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Events

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ROBERTSON WINE VALLEY – THE DESTINATION THAT LIVES UP TO EVERY EXPECTATION

 

 

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It’s  a beguiling valley, beautiful, spacious, offering compelling reasons as to why visitors should taste its lifestyle, Pretty towns and magnificent farms offer a broad palette, bisected by the iconic Breede river that winds placidly through the countryside. The Langeberge frame the eastern aspect, the Sonderend mountains ripple coastwards and local hills rear up to add diversity to the landscape.

The valley’s delicous wines, fine country fare, famous stud farms and rose-strewn gardens are renowned.  Even more important is the widespread hospitality which is allied to a down-to-earth disposition that is characteristic of most valley dwellers. Locals welcome travellers with warmth, make sure they are happy, and combine quality service and products with value for money. What more could anyone expect?

Now with harvest in full swing across the wine regions of the Western Cape, Robertson farms and cellars make time to slow the pace, to offer visitors cellar and vineyard tours, tastings and more:

The 2017 Hands-on Harvest is scheduled for the second weekend of March: From Friday 10 – Sunday 12  when more than 20 venues are offering an appetising range of activities.

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 Take part in harvesting, from picking and stomping to blending and tasting. Adrenalin junkies can also take to sky-diving and rock climbing, hiking and biking, cruising and boules. Those who favour more leisurely pursuits can focus on venues for  brunch or lunch, take in tastings casual or tutored, sample wines from garagiste through boutique to the vintages from giant cellars with endless rows of steel tanks. Groups can be as intimate as four or up to 30 – choose your preference.

Add a visit to a small distillery for sampling world-class grappa and eaux de vie, and make sure you don’t leave the valley without visiting the first Harvest b2ap3_thumbnail_hoh-1.jpgFamily Market: This takes place on the Breede river banks at Viljoensdrift, on Sunday March 12 from 10am, offering the perfect finale to a rustic weekend.  All ages are catered for, and the range of country goodies will be mouthwatering. Entrance is free and the setting is soul-soothing.

Among items worth hunting down are wholewheat rusks, excellent melktert, apricot jam and seasonal preserves, freshly harvested pecans and boerseep.

It all adds up to a fruity fiesta that should see city-dwellers go home happy and relaxed, carboots filled with fine wine and goodies from many a farm and village kitchen.

It makes sense to plan your weekend in advance: log onto b2ap3_thumbnail_hoh5.jpgwww.handsonharvest.com and work out your itinerary, booking with the relevant farms at least three days ahead. Any other questions will be answered by the staff at the Robertson  Wine Tourism office – contact them on 023 626 3167 or send an email to events@robertsonwinevalley.com.

For accommodation, contact the following tourism offices:

Mcgregor: 023 625 1954 info@tourismmcgregor.co.za

Montagu/Ashton: 023 614 2471.

Robertson: 023 626 4437 info@robertson.org.za

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 See you there and don’t forget the sunblock, hats, and sensible shoes – give the stilettos the weekend off.

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A couple of weather gurus have predicted an early autumn here on the fringe of the Klein Karoo. Whether this will extend to the Boland and Overberg, who knows? But if it does, it makes visiting these wine regions all the more inviting. There's a Gauteng fest in the lineup as well.

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Diarise Saturday Feb 18 for a feast of fun at one of our most iconic estates. Join the Melck family at Muratie for a day that can be as active (mountain biking, stomping grapes) or leisurely as you wish. Taste the Muratie wines in the old cellar, or enjoy a private tasting at 12 noon. Settle for an alfresco lunch from the Farm Kitchen that includes gourmet burgers, salmon sarmies, spring rolls, a cheese platter and more. Kitchen Jammin Blues will provide the musical background. Entry costs R75 a head.

For further information and bookings contact Jean-Mari Reyneke at Muratie on 021 865 2330/2336 or taste@muratie.co.za

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Savour the spirit of the Gin & Tonic Festival

 

 

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Sunday February 26 sees the  Gin & Tonic Festival return to Cape Town showcasing over 15 local and international gin distilleries at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Taste, swirl and celebrate!

Visitors can look forward to festival regulars such as Bloedlemoen, Ginifer, Hope on Hopkins, Inverroche, New Harbour, Wilderer and a host of exciting new players in the local market. Internationally revered brands like The Botanist, Sipsmith and Elephant Gin will also showcase their craft, 

Some of the city’s finest food trucks and gourmet street food chefs will offer gastronomic goodness to festivalgoers. In addition, a summer-inspired designer’s market will feature the brightest in locally made fashion, lifestyle and accessory goods.  Local artists will entertain the crowds at dedicated music stages. Guests
will receive a 16 page gin booklet, a host of promotional vouchers and goodies from our festival partners, and a branded Gin and Tonic Festival glass.

 Join The Gin Revolution:  visit the website: http://ginandtonicfestival.co.za/

Book your tickets: 
http://www.quicket.co.za/events/24893-gin-and-tonic-festival-biscuit-mill-cape-town/#/

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 DINNER WITH THE WINEMAKER AT LANZERAC

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Lanzerac-CoconutGrapeFruitPanaCotta___0197-11-2.jpgChef Fraser's irresistible dessert paired with the estate's bubbly.

 

These occasional gourmet evenings offer a tasty marriage between the considerable talents of executive chef Stephen Fraser and cellarmaster Wynand Lategan. The first of the 2017 events takes place on Tuesday, March 28 when diners will gather for a welcome drink and canapes on the picnic terrace before visiting the underground cellar to taste new vintages from the barrel. The dinner menu will include a first course of prawn pannacotta and Parma ham mousse, will go on to noisette of lamb, all partnered by new releases from the wine menu along with current favourites like chardonnay and pinotage. Lanzerac's cap classique brut will make a fine finale to complement dessert. This will be an intimate affair of just 30 guests, costs R550  a head, all inclusive, and bookings must be made with Zelda Furstenburg on winesales@lanzerac.co.za or by calling 021 886 5641.

Further seasonal dinners are planned for July and September.

 

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 START YOUR WEEKEND OFF ON A SPARKLING NOTE AT BROOKLYN BUBBLES

 

The best South African MCCs and French champagnes with food prepared by an award-winning chef is on the menu for Friday March 3 - Saturday March 4 at Brooklyn Mall. Both top Cape bubblies and renowned French houses will present their products while complementary nibbles like oysters, sushi, charcuteries and cheeses will accompany the sparkles, finishing with churros and mini-donuts for finales

 

Tickets to the VIP event on the Friday are R600 per person and include a welcome glass of bubbly, 20 bubbly tasting coupons and three food coupons, one of which is for dessert.

 Tickets for the event on Saturday, March 4, cost R300 per person and include a complimentary tasting glass and 15 tasting coupons. Food will also be available for purchase at stalls at the venue. Additional vouchers can be purchased on both days.

Details: 

  Friday, March 3, 2017, from 18h00 to 22h00 & Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 12h00 to 17h00

 Venue: Brooklyn Mall (In a marquee in Bronkhorst Street).

 Booking: www.webtickets.co.za

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Cluver Family Harvest Day | 1 April 2017

 

 

 

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No danger of April Fool jokes popping up at this autumn harvest festival in the heart of the Elgin valley. Paul Cluves Wines makes the venue for this appetising celebration of wine, cider and apples that starts at 11am. 

Leave the car at home and take the train for a memorable day: it will leave Cape Town station at 9am and pick up more passengers at Somerset West,  and on board treats are included.

At the farm children will be supervised and entertained with a programme of old-fashioned games while adults can sample the ciders and wines on offer. Artisanal foods for sale include apple crumble, cheeses, charcuterie  and gourmet sandwiches.

 

The price structure is as follows:

 

Adults

R250 per person

Children under 18           

R100 per child

 

 

Family package 

R550 (2 adults and 2 children)

Return train ticket (excludes festival ticket)

R500 per person (children under 18 travel for free)

 

 Your festival ticket includes entry, a complimentary tasting glass and a booklet of tasting coupons. The children’s ticket includes entry and a harvest party pack. Food and other beverages available on the day are not included in the ticket price.Pre-booking is essential as tickets are limited. Book directly through www.webtickets.co.za.  For more details on what you can expect visit www.cluver.com.

 

 

 

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Harvest has begun in some regions, while grapes are being sampled and assessed in others as cellars get ready for the first influx of the 2017 harvest. Around McGregor the air is not yet filled with the aromas of crushed grapes, but the trail of trucks loaded with peaches that trundle down the main drag seem endless... With the apricot harvest behind us, and the peak of the tomato season just ahead, we have been bottling our 2016 harvest of ripe olives, making pesto, or rather pistou (no nuts) as our basil plants wave in the wind, wafting enticing aromas toward the kitchen. The first batch of ripe fig jam will be bubbling on the stove soon, although keeping birds, large and small, from our crop, is a thankless task.

 

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Durbanville Hills' maiden chenin blanc 2016  arrived just before year end, and its a charmer, Its fresh and lively, fruity and undemanding, yet far from run-of-the-mill. It's the sort of weekday wine that is ideal for those hot January evenings when a well-chilled chenin will precede your salad supper, accompanied by a further glass. The label offers no clue as to the source of the grapes, but cellarmaster Martin Moore told me that he found old chenin vines on various Durbanville farms to make his maiden vintage. So yes, this is Durbanville Hills chenin from Durbanville valley grapes.

 Selling at R55 it should  hold its own with the cellar's several stellar sauvignon blancs, but you may have to hunt for it - its not yet listed on their website or, at time of writing on the Vinoteque site yet. Worth putting on your shopping list.  

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By the first weekend of February, winelovers should be ready to don something cool and white and head to Leopards Leap Family vineyards for a late summer celebration. The 2017 Franschhoek Summer Wines takes place on Saturday, 4th February, offering a selection of summery whites, roses, Cap Classiques and light reds all suitable for warm weather sipping. Pair them with fare from the rotisserie kitchen and relax on the verandah or lawns as you drink in the valley panorama. tickets cost R180 and are obtainable from www.webtickets.co.za/

at R180 per person.  This includes a wine glass and a tasting of all the wines on show between 12pm and 5pm.  

For more info contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021 876 2861 or email info@franschhoek.org.za.

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DESTINATION MCGREGOR FOR SLOW WINE WEEKENDS

 

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Slow Wine weekends in the picturesque village of McGregor offer two days of diverse wines, fine fare that ranges from gourmet to country, and the unique combination of tranquillity, hospitality and a pace that is as leisurely or lively as visitors choose to make it. Add in attractions like spa treatments, a busy pottery, serene art gallery and welcoming donkey sanctuary and the pressure to book for a stress-free weekend increases. Mid-February is traditionally time for romance, so the forthcoming weekend is entitled Bubbles for Lovers. There's a good choice of sparkles and Cap Classiques available in the valley, including one that's organic.

To find out more visit  <https://slowwineweekends.com/bubbles-for-lovers-february-2017/>and add a plethora of bubbles to your stay in this timeless village.

Looking ahead to late March, the organisers are putting together a four-day getaway focussing on the harvest in and around the Breede river valley. See  <https://slowwineweekends.com/four-day-harvest-experience-17-21-march-2017/>

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                                   2017 PINOTAGE AND BILTONG FESTIVAL  - ESSENTIAL DIARY DATE!

 

 

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Indulge in two of SA’s favourite delicacies on Saturday, 22  April and Sunday, 23  April 2017 at the  annual Pinotage & Biltong Festival, which takes place at  L’Avenir Wine Estate just outside Stellenbosch from 11h00-17h00.   

 A wide range of biltong products will be paired with specific wines from some of South Africa’s top Pinotage producers for each tasting. Guests can taste and buy some of the best red Pinotages or have fun with alternatives including rosé’s, bubblies, blends and even a white Pinotage!

 

The event is family-friendly with live music, food trucks, light meals and casual seating under the trees next to the dam or on the lawns in front of the cellar. The charity beneficiary is Anna Foundation who will be present to entertain the kids and raise funds for their many worthy projects.  Visit www.annafoundation.com for more info.

 

On 14 and 15 October 2017 it’s the turn of Gauteng fans when the festival will be held at the Leriba Hotel in Centurion, Gauteng as part of the official Pinotage Day celebrations, presented by the Pinotage Association.

 

Tickets @ R200 pp includes a branded crystal wine glass, a biltong cup and a pairing card for the Free Pinotage and Biltong tastings.  Tickets  at www.plankton.mobi.   or www.computicket.co.za from 1 March 2017.

 

For more info visit www.cvomarketing.co.za  

 

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Sunday December 04: the final Pop-up Sunday lunch along the Bottelary Hills wine route takes place at Kaapzicht. Chef Bertus Basson will whip up a seafood feast over the fire, to relish with wines from the sub-route. The fun starts at 12,30 and the event costs R350 a head, which includes wine-tasting, three-course meal with a glass of wine per course. Booking is essential. Tel 021 886 8275 or email marketing@wineroute.co.za.

 

Friday, Dec 09 and onward:

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La Petite Ferme is introducing Festive Fridays, where, from 4 - 6pm they will offer unique cocktails and delicious bites in their lovely garden. Cocktails - named The Pretty Lisa, The Mariano, The Spa and The Garden, are either vodka or gin-based with fruity and other ingredients. Live music wil add to the vibe, and the event will also take place on December 16 and 30, and January 06 and 13. For more info, call 021 876 3016 or see www.lapetiteferme.co.za

December 16, 17 and 18 Gabriëlskloof’s Favourite Things Market

b2ap3_thumbnail_Gabrielskloof-Market-LR-5.jpgWhether you visit for fun, relaxation, or undertake a serious shopping spree, this lovely Overberg olive and wine estate is an excellent venue to choose. Their popular three-day market offers fabulous food and wines, a host of handmade goodies including alpaca wool items, designer jewellery, exquisite quilts and intricate ceramics, along with homemade toys and knits. Friday evening visitors will be treated to the sounds of the Gypsy Jazz trio, while a French accordian adds to the charm of Saturday and Sunday browsing.

The market starts at 5pm on Friday and at 10am on the other two days.

 

For more information about the annual Gabriëlskloof Favourite Things Market contact Nicolene Finlayson on 028 284 9865 or nicolene@gabrielskloof.co.za;

 

Daily from now until April: Uitkyk estate has contracted Pikant Catering to offer lunches and tapas to visitors seven days a week  until the end of January. Main courses cost between R89 and R140.  Their picnics make another option, costing R400 for two. More info from tel 021 88 44416

 

 

Final result of the year? Sauvignon  Blanc still holds its own as first choice of many a wine consumer. This year’s results of the annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc competition hosted by the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group of SA are as follows, wines listed alphabetically:

  • Almenkerk Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Cape Point Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (wooded)
  • De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Hermanuspietersfontein Nr 5 Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (wooded)
  • Jordan The Outlier Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (wooded)
  • Ken Forrester Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2015
  • Merwida Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Nitida Golden Orb Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Uitkyk Sauvignon Blanc 2015
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What a pleasure to rediscover the chardonnays of Lanzerac! First up, a classy non-vintage Cap Classique, which is eminently suitable for a bubbly start  to a day on this noble estate. This Blanc de Blanc is produced from Jonkershoek valley grapes, harvested early, whole bunch-pressed and left on the lees for 18 months before disgorging.

Classicists will relish the characteristic aromas of nuttiness, apple and citrus, followed by biscuit and more fruit on the palate. A great recent addition to the Lanzerac stable, selling for R220.

Two delicious wines for summer include the 2015 chardonnay, a medium-bodied, carefully wooded wine, where b2ap3_thumbnail_Lanzerac-Wynand_20161110-102633_1.jpgcitrus and gentle spice are followed by a medley of tropical fruit that does not overwhelm the cream that accompanies them. Alcohol levels of 14% are not obtrusive, and the R105 price tag should inspire visitors to take home a case or two to enjoy for Christmas or tuck away for a year or more. As cellarmaster Wynand Lategan suggests, this is a wine that will partner several Cape Malay classics with panache: worth remembering for autumn feasts.

Then the star of the range, the well-established Mrs English chardonnay, the 2014 vintage marking exactly 100 years since that august lady - Elizabeth b2ap3_thumbnail_Lanzerac-Mrs-English-chard_20161110-102710_1.jpgKatherina English to give her her full name - bought the eminent estate, then known as Schoongezicht - for just 18 000 pounds. Not only did she rename the farm Lanzerac but she bottled the first estate wine as well. She would approve, I am certain, of this tribute, sporting its gold sticker from this year's Michelangelo awards.

This is a patrician wine, sleek, full-bodied, probably containing a little pinot blanc to add further interest, yet with moderate alcohol levels at 13,5%. Aromatic and full-flavoured, yet elegant and presenting classic fruit, topped with a little butterscotch, this requires a meaningful menu to complement and do it justice.

If you haven't already booked, check your diary and, if you and a group of friends are free next Wednesday, plan to enjoy a great day at the estate. It will be a High Tea to remember, its called the Most Meaningful Tea in Town and it's set to raise a substantial sum for the Community Keepers, a charity which offers both social and psychological services to children, - and their parents and teachers - who are suffering from emotional and/or social problems, thanks to family or community circumstances beyond their control.

The event offers a delectable lunch, along with fabulous bakes and cakes, gourmet coffee, exotic teas, and that wonderful Lanzerac bubbly. Fashion shows, raffle ticket prizes, and culinary workshop presented by the talented go-getter Jade de Waal, live music and great company await visitors. The event starts at 12 noon on November 16, it costs R850 and to book, click on www.themostmeaningfulteaintown.co.za.

 What a great way to start the festive season!

 

 

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