Four-day fest offers fine wines, fancy fare
WHETHER you intend to kick back and sip pink fizz in the sunshine or hunt down vinous treasures from boutique cellars, planning your route around the sixth Helderberg Wine Festival could pay dividends.
Wineries and organisers of this celebration are presenting a broad diversity of attractions, fine fare and winning wines.
Spread over four days, the festivities also serve to raise funds for several charitable projects, something this region does regularly and in great style.
For a sophisticated start, book for the Six Senses event at the Waterkloof restaurant and tasting lounge near Somerset West on Thursday, where 10 local restaurants and 20 wineries will present tasting portions of their signature dishes and pour their products.
The ticket price of R200 is allinclusive.
Retro fans can dress in costume and head to Blaauwklippen the following evening for an outdoor screening of Grease, where popcorn will be prominent.
To enter, buy a one-day or multiday festival ticket.
The Erinvale Care and Help Organisation, which supports educational and upliftment projects, will benefit from a glamorous dinner dance at the Lord Charles hotel next Saturday. Tickets cost R450.
Head to Vergenoegd with your pooch to help raise funds for the K9 Search and Rescue Association, and watch a demo by these clever dogs.
Invest time in unearthing the limited vinous editions at Romond Vineyards, whose Fanfaronne 2009 is an impressive blend of cab franc and cab, reasonably priced at R180. This cellar is also home to Gerda Willers’ Nigma from Miravel, an unusual wooded sauvignon blanc, complex and full-bodied (R110).
Visit the Post House cellar where Nicholas Gebers makes dark dense reds and complex whites with philatelic stories behind their names.
His Merry Widow 2011 shiraz (R130) offers an exceptional result from minimal grape handling.
Those who prefer their sauvignon blancs floral and fruity should try Avontuur’s Sarabande Reserve 2013 (R104), which spent two months in French oak and is packed with fruit flavours for a summery aperitif.
Think pink and savour the easydrinking joys of Blaauwklippen’s off-dry low-alcohol rosy fizz. Strawberry, peach and pear combine in Ons Sprankel (R69) while Somerbosch’s 2013 rosé delivers affordable uncomplicated sipping. Both wines call for picnic fare with Med flair.
Peruse the website programme: children can pet ducklings, adults can play boules, lunch can be a restaurant feast, a gourmet pizza, a cheese platter, tapas, lamb spitbraai, potjiekos, bounteous picnic... the choice is tantalising.
Toss the corks from empty bottles into the bins provided at most cellars.
Amorim Cork’s Corklife Project is doing sterling work training and employing women who craft and sell useful items from recycled corks.
Festival tickets at R100 for oneday and R150 for multi-day entry are obtainable from Vergenoegd and most cellars taking part, or buy at www.plankton.mobi.
● See www.helderbergwinefes tival.co.za or e-mail email@example.com.
GLAMOROUS DESTINATION: Head for Waterkloof, which hosts the opening event of the Helderberg Wine Festival on Thursday.
SEE YOU THERE! MFM 92.6 Radio presenters, from left, Andrea Kruger, Carla Marthinus, Renaldo Schwamp, Cherwin Petersen and Sherlin Barends plan their itinerary for the Helderberg Wine Festival.