We never need an excuse to head to Stellenbosch, and with the oldest wine festival in the country happening from 24 to 26 February, that’s where we’ll be. This year the event is taking place at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds, a natural amphitheatre surrounded by mountains, a river and oak-lined pathways, making it the perfect venue for this world-class festival.
Over 75 wine farms are showcasing their wares this year, and visitors will have an opportunity to taste as many as they desire (there are over 400 to taste!). In addition to the Gourmet Lane, featuring food from local eateries and food trucks, there’s a Tasting Room where visitors can enjoy canapé-and-wine pairings. This year the festival has a Wine Library where wine connoisseurs can taste and experience various Wines of Origin. Younger members of the family will be kept entertained in the Kiddies Area while being watched over by qualified child minders.
The Grape Stomping Ground is always a barrel of laughs: participate in some stomping and maybe get in on some barrel-rolling, too. Live entertainment throughout the day comes courtesy of Newton & Co, Hugo Brand, Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions, and more.
The Pick n Pay Women’s Walk is another highlight, taking place on 25 February from 7am to 10.30am. It’s a 5km fun event, aimed at raising funds and awareness for breast cancer, and everyone is welcome to walk, including men and children. There’s also a prize for best dressed walker, so wear something pink.
THE BEFORE PARTY
Stellenbosch is always a hive of activity at this time of year, so arrive in the city of oaks a day or so earlier and partake in the following pre-festival events:
• Street Soirées A monthly summer event in the streets of Stellies, where you can sample various wines from local estates.
When: 22 February, 6pm – 8pm
• Longridge Langtafel A five-course meal for 200 diners at Longridge Wine Estate & Restaurant.
When: 22 February, 6pm – 11.30pm
Tickets: R800; contact 021 855 4082 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place