14 February 2013 by Dianne Tipping-Woods

OmmiBerg Round the Rock wine festival

During the gradual transition from summer to autumn, vineyards in the Western Cape start preparing for the harvest. It’s a wonderful time to visit them, with lots of celebratory activities on offer to let you share in the summer’s bounty.

The annual Paarl OmmiBerg Round the Rock wine festival is one of the many harvesting fairs in the Western Cape. It takes place in the Paarl Winelands on 9 March 2013, with 12 participating vineyards hosting a range of events in honour of their vines, which, by early March, are full and heavy with fruit.

Grape-stomping takes place next to the vineyards

There will be festive and messy grape-stomping competitions (it’s a sensation you have to experience); wine tastings in which you can sample sweet juice in various stages of pre-wine fermentation; and cellar tours that will give you the opportunity to try some of the more established vintages in a blind tasting, or pair wines with artisanal cheeses. Along with wine-related activities, each vineyard has something extra on offer.

At Nederberg there will be live music on the stoep (verandah) of the manor house during lunchtime. You can choose to eat at the Red Table or enjoy something suitably seasonal from the food and beverage stalls that will be set up on the lawn in front of the Cape Dutch manor house – you can look forward to sourdough bread bases with toppings of your choice, prego cuisine straight off the braai, and a selection of tortilla wraps. At Nederburg your ticket also entitles you to a free tasting of young wines straight from the tank or barrel, and an oven-fresh onion tartlet to complement the young wines.

There will be festive and messy grape-stomping competitions, wine tastings in which you can sample sweet juice in various stages of pre-wine fermentation, as well as cellar tours.

At Black Pearl Wines, Cape wine master and Black Pearl winemaker Mary-Lou Nash will be showing off her handcrafted wines. The estate will also be serving Mexican food and home-brewed beers. Boutique Barátok will be hosting a blending competition, along with its unfiltered wine tastings.

In addition to its wines, Fairview’s cheese samplings and bread market will be highlights, while at KWV, you can look forward to artisanal ice cream and a wine and art pairing session in its new Sensorium.

Many of the vineyards will host live music events

At Mellasat, revitalise your weary feet with a professional grape skin massage, and visit 'The Cemetery of Forgotten Wines' in the underground cellar.

Laborie is hosting a wine and chocolate pairing in its Cellar Door, as well as horse rides through the vineyards. Rhebokskloof has organised a food-jamming session with master chef Jade de Waal, while Ridgeback Wines will have jumping castles, bins filled with water for swimming, croquet and boules.

The tasty food on offer at the various vineyards is always something to look forward to

Join Spice Route for a food and wine journey (a selection of seven Spice Route wines paired with five food pairings), as well as tutored wine and chocolate tastings.

Under Oaks will host a performance by Valiant Swart, and its pizzeria will be supplemented with various food stalls.

At Windmeul Kelder, you can see a fermentation demonstration to observe exactly what happens to your wine while in the barrel.

Date: Saturday 9 March 2013
Cost: An access card valid at all 12 participating wineries (which includes a tasting glass and a programme) costs R100. Tickets are on sale for R80 per person at Computicket. Kids under 18 enter for free.

Alongside all the activities on offer, you can also just relax and enjoy the vibe. All images courtesy De Kock Communications

Category: Events

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