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Myrna Robins

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Events

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Farm to Table festival weekend

 

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Celebrate natural produce and artisanal fare at Boschendal farm during the weekend April 23 -24. This huge farm, in a setting of outstanding beauty, is ready to inform and inspire guests with a programme of talks, tours, demos and workshops, that will please eco-conscious visitors and should convince many others that  sustainable farming that is gentle to the earth, cuts food miles, and ensures humane treatment of animals is the route we should be taking.

While all ages will be catered for with children’s activities on the Sunday, Saturday's programme includes compost creation, sausage-making, wine tasting, craft beer, organic food garden tours, and free-range poultry and beef tours..

 There's a farm feast on Saturday, starting at 4pm and including a spitroast Angus ox and a barbecue picnic on Sunday to contemplate The farm feast dinner costs R450, children ‘R200 at separate table. The Sunday picnic and live music costs R295 for adults, children 12 and under R100. Picnic prices includes entertainment and childrens activities.

 please visit https://plankton.mobi/Home/Index to book. Tickets are limited for all events.

 

 

SOUTH AFRICAN CHEESE FESTIVAL IN THE SPOTLIGHT - 30 APRIL -2 MAY

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This annual success story is marking its 15th birthday this year with another great weekend of cheese and other goodies at Sandringham near Stellenbosch., exit 39 off the N1. As always, cheese tastings can be partnered with wines, and delicious snacks of all kinds, and celebrity chefs will be doing demos of their speciality dishes. See you there!

Tickets are available from Computicket , Shoprite or Checkers store at R150 per day. Senior citizens pay R100 and children 13 years and younger enter  free. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The festival opens from 10:00 - 18:00 daily. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheese-Festival/103882408706

For more information contact Agri-Expo on tel 021 975 4440 or admin@agriexpo.co.za or visit www.cheesefestival.co.za

 

The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival

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The annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival takes place over the weekend of 7 - 8 May (10am to 5pm daily), where you are guaranteed to find everything olive related

From olives to olive oils and olive -inspired produce, this promises to be a feast for the senses. Not forgetting the great  wines in the area too.! Artisanal beers, an abundance of hearty local food and live entertainment add up to the promise of a great weekend.

 An Olive Passport, valid for the  weekend, gives visitors access to participating wine farms. It costs R125 and includes a tasting glass. Book online via www.webtickets.co.za or on the day at any of the participating venues. Children under 18 enter for free. A complimentary shuttle service will be available for the duration of the weekend.

Those choosing to make a weekend of this excursion have a wide selection of accommodation from which to choose. For more information contact Riebeek Valley Tourism on 022 448 1545 or mail olivefestival@gmail.com.

 

 

PLAISIR DE MERLE WINEMAKERS’ DINNERS 2016 

 

The first of these elegant evenings take place on May 14, from 6,30pm with others to follow in

August and October.Tickets are available at R595 per person, for the five course dinner with wine included. Limited seats are available so call 021 874 1071 or email info@plaisirdemerle.co.za to be part of this exclusive event.

 

SHIRAZ AND CHARCUTERIE AT FRANSCHHOEK

 

 

Shiraz and charcuterie events are becoming trendy affairs, with Anthonij Rupert holding theirs on Saturday, 28 May (12pm to 5pm). Their own range of syrah, which includes the Anthonij Rupert Syrah, the Cape of Good Hope Riebeek’s Rivier Shiraz and Protea Shiraz will be there for sampling, as will fine shiraz from Rust en Vrede, Waterford, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Hartenberg Estate, Simonsig and Thelema. These can all be paired with a range of charcuterie and artisanal fare such as French onion soup, and braised lamb arancini with tomato chutney, Toulouse sausages with braised lentils are among the rustic Rhone specialities, perfect to pair with shiraz. Tickets cost R180 per person and are limited, so pre-booking is recommended. Your ticket includes entry and tastings of the wines.. Book directly via www.webtickets.co.za.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Shannon-James.jpgJames Downes shows off his Sanctuary Peak sauvignon blanc 2015 - the perfect choice for St Patrick's day sipping.

As a dedicated seasonal eater, it’s inevitable, I suppose, that I am also a seasonal drinker. Once summer has given way to autumn, I move from sauvignon blanc, semillon and cinsaut to chenin, chardonnay and pinot noir. As winter announces its chilly arrival I welcome shiraz along with cab franc. This is when local port and dessert wines become very inviting as well. The one exception is good white Cape blends, which I enjoy year round. These thoughts were inspired by a brilliant sauvignon blanc sipped recently, on an early March day with temperatures in the low thirties, the memory of which will probably sustain me until spring.

Shannon vineyards Sanctuary Peak’s 2015 sauvignon is a good example of just how fine Elgin sauvignons can be. There is little doubt that this elegant multi-faceted wine will mature to even greater heights of delight in a year or three, as 2015 was a brilliant vintage for many white wines.

James and Stuart Downes cultivate sauvignon blanc, semillon, merlot and pinot noir in their cool climate riverside vineyards, with meticulous attention and impeccable results. Long-term friends Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson make the wine in their Upper-Hemel-en-Aarde valley cellar, adding just 8% of Shannon oaked semillon to enrich the fresh and lively sauvignon. No searing acidity, just a delicious mix of stone fruit and herbaceous notes, more than a hint of fynbos, all backed by Elgin flintiness and adding up to well-balanced pleasure, also well-priced at R105.

Looking at the advance publicity for the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food fest taking place over the weekend April 30 – May 1, I notice that Shannon Wines are taking part. An excellent opportunity to sample this patrician white, along with their equally distinctive Mount Bullet merlot, as their cellar is only open to the public by appointment.

As always, the regions' wine farms will offer unique programmes, and details should be online from April 1. Tickets cost R120 through www.webtickets.co.za. Plan ahead for a weekend of bottled poetry in striking surrounds.

Last word: Disregard opening paragraph above – I could sip Shannon’s sauvignon in every season.

 

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Caption: Willem Blou gets to grips with the sauvignon blanc arriving at Diemersdal for the 2016 Durbanville Twelve.

Photograph: Neels Kleynhans.

 

 

Caption: Brunch in a cellar 

 

Dedicated, determined – and delicious. The first two adjectives apply to the winemakers and owners of the string of wine farms that lies across the Durbanville valley. The last applies to the sauvignon blanc that is a blend of the grapes of a dozen cellars – and it could also be ascribed to the more appealing of the valley  winemakers.

 

The 2016 Durbanville Twelve sauvignon blanc will be the third vintage of this collaborative effort, likely to be launched before the valley's annual sauvignon fest. Soon after the 11 farms each delivered one ton of just-harvested grapes to Diemersdal, which has been the host cellar from the start, the media gathered in the cool cellar of this 17th century farm to find out more about the challenging 2016 harvest.

 

That the valley’s marketing and PR person Angela Fourie managed to get several of the Durbanville winemakers to come to the brunch midway during the busiest week of the harvest was no mean feat. After a sociable start over bubbly from a trio of cellars, we trooped through the cool cellars to taste the sweet juices of the crushed sauvignon before settling at two long tables for a bountiful brunch.

During the many imaginative courses that were served we heard from Charles Hopkins of De Grendel who described the current harvest as the trickiest he has ever experienced, adding that the yield was down by one-third from last year. Both he and host Thys Louw of Diemersdal recently returned from New Zealand and are now experimenting with harvesting the sauvignon blanc at a higher temperature than before, as are the wine farmers from down under. Liza Goodwin of Meerendal, marking her 18th year in the Durbanville valley, commented on the camaraderie that flourishes between the farms. Charles confirmed this spirit of co-operation that comes to the fore if disaster strikes one cellar, also remarking  that nearly half the winemakers in the valley are now women. Veteran cellarmaster Martin Moore of Durbanville Hills remains confident about the quality of the vintage, particularly as the berries on their west coast vineyards were too green to be adversely affected by the recent heatwaves. Etienne Louw of Altydgedacht agreed, saying that they were crushing the components of their cap classique that day. Bernhard Veller of Nitida added that this was a unusual harvest as they had already been picking grapes for four weeks, whereas in other years, they usually only started after the middle of February.

It was also interesting to listen to Bernhard’s views on the future of wine farming in Durbanville; how, as surburb sprawl had reached the boundaries of many farms, he saw the necessity of farmers considering putting a portion – perhaps up to one third – of their land aside for controlled residential development. Survival tactics, this could be called. He also feels strongly that the valley wines are over-delivering on quality and are very under-priced: he thinks that a combined effort on the part of the Twelve could help alter this, which would  raise the status of the valley’s wines at the same time.

 

 

If anyone still has bottles left of the 2013 Twelve, open a couple and enjoy – we sipped this with our meal and the sauvignon has developed beautifully, acquiring mellow minerality, with delicious Durbanville verdancy and fruit upfront.

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EASTERN CAPE WINE SHOW   IN EAST LONDON

 

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 In response to overwhelming support FNB is extending the East London event to a two-day show.  It takes place at Hemingways in East London on Thursday 3rd - Friday 4th March.  Visitors can enjoy sampling  over 150 of SA's best wines, stock their cellars and meet the winemakers or their representatives.

Find Hemingways at the cnr Western Avenue and Two Rivers Drive, East London.  The show is on from 17h00 to 21h00  Tickets cost R160 per night which includes unlimited tastings, wine tasting glass and wine show guide. Light meals will be  for sale.

For further info, contact  011 482 5936/5/4 or visi:www.easterncapewineshow-el.co.za.


Tickets are obtainable online from
www.computicket.com and from Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers stores and at the door.

 

 

Eikendal Weintaufe 2016

Eikendal Estate's  its annual Weintaufe,  harvest celebration tkaes placefeast on  Sunday, 6 March 2016. The 2016 vintage of their flagship Chardonnay, still in barrel, takes centre stage as, after its official baptism, guests can sample it, before enjoying lunch from the estate's resident restaurant   Cucina di Giovanni, famous for its delicious Italian fare.

Plenty of other activities including tractor rides, cheetah viewing, lucky draws, golfing action at the dam and grape stomping. Children will also be well catered for.

Tickets for the Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration 2016 will be available at the gates on the day and cost R50 per person, which include a free glass and barrel tasting. Under 18’s get in for FREE.  Gates open at 10am and  the official christening and tasting of the new Eikendal Chardonnay 2016 takes place at 12h00.

 For more information  contact the estate at Tel: 021 855 1422 or send an email to counter@eikendal.co.za.

 

 

MURATIE HARVEST FESTIVAL

 

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The Melck family will  be hosting their annual Harvest Festival at Muratie Estate on Saturday 12th March under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate. Action starts at 11h30. Entrance costs R50.00 per person. A selection of delicious meals and cold drinks will be on sale and Muratie’s full range of wines will be available for purchase, by the glass or by the bottle

Rijk Melck will talkat 12 noon about the extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past, after whom the Muratie wines are named  . After lunch, guests can enjoy live music pfrom the popular Kitchen Jammin Blues Band.

Festival-goers should book their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Jean-Mari Strauss at Muratie on 021 865 2330 or taste@muratie.co.za.

 

 

Stellenbosch Vineyards Pizza & Wine

 

An inaugural Stellenbosch Vineyards Pizza & Wine Festival  will take place at Welmoed farm,

 home of Stellenbosch Vineyards, on 12 - 13 March where superb pizzas paired with great wines will be served. From gourmet to traditional, vegetarian to Banting and Flamenkuchen to Calzones - the choice is unlimited. the Stellenbosch Vineyards signature range and the hand-crafted Welmoed heritage selection will accompany them. Guests can also.indulge in oyster and bubbly under the thatched area in the middle of the Welmoed pond.  Live entertainment completes what promises to be an unforgettable experience.,

 Tickets cost R120 per person and includes entry, a tasting glass, tasting coupons and the live entertainment. Additional coupons can be purchased on the day. Book directly via www.webtickets.co.za.

 

Upcoming Festival at Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate

 

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Benguela Cove invites guests to experience the excitement of harvest-time and  celebrate the release of their latest vintages on Saturday, 19 March. The day will be packed with fun activities for young and old including a blind wine tasting experience, cheese and charcuterie boards as well as grape juice tasting and face painting for the children.

The event will showcase the following new release wines on the day: Noble Late Harvest 2015, Matilda's Secret Rosé 2015, Matilda's Secret Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Matilda's Secret Red 2014, Benguela Cove Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Benguela Cove Merlot 2014, Benguela Cove Shiraz 2014 and Benguela Cove Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015.

Entry to the event is FREE and guests can look forward to hearing the results of the first Benguela Cove Harvest Photo Competition. The competition is still open for entries and entrants are encouraged to like and follow Benguela Cove on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates about the competition. Competition entries are accepted by means of social media tags using the hashtag #BenguelaGlamour

Contact the Benguela Cove Tasting Room on 083 645 6198 or visit www.benguelacove.co.za for additional information on the competition or to book your visit.

 

CELLARBAKE@NITIDA STRIKES AGAIN

 Popular bake-and-wine pairing festival, Cellarbake@Nitida, will take place at  Nitida Wine Farm,  Durbanville Wine Valley, on Human Rights Day on Monday, 21 March 2016, with a decadent mix of delicious baked goods (savoury and sweet) paired with Nitida’s award winning wines and Methode Cap Classique.

SA’s leading bakers will showcase their creations paired with Nitidas cultivars - synchronizing a balance of tastes, terroir and tannins.

The event takes place at  Cassia Restaurant with an area double the size from previous years to accommodate the influx of  bakers and exhibitors. Pockets of live entertainment and demos are set to accompany the festivities, whilst the little ones may enjoy the outdoor activities. Picnics by the lake and ample indoor and alfresco dining areas are being catered for guests.

 

Tickets are available through Nutickets at a cost of R150 per person [http://cellarbake.nutickets.co.za/1958].

Tickets include entrance, a Cellarbake@Nitida tasting glass and five delicious bake and wine pairing portions. A non-alcoholic option is available at R75 for children and for those who wish to taste only the baked goods. Entrance is free for children under the age of 12 years.

Additional baked goods, as well as a variety of delicious eats, will be available for purchase. Alternate exhibitor products are also available for purchase from the various stalls.

For more information email inga@nitida.co.za or visit the Nitida website at www.nitida.co.za or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @NitidaWine for up-to-date news. Nitida Cellars is situated on the Tygerbergvalley Road (R13), Durbanville, 7550.

 EASTER EVENTS AT WINE FARMS

A week of Easter treats at Yonder Hill wines on the R44 starts on March 19. Adults are offered a tasting of five wines, for R50, each of which will be paired with a variety of Easter treats. Small children can sample Easter bunny juice and sweet treats for R30 a head, while colouring in Easter pictures.

This event takes place daily (excluding Sundays) from 09:00 – 14:00.

For more information on Yonder Hill Wines, please visit www.yonderhill.co.za or phone us at 021 855 1008.

 

EASTER AT BOSCHENDAL

Three items on the programme:  kiddies Easter egg hunt at the Werf Picnics, a 3 course share-dish menu at the Werf Restaurant and a traditional Easter Buffet at Rhone Homestead.

On Sunday, 26 March 2016, children can enjoy enjoy an Easter Egg hunt, pony rides and egg painting while parents relax with their picnics. Picnics start at 12h00, with the ‘hunt’ commencing at 13h30. The cost is R360 for two adults, R195 for a basket for one and R150 per child’s basket, ages 3 – 12 years, including the Easter hunt and pony rides. We also invite our guests to bring their own fold up chairs, tables and blankets.

Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell, will be offering his popular and unique shared dishes, inspired by our farm-style generosity, at Werf Restaurant. A three course menu will be available, including a shared starter, main course and dessert, offering exceptional food, freshly produced off the farm. The seating is at 12h00 and will cost R450 per person.

Throughout the weekend, Rhone Homestead will serve an Easter themed traditional buffet from 12h00, priced at R295 per person, or why not take home some freshly baked hot cross buns and Easter gifts from the Farm Shop & Deli.

 Bookings and pre-payments are essential at reservations@boschendal.co.za or 021 870-4274. 

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 As usual December arrives with a bubbly fanfare in Franschhoek, where the annual

 Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival ‘The Magic of Bubbles’ takes place over the weekend of 5 and 6 December at the Huguenot Monument.  This year’s theme is Black and White with a touch of Bling.

Relax in the grand marquee  on the lawns or mingle with winemakers as they present some of South Africa’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and France’s best Champagnes.

Well-known local MCC producers  include Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Groot Constantia, Colmant, Genevieve, L’Ormarins, JC le Roux, Pongracz, Graham Beck, Steenberg and Villiera. Newcomers include Maison Wine Estate, Grande Provence and Le Lude.  Some of France’s best Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Piper Heidsieck, Billecart Salmon and Veuve Clicquot.

 

Bread & Wine, Haute Cabrière, Le Franschhoek, L'Ermitage, The Restaurant at Grande Provence and Mont Rochelle are a few of the restaurants showcasing their menus during the festival.

The best-dressed couple will be awarded each day with a R5 000 MasterCard gift card, which is the perfect excuse to dust off your best bling shoes, jacket or hat.

 

General Access tickets to the festival cost R200 per person and include access to the festival, which is open daily between 12pm and 5pm, and a complimentary tasting glass and tasting coupons. Additional vouchers can be purchased on the day. Children under 18 years will be allowed free entry to the festival.

Use your MasterCard payment card to pay and receive a 10 percent discount on your festival ticket purchase, as well as a 10 percent discount on all purchases made at the festival.

For more information and regular updates visit www.franschhoekmcc.co.za or follow us on Twitter @Franschhoek_SA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The annual Jordan Summer Festival will be held on Sunday 29th of November.

On the menu: wine tasting, boules, croquet, vineyard & cellar tours, CWG wine tasting* and live music  along with gourmet food from the Bakery at Jordan.
*R200pp for CWG Tasting.

Picnic snacks and treats will be available for purchase from the Bakery and can be enjoyed under the trees or on the lawns . Don’t forget your picnic blanket and umbrella. A silent auction and raffle on the day will include prizes, such as a night’s accommodation for 2 guests in the newly opened Jordan Luxury Suites; tour & tasting vouchers and exclusive offerings of wine.

PLEASE BRING: Dog and cat food, old blankets and pet accessories which will be donated with a portion of the entrance fee to Animal Welfare Society in Stellenbosch, The Border Collie Rescue Association and PETS.

Tickets:
Booking essential: info@jordanwines.com / 021 881 3441
R100pp – early bird
R120pp – at the gate
Insider members 50% discount. Kids under 12 free.

 

 

 

 Gabrielskloof-Favourite-Things-Market-LR-10.jpgGabriëlskloof Estate’s popular Favourite Things Market takes place on the farm on 11 & 12 December – a colourful celebration of all things local, handmade, fresh and lekker.

 

A new addition to this year’s line-up with be six talented jewellery designers who will transform the estate’s wine tasting lounge into a Pop Up Shop of unique and bespoke brooches and bracelets and earrings.

 

“ Our Favourite Things Market is more than just a Christmas Market for you to buy all your gifts in one go. It’s a showcase of the many wonderful and rare things made by the talented people of our Overberg area " states  Nicolene Finlayson,  organiser of this sensory affair.

 

Fresh oysters; bubbly and craft beers beckon to be shared. And of course a glass or two of Gabriëlskloof’s wines when you take a breather from your shopping.

 

Gabriëlskloof’s Favourite Things Market takes place on Friday, 11 December from 5pm until 9pm and Saturday, 12 December from 11am until 9pm. Entrance is free.

 

For more information contact Nicolene Tel: 028 284 9865, send an email to nicolene@gabrielskloof.co.za, or check out the event on the Gabriëlskloof Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/741193519326032/.

 

Gabriëlskloof Estate is just outside Bot River, on the Swartrivier Road, off the N2.

 

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