Food and Wine Festivals in Cape Town and the Western Cape
Stellenbosch Wine Festival, that is held in January, is dedicated to promoting local restaurants, local culinary artisans and wines, as well as show-casing the Stellenbosch lifestyle, the Stellenbosch Wine Festival serves up the best of Stellenbosch food and wine from the area’s award winning restaurants and wine farm. Coupled with great entertainment, a three day wine expo featuring interactive stands and tasting programmes, festivalgoers are guaranteed a weekend-long great time.
In February, the Hands on Harvest take place in Robertson. This boutique event in The Robertson Wine offers wine aficionados and budding vintners a chance to experience the magic of harvest for a day – without having to quit their day jobs! Guests can look forward to Grape Picking * Bunch Sorting * Stomping your own grapes Grape vs Wine Tasting * Harvest Market * Vineyard Tractor Trips Must tasting * Wine tasting by Horse Cart …. and much more.
The festival, Feast of the Grape, held in the month of March; takes place at the Durbanville Race Course showcases the unique terroir of the area and celebrates the end of the harvest. Festival goers can sample award winning wines and find out how the landscape with its rolling hills, cooling sea breezes and diverse soil types impart wonderful structure and flavour to the range of white and red wines. Local restaurants offer delectable food, grape stomping, cow milking and loads of entertainment for the kids.
The Stomp and Press Festival in Tulbagh celebrates the end of the harvest in February. Everyone is welcome to take up the “stomping” challenge! Grapes are crushed by foot and the person who manages to extract the most juice, within a certain time period, wins a prize. Children are entertained by a jumping castle and water sports, and the avid golfer can score a few “holes in one” and win prizes.
In March, the Lamberts Bay Crayfish and Cultural Festival, or Lambertsbaai Graca Kreefees, offers scrumptious, yet affordable crayfish, served in the Crayfish and Graca Wine Garden. Highlights include; Muisbosskerm Paella and Paella and Crayfish Combo, accompanied by kids’ activities and entertainment from South Africa’s most well-known artists. Experience the culture of this beautiful fishing town, Lamberts Bay.
The Constantia Food & Wine Festival, held in April, brings out the best that the Constantia Winelands has to offer. The festival showcases 40 of the area’s finest wines, and dishes up delicious foods from the local award winning restaurants. Alongside the vino and the culinary delights, visitors to the event will be treated to live entertainment: all in an effort to instate Constantia as one of the world’s premier food and wine destinations. Parents can kick back and relax while the kids have a ball in the open-air play area adjacent to the tasting tent; the little ones get in free.
A firm favourite in the minds and mouths of Capetonians, the annual Pick 'n Pay Taste of Cape Town’s gastronomic festival, celebrated in the month of April is guaranteed to whet the appetites of Cape Town’s most dedicated and sophisticated foodies. This calendar brings together some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants, artisan producers, award-winning wineries and carefully selected exhibitors to give residents a chance to sample a smorgasbord of distinctly local cuisine.
Cheese skeptics should prepare to be transformed into turophiles (people who love cheese), with a selection of artisan dairy products including; camembert, brie and blue cheeses. Share innovative cheese recipes with editors from iconic magazines. South African Cheese Festival comes complete with professional entertainers for kids and will be held in Stellenbosch.
Pack in your picnic blanket and umbrella and get ready to enjoy the second Seafood Festival in Franschhoek, in the autumn month of April. Feast on mouthwatering seafood ... snoek braais, seafood paella, seafood poitjies, pickle fish …the list goes on. Browse the other food and sweet stalls or chill in the Beer Garden. Enjoy the entertainment which includes a variety of live music and dancing. Children can look forward to jumping castles, face painting and seeing some of their favorite characters.
In May, The Good Food and Wine Show at the CTICC, in Cape Town, pushes the boundaries of innovation and excellence as South Africa’s premier food, wine and lifestyle experience. The celebrity chef line-up and a second-to-none culinary lifestyle experience will ensure the 130 000 visitors get a taste of the extraordinary.
Be part of the TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival, held in May, for an evening of wine, music, food and education on the roof-top of the Gugulethu Square mall. Visitors can delight in tasting a multitude of wine styles and cultivars; interact with lifestyle brands in wine lounges and explore a wide variety of tastes. The festival aims to create awareness amongst Black people in the Western Cape, with a view to expanding the wine base for wineries.
Get your dancing shoes out of the closet and head to the Prince Albert Olive Festival in the Karoo, in May. A host of quality craft stalls, fabulous food and the world famous hospitality of the locals of Prince Albert, along with entertainment for the whole family from country music to soothing jazz sounds. View the beautiful architecture of this lovely little town. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and do not miss the opportunity to experience true Prince Albert Magic.
In May, make your way to the annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival. Voted one of the best food festivals in the Western Cape, The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is a lifestyle festival and owes its success to a range of divine olives, wine, cheese, pickles, jams, bread and an eclectic mix of local characters. Your weekend pass gains you entrance to 8 venues as well as a complimentary wine tasting glass, free entertainment, wine and olive tastings at each venue.
Following in the success of last year’s event, visitors to Franschhoek can once again look forward to another interactive Cook Franschhoek , in June. Known as SA’s leading wine destination and gourmet capital, food and wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to join some of the Valley’s highly acclaimed chefs and winemakers as they present hands on demonstration kitchens. With the focus on exclusivity, each demonstration will range from 8 to 30 people, and costs will differ by establishment. Be sure to include the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route as part of your weekend of discovery.
Twelve wine farms in the Durbanville Wine Valley host the Soup, Sip and Bread Feast winter event, in the winter month of June. The perfect environment to enjoy this delightful wine route’s reds, it serves up with home-made soup, just-baked artisanal bread and live music in a rustic, country-side setting. This laid-back winter feast also adds a fun challenge to the art of food and wine pairing, as vintners and chefs find soulful partners for the variety of soups, chowders and gumbos on offer.
ABSA Calitzdorp Port and Wine Festival held in Calitzdorp, renowned as the Port Capital of South Africa, shakes off the Klein Karoo dust in preparation for the very best wine and lifestyle festival in June. Festival visitors are treated to a magnificent medley of Ports and Port cultivar wines - think fantastic value-for-money Ruby and Tawny Ports and multiple award-winning Vintage Reserve Ports. But also Pink Port, White Port, The Chocolate Port, Tinta Chocolat, Tinta Mocha, The Original Espresso, Tinta Barocca, Touriga Nacional, III, Cape White and Khamsin, to name but a few.
Wacky Wine Weekend will celebrate its 7th year as one of South Africa’s wine and lifestyle festivals in the month of June. You can sample from Aston, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson wineries and enjoy wine and food matching education sessions and vineyard tractor trips. Why not make a weekend of it? Work off all that food and wine with outdoor adventure pursuits, whilst your kids enjoy fishing and farmyard tours.
The annual Breedekloof Soetes & Soup weekend, hosted in July by the various wineries in the Breedekloof region, features the best of South Africa entertainment, hearty homemade country soups, accommodation specials, art exhibitions and discounts on medal-winning red wine, Muscadel and Port. Visitors can buy a Breedekloof Soetes & Soup enamel mug for R10 at their first winery and use it to enjoy complimentary cups of homemade country soup and discounts on red and fortified wines at each of the participating wineries.
The Wine Affair at the V&A Waterfront, taking place in the month of July, will be held right at the water's edge and offering patrons spectacular views and the chance to enjoy some of the top Western Cape wineries and V&A Waterfront restaurants, is the only event of its kind. Participating wine estates will be represented and supported by a uniquely tailored menu from a variety of the award-winning V&A Waterfront restaurants.
The coastal town of Knysna is famous for its oysters, and increasingly famous for the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival held in July. In addition to oyster braais, oyster tasting, oyster-eating competitions and other molluscular activities, there is live entertainment and lots of sporting events - cycling, running, canoeing, downhill racing and sailing.
The Hermanus Food and Wine Fair, held annually in August, is located in the beautiful Hemel en Aarde Village encompasses three days of world-class premium wine and an assortment of fresh, local culinary creations. The Hermanus Wine and Food Fair, is one of South Africa’s Top 10 Wine Festivals. This is a celebration of 15 years of great wines of the Elgin to Elim area. A true country festival, you will experience an impressive lineup of wines that have garnered awards from around the globe.
Only 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town (on the popular, scenic Route 62), why not take the time to head out to the country and enjoy the simple pleasures in life… slowly. At Robertson Slow held in August, one can sample honest, old-fashioned, rural hospitality synonymous with the Robertson Wine Valley’s winemaking community. Relish the slow food and wine that will satiate your senses and revel in the relaxed pace that will replenish you soul. Robertson Slow is family and children orientated with traditional farm games - such as marbles, ‘kleilat’ and ‘kettie’ - to tractor rides and fishing expeditions.
In the month of August, visit Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo for the Klein Karoo Klassique, - a festival of classical music and Klein Karoo cuisine, wines and art. Make a date with delicious Klein Karoo cuisine paired with regional wines and complimented by classical music. Klein Karoo potters, painters and other visual artists such as Thijs Nel and Francois Gerber will exhibit in various venues and there will also be practical painting workshops. The Klein Karoo Klassique promises to be an exceptional week end for followers of classical music, good wines, high quality art and scrumptious food.
In September, welcome the month of spring, at the McGregor Food and Wine Festival, which is a unique experience showcasing the wineries on the McGregor Wine Route, plus delicious tastes of country fare at a one-stop venue. Local artists and crafters will also display their creations. Take the family and make a weekend of the occasion.
Taking place in September on the banks of the Breede River, Robertson Wine on the River replaced the popular Robertson Food & Wine Festival. Taste the best wine the area has to offer and meet the winemakers responsible for them. Listen to live music, browse through the arts & crafts lane, enjoy lunch or sample the local produce on show. Wine sold on site at cellar price and there is plenty for the kids to do.
The Bierfest launches in South Africa, in September! More than 200 years old and attracting more than five million people from around the globe to Germany each year the annual Oktoberfest in Munich has been a defining part of Bavarian culture and has grown to become the world’s largest festival. “The Bierfest is a recreation of traditional Bavarian beer festivals.” Guests can enjoy an array of Bavarian cuisine supplied by the finest local purveyors of German food. Bierfest in Cape Town promises to be an authentic Bavarian festival complete with limited edition beers brewed exclusively for the event, German food and even oompah bands.
After a watershed inaugural Franschhoek Uncorked last year, The Franschhoek Wine Valley is, once again, hosting their spring meander in September. This multi-faceted celebration takes place on satellite farms throughout the Valley, and affords highly esteemed wineries, as well as those smaller hidden jewels, the opportunity to ‘bloom’ as they showcase new vintages and releases, coinciding with the onset of spring. With most Franschhoek wineries on board, there is something for everyone with cellar- and vineyard tours, barrel-tastings, scrumptious food- and wine pairings, art exhibitions, flower-bulb markets, jazz- and blues bands, live music extravaganzas… and much more.
Celebrated in the month of October, an Oktober Festival is not an Oktober Festival without beer. Some of the finest craft breweries in the Western Cape will showcase their finest brews. Apart from all the entertainment and beer, a variety of deliciously prepared foods will be on offer. You can expect some delicious pancakes, gourmet burgers, Indian cuisine, Lebanese cuisine and much more. Of course a variety of delicious traditional German cuisine such as sauerkraut, weisswurst, Eisbein, Flammkuchen, pretzels and even artisan ice cream produced with one of the craft breweries beer.
Held in October, the Riebeek Valley Shiraz and Art Weekend, celebrated in the Riebeek Valley is known as "Shiraz Country" so come and celebrate fabulous wines and wonderful art exhibitions in the restaurants, cellars, shops and galleries. Delicious Shiraz inspired menus will be served in all the eateries. It is also the perfect opportunity to discover the wines and cellars of the Swartland Wine Route. Every year the Riebeek Valley celebrates its Shiraz heritage and showcases its wonderful local artists. Come join in the cultural feast for all senses!
Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, in November, allow visitors to taste France’s best Champagnes alongside the finest Cap Classiques to emerge from the wine cellars of South Africa. Renowned wineries participating in this popular festival include Colmant, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, La Motte, Morena, Môreson, Pierre Jourdan, Simonsig, Steenberg and Villiera. World renowned champagnes will be represented by brands such as Billecart Salmon, Tribaut and Veuve Clicquot. Enjoy the vino and the spread of gastronomic delights presented by the local restaurants which entrenched Franschhoek’s status as one of the world’s premier culinary destinations.
Whisky-Lovers, whether connoisseurs or occasional sippers of a dram can look forward to the FNB Whiskey Live Festival held annually in Cape Town, in the month of November. Introduced five years ago, the festival has quickly become the largest consumer whisky show in the world. Featuring more than 180 top brands, some of them are new releases from Scotland, Ireland, the US, Canada, Wales, Japan, and South Africa.
WineX Rand Merchant Bank Wine Festival, South Africa's premier wine festival serves up the best in fine wines and fab deli food for discerning palates is held in the month of November. Distinguished by its cosmopolitan and wine-in-the-city feel – where show visitors meet and mingle with award-winning winemakers and taste their vintages, WineX also offers an excellent opportunity to stock the wine cellar with not-to-be-missed Great Deals via the show’s Shop@Show retail facility.
The Cape Town Festival of Beer is the largest beer festival in South Africa, and is held in the month of November. It is a celebration of brewing heritage and craft from around the world; it features over 40 breweries and almost 150 brands. Participate in guided beer tours, workshops, beer judging, and blind tastings, sample a variety of beers and watch home brewing demonstrations. Also, learn more about the appreciation of artisanal beer and perfect food choices to pair with each brew. The weekend promises great entertainment for the whole family; a variety of beer and food, music, rugby on big screens and is a highlight on the Cape Town calendar.
Swing into summer in style this year with Helderberg Wine Festival, in November .With around 40 wineries, the festival offers a range of activities for young and old. Great food from some of the highly rated restaurants in the area, live music, kiddies’ programmes, exhibitions, shows and award-winning wines draw the crowds to this laid-back event, which takes place at different wineries over the four day period. Local charities benefit from the event .
The Voor-Paardeberg Annual Wine Fair, November, invites you to experience more than 40 wines from different wine producers. Children will be kept occupied and entertained while you browse the fresh produce, country and organic foods, raw honey, freshly baked bread stalls and purchase picnic ready foods for a sweet country experience. Don't miss the wine tasting and putting competitions as well as the lucky draws that take place during the course of the day.
Paternoster’s annual Crayfish & Seafood Festival in November, serves up snoek braai's, seafood poitjie kos and of course delicious crayfish. The day's focus is on seafood, however there is a beer garden as well as arts and craft stalls. Choose your crayfish from the crayfish boat then have it thrown on the coals for a lekker braai. Face painting and jumping castles keep children entertained while djs entertains the crowd with great beats. Go out on the fishing boats for a glimpse of the seals and penguins or enter the biggest catch of the day or best poitjie competitions.
Celebrate great South African culture at the Durbanville Beer Festival, in December. The Durbanville Beer Festival showcases beers from South Africa's Craft breweries to the larger commercial brew masters bringing all beer lovers together to appreciate the fine craft of beer making. This year promises to be an even bigger event showcasing more live bands, beer stalls and food stalls. This is a family event, with lots of entertainment for the kids. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is on board this year raising funds with a, Anything That Floats Race. Homemade, muscle powered craft with the maximum of six crew will compete on a demarcated course to become the 2011 Durbanville Beer Festival Champs.
Once more, Cape Town, one of the Great Wine Capitals of the Global Network, will be hosting its Annual iTownship Wine Festival in Gugulethu, one of Cape Town’s most vibrant townships where the famous Mzoli’s is situated. Join festival goers in sampling over 130 wines and enjoying the Wine Art Pavillion in the month of December.