesfees
The ATKV Franschhoek Oesfees at Solms-Delta Wine Estate, now in its sixth year, is one of the highlight events of the winelands. The festival gives thanks for the end of the wine harvest and celebrates the real music and culture of the Boland, with rural music, lekker Kaapsekos and good cheer.
Artists who will be performing include Mango Groove’s Claire Johnston, Emo Adams, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Hot Water, Tribal Echo, Tidal Waves, Hannes Coetzee and Valiant Swart and Solms-Delta’s very own musicians, the talented performers from the Music van de Caab project.
Kaapsekos favourites like chicken breyani, venison pie, beef afval curry and Cape-style braaivleis will be on sale with Solms-Delta wines.A kiddies area will host carnival games, a circus craft table, face painting, balloon animals and many more.
Tickets cost R95 for early birds during January, R120 per person if pre-booked at the farm or online from www.ticketbreak.co.za or on Facebook.com/solmsdelta. Pre-booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. A limited number of tickets will be available at the gate for R140. R20 for Children under 12 years, which includes access to the kiddie’s area. Tickets exclude food and beverage coupons, which are available for purchase at the event.
Darling: Darling Cellars Crush Day
Typical of harvest, the best time to be busy is before the heat sets in. Arrive at 7am for a breakfast of local breads, cheeses and jams. Take a tractor-ride into the vineyards where you can hand-pick your own grapes and then onto the fun part: grape stomping. The fun doesn’t stop here! Get the creative juices flowing in the label design competition. After all that hard work enjoy a Traditional West Coast Seafood Potjie or Chicken Sosaties. And don’t forget to taste the existing wines on the farm.
Tickets: Adults R220 p/p, Teenagers (13 -17) R150 p/p, Children (12 & under) R80 p/p.
Download the booking form from their website , which can then be emailed to [email protected].
Paarl: Paarl OmmiBerg ‘Round the Rock’ Festival
Kick off your sandals and hike up your shorts for the unfiltered wine fest around the Paarl rock in celebration of harvest. Grab a partner and stomp your way through a half-barrel filled with grapes, taste sweet juice in various stages of pre-wine fermentation, and chomp your way through a crisp ciabata filled with soft cheeses and deli-style meats.
Lie in the shade while tapping your foot to the tunes of a live band. Try your hand at a master class, or sample some gourmet pairings at Nederburg, the official home of MasterChef SA.
Kids’ attractions will include jumping castles and slip n slides, face painting and pony rides, with tasty child-friendly treats to eat from hotdogs to freshly picked grapes.
Pre-paid tickets cost R80 from www.computicket.com, or R100 at the gate. Included in the price is access to live bands, a wine tasting glass, part-fermented wine, and Zweibelküchen or onion tart where available from participating estates. Accompanied minors enter for free, while special events such as master class tastings should be booked in advance, and are payable separately.
Wellington: Wellington Wine Harvest Festival
16 -17 March (tbc)
Wellington celebrates the bounty of their harvest with the 7th Wine Harvest Festival. Spend the day or better yet make a wine-filled weekend of it with family and friends. You can book your accommodation for the weekend here. The full programme and list of participating farms has not yet been confirmed but keep a close eye on the festival’s website for the latest developments.