Stellenbosch Wine Festival 2013
There were so many major events taking place this weekend in the Cape that one had to really focus and strategically decide which one(s) to go with. In my case there was the choice of:
a) Up The Creek
b) J&B Met
c) Cape Town Tens
d) Stellenbosch Wine Festival
If you look at the list, each event involved drinking, so there was no getting out of that one. Throw in the fact that Summer generally makes one thirsty… you’re pretty much screwed if you think you’ll be able to dodge any symptoms of a nasty hangover. Especially when you win not one, but two magnums of Blaauwklippen Barouche at the Stellenbosch wine festival.
Apart from winning this great prize (I never win anything so I was incredibly chuffed), this year’s festival really blew me away. It’s probably the best one that I’ve ever been to (and when you’re a student in Stellenbosch you attend MANY).
The main festival venue was Die Braak which is like the Stellenbosch town square. There was ample parking in many of the side streets and very little queuing to get in. Usually all the wine farms are cramped up next to each other in minute stalls inside a big school hall but this year everything was outdoors making it a lot easier to navigate your way around. I was also extremely impressed with the way that the different farms presented their brands. A lot of creativity was involved and it made such a difference to the visual and aesthetic aspect of the event.
Amazing wine shop
Every wine offered for tasting, was also available for purchase at the Pick n Pay wine shop. This was a real highlight for me. The shop was well-airconditioned, beautifully set-up with friendly and helpful wine assistants on hand to guide you through your purchase. I don’t think wine buying has ever been such a breeze!
Onto the food
Being the greedy eater that I am, there was no time wasted in investigating the food situation. Wow, was I spoiled for choice. Pick n Pay had designed an entire “food court” with different stations:
– cheese and meats
– gourmet sandwiches
Small Producers Market
On top of this, there happened to be a small producers market where I picked up some amazing chorizo from Twelve Pigs Charcuterie. Pesto Princess also made an appearance. As did Fabio from Puglia Cheese and the guys from Bean There Coffee Company.
For the kids
I noticed that the organisers even demarcated an entire area for Kids. There really was something to suit all needs. I was even offered a spay of suncream from some promo girls when the sun began to beat down. Extra points for that!
Did I mention the festival was 10 days long? I really hope it’s a format that will stay. If you have the time to attend next year, do try and go. It’s really a great opportunity to
scout gorgeous winemakers for potential marriage material taste wine from all of your favourite Stellenbosch producers in one day.
Here’s a quick photo gallery:
Follow me on more food and wine drenched adventures @Tessa_Purdon