WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Harvest is a time of hard work and long days in the Western Cape winelands, but the winemakers and vineyard workers certainly also know how to have a good time. If you’d like to join in the most exciting months in the Winelands, book your tickets to one of the Cape’s celebratory harvest festivals.
Grande Provence Harvest Festival 2020
Expect barrels of fun and an upmarket day amid the vines at this Franschhoek estate, when Grande Provence once again hosts its popular harvest festival. After a tractor ride into the vineyards, guests get to work filling crates with grapes, before the chance to try your hand (or foot) at traditional grape stomping. If you’d rather not work up a sweat, tastings and cellar tours are also on offer, before a sumptuous harvest table is set for lunch in the vineyards.
Date: 22 February Price: R1,000 per couple, including a bottle of wine
Muratie Harvest Festival
Look forward to a laid-back day in the shade of ancient oak trees when the Melck family throw open the gates to their historic Stellenbosch cellar. There’s little hard work in store, although there will be grape stomping on offer for the energetic and wine tasting for the thirsty.
Tractor rides into the vineyards will keep kids entertained, while the tunes of the Kitchen Jammin Blues band set the soundtrack for an al fresco lunch (not included in ticket price) beneath the boughs.
Date: 29 February Price: R150 per person, including welcome drink
Genevieve MCC Post-Harvest Proe Party
There are few better ways to toast a successful harvest than with a glass of méthode cap classique in hand, and there’ll be no shortage of bubbly at this after-harvest party in Bot River.
“We’re pulling out all the stops for this one,” says Melissa Nelsen, owner of specialist cap classique producer Genevieve MCC. “Cap classique, like the best wines, takes time to make and reflects the seasons. To open a bottle is to taste the sunshine of a particular year and that’s exactly what’s on offer at the Proe Party.”
The afternoon includes the chance to hear more about the 2020 harvest, followed by a tasting of older vintages of Genevieve MCC and current releases. Then it’s time for lunch, with a sitdown harvest table feast accompanied, of course, by plenty of bubbly.
Date: 7 March Price: R450 per person
In your hood: Western Cape winelands
Grande Provence Harvest Festival 2020 | 021 876 8600 | grandeprovence.co.za
Muratie Harvest Festival | 021 865 2330/6 | muratie.co.za
Genevieve MCC Post-Harvest Proe Party | 083 302 6562 | genevievemcc.co.za