Known for its rustic and charming country life, the Robertson region is home to some of the best wines in the country and makes for a relaxing, slow-paced getaway for city folk. As the town gears down for the annual SLOW Food and Wine Festival from 5 to 7 August – the popular grape celebration that’s dedicated to taking things slow – we give you a foodie’s guide to the exciting activities taking place at this year’s eventful weekend.
A true garagiste potjie at Bemind Wyne
Warm up with a slow-cooked lamb potjie made by Ewan van Wyk, who is part of the Bemind Wine family and has become famous for his potjie and brilliant jokes. The evening includes a starter of home bad bread, lamb potjie for mains and a comforting malva pud for dessert, at R300 per person. A glass of Bemind wine per course is included.
A cosy Sunday buffet at Bon Cap
Families can enjoy a hearty farm-style buffet lunch around a fireplace with dishes like split-pea soup, roast oxtail and apple crumble. Cost is R140 per person, excluding wines.
A relaxing dinner with the Bruwer Family at Bon Courage
Unwind in the underground cellar with a tasting of Jacques Bruére Cap Classique and canapés, before spending the evening with the Bruwer family (of Bruére wine) while enjoying a three-course meal with award-winning wines at Café Maude Restaurant. The cost is R410 per person.
Boere sushi on the River Goose with Bonnievale
Head to Bonnievale Wines and celebrate local with a fun day of wine and ‘boere sushi’. Five mini South African dishes of biltong burgers, vetkoek and sweet treats will be paired with Bonnievale Wines and enjoyed on a boat on the river. Cost is R160 per person.
Gourmet dinner with De Wetshof
De Wetshof is pulling out all the stops with a five-course elegant feast prepared by award-winning Swiss-trained chef Bernhard Hess and paired with wines specially selected from the De Wetshof Estate. Rare and mature De Wetshof chardonnays, which are not readily available on the market, will also be served with the dinner. The cost is R650 per person.
A Taste of Africa evening with Esona Boutique Wine
Sign up for an exciting African-themed dinner-and-wine experience with Esona. Dishes will include an oxtail soup, blindekuikens (stuffed chicken breasts) with hasselback potatoes, and a classic appeltert. The cost of the dinner is R395 per person.
An ostrich feast with Excelsior
The Feather Palace Feast will be a roaring-twenties-themed party plus a four-course meal with ostrich as the star of the show. The lavish evening will take place in the Manor Guest House and will cost R400 per person.
Bubbly and food pairing with Graham Beck
Lovers of MCC and food will relish this fun day hosted by the popular bubbly brand. You’re invited to indulge in an exclusive masterclass in wine tasting, a drive around the private nature reserve (glass of bubbles in hand), and a sumptuous feast to end it off. Cost is R650 per person.
South African feasts with Jan Harmsgat Wines
This food-and-wine experience is on offer as a four- or five-course meal of local ingredients and farm-fresh produce with a twist. Look forward to dishes like smoked ostrich carpaccio, grilled West Coast sole, Overberg lamb shoulder and traditional malva pudding. Costs are R300 per person for four courses on the Friday and R395 for five courses on the Saturday.
Make your own sausages with Kleinhoekkloof
For R650, visitors can try their hand at making their own sausages. Winemaker and charcutier Theunis de Jongh will demonstrate how to make various kinds of pork sausages to take home and enjoy. Think fillings of blue cheese, figs and herbs, and apple and garlic. There will also be a lunch and dinner served with estate wines.
Pinot Noir pairing with Lord’s Wines
Join Lord’s Wines for an intimate get-together and pairing of pinot noir with a five-course meal. Enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by dishes like caprese consommé, line-caught fish cakes, smoked lamb shoulder, and a dessert platter all made to pair with their pinot noir and bubblies. Guests will also be treated to tastes of pinot noir from the barrel. The cost is R350 per person.
Olive-oil maker’s dinner with Marbrin Olive Growers
The owners and product developers of Marbrin Olive Oil will be hosting a four-course meal inside their working factory situated in the midst of their olive farm on the Friday. There will be a brief talk and tasting through the various olive and olive oil products that they have on offer, with local wines selected for each course. The cost is R450 per person.
Chocolate-and-brandy tasting with Platform 62
Discover brandy with a fun and unique tasting that’s paired with everyone’s favourite treat. Compare and enjoy six premium brandies paired with different chocolates and fruit. The tasting includes cocktails and a beautiful brandy glass to take home, for R60 per person.
A taste of traditional German food with Tanagra
Enjoy a selection of authentic and hearty German cuisine combined with the unique wines and grappa from the Tanagra winery and distillery. Weather depending, the lunch will be held in the farm garden under the giant fig tree, or in the rustic wine cellar between the barrels. The cost is R260 per person.
Slow dinner in an underground cellar with Weltevrede
Enjoy an evening with the Jonker family and relax with good food and wine in the 100-year-old underground cellar. Dishes will include cauliflower soup, oxtail en croute and crumbled carrot cake. The dinner costs R290 per person.
Wine-and-cheese workshop with Wolfkloof
Take part in a fun and informative wine-and-cheese pairing with the Cape Wine Academy. Visitors will learn the ins and outs of pairing eight cheeses with different wines and can enjoy a sociable snoek braai with Wolfkloof winemaker to end off the morning. The cost is R480 per person.
The SLOW Food and Wine Festival will take place from 5 to 7 August in the Robertson Wine Valley. There will also be a family market on Sunday 7 August. To check out the programme and book your tickets for one of the food and wine festivities, visit robertsonslow.com.