Of the many aspects that makes Stellenbosch a town worth visiting, the Stellenbosch wine festival should definitely be at the top of the list. For the second year running this event will liven up the lovely month of January. The shift from rainy July has been one of the best decisions made by the organisers of this event. Just an added bonus, now the event coincides with the start of the harvest.

In the four years I spent as a student in Stellenbosch, few events held as much buzz and hype as this annual tribute to the nectar of the gods. Whether you are a connoisseur or just a casual frequenter of this delicious swill, this festival truly caters for all. With over 150 wine farms in the area, visitors to the festival can expect nothing but the best. The unsurpassed offerings of the Boland will be on display for 10 whole days, showcasing not only the some of the best wines in South Africa but also the award winning restaurants that gives flavour to this part of the country.

With a schedule jam-packed with cultivar experiences, a wine expo and separate winery activations there will be no time to waste. Something to look forward to this year is definitely the harvest parade and street fest. Two of the most anticipated events of the wine festival combine to kick of this 10-day vino extravaganza. Not only does this involve a ceremonious procession, guests will also be presented with the unique opportunity to wine and dine in the streets of Stellenbosch.

Another outdoor addition that has been enticing frequent festivalgoers and newbies alike is the Longridge Langtafel. This exclusive occasion, said to be the highlight of the 10-day spectacular, is a gourmet outdoor dining experience. The transformed streets in front of the town hall will play host to a three course fine dining meal, paired with the award winning wines produced by Longridge wine estate.

With much more to look forward to at the Stellenbosch wine festival, with a plethora of delicious events served on a platter of culture. So if you find yourself in the Stellenbosch area between 24 January and 2 February, be sure to take part in this time-honoured tradition. Indulge in the region’s great wines, delicious food and electric atmosphere, definitely an event not to be missed.

[box] Written by: Ryette Dempsey [/box]

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