In a society so driven by instant gratification, it’s necessary to take time out now and again and appreciate the good things in life that come to those who wait. Take a leisurely drive out to the beautiful gateway to the R62 this weekend and explore the farms of the region.
Think red wines in front of fireplaces, and traditional food like vetkoek and bredies, potjies and braais served with country-style generosity. Picnics, boat trips on the river, private tastings and dinners with wine makers, and a family market on the Sunday offering fresh produce, local treats, arty crafts, children’s activities and live music are all components at this festival, which takes place at various locations throughout the valley.
On a recent visit to this area, I visited the wineries of McGregor. Lord’s - which is well worth the 10km gravel road after the tar ends - will be hosting a market that will showcase local talent, food, original art and locally sourced artisanal produce.
There will be no entry fee, and a Lord’s wine bar will complement the festive atmosphere along with live entertainment.
At the other end of McGregor is boutique winery Tanagra, which makes interesting hand-crafted fine wines and artisan spirits.
“The focus, for both wines and spirits, is on showcasing single vineyard wines and grappa and eau de vie that present the essence of the source cultivar,” said owners Robert and Anette Rosenbach. “The winemaking philosophy follows the practice of minimal interference, use of native yeast and avoidance of oak dominance.”
The Rosenbachs offer wine and grappa tasting, and a tour of the distillery. Another one of my favourites out this way - a few kilometres outside the town of Robertson - is Graham Beck, where they make divine MCCs and the Gorgeous Chardonnay Pinot Noir.
On Saturday, August 4, conservationist and raconteur Mossie Basson will escort guests (glass of bubbles in hand, of course) on a leisurely drive through the Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve to the lapa.
The day trip includes a light breakfast complemented by Graham Beck Cap Classique bubbly; a tasting presented in the private tasting room by winemaker Pierre de Klerk, which explores the evolution of Graham Beck and its journey towards the perfect bubble, with topics such as: “Does size matter: 750ml vs Magnum” and “Where in the World: South African MCC vs The World”; and lunch with more Cap Classique.