5 of the best summer harvest festivals in the Winelands

Posted by Matt Sterne on 24 January 2018 Tags:, , ,

As long as wine has been harvested there have been festivals celebrating the occasion. Wine drinking, grape pressing, and music are common features, but the different regions and wine farms celebrate in their own ways.

For the February issue of Getaway, I tried to visit as many wine regions as I could over the course of three days in one epic Cape Winelands road trip. From Durbanville to Hemel-en-Aarde and all the regions in between, I uncovered the stories and anecdotes that make the wine taste even better.

Overlooking the Franschhoek Valley on the second morning of our trip, where elephants once famously roamed.

On my trip, I got sound recommendations that these are the top festivals for celebrating the harvest of wine in the Cape. Now there’s a grape reason to travel!

 

The 5 best summer harvest festivals in the Winelands

1. Stellenbosch Wine Festival

23 – 25 February 2018, stellenboschwinefestival.co.za
This lifestyle festival is the country’s oldest wine festival. It showcases hundreds of Stellenbosch wines, from award-winning producers to small boutique wineries. From R100 per person at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds, Stellenbosch.

Slanghoek Valley, a serene nook of wine farms near Worcester, was one of the best discoveries of our trip.

 

2. Robertson Hands-on Harvest Festival

23 – 25 February 2018, handsonharvest.com
This down-to-earth celebration includes the towns of Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson. There will be grape picking and stomping, vineyard safaris and blending and tasting experiences at the various vineyards and in Robertson town. Events from R30 per person.

A Jacaranda tree catches the setting sun in Robertson, an area known for its Chardonnay.

 

3. Grande Provence Harvest Festival

24 February 2018, grandeprovence.co.za
The day includes a tractor ride into the vineyards followed by grape picking, stomping, wine and grape tasting and a cellar tour. From R750 per person including a picnic and entertainment.

Schoolchildren waved at us manically as we wound our way between wine farms at the beginning of summer.

 

4. Muratie Harvest Festival

10 March 2018, muratie.co.za
This family event takes place under Muratie’s ancient oak trees. Guests can taste wine, stomp grapes, have lunch and enjoy lives blues. There are also tractor rides for the young and young at heart. R100 per person.

Muratie’s tasting rooms has windows covered in 40-year-old cobwebs.

 

5. Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Carnival

4 March 2018, eikendal.com
This Sunday event has a strong focus on kids and offers delicious pop-up food stalls, grape stomping, lucky draws, carnival performing artists, tractor rides and golfing challenges. R120 per person.

The tasting room at Newton Johnson in Hemel-en-Aarde has two separate sea views.

 

Get the full Winelands road trip itinerary in the February issue of Getaway magazine.

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Our February issue features 12 of the best tented-camps around the country, fun-filled water adventures in Northern KZN, Madagascar by motorbike plus a guide to finding everyday magic in underrated Lisbon.