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Rain, sun, wind, snow - all is possible at this inconsistent season but the blossoms are out and the daisies are in full bloom and our vines are starting to bud. We have a family of three adult sheep and three lambs grazing at the bottom of our garden, and they seem impervious to whatever the weather throws at them, with the lambs growing at an astonishing rate.

Country and city events are on the Western Cape menu.






 Groote Post will be re-opening their popular country markets Sunday 28th August , followed by monthly markets on 25th September (spring market), 30th October, 27th November and 18th December (Christmas market).

Groote Post will again be a hive of activity, brimming with  artisan foods, arts and crafts, home-ware and décor, and of course, Groote Post’s well-loved wines as well as loads of kiddies’ activities. In addition, the August market will be featuring some exciting new stalls as well as live music by Francois Haasbroek.

Darling gourmet produceincluding: Darling Mushrooms, Weskus Worswa, Udderly Delicious Cheese, Darling Pomegranate Products, Saucy Boys’ organic preservative-free chilli sauces, marinades and spices, Darling Brew and more.

Groote Post’s award-winning restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, will be open as usual, but please note that booking is essential. The kids, as always, will be kept busy with a wide variety of kiddies’ activities - tractor rides, face-painting, water-balls, guided horse rides and, of course, the popular playground. Although pets are welcome – all dogs must be on a leash at all times.  Visitors arriving without their dogs on a leash will be given an option to buy one from the SPCA stall or hire one at the information stall. 

Entry to the Groote Post Country Market is free of charge.

For further information Contact Eldré Strydom: 082 877 6677 or






Wine Concepts will host their 14th exclusive Seductive Sauvignons Festival at The Vineyard Hotel i



 This popular annual festival gives wine lovers the opportunity to taste a selection of flirtatious latest release Sauvignon Blanc’s and captivating current vintage Cabernet Sauvignons from over 40 of the country’s top producers. This year we will be including Bubblies, Rose’s and Dessert wines and there may even be an older vintage or two to savour in the line-up. Tempting and delicious snacks will be served with the wine throughout the evening.


All the showcased wines will be available for purchase at special prices from Wine Concepts on the evening.


Venue: The Vineyard Hotel, Colinton Road, Newlands,


Date: Friday 2nd September 2016


Time: 17.00 – 20.00


Cost: R200.00 per person – includes wine glass and light snacks


(Early Bird tickets @ R180.00)


Parking: At venue


The Vineyard Hotel is offering a special of a 2 course dinner in Square Restaurant, bed & breakfast for Single – R1 380; Double – R2 100


Tickets can conveniently be purchased via,   or at any of the Wine Concepts branches


Telephone Newlands at (021) 671 9030 or Kloof Street at (021) 426-4401




or at the door on the evening subject to availability





On the 1st of September 2016 Eat Out Top Ten Restaurant, Terroir, will join forces with Alto Wine Estate in creating a memorable evening of great food and wine. 

Terroir has earned a enviable reputation for outstanding and inventive contemporary cuisine and excellent service. Renowned Chef  Michael Broughton, sums up the philosophy behind the food at Terroir as follows: ‘It’s all about big bold flavours, where the basic ingredients in every dish are stretched to the top of their flavour profile’.

Guests will be treated to a three course dinner paired with exceptional wines selected by Alto winemaker, Bertho van der Westhuizen. A complimentary glass of Kleine Zalze’s MCC will be served.

At a cost of just R650 per person, seats are bound to fill up fast. Be sure to make your reservation by contacting Terroir at or 021 880 8167 to avoid disappointment.


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Love the Klein Karoo? Crazy about Calitzdorp? And you're a fan of those world-class ports and value-for-money  red and white wines? Then  plan a weekend trip to this hospitable part of the Cape, and indulge in an irresistible event  at De Krans cellars on Saturday August 27.


That's the date when the third Orchards in Bloom one-day fest takes place with a varied programme to suit all tastes and ages.

Chef Francois Ferreira will be pairing De Krans wines with biscotti at various times during the day. Early birds can jog or walk on the Vineyard Run from 9am, choosing from a five or 10km trail. There are wine prizes for winners. Walks through the orchards, which will be dressed in their pastel spring best  also tempt . Visitors can also help prune the young vines planted by previous guests at the spring festivals.

Chef Retief van der Walt will be cooking up delicious country meals in the De Krans Bistro and Deli from 9am - no reservations, so diners need to get there in good time.

Then, of course, there will be ample time to sip and sample the ranges from De Krans - newly released 2016 wines include chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and moscato perle. Or if you are in the mood for a port-based cocktail, winemaker Louis van der Riet will be happy to oblige.

Family fun is guaranteed, and boules are offered for whose who wish to show off their prowess. For more info, email or contact Helet Viljoen on 044 213 3314.

Cellar news is that De Krans has just launched it maiden Pinotage Rose 2016: Selling at just under R60, this is a fresh, low-alcohol salmon pink wine, offering spring-like flavours of berries and cherries, and a hint of watermelon. Its a dry rose that can be sipped as an ode to spring, or paired with seafood and sushi.b2ap3_thumbnail_de-Krans-pinotage-rose_20160812-135418_1.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_De-Krans-Cape-vintage-port.jpgIf you, like me, are a firm fan of De Krans Tawny port, perhaps time to broaden our palates with the cellar's Cape Vintage 2013 port wine: Like the Tawny, its rated 4 and half stars in Platter, and easy to understand why. It seduces with aromas of red berries, vanilla and chocolate, leads on to mouthfuls of more berries, plums and dark chocolate flavours - wonderful chilly night counterpart both on its own or with Cape baked puds and a cheese board. 

And don't underrate their Cape Ruby, a non-vintage four-star budget-beater with a string of awards to its credit. Packed with fruit and spice, produced from a blend of different Portuguese cultivars and vintages, this is a port to savour in winter and pour over crushed ice in summer.

De Krans is one of the oldest cellars in the Gamka river valley, being established in 1890 by the current owners' great-grandfather.





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The winelands offers an appetising mix of winter wine and food events during June, July and on to August. The following are in chronological order.




As part of the Christmas in Winter festival weekend in Tulbagh Saronsberg invites visitors to enjoy their farm attractions over the weekend of June 25 – 26. Saturday sees their Christmas all-day food market take place under the oaks, alongside live entertainment and activities for children. More serious stuff for those wanting barrel tastings and wine tours are offered in the cellar. Live music adds to the mix.

On Sunday the first Saronsberg Traditional Long Table Lunch, with a festive al fresco menu and musical accompaniment is on offer. It costs R120 a head. Book by calling Marica on 023 004 0435.

Delheim swings to Cheese Fondue & Jazz Sundays



It's that time of the year again when Delheim presents their Sunday cheese fondues with live jazz accompaniment from 12.30. Choose your day – these event continue until end of August. Chef Bruce von Pressentin uses an authentic Swiss recipe that combines Emmental, Gruyère and white wine for a hearty ‘blast from the past’. The fondue is paired with bread dippers and vegetable crudités. Guests can order starters at an additional cost.The cost of R200 a head includes a glass of Glühwein and a shared cheese fondue. Pre-bookings are advised. Contact Delheim at Tel: (021) 888 4607 or send an email to





A celebration of Cape Port-Style Wines is on the menu at this one-day fest, hosted by the Melck family, Cape port producers and African Cork Suppliers.

Port lovers will team their Cape port wines with warming treats from the Muratie Farm Kitchen. All the wines will be available for purchase at cellar door prices. In addition, von Geusau will tempt tastebuds with their delicious hand crafted chocolates.

The event starts at 10h30 and costs R100. Advance booking is advised.

Telephone: (021) 865 2330 or Email: Website:· GPS: S 33 52.234   E 18 52.554





Here’s one for Gauteng’s winelovers, featuring some of South Africa’s exceptional uncommon wine varietals. Presented by specialist wine retailer Wine Menu in Illove, this event willshowcase lesser known varietals at The Wanderers Club in Illovo on Thursday, August 18 from 18h00. Limited tickets are available and cost R200 per person from Webtickets and Wine Menu at Blu Bird Centre. The price includes a selection of canapés which will be served throughout the evening a chosen to complement the styles of wine sampled.
Red varietals include Barbera, Cinsaut, Grenache Noir, Malbec, Mourvèdre, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Souzào, Tinta Barocca, and Zinfandel. White unusuals will include Bukettraube, Clairette Blanche, Gewürztraminer, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Muscat d'Alexandrie, Roussanne, Semillon, Viognier, Pinot Grigio and Verdelho.
Participation in the festival is by invitation only, ensuring that only top quality wines will be shown. Organiser Corlien Morris is from the Cape winelands and has been involved in the wine industry for more than 20 years.
Wines are on sale on the night at less than their regular retail prices.

If tickets are still available on the night, they will cost R220 at the door.

 Wine Menu is a specialist wine retailer, situated at Blu Bird Shopping Centre, Atholl-Oaklands Rd, Illovo. Tel. 011 440 5498.

Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase of rare, individual wines

Cape Town: Thursday, 18 August 2016 / Johannesburg: Wednesday, 24 August 2016

This public tasting gives wine enthusiasts the opportunity to taste unique collectors’ wines crafted exclusively in small volumes for the 2016 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Auction by the Guild’s 47 members, to go under the hammer on Saturday October 1.

In addition to the 2016 auction wines, the Guild members will be presenting some of their own flagship products.

Showcase-goers can contribute towards the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust by bidding on rare signed bottles from previous Guild auctions during the Silent Auction. The Trust helps to transform the wine industry by educating, training and empowering young talent through the Protégé Programme, a mentorship scheme for upcoming winemakers and viticulturists.

Cape Town Showcase

Thursday, 18 August 2016. Cape Town International Convention Centre – Ballroom East (First Floor) From 18:00 – 21:00. R250 per person, includes a tasting glass

Tickets can be purchased via

Johannesburg Nedbank Showcase

Wednesday, 24 August 2016. The Atrium, Nedbank Sandton, 135 Rivonia Road 18:00 – 21:00. R250 per person, includes a tasting glass. Tickets can be purchased via

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Every now and then one attends a function that delivers pleasure way beyond expectation. In this case a few hours spent in the serenely historic surrounds of a 17th century farm in the incomparable Groot Drakenstein valley enfolded us with genteel but warm hospitality. The aura of the past is present at Bellingham - not so much in the gabled farmstead – but in the green and pleasant acres that surround it. This was heightened by the fact that the host – Bellingham winemaker and brand manager Niël Groenewald - is himself a generous and enthusiastic food-and-wine connoisseur enabling the present to entwine seamlessly with the past.

Launches of new wine ranges can take many forms, and here guests were treated both to an informal tasting followed by a buffet of superior Kaapse kos, a menu partly designed to complement the wine. Our tasting involved matching the new Homestead range to piquant rubs and spreads designed to enhance soups, salads, seafood, poultry, red meat – and even dessert. These trendy creations of Niel’s comprise a lemon and fennel salt rub which paired nicely with the sauvignon blanc, a well-balanced meld of Durbanvhille herbaceous and fruit flavours. A delicious coriander and sesame dukkah with Middle Eastern notes was matched to my favourite of the range, the 2015 chardonnay: Sourced from various Stellenbosch vineyards 60% of the wine spent time in oak

Rosemary and elderberry rubbed into red meats call for the 2014 pinotage, to highlight South African favourites like leg of lamb. These grapes were sourced from Stellenbosch and the wine bursts with mixed berry flavours. The 2014 shiraz is an easy-drinking, gently peppered and spiced classic, companion to a smoked rooibos and paprika sprinkle. From Paarl grapes this spice mix is great for slow casseroles and warming bredies.

There’s a chenin blanc as well, which we did not get to taste, and I guess it leans toward the off-dry as Groenewald accompanies it with a moreish honey butter spread, designed as a dessert topping or salad dressing ingredient.

The Bellingham farmhouse has been altered so much over the centuries that Hans Fransen and Mary Cook simply state that the gable, dated 1777, is modern, though the farm was originally granted to one Gerrit van Vuuren in 1695. Following many owners, the renowned Podlashuk couple bought the property some 250 years later, acquiring a rundown farm, which they set about making very much their own. Having added on rooms at odd angles and various levels, visitors today enter into something of a maze, with interior décor that mingles beautiful antiques with kitsch, exotic eccentricity with the rare and lovely, all in happy abandon.

This fascinating couple were not just famous for their lavish hospitality, but also responsible for developing orchards and vineyards, with Bernard making the first dry rosé in South Africa, followed by our first premier grand cru, or dry white - unknown at that time. The Bellingham shiraz, launched in 1957 was yet another first in the Cape industry.

The new range, priced at R65 for white and R75 for the reds and available from the Franschhoek Cellar in the town mirrors the entertaining memories of the mid 20th century, offering unpretentious wines that can be opened and shared with friends and family .

We took home a little manuscript of Bellingham family recipes in a leather folder, some history preceding tried and trusted recipes from Niël and friends and others dating back to Fredah Podlashuk ‘s dinner parties. It’s a charming heritage collection and one that suggests that a bigger cookbook could offer a treasury of Bellingham culinary bounty. Just one word of advice: today’s cooks need their ingredients listed in order of use!

Now, I just need to get hold of that missing chenin blanc , before I have emptied the pot of honey butter spread… When I inquired earlier today, it had still not arrived at the outlet in Franschhoek.

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A chance to sip and savour the current and older vintages of these three boutique wine farms in the magnificent Upper-Blaauwklippen valley is a weekend treat not to be missed.

Kleinood, Keermont and De Trafford are joining forces on Saturday June 04 to present a selection of their rare and outstanding wines from 10am - 3pm. Canapes will provide sustenance at all three farms, and a shuttle service between them is also offered.

Outstanding wines, appealing farms and a magnificent setting - Boland bounty at its best.

The event costs R350 a head.

Take N2 from Cape Town.
* Take Baden Powell turn off to the left.
* Follow to traffic lights at big strawberry on the left.
* Turn right on to the Annandale road.
* Follow Annandale road to the traffic lights.
* Turn left at the traffic lights onto the R44 towards Stellenbosch.
* Follow to traffic lights with Engen and La Romantica Restaurant
* Turn right here into Blaauwklippen road.
* Follow the Blaauwklippen road, cross the bridge.
* Turn left at upper Blaauwklippen road sign.
* Do not go straight ahead onto the gravel road.
* Pass through the boom and follow narrow road with speed bumps to the three wineries.

Book through or, for more info, contact any one of the three farms.

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