The Stellenbosch Wine Festival was presented by Pick ‘n Pay in association with Momentum and the Stellenbosch Wine Route, and took place over the last weekend in February at the Coetzenberg Sports Grounds in Stellenbosch. I received complimentary tickets for the event from Momentum and its rewards partner Multiply (can we say best medical aid ever?). I must admit, after years of attending badly organised, overpriced festivals, my low expectations were blown out of the water almost immediately. I experienced a well orchestrated, expertly organised, wonderfully curated event that really did put the consumer experience at the forefront. I had to eat my words.
The Stellenbosch Wine Festival is an annual 3-day event that brings together a variety of wine producers from the Stellenbosch area to one venue, allowing festival-goers to taste hundreds of wines from the region on one afternoon, in one place. There was also a ‘Gourmet Lane’ featuring eateries from Stellenbosch and surrounds, live music, a kids play area, canapés and wine pairings at The Tasting Room, a grape-stomping ground and the new Wine Library which gave attendees the opportunity to book a session with a winemaker, and sample rare vintages.
The festival was so well organised. We parked in safe, free, easy to park parking, I barely ever stood in a queue to get wine, I chatted to wine makers, and staff who were experts in their respective fields, there were decent bathroom facilities and I tasted dozens of excellent wines from the Stellenbosch Wine Route, all this for R190.
Delaire Graaf Estate
Delaire Graaf was noticeably one of the busiest stalls at the event. They had experienced and knowledgable staff to serve the 5 wines they had available to taste. My favorites were the fruity yet dry, Cabernet Franc Rosé and the Botmaskop, a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. You can read more about their wines and their tasting notes here.
Hartenberg Estate had one of the most visually appealing stalls of the festival. Their bar was made out of wooden pallets, upon which were two orchids. They had one of the largest selections of wines that I came across. We tried most of them, all very easy drinking and all very reasonably priced. My favourite wine from this farm was the Unwooded Chardonnay which was light and easy-drinking. Read more about the wines from the Hartenberg Estate here.
Muratie was the first wine we tasted at the festival. Their white blend, Laurens Campher, is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and Viognier and was in the top 10 wines of the day for me and my partner. I may have gone back for a second tasting (don’t tell anyone). You can read more about Muratie’s wines here.
Waterford was my favorite stall of the day. Visually appealing with olive trees and lavender bushes inside, it was another noticeably busy stall throughout the day, but I learnt very quickly that there was a reason for that. They had 5 wines available to taste and each one was excellent. I loved their Rose-Mary, a blush which was made up of an interesting blend of 5 cultivars (Shiraz, Merlot, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Malbec) which made for the perfect summer wine. Their 2015 Waterford Elgin Sauvignon Blanc was my favorite Sauvignon Blanc of the afternoon. I also particularly enjoyed the Kevin Arnold 2012 Ashleigh Anne Shiraz seen in the picture above. Read more about Waterford’s range here.
For more information about Momentum and its reward program, see their website.
For more information about the Stellenbosch Wine Route and downloadable maps, visit their website.
Note: All views, content and images are my own, except for the official event logo.