Summer’s hotting up with loads happening in the Cape winelands this February. Here’s a pick of some of the top events you can look forward to.

Franschhoek Summer Wines, Leopards’s Leap 4 FEBRUARY 2017

Get ready for a high summer celebration at this year’s Franschhoek Summer Wines taking place this Saturday, 4 February at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards. Come and taste the Franschhoek Vigneron’s choice for summer. White, rosé, Méthode Cap Classique and light reds – all will be revealed on the day!

The wines have been handpicked by the winemakers to complement the hot summer days. Pair your favourites with delicious food from the rotisserie kitchen, as you relax on the veranda or the sprawling lawn with panoramic views of the valley. Live entertainment completes what promises to be a perfect day out in the winelands. Keeping things cool, dress elegantly in white.

Tickets are available from Webtickets at R180 per person. This includes a wine glass and a tasting of all the wines on show between 12pm and 5pm. For more info contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021 876 2861 or email info@franschhoek.org.za.

Cape Wine Auction 2017, Franschhoek Valley 10-11 FEBRUARY 2017

If you are one of the following: 1) very serious about wine, 2) very serious about charity 3) a social butterfly of note, then SA’s most talked about and prestigious wine industry charity event, The Cape Wine Auction 2017, should be on your calendar.

Prominent wine aficionados from around the globe, hosted by South Africa’s iconic winemakers, will be invited to make a serious difference in aid of charity when the bidding opens. What can only be described as über glamorous, the two-day affair will launch at the elegant La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek on Friday, 10 February, with the American Express Barrel Auction allowing guests the opportunity to bid on once off, specially curated or limited wines, tasted directly from the barrel and presented by the winemaker. The luxurious lunch-time auction event will take place at the Anthonij Rupert Wyne estate on Saturday, 11 February, and is sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth.

This global showcase of South African wines is committed to changing people’s lives through the powerful tool of education – from cradle to career – and the Cape Wine Auction Trust has been established with a clear mandate to raise funds for education in the winelands. To date the trust assists 22 beneficiaries within the winelands.

The lots are an impressive line-up of once-in-a-lifetime offerings including rare wine collections as well as exclusive hand-selected local and international wine, gourmet and travel experiences.

A limited number of tickets have been made available to attend this exclusive event. Tickets are priced between R1 850 per person (access and participation to the Friday night event only) and R5 000 per person (access and participation to the Friday and Saturday events), and can be booked directly via the Cape Wine Auction website.

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La Motte Where the prestigious charity event, the Cape Wine Auction, takes places on 10 February.

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Muratie Harvest Festival, Stellenbosch 18 FEBRUARY 2017

The Melck family will once again be hosting their annual Harvest Festival at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch on Saturday 18th February 2017. The festival, which takes place under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate, is a celebratory family event featuring good food, fine wine, great company, live music and lots of fun stomping the newly harvested grapes.

For skilled mountain bikers, the day will start early with Dr Rijk Melck doing a “Doctors Ward Round” guiding a Mountain Bike Tour at 07h00 for 07h30.

If, like me, you’ll be skipping this part, your day will start at the more civilized hour of 11h30 when the gates open for visitors with a welcoming drink. You’ll be able to taste Muratie’s well-loved wines, either at leisure in the tasting room, or you could attend the private tasting held by winemaker Hattingh de Villiers at 12h00. For the wee ones and the older-but-still-young-at-heart ones, there will be tractor rides through the vineyards.

A long lazy alfresco lunch accompanied by Muratie wines is another highlight. The harvest lunch, prepared by Muratie’s Farm Kitchen, will include gourmet burgers, salmon sandwiches, samoosas, spring rolls and cheese platters. The popular Kitchen Jammin Blues Band will be there to entertain you late into the afternoon.

Costs and bookings:
Festival-goers are advised to book their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
• Entrance R75.00 per person, including a welcome drink
• Private winetasting by Hattingh de Villiers (R50 per person and booking is essential)
• Tasting in the tasting room: Special Harvest Festival prices for wine tasting and chocolate pairing experience
• Mountain Bike Tour (R100 per rider)
• Tractor Rides through the vineyards (bookings can be made on arrival)

Stellenbosch Wine Festival 24-26 FEBRUARY 2017

The hugely popular Stellenbosch Wine Festival presented by Pick n Pay is back and promises to be as memorable as ever. The event will again be hosted at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds and will take place from 24 to 26 February 2017.

The three-day festival has become well-known for showcasing some of the finest wine the country has to offer. Add to that delicious food, great live music and a host of fun outdoor activities in one of the country’s most beautiful settings and you have one of summer’s best wine events.

On The Gourmet Lane there will be a veritable feast of fresh artisanal foods and signature dishes from some of the best eateries from Stellenbosch and surrounds. There will be daily canapé-and-wine pairings with 30-minute sessions run throughout the festival at the Tasting Room, but be sure to book your spot as early as possible (at the festival venue) as these sessions tend to book out very quickly.

Also not to be missed is the all-new Wine Library where you can book a session with a winemaker and taste award-winning small batch wines and rare vintages. For those keen on getting in on some real harvest action, try a bit of grape-stomping at The Grape Stomping Ground – it might sound messy but it’s a lot of fun.

If you have kids, drop them at the Momentum Health Kiddies Area where professional minders will look after and entertain your precious little darlings so you can relax and enjoy all the festival has to offer.

For sporting enthusiasts, there’s the ever-popular Pick n Pay Women’s Walk on Saturday 25 February 2017 and the Momentum Grape Golf Challenge on Thursday 23 February 2017.

Event Details:
• Times:
Friday, 24 Feb, 14:00 – 21:00
Saturday, 25 Feb 12:00 – 20:00
Sunday, 26 Feb 12:00 – 18:00

• Prices:
R190 for adults, includes tasting glass and cashless voucher
R450 Weekend pass includes tasting glass and cashless voucher
R60 for children under 18 years (no glass or wine tastings)
Children under 12 enter free of charge (no glass or wine tastings)

Tickets are available from Webtickets.

About this article: I only write about places and things I actually really like. Should I receive complimentary meals/tickets/diamonds, this will always be revealed. I’m not in the rubbishing business, so if something is not my cup of tea, I’ll simply not write about it (but I’ll keep the diamonds). Therefore this is not so much a review, as a personal recommendation of places and things I like.

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