Call it hairy or somewhat scary, but for the close-knit winemaking community of Bot River in the Overberg, its annual grape harvest comes with a self-imposed shaving ban throughout this strenuous period. This year the luxuriant growth of post-harvest facial fur and wacky whiskers will once again be revealed at its annual Barrels & Beards celebration on Saturday, April 5.
Now in its third year, the ever-popular Bot River Barrels & Beards, one of the quirkiest wine events on the circuit, invites enthusiasts to share in the fruit of the winemakers’ labour and to have fun with the locals at the same time.
Themed ‘The Good Old Way’, the 2014 event features barrel tastings of the latest cool-climate, quality wines from this unspoilt Winelands pocket and a raging beard parade and ‘formal’ judging of the boldest beard in Bot River. Guests will also indulge in a terroir-to-table three-course dinner of unique tastes and produce from the area, accompanied by foot stomping entertainment by a lively marimba band and the ever-green boereorkes, Die Stoepsitters.
“By virtue of where Bot River is located, between Hemel en Aarde and Elgin, we always need to be a little different to get attention and so the Barrels & Beards was born,” says Penny Verburg of Luddite and chairman of the Bot River Wine Route.
“One can’t be too ‘fancy pants’ about wine. It is there to be enjoyed and what better way to celebrate the end of harvest and all the hard work that’s gone into it.”
Bot River, a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town, has long been a haven for wine industry pioneers and mavericks, with 13 wine farms (many of them family-run) producing world class wines. In addition this underrated, unpretentious 10 km enclave is also known for its conservation initiatives, a ‘chilled’ approach to life and honest, hands-on winemaking methods.
Cellars to take part in the 2014 hairy hullabaloo include the likes of Barton, Beaumont Wines, Eerstehoop, Feiteiras, Gabriëlskloof, Genevieve MCC, Goedvertrouw, Luddite, Maremanna, Rivendell and Wildekrans. Wines will be on sale on the evening.
Events sponsors include Wesgro and Amorim Cork, South Africa’s largest natural cork supplier and the best beard on the evening will win a kayak, golf bag or surfboard made from cork – depending on the winner’s choice.
* Barrels & Beards 2014 takes place at The Old Shed at Anysbos Farm on the Swartrivier Road, Off the N2 and starts at 5pm. A shuttle service (departing from the Botrivier Hotel) will be available on the evening in support of responsible drinking.
Seating is limited to 200. Tickets cost R270 per person and include complimentary barrel tastings of the 2014 wines, a souvenir wine glass, dinner, music entertainment and real country hospitality.
For more information or to book send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 082 852 6547.
Visit www.botriverwines.com for various accommodation offerings.