INTERNATIONAL Pinotage Day is the perfect reason to pile family and friends into the car and explore the off-the-beaten-track Paardeberg countryside to join the area’s wineries at Vondeling Wines for the #PaardebergCountry Pinotage Festival on Saturday 12 October.
The wineries scattered around the foothills of the landmark Paardeberg which separates the Paarl and Swartland wine regions, will come together at Vondeling to celebrate International Pinotage Day by showcasing the diversity of the South African signature grape in different styles of red, rosé and sparkling wines.
The #PaardebergCountry Pinotage Festival will also feature live music all day by four-piece band Cherry Vinyl while food trucks, coffee, biltong and cupcake vendors will keep the hunger pangs at bay as visitors enjoy award-winning Pinotage wines around the Vondeling gardens with their sweeping views over the Paardeberg.
The participating Paardeberg Country wineries are Ayama, Doran Vineyards, Dragonridge, Lammershoek, Perdeberg Cellars, Scali, hosts Vondeling Wines and Wightman & Sons. Each of the wineries will showcase their own styles of pinotage, along with other wines in their ranges, with Johnsen and Vondeling winemaker Matthew Copeland presenting their pale pink bubbly Rurale and the 2016 Bowwood Pinotage fresh from its recent award as a 2019 Absa Top 10 Pinotage.
Die Worsrol food truck by The Goose Roasters will offer gourmet hotdogs, tempura fish and chips, Asian burgers and vegetarian options, while popular Italian restaurant Piccolo Posticino will serve up a variety of pizzas from their Tuk-Tuk truck. Biltong & Deli @Eden will be there too with their variety of biltong and droëwors products, Afrikano Coffee Company will serve coffee cones and other coffee products while Cup & Cake will satisfy the sweet tooth with cupcakes and koeksisters. “Bring your picnic blankets and boules sets and enjoy our wine, food and a game of boules on the lawns,” says Johnsen.
Visitors will also be able to buy beautiful proteas farmed in the Paarl region. The Sunflower Fund will be selling their topes and bands of hope and providing information on their work in fighting life-threatening blood diseases like leukaemia. The Sunflower Fund recruits potential stem cell donors and maintains a registry of potential donors willing to help those in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant. Funds raised go towards education, awareness campaigns and assisting patients and donors in the transplant process.
The Paardeberg Country Pinotage Festival takes place from 11:00-17:00 at Vondeling Wines, Voor-Paardeberg Road, Paarl, on Saturday, 12 October. Tickets at R150 from Quicket include a tasting glass, tasting of all wines on show and live music. No BYO food or drinks allowed. Children under 18 enter free of charge.