DURBANVILLE WINE VALLEY PULLS OUT THE STOPS FOR FUN HARVEST FESTIVAL WEEKEND

The Durbanville Wine Valley is throwing a party and you’re invited. The occasion is a celebration of the annual wine grape harvest and each of the region’s wineries has organized a series of family-friendly wine-and-dine events during the long-weekend from March 18. In addition to out-of-the ordinary wine tastings from tank samples to older vintages, there will be blend-your-own-wine opportunities, a range of dining options from tapas and picnics to a traditional spitbraaiand more formal offerings, a true farm-style market and several live music shows. The focus is on family fun, so the children are welcome!

The Durbanville Wine Valley lies just 20 minutes from the Cape Town CBD and is home to some of South Africa’s most well-known wineries. They include Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, Canto, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Loch Lynne, Maastricht, Meerendal, Nitida, Groot Phesantekraal and Signal Gun. The region is also well-known as a hub for avid walkers and mountain bikers, epicureans and parents seeking plenty of run-around space for the kiddies.

Unique treats for wine-lovers

Durbanville Hills will host barrel tastings, a market, live music and picnics in its program. Barrel tastings will take place at Tangram restaurant, with lunch and dinners served from March 18 to 20. A tasting of six award-winning wines – the Honeysuckle Demi-Sec, Signature Sauvignon, Tangram red, Collectors Reserve Merlot, Collectors Reserve Cape Mist Sauvignon Blanc and Durbanville Hills Potstill 10YO Merlot Brandy – will be available for R105pp.  Brandon-Lee Hunt will keep visitors entertained with live music on Sunday, March 20; and, Tangram restaurant will serve breakfast and its signature lunch-time summer dishes on Monday 21.

Picnics will be available from Saturday to Monday during this period. Priced at R500, the picnics will be dispensed on a first come-first served basis, and include a charcuterie and cheese board for two, bottle of Durbanville Hills wine and dessert platter. A market will also be hosted in the wine cellar, on Saturday and Sunday, and feature a variety of independent farm and artisan vendors. Entrance to the market is free of charge. The winery is open Friday 1o:00-17:00, Saturday 1o:00-16:00, Sunday 11:00-16:00 and Monday 10am-4pm. To book, call (021) 558 1300.

The renowned De Grendel winery has compiled a series of out-of-the-ordinary tasting tours consisting of a cellar tour; wine tasting of its Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc, Op Die Berg Chardonnay, Merlot, and Bordeaux blend Rubaiyat; cheese board and snacks-for-two; and, a blending experience where you can make your own wine. As added motivation, the best wine to be produced will receive a special prize. The tours are available on March 19 and 20, at 12:00. They’re limited to 16 guests, in four groups of four per tour. The cost is R300pp. To book, email tristan@degrendel.co.za.

Relax and enjoy

Pioneering winery Meerendal offers a true wine-lover’s experience that provides an early-bird view of the latest harvest. The guided tour will take you to the cellar, giving you the opportunity to taste young white wines from their tanks and red wines that have just been transferred to barrels. Your guides will be winemaker Thys Smit, viticulturist Damien Cadle and legendary Cape Wine Master, Bennie Howard. A hearty brunch will be followed by a young-wine tasting to prepare you for a tutored tasting of the Meerendal bottled wine range presented by the same team of experts. The unique, three-hour tasting and brunch event takes place on March 19 only, starting at 09:30. The all-inclusive cost is R350pp.Bookings are essential as only 20 seats are available. Contact Rene Francis to book on tasting@meerendal.co.za.

Durbanville Wine Valley champion Diemersdal will host a tapas menu inspired by Sauvignon blanc – the farm and region’s star variety. With every main meal ordered at lunch and dinner, you get a complimentary glass of 2022 Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc. The offering is available on March 18-20, with a different tapas offering on the Sunday. Notably, the complimentary wine is among the first of the latest vintage Sauvignon blancs to be released. The winery will also be open from 12:00 to 15:00 on Monday, March 21. Reservations should be made via www.diemersdal.co.za

Famous for its intimate former wine tank tasting rooms, Klein Roosboom, will present grape stomping and live music in true harvest-celebration style on March 21, from 12:00 to 15:00. The performing band is Radiophonia. Jéan Deli will trade as normal on the day. On March 19 and 20, wine tasting takes place from 10:00 to 17:00. Jéan Deli restaurant will be open Friday 09:00 – 17:00, and Sunday 08:00 – 16:00. To book for the restaurant, send email to bookings@kleinroosboom.co.za. For wine tastings, book via www.kleinroosboom.co.za.

Spend the weekend in the winelands

Winery-on-a-hill Signal Gun presents live entertainment too as well as a harvest spitbraai and picnics. These will be offered on March 19 and 20, from 10:00. The winery also plans to have a lucky draw with the main prize being a wine safari tour. For more, email foh@signalgun.com or call 021 976 0770.

Enjoy farm-to-table tapas for two at Groot Phesantekraal, which is renowned for its wines and exceptional restaurant. The dishes include an option of slow-roasted lamb shoulder with onions and red wine jus paired with a glass of Berliet Pinotage; or, seared salmon with herb hollandaise and shaved fennel, paired with a glass of Marizanne Sauvignon Blanc. Side dishes are included too. The special offer is available on March 18 and 19, for R650 per couple. Booking is essential and may be done by emailing restaurant@phesantekraal.co.za or on Tel: 021 825 0060.

Taste wine to live music at Maastricht, which has engaged the services of a performer on March 21. The tasting room will also be open on Saturday, 10:00 to 16:00 and Sunday, 10:00 to 15:00. No booking is required, and entry is free.

Canto will share the experience of their wine in a fun, informal and interactive fashion, at a long-table of food-and-wine. Taking place on Saturday March 19 the winery team will lead a sensory journey after which you can create your ideal pizza to pair with four Canto wines. The price of R220pp for the full experience includes a glass of bubbly on arrival. To book, email info@cantowines.co.za or call 021 492 2821.

For more information about Durbanville Wine Valley, visit www.durbanvillewine.co.za or send an email to info@durbanvillewine.co.za. Wines of the region are available online via www.winefly.co.za. Tag and follow Durbanville Wine Valley to get the latest news about events. Use @DurbanvilleWine on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram.

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