Much to look forward to in Elgin on weekend of 2 & 3 May – but take nothing for granted

SOMETHING(S) to bear in mind if planning a trip to the Cool Wine & Country Festival in Elgin between 9am and 5pm on 2 & 3 May that involves a weekend pass costing R100 pp:

Not every Elgin wine will be on show – non-participants include Richard Kershaw, Spioenkop and Sutherland (of Thelema), plus a number of other producers who truck grapes from Elgin to wineries in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and elsewhere.

At some of the cellar doors, the weekend pass will only entitle you to taste a few wines, after which you’ll have to pay extra.

And some of the vintners will be presenting special wine tastings that will be charged for over-and-above the weekend pass, and most of the meals on offer also carry an additional charge.

The top wine recommendations are as follows – excluding those Elgin wines that won’t be on show:

CHARDONNAY
Almenkerk
Elgin Vintners
Iona
Oak Valley
Paul Cluver
Winter’s Drift

GEWURZTRAMINER
Paul Cluver

RIESLING
Paul Cluver

SAUVIGNON BLANC
Iona
Paul Cluver
Shannon Sanctuary Peak

VIOGNIER
Elgin Vintners

WHITE BLENDS
Elgin Vintners The Century Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
Highlands Road Sine Cerra
Oak Valley Mountain Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

MERLOT
Elgin Vintners
Shannon Mount Bullet

PINOT NOIR
Iona
Oak Valley
Paul Cluver
Shannon Rockview Pinot Noir
Winter’s Drift

SHIRAZ
Almenkerk

SPARKLING WINE
Charles Fox Brut MCC

DESSERT WINE
Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest

For the full festival programme, the names of all the participants, a map and the contact details when it comes to making reservations, click here.

Below are the festival highlights as regards the menus, the entertainment and the best wine experiences on offer at the various wine farms:

Almenkerk

FOOD: pop-up cafe serving French bistro-type lunch as well as tea and cake between 11:00 and 15:30

WINE EXPERIENCE: include vertical tasting of six Sauvignon Blanc vintages conducted by the cellarmaster at 10am followed by a blending exercise – booking essential
Tel 021 848 9844 info@almenkerk.co.za

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Syrah

Arumdale

FOOD: cheese & biscuits

Belfield

FOOD: variety of cold meats and more served from Food Trucks

LIVE MUSIC: duo and pianist

Charles Fox

FOOD: cheese platters

WINE EXPERIENCE: cellar tours

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Brut Cap Classique Sparkling

Corder

FOOD: cheese platters

EXHIBITIONS: by artist Mandy McKay and sculptor Louis Chanu

Elgin Ridge

WNE EXPERIENCE: tasting of biodynamic wines, followed by canapes – booking essential
Tel 079 433 9400 marion@elginridge.com

Elgin Vintners

FOOD: pizzas, burritos, slushpuppies, candyfloss, popcorn, coffee

LIVE MUSIC: Gian Groen on 2 May, Classic Revival on 3 May

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Merlot, The Century Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Viognier

Hannay & Catherine Marshall

FOOD: gourmet burgers with wine-infused truffles (handcrafted beer served on 3 May)

WINE EXPERIENCE: tutored tasting of three Hannay Sauvignon Blanc vintages (2011 – 2013) and two Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir vintages (2012 & 2013) led by respective winemakers – booking essential
Tel 021 848 9177 info@valleygreen.co.za

Highlands Road

FOOD: pizza, picnic boxes

LIVE MUSIC: jazz and blues on 3 May

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Sine Cerra (white blend)

Iona

WINE EXPERIENCE: vertical tasting of Sauvignon Blanc, followed by light lunch – booking essential
Tel 028 284 9678 karen@iona.co.za

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir

Lothian

FOOD: sushi, picnics along the river

LIVE MUSIC: Under the Tree (indie)

Oak Valley

LIVE MUSIC, 2 MAY: Dan Valley Band (country, blues, rock) between 11:00 and 14:00, Heather Waters Band (folk-rock) between 14:00 and 17:00

LIVE MUSIC, 3 MAY: Zenn Viljoen (indi-rock) between 12:30 and 16:30

FOOD: breakfast between 09:00 and 11:00, lunch between 12:00 and 16:00

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Mountain Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Pinot Noir

Oneiric

FOOD & LIVE MUSIC: slow-cooked lamb, calamari, pita pockets & garlic breads, malva pudding; bands Watershed Unplugged and Intimate – booking essential
Tel 071 481 9560 shan@oneiric.co.za

Paul Cluver

FOOD: a la carte menu at Fresh restaurant – booking essential
Tel 071 563 6020 niki@freshatpaulcluver.co.za

LIVE MUSIC: lazy, jazzy sax

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Noble Late Harvest

Paul Wallace

FOOD: braaied beef fillet rolls

WINE EXPERIENCE: chocolate & wine pairing – booking essential (Tel 021 848 9744 wallovale@mweb.co.za)

Shannon

FOOD: pop-up restaurant serving three-course meal by Craig Cormack – booking essential
Tel 083 231 7008 james@shannonwines.com

WINE EXPERIENCE: tutored tastings of Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir vintages 2006 to 2014 and Mount Bullet Merlot vintages 2007 to 2013 on 2 May and 3 May respectively – booking essential
Tel 083 231 7008 james@shannonwines.com

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Mount Bullet Merlot, Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc, Rockview Pinot Noir

South Hill

FOOD: brunch picnics on 2 & 3 May, sundowners with tapas & oysters on 2 May – booking essential
Tel 021 844 0033 events@southhill.co.za

LIVE MUSIC: Rivertones (reggae) on 2 May, Schalk Joubert Jazz Trio on 3 May

Winter’s Drift

FOOD: chicken curry, gourmet boerewors or frankfurters, platters of Parma ham, cheese pickles and bread – booking essential
Tel 021 859 3354 tastingroom@wintersdrift.com

TOP WINE RECOMMENDATIONS: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

 

Elgin_Ridge_1 (misty moody)

Cool climate Elgin Ridge – image courtesy of Elgin Ridge Wines