The boy and I have temporarily left the delights of Pringle Bay to live on a farm while he carries out some project work. So it was quite by accident that we found ourselves in Durbanville, home to 12 of the Cape Town region’s top vineyards. The Durbanville Wine Valley sits in the Tygerberg Hills, 20 minutes from Cape Town and each year is home to more than one wine tasting festival.
The vineyards “are united in their passion to reflect the Durbanville terroir in all their wines. The result is a magnificent range of intense, fruit-driven yet elegant wines, as different from each other as the slopes that create them and the individual personalities who craft them.”
As you may have picked up on in previous posts, I enjoy a glass (or two) of wine. I especially enjoy it when it’s consumed in a celebratory fashion. So when offered the chance to experience Durbanville’s Feast Of The Grape festival with wine tasting, grape stomping and live music, I didn’t have to think twice!
The weekend long festival is held annually to celebrate the end of the grape harvesting period. The 12 Durbanville vineyards get together in one place offering guests the chance to try their fine wines in a family friendly setting. I was expecting a laid back affair with people milling around stalls, sipping wine and munching on hot dogs. What I wasn’t expecting was a car park overflowing to the nearby fields, people dressed in their glad rags, beautifully decorated vineyard stalls, stunning food options and a general party atmosphere!
On arrival we were given a glass to keep and our wine tasting cards, consisting of 2 tastings at each vineyard, to make a total of 24 tastings throughout the day. These were included in the ticket price of R120 (currently less than £6). There’s no set order so the boy and I wandered around looking for the shortest wine tasting queues to get started!
The event really is set up as a family affair so has a great atmosphere, it’s more than just people drinking wine and getting drunk! It’s about trying new wines, making comparisons and learning about what you’re drinking. Throughout the day there are Tutored Wine Tastings during which enthusiasts are treated to being guided though the “subtle differences” between the region’s wines by the very winemakers responsible for the creations.
To keep children and adults alike entertained, there is a charity Grape Stomping area where you can get down and juicy with the grapes, stomping to your heart’s content to get the liquid out. Luckily, despite the boy’s conviction, the liquid squeezed out at this event, wasn’t intended for any glass bottles!
In addition to the fine dining Food Trucks, each vineyard also put forward some of their signature foods, pairing them with the wines available. We tucked into a random collection of snacks, from cheeseboards to chicken schwarmas.
Throughout the afternoon the stage was filled with local bands and musicians keeping the guests entertained and, as the afternoon wore on and the wine flowed more freely, keeping them dance floor full.
In it’s fourth year, this annual event is one for the calendars, a great way to spend a summer afternoon in stunning setting with great wine food and music, what’s not to love? The doors opened at 11 and by 7pm the music came to an end and an eclectic mix of families, old and young groups of friends and couples, were making their way, slightly less sure footed than they arrived, across the fields.
Things to know:
- Tickets include 2 tastings at each of the 12 vineyards plus a wine glass to take home
- Feast Of The Grape have partnered with Uber offering first time Uber users a discount on their ride home (definitely a sensible way to get home!)
- Wine tastings run until 4pm, after that the vneyards sell their wine by the glass / bottle until the event ends at 6pm
- One vineyard did also serve craft beer, other than that it’s a wine (and soft drink) only affair
- There is little shelter therefore be prepared to get there early and get a seat under the marquee or slather on the suncream!
- Although there is no dress code, I felt people made an effort to look glam and make a day of it so turning up in shorts and a vest may leave you feeling a little under dressed!
- Not all of the vendors take card payments so make sure you have cash on you too, just in case your fav wine ends up being from a cash only stall
Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for the event in return for this review however this did not impact my opinion on the event.
Have you ever been grape stomping? Let me know in the comments!