Ka­roo Wi­ne Club pre­pa­res for 2018 Stoep Tas­ting - e­ar­ly bi­rd lo­cals to be­ne­fit

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Feature -

GRAAFF-REINET — With the mas­si­ve success of the an­nu­al Ka­roo Wi­ne Club Stoep Tas­ting Wi­ne Wee­kend in May - #ST17, the plan­ning for next y­e­ar’s #ST18 is al­re­a­dy in full swing.

The e­vent is due to be held on May 25 and 26. With the queue of wi­ne­ma­kers al­re­a­dy book­ed and mo­re still wan­ting to co­me, it seems its fa­me is be­co­ming a bit of a pro­blem, in a good way. The­re are al­re­a­dy 16 con¿rmed e­sta­tes and the in­ten­ti­on is to ha­ve ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly 25 for next y­e­ar.

Fifth an­nu­al Stoep tas­ting wi­ne wee­kend - #ST18

Ka­roo Wi­ne Club chair­man, Ro­se W­rig­ht says, “Stoep Tas­ting has cer­tain­ly gro­wn, the­re are al­re­a­dy re­que­sts for tic­kets and new wi­ne­ma­kers are queuing to be part of our an­nu­al e­vent, the Ka­roo Wi­ne Club is de­ci­ded­ly proud of t­his a­chie­vement and so should Graaff-reinet and its re­si­dents be e­qual­ly proud”.

As it is the ¿ve-y­e­ar an­ni­ver­s­a­ry of Stoep Tas­ting it pro­mi­ses to be a big­ger and bet­ter e­vent than e­ver be­fo­re.

The­re will be a num­ber of chan­ges and im­pro­vements, so wa­tch the press for de­tails.

The be­st news is that for loy­al Wi­ne Club mem­bers and the lo­cal Graaff-reinet com­mu­ni­ty, it has been de­ci­ded to gi­ve lo­cals the ¿rst op­por­tu­ni­ty to buy tic­kets for next y­e­ar’s e­vent at 2017 pri­ces.

W­rig­ht ad­ded, “Paid-up mem­bers of the Ka­roo Wi­ne Club will get a pre­fe­ren­ti­al ra­te of R130pp and non-mem­bers R150pp until the end of No­vem­ber 2017.

If you’d li­ke to book in ad­van­ce and ta­ke full ad­van­ta­ge of t­his op­por­tu­ni­ty, ple­a­se send an e­mail to ka­roowi­ne­club@gmail.com”.

Af­ter t­his i­ni­ti­al of­fe­ring, #ST18 tic­kets will not be a­vai­la­ble until Ja­nu­a­ry 2018 w­hen the new pri­ce will ha­ve kic­ked in and tic­kets will on­ly be a­vai­la­ble on­li­ne to the ge­ne­ral pu­blic at a hig­her ra­te. for the last 52 y­e­ars. As one of the foun­ding mem­bers of Gra­naat, Cam­de­boo’s F­riends of the Park i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve, he wit­nes­sed the a­rea’s tran­si­ti­on from the Ka­roo Na­tu­re Re­ser­ve to its pro­cla­ma­ti­on as a na­ti­o­nal park in 2005.

The­re was a ti­me w­hen the acti­ons of a few in­di­vi­du­als could ha­ve me­ant the end of t­his con­ser­va­ti­on a­rea. “In the e­ar­ly 1990s, far­mers wan­ted to occu­py the eas­tern si­de of the re­ser­ve. They ar­gued that they did not ha­ve land for their li­ves­tock and that the le­ga­li­ties of a park me­ant no­thing,” says Ek­steen.

Ek­steen re­a­li­sed the park nee­ded pro­tecti­on, and gat­he­red pe­op­le that we­re in­te­rested in na­tu­re con­ser­va­ti­on. Ac­cor­ding to Ek­steen, t­his mar­ked the start of Gra­naat. The or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on was on­ly of¿ci­al­ly laun­ched in 2000. Whi­le it had small be­gin­nings, the or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on has sin­ce gro­wn from se­ven to a­bout 80 pas­si­o­na­te pe­op­le.

T­his was not the on­ly in­ter­ven­ti­on that led the park to w­he­re it is to­day. In its e­ar­ly days, Ek­steen met up with Dr An­ton Ru­pert, then vi­ce chair­man of the Wor­ld Wild­li­fe Fund of South A­fri­ca. As a pas­si­o­na­te con­ser­va­ti­o­nist, Ru­pert lo­ved e­ver­y­thing from the Ka­roo vi­o­lets to small an­te­lo­pe. It was on­ly du­ring one meet­ing, w­hen Ru­pert’s pho­ne rang, that Ek­steen felt con¿dent. “A cer­tain prin­ce from the Net­her­lands was on the li­ne. I then re­a­li­sed that the­re would be ho­pe if t­his man who lo­ves small Ào­wers speaks to prin­ces dai­ly.”

A lot of ot­her work went in­to en­su­ring that the pro­per­ty re­mai­ned pro­tected. “With Dr Ru­pert’s help, the pro­per­ty was trans­fer­red to the WWF in 2003 and then to San­parks.”

Af­ter all the y­e­ars Ek­steen is thank­ful that he and his fel­low na­tu­re lo­vers ma­na­ged to show the com­mu­ni­ty the va­lue of con­ser­va­ti­on in the a­rea. “I think it would ha­ve been a hu­ge loss to vi­si­tors if the park was not pro­clai­med.”

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