It’s almost time for the grape harvest in the Cape Winelands and there is nothing more fun than throwing off your shoes and jumping into a barrel for a bit of old fashioned barefoot grape stomping. The feeling of squashing juicy little grapes between ticklish toes is quite delicious and there are several estates in the Winelands that facilitate this:
Grande Provence will have you picking grapes in their neat vineyards before following the tractor back to the cellar and stomping in little half barrels. Wine is free flowing during the process and there is a spit lamb braai afterwards.
Stellenrust don’t mess around with little barrels, here you climb into big vats up to your waist in grapes and get stomping. After your hard work you get a refreshing cold shower followed by an infamous Boland buffet braai.
Robertson Wine Valley Harvest Festival from 25 – 27 February offers wine aficionados and budding vintners a chance to experience grape picking, bunch sorting, stomping, tasting and blending, plus a market, tractor trips, etc. Pre-book well in advance for any chance of a ticket.
Spier Harvest Festival blesses the grape harvest on 26 February. The estate is transformed into a wine wonderland, including wine tastings, grape stomping, specialty food stalls and unique play activities.
Paarl Wine Route’s Round the Rock event on 13 March offers a range of events, one of which is stomping and tasting fermenting wine straight from the vats.
Durbanville Wine Valley Feast of the Grape on 21 March celebrates the end of the grape season and the beginning of autumn. Expect good food, fine music, pickings and stomping and generally getting your hands and feet a little dirty if you choose to.
Môreson Blessing of the Wine. Using the oldest wine making tools in the business (your feet), you must first handpick your basket of grapes then press them. Wine making is a tiring job so they insist you join the special feast at Bread & Wine Restaurant afterwards. There’s a label design competition too and your artwork could adorn the 2010 Blessing of the Harvest bottles.