Stellenbosch is all fired up for this year’s epic festival of wine

The countdown to the annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival has begun. There are just weeks to go before it opens as the centerpiece of Wine Town Stellenbosch, a celebration of the humble grape from 4 to 9 August.

Inaugurated last year, Wine Town Stellenbosch features a diverse series of events and experiences designed to offer something for everyone. Among them are live music performances, farm walks, inspired meals, and tutored tastings – from formal to informal occasions – all featuring top wines as the main attraction.

At the heart of the celebration is the Stellenbosch Wine Festival on Friday, 5 August, and Saturday, 6 August. This two-day showcase in the Stellenbosch Town Hall is ideal for wine lovers wanting a first-hand snapshot of the region’s excellence and heritage.

Over 200 wines will be represented by more than 30 participating wineries, with curated tastings focused on special varieties and vintages.

Stalls run by the region’s top wineries will offer tastings, from 16:00 to 20:00 on Friday; and, from 14:00 to 18:00 on Saturday. Food prepared by renowned Stellenbosch chef Bertus Basson will be available too.

Early-bird tickets are on sale at R300pp until July 25, rising to R350pp thereafter. To attend, book tickets online via Plankton.

See the sights

Of course, any ultimate experience of Stellenbosch must include getting out and about to the establishments in this historic town dedicated to wine, and the wineries themselves. Organisers of Wine Town Stellenbosch have made sure to include this side too

Among the highlights

On 4 August
Learn more about Cabernet Sauvignon, a stalwart of Stellenbosch, in a sunset walk and tasting at Ernie Els Wines. In the line-up will be a range of vintages from 20 producers of the Stellenbosch Cabernet Collective. Tickets are R275pp. Book online via Plankton.

Join renowned winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain for tutored wine blending at Glenelly wine estate. Expect an intimate and informative session that provides insight to the components of a blend and varietal interactions. Tickets are R150pp. To book, email luke@glenelly.co.za.

On 5 August
Experience the epitome of food and wine pairing, when winemaking and great cooking combine at the Glenelly Lady May Dinner. The event takes place at Glenelly’s stylish Vine Bistro and will feature the release of the latest vintage of Glenelly’s flagship red blend. Tickets are R3 650pp. To book, email bistro@glenelly.co.za.

On 6 August – Runventures
A fun run/walk takes place on Saturday morning, giving participants an opportunity to experience the City of Oaks, its magnificent architecture, and abundant riverine habitats. The event offers a 10km run and an alternative 5km walk. Registration takes place at 07:00 at the Stellenbosch Town Hall which starts at 08:00 and 08:30 respectively. Entry for the 5km costs R110pp and R140pp for the 10km run.

On 9 August
For National Women’s Day, Simon Wine Emporium showcases Stellenbosch’s women winemakers and their wines with a walk-about tasting, from 12:00 to 16:00, at this venue on the corner of Van Ryneveld and Van Riebeeck Street. Tickets are R150 per six tastings. Book via the Emporium’s website, www.simonwineemporium.co.za

Get some more

While Wine Town Stellenbosch officially concludes on 9 August, two additional wine events are listed for those who just can’t get enough.

On 10 August
The Simon Wine Emporium has curated an evening dedicated to the grande dames of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes. It promises wines from diverse estates, a three-course meal and stories in celebration of the contributions of Annatjie Melck, Nora Sperling-Thiel, Vera Sperling and Norma Ratcliffe. Tickets are R625pp. Book via the Emporium’s website (www.simonwineemporium.co.za).

On 7 August
The Red Leaf Bistro at Beyerskloof Wine Estate will host a pop-up lunch to showcase the excellence of wines and winemakers from the Bottelary Hills region of Stellenbosch. Wineries in this region include Villiera, Hartenberg, Groenland, Kaapzicht Mooiplaas and Hazendal. To book, phone 021 865 2685 or email redleaf@beyerskloof.co.za.

Bang for your buck when you stay over

Special offers on accommodation are available via the town’s Stay Stellenbucks campaign. Book two nights’ accommodation or more and receive 20% in Stellenbucks coupons to spend at participating wine farms, restaurants, and experiences. For more information, visit www.Stellenbucks.visitstellenbosch.org

For more information on dates, locations, prices, and terms and conditions, visit www.winetown.wineroute.co.za.

Join the social media conversation about this year’s Wine Town Stellenbosch and use #WineTownStellenbosch when you connect with @stellwineroute on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Inquiries may be directed by email at info@wineroute.co.za or phone to +27 (0)21 886 4310.

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