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Harvest Festivals in the Winelands: January and February
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The winelands are abuzz with harvest preparation and an array of festivals to celebrate this exciting time in the industry. Below is a list of events worth attending in January and February.

January

Delheim Start of Harvest Festival - 28 January 2012

Get knee-deep in grape juice and family fun on Saturday 28 January at the 2012 Delheim Start of Harvest Festival.

Gather from 12 noon to the tunes of a live jazz band on the shaded lawns behind the historic Delheim cellar. Sumptuous picnics featuring gourmet fare can be pre-booked, while delicious snack foods such as ostrich Panini will be on offer at farm stalls throughout the day. A competitive grape stomp relay event will be held at 15h00 to entertain the adventurous with fantastic prizes up for grabs.

Tickets will be restricted to 130 guests at R50 per adult, which includes a glass of partially-fermented grape must and a traditional sweet mosbolletjie. Entry for children and to the grape stomp relay will be free. Picnics are available at R130 per adult and R65 per child and takeaway foods will be on offer throughout the day. Bookings are essential, via delheim@delheim.com, www.delheim.com or cal 021 888 4600.

February

Hanepoot picking at De Krans
- 8 February to 3 March 2012

During the months of February and March, De Krans Wine Cellar, situated in the quaint little town of Calitzdorp alongside the well known Route 62, will once again offer visitors to the area the opportunity to pick deliciously sweet Hanepoot grapes.

This fun-filled picking experience will take place from 8 February to 3 March 2012, and will be made available every day (except Sundays) from 08h00 until 16h00. Grapes cost R4.90/kg and visitors are welcome to bring their own containers. Alternatively containers can be purchased at De Krans at a minimal cost.

Besides picking their own grapes, a visit to this award-winning cellar also affords visitors the opportunity to sample, at no extra cost, their range of 2011 award-winning wines. For bookings and further enquiries contact Helet Viljoen or Bessie Swanepoel at the farm on 044 213 3314 or email them at dekrans@mweb.co.za.

Robertson Wine Valley Hands-on Harvest - 24 to 26 February 2012

With harvest time around the corner, it is time to make plans to head out to the Robertson Wine Valley to experience the ‘magic of harvest’. This boutique fun-filled family event promises to offer a wide variety of activities that will appeal to both wine lovers and budding vintners.

As some of the wineries participating in ‘Hands-On Harvest’ are not ordinarily open to the public, the focus will be on hosting a series of intimate events. This ensures that guests enjoy the best, most personalised and ‘hands-on’ experiences.

Visit www.handsonharvest.com for the programme of activities (which includes contact details for participating wineries). All bookings to be made directly with participating wineries by no later than 22 February. Payment is required in advance. Visit the web-based regional brochure, www.robertsonwinevalley.com, for accommodation options.

Dusk Harvesting, Music and Picnic Dinner at Nederburg - 25 February 2012

Take part in the creation of some of Nederburg’s award-winning wines by joining the winery’s twilight harvest on Saturday, February 25. On arrival, you’ll be treated to a refreshing sparkling wine cocktail and a special Nederburg gift. Freshly-baked mosbolletjies, bread rolls and korrelkonfyt made from Pinotage grapes will be available to snack on while awaiting the expert harvesting team who will teach you how to hand-pick perfectly ripened grapes.

After harvesting, you’ll get to taste freshly-pressed grape must, which is juice that has already started fermenting, as well as some tank samples of wine so you can experience the journey from the vineyard to the bottle. A scrumptious harvest picnic dinner and some fine Nederburg wines will next be served on the sprawling lawns in front of the 19th century manor house while Sterling EQ performs.

We suggest wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. The cost is R200 per person (includes the picnic-dinner and a bottle of Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve wine per couple). R65 per child under 12. Booking is essential to secure your reservation. Please contact Sunette Rust on 021 862 3104 or send an e-mail to nedwines@distell.co.za.

Hands-On-Ashton Kelder Grape Stomping - 25 February 2012

In days of old when a press was not yet invented trousers were rolled and grapes were stomped. Enjoy a day of grape crushing at Ashton Kelder.

Order a Picnic basket at R120 serves two and includes a bottle of Wine or Grape Juice. Bag-On-A-Broomstick meals are R25 for the kids.

Activities include a jumping castle and a giant chess set for the kids and wine tasting and sales for adults. Starts anytime between 09h00 and 15h00. For more information visit www.ashtonkelder.co.za.

Grande Provence Harvest Festival 2012 - 25 February 2012

Calling all budding vintners and wine aficionados to experience the magic of harvest day!

The day, which promises a great deal of fun and laughter, starts at 09h00 with coffee and fresh muffins followed by a tractor ride to the vineyard for grape picking. At 10h30 arrive back to the cellar for a short tour, wine tasting and a talk by Jaco Marais award-winning winemaker. This is followed by the fun part - stomping the grapes in the barrels, with a hose down of your feet afterwards! From 11h15 gather in the garden under the old oak tree for a scrumptious braai, accompanied by live musical entertainment.

Cost for the day is R290 per adult and R130 for children under 12. Included in the price, is one bottle of Angels Tears wine per adult, to be collected from the event organiser on your departure. The Harvest Festival is highly recommended as an excellent team building activity, special rates will be given to groups of 10 guests or more. For more information visit www.grandeprovence.co.za.

The Spier 2012 Harvest Festival - 25 February 2012

On Saturday 25 February 2012, Spier will celebrate its annual grape harvest on the banks of the Eerste River, in front of the wine tasting room.

Spier’s celebrated Cellar Master, Frans Smit will bless the harvest and his winemaking team will lead the charge in the annual grape stomping challenge! Bands will play during the day, filling the air with bluesy tunes.

The Spier Wine Harvest Festival runs from 10h00 to 16h00 and costs R70, which includes a wine glass and five tickets that can be used either for wine tastings or games. Tickets can only be purchased at Spier on the day. For more information visit www.spier.co.za.

Darling Cellars Crush Day
- 25 February 2012

Darling Cellars hosts its harvest festival on 25 February from 7h00. Tickets cost R220 per person for adults, R150 for teenagers (13 to 17 years old) and R80 for children aged 12 and under. The ticket price includes a whole bunch of goodies. Bookings are essential.

Picking, crushing, eating and drinking in the sun! The day includes breakfast, picking and crushing your own grapes (plus your very own wine and label to come 8 to 10 months later!), label design competition. A traditional West Coast lunch and wine tasting is available.

For more information and bookings contact Johan on 022 492 2276 or email tasting@darlingcellars.co.za.
 +27.224922276        +27.864651130        info@darlingcellars.co.za
Mamre Station, R315, Darling 7345, South Africa