The close-knit winemaking community of the small town of Bot River is set for its annual Spring Weekend, which promises an authentic bouquet of all things exceptional and exclusive to this unsung Overberg gem from September 2 to 4.
Bot River features 11 wine farms – most of them family-owned and run – and during the Spring Weekend each of them will share something unique to their “farm cupboard”, be it olive oils, fresh produce, deli offerings, honest wines, farm fare, indigenous greenery or local talent.
“Bot River’s chilled approach to life and playful camaraderie amongst its winemakers is infectious and makes one feel part of the community almost instantaneously,” shares Kobie Viljoen of Villion
Wines and current Bot River Vineyards Chairperson. “As if our genuine hospitality is not enough to perk you up, the scenic drive to our Botriviera, especially this time of year when it features rolling green pastures and vivid canola fields, guarantees to put the spring back into any jaded city dweller’s step.”
But this heart shaped town offers more than just fine wines and fresh air and it is during this weekend of homegrown goodness that visitors will experience its distinct, laid-back character and quirky, country charm whilst interacting with its farm owners and winemakers.
“One day in our company is simply not enough so we are opening our doors for the whole weekend so that visitors can soak up, sip, savour and share in our passions and pleasures,” explains Melissa Nelsen, Cap Classique maven and creator of Genevieve MCC.
The Spring Weekend will kick off in high spirits with a sommelier lead Bot River Magnum Magnificence at Beaumont Wine Estate, one of the oldest wine establishments in the area, on Friday, September 2. Local producers will haul out their “big boys” from the cupboards, for some of South Africa’s top sommeliers to match them with delectable pairings.
On Saturday and Sunday, September 3 & 4, the farms dotted along this 10km enclave – a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town – will entice visitors with their true talents and tastes. This includes a sausage making course at Luddite, known for its technology-resistant winemaking philosophy. Here Genevieve MCC will also treat enthusiasts to Oysters & Bubbles all weekend long and have magnums of its newly released 2012 vintage on sale.
Early birds can rise to a hearty breakfast at Goedvertrouw and avid outdoors fans can lace up for a guided fynbos hike amongst the Nguni Stud at Paardenkloof Estate, where family picnics prevail.
Nature lovers should have a blast at the Ecology Lifestyle Farm, with specials on fynbos plants at their nursery and Paardenkloof wine tastings and pairings to coax the senses. Or why not fill your own picnic basket, with fresh farm goodies, all served up with live music and a petting zoo for the kids.
Delicious lunch destinations en route include Gabriëlskloof, nestle atop a hill with views of the Overberg. They are famous for their hearty, slow-cooked meals. During the Spring Weekend they will also be experimenting with tasty pickles and preserves in their kitchen, sell it in their deli and pair it with their wines in the tasting room.
Villion Family Wines will light the fires for a laidback Spitbraai and “langarm sokkie” on the farm on the Saturday evening. Or swing by Rivendell Estate where a special Sunday Roast indulgence will end your weekend on a wholesome high. Wildekrans is another popular destination where one can while away the hours with glee.
Child-friendly hosts for the weekend include Beaumont Estate, where a pink sweet stall, pink kiddies bowling action, a playground and tractor rides will keep the little ones entertained whilst adults can feast on jewellery, plant and produce boxes, food and stellar wines. Barton Estate, all decked out with a jumping castle and tractor rides, will tempt passersby with complimentary canapé and wine or beer pairings and a wine blending competition.
A highlight event of the Spring Weekend will take place at Maramanna Polo Estate on the Saturday evening, where a Pink Gin and Bubble Polo affair will end off the day’s entertainment with fun-loving action, locally made gin and a bubbly bar.
All farms will be open from 10am until 4pm on both days.
Tickets are available at www.quicket.co.za and a weekend pass costs R100 per adult, which includes a wine glass; an informative booklet to be collected at the tourism office opposite the local hotel, and two days of bountiful discoveries.
For accommodation options in the area, visit www.botriverwines.com.
For more information on the Bot River Spring Weekend, contact call 083 302 6562; or send an email to Melissa@genevievemcc.co.za.