While the vineyards are still decked out in the last vestiges of orange and yellow and late autumn starts to tickle its cold fingers down your spine, Robertson Wine Valley farms are ready to throw open the barn doors and invite the world to come and celebrate the annual Wacky Wine Weekend, this year to be held from Thursday to Sunday, June 4 to 7.
Time has been the winemaker’s assistant and the first of the crop is ready to drink. Tents are up and tables and chairs dusted off. Musicians are descending on the area from far and wide and a buzz of excitement is already starting to vibrate through the air.
This much-loved event, with its family-friendly collection of old traditions and novel attractions, has firmly secured its reputation as a “must-do” on the Cape’s annual social calendar. This de-centralised affair boasts a line-up of unique events and activities to suit the fun-seeker, novice or a wine connoisseur. There is something for everyone with such features as: Seriously Wine Thursday, Wine Up Friday, Full On Wacky Saturday or Wine Down Sunday.
Seriously Wine Thursday promises to inspire wine aficionados with a range of tailor-made activities, for instance: master wine-tastings, exquisite wine- and food-pairings, educational wine presentations and private tastings with the Valley’s most esteemed winemakers.
The Wacky Wine Weekend will embrace the usual line-up of fun-filled activities, for example: “meet-the-winemaker” tastings, brandy tours and tastings, river cruises, barrel tastings, cheese- and olive tastings, a simulated rodeo bull, a mountain bike challenge and local performing artists.
The Valley will also be presenting a gastronomic extravaganza, with visitors spoilt for choice: oysters, abalone, freshly baked breads, sushi, riverside picnics and plenty of stalls with fresh produce are just a few of the gourmet delights on offer.
And while the adults are revelling in these activities, there will, as always, be a wide range of children’s activities including: fishing, jumping castles, pony rides, tractor trips and a jungle gym.
Following on the successful #RightPlaceRightTime campaign of 2014, the valley will again host a funky social media campaign, so keep your ears to the ground and eyes on your cellphone – you don’t want to miss out on this fun aspect of the event as there will be numerous prizes up for grabs.
Festival-goers are invited to join the Robertson Wine Valley in supporting their local charities. Help take the chill out of winter by donating blankets and winter clothing, for all ages, for those less fortunate. In return the Valley will reward you with wine, according to the weight of your donation, with a maximum of a six bottle case of wine, which weighs about 9kg. All donations are to be handed in at the Robertson Wine Valley office, corner of Voortrekker and Reitz Streets, Robertson.
As part of the Robertson Wine Valley’s commitment to ensure a safe festival, a Zero Tolerance Policy will be implemented towards ‘drinking and driving’. Visitors are requested to make use of the Buddy Bus or the Designated Driver Programme. The Buddy Bus facility enables groups of seven or more visitors to hire a chauffeur-driven mini-bus.
There will be two aspects to the Designated Driver option for 2015. The first option will be to “hire” a local designated driver who will see to your destination requirements throughout the festival. Contact details for these drivers can be found on www.wackywineweekend.com. Costs for the weekend can be determined according to individual festival goers needs upon booking.
The second option will be for those individual festival goers who will be enjoying all the fun, but will refrain from drinking in order to be the designated driver for their friends. This individual will purchase a passport at R120 to enable access to all the amenities, but will in addition receive a special Designated Driver pass and goodie bag.
Wacky Wine Weekend Bus-In Packages are also available. A2B Tours will be offering one day packages, with transport departing from the V&A Waterfront, Tygervalley, Stellenbosch (Butterfly World) and Paarl, to Robertson, and ‘Buddy Bus’ transport between the participating wineries. (See contact details below.)
* A R120 weekend passport, must be purchased at one’s first port-of-call, i.e. at any of the participating wineries. The passport includes: a stylish tasting glass, free 25ml wine-tasting samples, and a ‘goodie’ bag with some surprises, as well as the programme highlighting some special offers. All other activities during the Wacky Wine Weekend will be ‘pay-as-you-go’, with many of the activities free of charge. Visitors will also be able to purchase wine-by-the-glass or a bottle of wine to share amongst friends.
Visit www.wackywineweekend.com for all the information you may need on the event. Many of the activities need to be pre-booked directly with the respective wineries. Alternatively, call 023 626 3167, or send an email to email@example.com.
For accommodation options, visit www.robertsonwinevalley.com.
Book Day Packages with A2B Charters. Group bookings of between seven and 60 passengers for day-trips cost R550 per person and include ‘Buddy Bus’ transport between the participating wineries. Bookings close May 29. Call 083 258 4769, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For fly-in packages, book with Beyond Reach on 023 614 3937, or 072 203 2457; or by emailing email@example.com.