The Harvest Festival at Franschhoek estate Grande Provence on 20 February sees guests getting their hands dirty. A tractor ride into the vineyards is followed by a morning of grape picking, grape stomping and, finally, wine tasting and a cellar tour. To finish off the festivities there will be live music and a bountiful harvest feast by Grande Provence Executive Chef Darren Badenhorst.
Durbanville Wine Valley
There’s more messy merriment in the Durbanville Wine Valley, with the Feast of the Grape, taking place on 27 and 28 February, bringing together 12 Durbanville estates on D’Aria estate. You’ll find big-name brands and boutique estates, with the likes of Durbanville Hills, Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, De Grendel and Nitida in attendance. There will be grape stomping – always a hit with the kids – along with tutored tastings to whet your appetite for the signature dishes presented by the winery restaurants.
While Durbanville is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, at Eikendal outside Stellenbosch its Chardonnay that’s the star attraction. The estate’s annual Weintaufe (wine baptism) on 6 March allows guests to sample the new vintage straight from the barrel, while the estate’s Cucina di Giovanni restaurant will dish up Italian-inspired fare alongside estate wines. Kids are well catered for, with jumping castles, tractor rides and cheetah viewing.
When the Melck family host their annual harvest festival on historic Muratie estate guests will have the chance to get their feet stained purple in the stomping bucket. This low-key celebration, happening on 12 March, is about good food and wine rather than a packed schedule of events. However, don’t miss the lunchtime talk by owner Rijk Melck on the colourful characters after which the estate’s wines are named. Afterwards, relax with a bottle of the estate’s Pinot Noir while the Kitchen Jammin’ Blues Band eases away the afternoon.
Robertson Wine Valley
The Robertson Wine Valley stretches out its Hands-on Harvest celebrations this year, with more than 20 wineries through the valley offering grape stomping, wine blending, vineyard picnics and more. The Harvest Experience at De Wetshof on 27 February until 27 March is one of the highlights, with barrel tastings of the 2016 vintage and freshly baked mosbolletjies on offer.
Angela Fourie, 083 310 1228
Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration
021 855 1422
021 865 2330/6
023 626 3167
Words: Richard Holmes