By Naushad Khan
It is harvest time in the Cape Winelands and most vineyards are doing some fun things for the general public to come and celebrate this age old tradition. Harvest festivals/celebrations are not unique to the wine industry, but are popular all over the world. It is a way of celebrating the harvesting of a good crop.
Here in the Cape, the local vineyards have kept this tradition alive and these festivals have become a featured calendar item in many locals and visitors’ diaries. I was lucky enough to find myself at Longridge Wine Estate last week among a group of both locals and foreigners gathered early on Saturday morning to harvest our very own grapes.
It really felt fantastic to be in the country early in the morning with my fellow harvesters taking in the fresh air and tasting some of our juicy harvest.
Wine grapes are the smaller variety and have as much as 80% juice in them. They are also much sweeter than the table variety that you would buy at your local supermarket or green grocer.
With several crates of grapes harvested, cellar master Jasper Raats took us through the process of winemaking. Longridge produces their wines using age-old natural winemaking methods with no herbicides, pesticides or chemical sprays used on the farm.
The real fun started when we had to jump into large containers to stomp our grapes; this is how it is done the natural way. Slippery and wobbly is what you experience, but boy it is a fun experience.
The harvest festivals continue this week throughout the winelands and makes for the perfect day out with friends and family.