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Wine festival calendar: Your guide to some of the hottest wine events around SA in 2016

It’s no secret that South Africa’s food and wine calendar is bursting with events, and the year ahead is full of exciting bubbly parties, red wine soirées and harvest celebrations. To help you plan your wine-drinking activities for the rest of 2016, we’ve highlighted a few exciting festivals happening around the country. (We will add more to this list once further details are announced.)

Wine-lovers enjoying a tasting of Creation Wines.

Wine-lovers enjoying a tasting of Creation Wines. Photo supplied.

April

Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration – 15 and 16 April (Bot River, Overberg)

The fifth annual Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration will be taking place along the Bot River wine route. The festival consists of three special events: a laid-back get-together at Honingklip Brewery on Friday night, a Best of Bot vs. International Tasting at Goedvertrouw on Saturday morning, and the main event, The Baard Paartie on Saturday evening at Barton Vineyards on Saturday evening. Cost: R180 to R450 per person.

Biltong & Pinotage – 16 and 17 April (Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands)

Taking place at L’Avenir Wine Estate is this year’s J&M pinotage and biltong festival. The family-friendly event will offer a range of biltong products paired with wines from 18 different wineries, food trucks, live music and kiddies’ entertainment. Cost: R150 per person.

Boschendal Farm to Table Festival – 23 and 24 April (Franschhoek, Cape Winelands)

This festival hosted in at picturesque Boschendal Wine Farm will give guests an opportunity to sample fresh local, seasonal and ethically sourced produce and food, and sip on premium wines while enjoying educational workshops and talks from some inspiring foodies.

Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival – 30 April and 1 May (Elgin, Overberg)

Celebrating the end of harvest, this festival offers wine lovers a chance to explore the route and taste the best Elgin has to offer. Each of the participating wineries will offer a unique programme with award-winning wines, pop-up kitchens and food trucks, outdoor activities and live entertainment. Cost: R120 per person via Webtickets.

Fijnwyn Wine and Food Festival – 30 April and 1 May (Pretoria East, Gauteng)

The 7th Fijnwyn Food & Wine festival, held at Shokran Events venue, will feature a variety of boutique wine estates including Vrede & Lust, Creation Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Glen Carlou and many more. There will also be a food-and-wine pairing and entertainment for family and friends.

Oesfees Centurion – 30 April to 2 May (Centurion, Pretoria)

The Oesfees Festival will be held at Leriba Hotel, featuring more than 60 top wine farms, gourmet food and live demonstrations by chefs. There will be complementary transfers from the Gautrain station and secure parking close by. Cost: R150 per person.

South African Cheese Festival – 30 April to 2 May (Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands)

Cheese and wine lovers are invited to taste and buy the widest variety of local cheeses as well as pair them with their favourite wines and whisky. Cost: R150

Tuning the Vine in Cape Town. Photo supplied.

Tuning the Vine in Cape Town. Photo supplied.

May

Tuning the Vine – 11 May (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets, from Bree Street to Wale Street, in a trendy mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they experience a range of their favourite wines at hot venues with great gourmet bites along the way. Cost: R150 per person.

Tops at Spar Wine Show Johannesburg  – 12 to 14 May (Sandton, Johannesburg)

Taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, this year’s show will give wine enthusiasts a chance to meet the wine makers, taste and buy the best of the Northern and Western Cape’s bottles direct from the producers, and enjoy gourmet foods. Cost: R160 online, R180 at the door, R240 for a weekend pass.

Good Food & Wine Show Cape Town – 27 to 29 May (Foreshore, Cape Town)

This year’s event will boast a fresh transformation and will explore the latest in lifestyle and design, as well as urban and rural integration. The show’s line-up will showcase urban farming and gardens, take a look at food markets, and track the move towards more sustainable lifestyles. There will also be a number of unique sensory experiences, celebrity chefs, street-food stalls, baking demos, and an exciting new-look wine area where visitors can look forward to special tastings, talks, a wine smell wall, as well as wine-and-food pairing sessions.

La Lucia Mall & Buxton’s La Cave Liquors Fine Wine Privé 2016 – 26 May (La Lucia, Durban)

Experience an exclusive evening with over 70 of South Africa’s premier wine makers and wine estates, plus light gourmet snacks and entertainment. There is also the opportunity to place orders for the wines being tasted at special prices. Tickets are extremely limited and available via Webtickets. Cost: R150 per person.

Shiraz and Charcuterie at Antonij Rupert – 28 May (Franschhoek, Cape Winelands)

Sample Anthonij Rupert Wine’s range of shiraz wines as well as a selection of SA’s finest syrahs paired with charcuterie and other delicious artisanal fare. Participating wine farms include Rust en Vrede, Waterford, Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Hartenberg Estate, Simonsig and Thelema. Cost: R180 per person.

Wade Bales Wine & Malt Whisky Affair – 6 May (Gardens, Cape Town)

This exciting festival will showcase a selection of wine and whiskies to suit every palate for connoisseurs and enthusiasts. There will be over 100 hand-selected wines from South Africa’s finest wineries including Delaire Graff Estate, Ernie Els, Rustenberg Wines and be privy to Vilafontè’s launch of their Series M 2013. Cost:R180

Experience the wineries of Robertson at Wacky Wine Weekend.

Experience the wineries of Robertson at Wacky Wine Weekend. Photo supplied.

June

Tops at Spar Wine Show Durban – 2 to 4 June (Umhlanga, Durban)

Taking place at Sibaya Casino, this year’s show will give wine enthusiasts a chance to meet the wine makers, taste and buy the best of the Northern and Western Cape’s bottles direct from the producers, and enjoy gourmet foods. Cost: R120 online, R140 at the door, R200 for a weekend pass.

Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend – 2 to 5 June (Robertson, Cape Winelands)

Head to beautiful Robertson to sample wines and explore over 40 wineries, boutique wineries and tourist establishments showcasing the valley’s winning produce over four days. There will also be wine-and-food pairings, educational wine presentations, and private tastings with the valley’s most esteemed winemakers. Cost: R150.

Tuning the Vine – 8 June (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets, from Bree to Wale, for a trendy mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they experience a range of their favourite wines at hot venues with great gourmet bites along the way. Cost: R150.

Calitzdorp Winter Festival – 16 to 19 June (Calitzdorp, Klein Karoo)

The Calitzdorp Winter Festival (originally known as the Calitzdorp Port Festival) will be the perfect opportunity for wine lovers to plan a winter weekend escape to the heart of the Klein Karoo. Experience the area’s unique wine and food culture, warm hospitality, beautiful views and lots of entertainment for the whole family. There will also be an Amazing Race-style competition, art exhibitions, and a lazy Sunday brunch.

Franschhoek Bastille Festival_Food and wine marquee

The food and wine marquee at the Franschhoek Bastille Festival. Photo supplied.

July

Tuning the Vine – 13 July (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets, from Bree to Wale, for a trendy mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they experience a range of their favourite wines at hot venues with great gourmet bites along the way. Cost: R150.

Franschhoek Bastille Festival – 16 and 17 July (Franschhoek, Cape Winelands)

Every year on Bastille Day, foodies don their berets and flock to Franschhoek to honour the area’s French heritage. (Read: consume cheese, artisanal bread, chocolate, olives and wine). The main attraction is the official marquee at the Huguenot Monument, where you can feast on fare from Franschhoek’s award-winning restaurants and wine estates. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but stay tuned to their website for more info.

FNB Eastern Cape Wine Show – 28 and 29 July (Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth)

The second FNB Eastern Cape Wine Show takes place in the plush Tsitsikamma Rooms at the Boardwalk Convention Centre, where PE wine lovers can enjoy an evening of great wine tastings. Engage with winemakers or their representatives while tasting an array of more than 150 of South Africa’s best wines – all available for both sampling and ordering. Cost: R160 per person.

Good Food & Wine Show Johannesburg – 28 to 31 July (North Riding, Johannesburg)

This year’s event will boasting a fresh transformation and will explore the latest in lifestyle and design, as well as urban and rural integration. The show’s line-up will showcase urban farming and gardens, take a look at food markets, and track the move towards more sustainable lifestyles. There will also be a number of unique sensory experiences, celebrity chefs, street-food stalls, baking demos, and an exciting new-look wine area where visitors can look forward to special tastings, talks, a wine smell wall, as well as wine-and-food pairing sessions.

Kievits Kroon Robertson Wine Festival – 30 and 31 July (Kameeldrift-East, Pretoria)

During this family lifestyle weekend, more than 20 leading wine farms and winemakers from the Robertson Wine Valley will be exhibiting their delicious products for Highveld wine lovers to sample, savour and purchase. There will also be vendors offering high-end food, ranging from boerewors rolls to sushi and artisanal pizzas, or a buffet lunch or picnic at Kievits Kroon’s award-winning restaurant. Ticket prices are to be confirmed, but keep your eyes on their website for more details.

A cosy winery in Robertson. Photo supplied.

A cosy winery in Robertson. Photo supplied.

August

FNB Free State Wine Show – 4 and 5 August (Groenvlei, Bloemfontein)

The fourth FNB Free State Wine Show takes place at the Emoya Hotel and Spa where Bloem wine lovers can enjoy an evening of great wine tastings. Engage with winemakers or their representatives while tasting an array of more than 150 of South Africa’s best wines – all available for sampling and ordering. Cost: R170 on Thursday and R190 on Friday.

Tops at Spar Wine Show Port Elizabeth – 4 to 6 August (Port Elizabeth)

Taking place at the Boardwalk Convention Centre, this year’s show will give wine enthusiasts a chance to meet the winemakers, taste and buy the best of the Northern and Western Cape’s bottles direct from the producers, and enjoy gourmet foods. Cost: R120 online, R140 at the door, andR200 for a weekend pass.

Robertson Slow – 5 to 7 August (Robertson, Cape Winelands)

Enjoy a slow weekend in the beautiful Robertson Wine Valley for the ninth Robertson Slow festival. 26 wineries and guesthouses from Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson will welcome visitors into their homes, to their dining tables and onto their farms for a leisurely food and wine experience. Tickets aren’t available yet, but they sell out fast. Keep your eyes on their website http://www.robertsonslow.com/ for more info.

Tuning the Vine – 10 August (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets, from Bree to Wale, for a trendy mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they experience a range of their favourite wines at hot venues with great gourmet bites along the way. Cost: R150 per person.

Tops at Spar Wine Show Pretoria – 25 to 27 August (Menlyn Park, Pretoria)

Taking place at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, this year’s show will give wine enthusiasts a chance to meet the wine makers, taste and buy the best of the Northern and Western Cape’s bottles direct from the producers, and enjoy gourmet foods. Cost: R160 online, R180 at the door, and R240 for a weekend pass.

Food and wine pairing at the Inner City Wine Route. Photo courtesy of the event organisers.

Food and wine pairing at the Inner City Wine Route. Photo courtesy of the event organisers.

September

Soweto Wine Revolution – 2 to 4 September (Kliptown, Soweto)

Pencil in this weekend for a celebration of wine, where Cape winemakers show off their talents to Gauteng wine lovers. The ticket gets you a glass to taste over 1000 of South Africa’s finest wines as well as guide to each winery with space for your notes. There will also be a range of different tasty food and entertainment and lifestyle stands. Keep your eyes on their website for ticket details.

Tuning the Vine – 7 September (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets, from Bree to Wale, for a trendy mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they experience a range of their favourite wines and great gourmet bites. Cost: R150 per person.

Franschhoek Uncorked – 24 and 25 September (Franschhoek, Cape Winelands)

Celebrate your heritage over a glass of wine and plate of food cooked over an open flame at the Braai4Heritage at Franschhoek Uncorked. The festival’s weekend pass also allows access to the participating farms as well as a complimentary tasting glass and free wine tastings. Keep your eyes on their website for ticket details.

Take in the beautiful river views in Robertson. Photo supplied.

Take in the beautiful river views in Robertson. Photo supplied.

October

Tuning the Vine – 12 October (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets for a trendy mid-week wine fest. Amble through the city as you experience a range of wines and great gourmet bites. Cost: R150 per person.

Robertson Wine on the River – 14 to 16 October (Robertson, Cape Winelands)

The festival will once again take place on the picturesque riverside farm with its idyllic, open-air spring setting. Friends and family can enjoy an extravaganza of fine wine, mouth-watering treats, great music and complete relaxation amidst a rural ambience of nature and warm sunshine. Keep your eyes on their website for ticket details.

Good Food & Wine Show Durban – 28 to 30 October (city centre, Durban)

This year’s event will boast a fresh transformation and explore the latest in lifestyle and design. The show’s line-up will showcase urban farming and gardens, take a look at food markets, and track the move towards more sustainable lifestyles. There will also be a number of unique sensory experiences, celebrity chefs, street-food stalls, baking demos, and an exciting new-look wine area where visitors can look forward to special tastings, talks, a wine smell wall, and wine-and-food pairing sessions.

The Tuning the Vine event. Photo supplied.

The Tuning the Vine event. Photo supplied.

November

Tuning the Vine – 9 November (City Bowl, Cape Town)

The Mother City’s first inner-city wine route links some of Cape Town’s hippest streets in a mid-week wine fest. Wine lovers can amble through the city as they taste a range of wines and bites at hot venues. Cost: R150 per person.

Tops at Spar Wine Show Nelspruit – 24 to 26 November (Riverside Park, Nelspruit)

Taking place at Emnotweni Casino, this year’s show will give wine enthusiasts a chance to meet the wine makers, taste and buy the best of the Northern and Western Cape’s bottles direct from the producers, and enjoy gourmet foods. Cost: R120 online, R140 at the door, and R200 for a weekend pass.

outside at Grande Provence

The views at Grande Provence in Franschhoek. Look forward to tasting their bubblies at the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival. Photo supplied.

December

Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival – 3 and 4 December (Franschhoek, Cape Winelands)

There is no better way to end off a year than with a festival dedicated to bubbles. The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival offers enthusiasts a chance to relax in a grand marquee situated on the majestic Huguenot Monument lawns and mingle with winemakers as they pour some of South Africa’s finest MCCs and France’s best Champagnes. There will also be a range of eats cooked up by the local restaurants to pair with your favourite flute. Keep your eyes on their website for ticket details.

Tuning the Vine – 7 December (City Bowl, Cape Town)

Cape Town’s inner-city wine route takes wine lovers through the streets as they taste great wines and gourmet snacks. Cost: R150 per person.

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