If you have never experienced the joy of jumping barefoot into a barrel of juicy grapes and squishing them between your toes, now’s your chance! Over the next couple of months, numerous wine estates in the Cape Winelands are celebrating the grape harvest with a traditional barefoot grape stomp. Here are a few grape stomping spots near Cape Town that we’ve unearthed (in date order):
Delheim: Saturday 28 January
Get knee-deep in grape juice from 12pm at the family fun day at Delheim. Stomp to the tunes of a live jazz band on shaded lawns behind the historic Delheim cellar. Pre-book a picnic for R130 adult/R65 child or buy delicious snacks at farm stalls throughout the day. A competitive grape stomp relay event will be held at 3pm with prizes up for grabs. Booking is essential and tickets are restricted to 130 people. Children are free, adults R50 which includes a glass of partially-fermented grape must and a traditional sweet mosbolletjie.
More information: Email or call 021 888 4600.
Môreson Blessings of the Harvest: Saturday 4 Feb
Môreson celebrates the harvest by opening their doors and inviting anyone interested to come and make wine the old fashioned way with a good old foot barefoot stomp. It’s a day long affair, which includes a delectable lunch at Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant.
More information: Email or call 021 876 3692.
Hands on Harvest in Robertson: Friday 24 February – Sunday 26 February
Robertson’s Hands-on Harvest festival is a boutique event offering wine aficionados and budding vintners a chance to experience the magic of harvest for a day. Groups are small and intimate to ensure that you have the very best hands-on experiences from grape picking, bunch sorting, stomping your own grapes, must and wine tastings and wine blending. All activities need to be pre-booked, but hurry, Robertson events are always popular!
More information: Call 023 626 3167
Grande Provence: Saturday 25 February
The jovial atmosphere for a day of wine stomping, tasting and sumptuous braai feasting starts with a tractor ride into the vineyards to pick bunches of grapes. Thereafter a guided cellar tour by the Grande Provence award-winning winemaker, Jaco Marais, before jumping into the small barrels and stomping the grapes – all the while sipping last year’s vintage. A quick hose down and you are ready to gather under the old oak tree for a braai lunch to the sounds of live musical entertainment. Cost is R290 per adult and R130 for children under 12, with group rates for 10 or more. A bottle of Angels Tears is included in the price per adult.
More information: Email or contact Nicole on 021 876 8600.
Spier: Saturday 25 February
In celebration of Spier’s Wine Harvest Festival, celebrated Cellar Master, Frans Smit, will bless the harvest before leading the charge in the annual grape stomping challenge. Spier’s award-winning wines and bubbly with oysters will be on offer. It runs from 10am to 4pm at a cost of R70 per person, which includes a wine glass and five tickets that can be used for wine tastings or games. Tickets can only be purchased at Spier on the day.
OmmiBerg Round the Rock 2011 in Paarl: Monday 12 March
All sorts of activities are happening in Paarl for their OmmiBerg with traditional harvest activities such as cellar tours, grape stomping and grape tastings at various estates. At venues all over Paarl children can enjoy pony rides, slip-n-slides, tractor and trailer rides; while cooking demonstrations, art exhibitions and glass blowing provide other entertainment.
More information: Email or call Annelize on 021 863 4886.
Wellington Harvest Festival: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March
There will be at least two wine farms offering foot grape stomping in addition to a number of other events on in Wellington. The itinerary will be released shortly but will include a street party, music, farmstalls etc. Tickets cost R120 for adults which includes a glass and an armband allowing access to various events. Children’s rate is to be confirmed.
More information: Contact Pete Woodward at the Wellington Information Office on 021 864 2479 or check the Harvest Festival website.
Nederburg Twilight Harvest: Saturday 25 February
In a break with tradition, Nederburg’s harvesting will take place at dusk. On arrival, you’ll be treated to a sparkling wine cocktail and a special Nederburg gift. Freshly-baked mosbolletjies, bread rolls and korrelkonfyt made from Pinotage grapes will be available to snack on while awaiting the expert harvesting team who will teach you how to hand-pick perfectly ripened grapes. Follow the journey from vineyard to bottle by tasting freshly pressed grape must as well as some tank samples of wine. A scrumptious harvest picnic dinner and some fine Nederburg wines will be served on the sprawling lawns in front of the 19th Century manor house while African instrumental group Sterling EQ performs. It starts at 5pm at R200 per person (including picnic and a bottle of Nederburg wine per couple), R65 per child under 12. Booking is essential.
More information: Email or call Sunette Rust on 021 862 3104.
Stellenrust: Stellenrust’s winemaker will dedicate himself during the busiest time of the year to a minimum group of 20 people and give them an authentic wine gathering and grape stomping experience. Tractors take you to the vineyards where you cut the grapes that you then enjoy stomping into a wine that will be delivered to you 14 months later. Make sure to wear old clothes as the grape stomping is done in 3 ton containers – showering facilities are available. Afterwards, head to the garden for a braai or picnic and as much wine and beer as you wish. Cost per person is R1100 or R950 if you opt not to receive the 6 bottles of wine later.
More information: Email or call Ilse de Villiers on 021 880 2283.