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Partner content: 10 things to do at the Hands on Harvest Festival in Robertson this March

The 9th annual Hands on Harvest Festival will take place from 10 to 12 March 2017 in the Robertson Wine Valley. 40 wine estates, wineries and tourism spots in Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor, Robertson and surrounds will open their doors for the festivities. Here are 10 of the activities on offer for the weekend.

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1. Harvest grapes

Jan Harmsgat will be offering a range of activities, including a ‘working for your breakfast’ tour. Join farm manager Kowie Smit on a farm tour, learn how to use a press, and then settle down for a farm breakfast with a farmer’s omelette and cold buffet. R150 per person.

2. Blend your own wine

Head to Excelsior to make your very own blend. You’ll pick your own grapes, stomp them, use a basket press and mix your own blend, before enjoying a light lunch at Graze @ Excelsior.

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3. Take a bubbly masterclass

Graham Beck will be offering an in-depth tasting with winemaker Pierre de Klerk, featuring past and present MCCs and canapés. R200 per person.

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4. Bird watch while brunching

Kranskop Wines is offering a bird-watching walk followed by brunch, wine tasting and a cellar tour. R120 per person.

5. Plan a picnic

Book a spot at Ashton Winery’s harvest picnic on Saturday and enjoy a sumptuous picnic for R250 per basket (serves two and includes a bottle of wine). There will also be live music, grape stomping, giant chess, and a slip-and-slide and jumping castles for the kids. (Kids’ baskets are R75).

6. Head to the Harvest Family Market

For the first time ever, there will be a family market featuring fresh baked goods, organic produce, flowers and wine tasting. Enjoy live music, grape stomping and activities for kids. Entrance is free. The market will take place at Viljoensdrift Wines on Sunday 12 March 10am to 2pm.

7. Taste some brandy

Klipdrift and Platform62 will both be offering brandy tastings and pairings. At Platform62 you can also taste muscadel, liqueur and mampoer.

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8. Enjoy a braai fondue

Rietvallei is hosting an exclusive tasting, in addition to which guests can enjoy a braai and tuck into salads and breads. R250 per person.

9. Taste locally made marc (grappa)

Tanagra, the first distillery to produce marc, also known as grappa, in the Breede Valley, is also offering a personal introduction to grappa and wines.

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10. Take a booze cruise

Head to Viljoensdrift for a boat cruise down the Breede, with a bottle of wine and hamper from the self-help deli.

Hands-on-harvestVisit the festival website, www.handsonharvest.com, for the full programme.

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