The 10th Stellenbosch Wine Festival – South Africa’s biggest country food and wine festival

The Stellenbosch Wine Festival 2011 will take place on 28 to 31 July 2011 in Stellenbosch along the Cape Winelands, South Africa. The festival will be presented at more than 50 participating cellars, with a central information centre based in Stellenbosch where visitors will find useful information, as well as buy event passes and hop onto shuttle service.  You can enjoy the festival by driving yourself or by simply parking your car at the information centre of at any of the six Park n Ride sites.  Take the shuttle services from the information centre or any Park n Ride and enjoy the many stops on the wine routes.  Use of the shuttle service is included in the festival pass.

The 150 farms that form the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes are pulling out all the stops for a double barrel celebration to mark their 40th anniversary and the 10th Stellenbosch Wine Festival during the last week of July this year.  The festival, to be held at the Paul Roos Centre from 28 to 31 July, is one of the biggest country food and wine festivals under one roof in the Cape and extends its Winelands hospitality again this year with the ever popular Stellenbosch Wine Week.  From 22 to 31 July, visitors to South Africa’s oldest and foremost wine routes will be able to partake in special Wine Week cellar door attractions on participating farms leading up to the Wine Festival.

Stellenbosch Wine Week offers a wide-ranging kaleidoscope of family-friendly activities including gaming nights, a foreign film festival, food and wine pairings, adventurous day trips, family picnics, live music, exclusive winemaker dinners and rare vertical and varietal wine tastings, all blended into one big barrel of fun.  Delheim will kick off the Stellenbosch Wine Week with an evening of superb wine, food and music in support of Stellenbosch Child Welfare.  The highlight of the evening is a once-off performance of Ariel Ramírez’ oeuvre ‘Misa Criolla’ by the South African Youth Choir led by André van der Merwe featuring mezzo soprano Minette du Toit-Pearce.  Everyone attending the concert is encouraged to bring a blanket as a donation to Stellenbosch Child Welfare.

Simonsig, the pioneers of Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa who also celebrate the 40th anniversary of their iconic Kaapse Vonkel this year, are presenting an in-depth tasting and trip down memory lane into the origins of the country’s very first bottle fermented sparkling wine. This singular Cap Classique encounter includes a vertical tasting of Kaapse Vonkel and the comparison to its base wines followed by a 2-course meal at Simonsig’s signature Cuveé restaurant.  If you are a bubbly fan, The House of J.C. Le Roux, devoted entirely to producing sparkling and Méthode Cap Classique wines, is another essential Stellenbosch Wine Routes stop. Be sure to book for the exclusive Scintilla tasting of different vintages of this flagship Cap Classsique paired with a variety of delicious treats in the luxurious Scintilla Lounge for the duration of the Wine Week.

Marrying all passions of the winelands, Stellenbosch Wine Week celebrates the complementary relationship between food and wine with a host of special dinners.  The Ratcliffe family and executive chef Mark Springhorn invite 30 guests to an intimate food and wine evening on Warwick Estate.  Neethlingshof with host Katinka van Niekerk, the grande dame of Food and Wine Pairing in South Africa, will share stories from a life less ordinary whilst treating guests to favourite winter recipes and a 3-course meal.  If venison is your thing on a cold winter’s day, then be sure to head to Vergenoegd’s classic wines paired with four different types of game carpaccio prepared by Mike Israel of Pomegranate Restaurant.

At Rust en Vrede, join Jean Engelbrecht and winemaker Coenie Snyman for a 4-course dinner with Champagne on arrival and a tasting of select award winning vintages.  Stellenbosch Wine Week also has plenty on offer for wine lovers who are looking for a more hands-on encounter with the winemakers.  At Clos Malverne you can blend and bottle your very own Cape Blend with winemaker Suzanne Coetzee and enjoy an unforgettable food and Cape blend wine pairing in their restaurant amidst the vineyards.  If you feel like some relaxation after your hard work in the cellar, pamper body and soul with a Cabernet and Pinotage grape seed body scrub and massage at the Clos Malverne Spa.

Waterkloof, the spectacular ‘cellar in the sky’ on the outskirts of Somerset West with its priceless mountain and sea views warms up to Stellenbosch Wine Week with free wine tastings around the open fireplace in the modern tasting lounge.  Cocooned in a contemporary glass and concrete sphere, visitors can tuck into delicious French onion soup or mussels and chips by the crackling fire.  For Pinotage lovers, the vertical tasting of 10 Kanonkop Paul Sauer vintages is a must followed by a traditional snoek braai.  Vriesenhof will be showcasing a vintage and barrel tastings of Jan Boland Coetzee’s greatest older wines.  At Le Riche you can enjoy rare vintages of their exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon or join David Trafford for an intimate wine tasting at De Trafford Wines.

There is something for everyone including families with children.  At Middelvlei, mom and dad can indulge in a feast of wine and venison treats while the kids are kept busy with good old fashioned Boeresport and traditional favourites such as egg-and-spoon, three-legged and wheelbarrow races, or flour diving and much more.  If you prefer to do so something a little more relaxing with the children, head down to Chabivin for a fun-filled picnic and loads of kids’ activities including arts & crafts.  While the children are kept busy exploring the farm, you can indulge in superb Champagnes or stylish South African Cap Classiques with your gourmet picnic baskets while enjoying the live music.

For lovers of art-house films, a visit to Le Bonheur is a must for the screening of a range of gems from silent movies to modern, international festival winners in their manor house.  The films are preceded by a delicious spread of tapas.  If gaming nights appeal to you, pop in at Uitkyk for a Dine and 30 Seconds fun-filled evening.  Grab your coat and get your 30 Seconds partner for an evening of laughter and hysterical confusion followed by hearty soups and slices of crusty home baked bread with lashings of farm butter.

Golf enthusiasts should not miss the chipping competition at Ernie Els Wines with great prizes up for grabs for the duration of Stellenbosch Wine Week.  You don’t have to be an ace player to step into the tee-box – it’s all about having a good time!  Various special accommodation packages in and around Stellenbosch, ranging from budget Winelands sleepovers to luxury rest and relaxation amidst the tranquillity of aristocratic vines, are available to make the Stellenbosch Wine Week and Wine Festival more accessible to upcountry visitors this year.  Contact Road Travel to find out which package suits you best.

Author: Africa Road Travel

Africa Road Travel is an established inbound southern African tour operator. Our parent company (Cape AgriTours) was established more than 14 years ago, Africa Road Travel started in 2001 and opened their own independent offices in Cape Town in 2004. Since then the company has grown in leaps and bounds, besides the years of accumulated professional industry knowledge and experience, we enjoy special industry contracts with many service providers, Hotels and Guest Houses. This allows us to provide you with individual attention, free assistance with your vacation plans, a free ground handling service and discount prices.

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