ATKV Oesfees (Harvest Festival) 2013

It is the start of the best season in the wine industry. Annual harvest festivals will soon be filling our diaries and, as usual, it will be a difficult pick to squeeze in as many as possible.

Last year I was fortunate enough to attend a number of them and my favorite by far was the one held at Idiom. I certainly can’t wait to see what they will do this year.

The one, which will definitely take top preference for me though, is the 6th Annual ATKV Oesfees to be held at Solms Delta, Franschhoek on 23 March 2013. It promises to be a fantastic affair with more than 100 uniquely South African performers on stage. Some of the big names include Emo Adams, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Valiant Swart Band and Claire Johnson. Besides them, I am also looking forward to seeing internet sensation spoon-slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee. I was fortunate enough to see Hannes in action during the Kalahari Karoo Blues presented by David Kramer and fell in love with his unique style.

Solms Delta is indeed the perfect venue for this festival. A kiddies area will be available for under 12’s with a Carnival Circus theme, which is guaranteed to keep them occupied. Mom and dad can indulge to their hearts content in the fantastic traditional South African and Cape style foods to be prepared by the ever popular Fyndraai Restaurant.

Of course, no harvest festival is complete without savoring the local wines on offer! Here again, Solms Delta comes to the party and deliver way beyond expectations. Their uniquely blended Rhone style varietals stay true to the Cape with names such as Hiervandaan, Vastrap, Langarm and Gemoedsrus. The Solms-Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz is another one of my favorites and an absolute crowd pleaser. Apart from food and wine, their contributions to the economy and environment are admirable. The Annual Harvest Festival is held to bring together farm workers and farm owners to thank them for their hard work during the year.

For Solms Delta however, it goes beyond just an annual festival. They have two trusts in place to look after the needs of workers and farm residents under the watchful eye of a full-time social worker. It is evident that the economic well being of the community carries a lot of fruit with the farm owners.

In terms of the environment, they recently joined the 110% Green Campaign as their flagship project. The 3 branches of their project consist of recycling, a worm farm and the Dik Delta Garden project.

So, if this year you are looking to attend a harvest festival, which impacts on the community for more than just a day, make your way to Solms Delta.

For more information visit their website http://www.solmsdelta.co.za or via Twitter on: @solms_delta #oesfees. For early bird ticket discounts visit their Facebook page Facebook.com/SolmsDelta.

Taste and Tweet!

Despite having BlackBerry maps as well as printed directions from the Baxter’s website and Google Maps, we had a slight friendly banter on the way to the event: men, woman and directions. Oi, those three just don’t go together! All’s well that ends well and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.

With it being our first time at the Baxter Theatre we were blown away by the sheer size of it as well as the décor. Of course we were looking for someone to take a photo of us, but for some reason none of the Baxter personnel, and I mean nobody, are allowed to take photos. Strange but true! We eventually managed to find someone willing to take this photo.

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On arrival we were met by the marketing manager, Fahiem, a delightfully friendly guy! When he heard that we were from Somerset West he turned to Deon and Leon, tasting staff from Solms Delta, and said; “Get these guys a dop, they’ve come ALL the way from Somerset West!” (only about 30 minutes away!). As luck would have it, he also had his seat right next to us and he was an absolute encyclopedia of information throughout. Thanks Fahiem, you’ve added some extra sparkle to the night!

Taste and Tweet!?! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what this is, until last night I’ve never heard of it either, but what a brilliant concept. You can get some more info on it here or on twitter at #tasteandtweet. What it boils down to is that a group of like minded people get together taste the food and wine on offer and then tweet their opinion. That then gives others the opportunity to connect on a social level with people that they might never have met and to discover new places and know what to expect in terms of the food and wine on offer. One of the first questions asked to everyone who arrived was: do you tweet?! It was a tweeting frenzy and they even had a projector up to the side so everyone could see what the others were tweeting! It turned out to be so much fun with everyone trying to out-tweet each other.

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The main attraction, the reason for actually being there, the food and wine, ensured that everyone had a lot to say!

The food part of the Taste and Tweet was presented by Chef Shaun from Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms Delta. The menu consisted of the most divine canapés: Mini Cajun Beef minute steak on roosterkoek with wild herb pesto, vegetable samosa, sesame tandoori chicken and vegetable skewers, Cape style sausage rolls and (my personal favorite) Blue cheese and caramelised onion puff tart! Yes, it all was as mouthwateringly good as it sounds! If this is any indication of the food on offer at Fyndraai, I will definitely be going there in the near future!

The wine part was presented by Solms Delta. They had a wide variety of excellent quality wines on offer at ridiculously good prices. I would definitely recommend making a stop at the estate whenever you are in the Franschhoek area. The top two that we enjoyed most were Hiervandaan and the Shiraz bubbly. The bubbly also turned out to be the crowds winner of the night and priced at only R80.00 per bottle it is sure to sell like hotcakes!

Leon and Deon who were in charge of tastings at the light whites (Deon) and dry wines (Leon) added so much to the feel of the evening with their knowledge, personality and friendliness. I especially enjoyed Leon with his rich descriptions of the wine, his explanation of the cultivars and what they bring to the wine. He is an absolute gem and I would do a wine tour with him any day!

The food and wine created an atmosphere of relaxation, indulgence and laughter and definitely set us all in good spirits for the show to follow.

The highest level of compliments needs to go to the organizers, Chef Shaun and the Solms Delta staff.

You have brought everything together beautifully to ensure a most memorable evening!

A night at the theatre

Wow, what a fantastic evening it was. There is so much to be said that I’ve decided to do this in three posts:

1 How it came about (will be covered in this post)
2 Taste and Tweet
3 Kalahari Karoo (not so) Blues!

How it came about!

As you all know by now, I am a huge believer in The Law of Attraction. Again, this week I saw it working for me.

On Tuesday morning, on the way to work, we saw an old VW Kombi and got reminiscing about the old David Kramer TV ads. Do you still remember those! Jacques has been a fan of his since forever and we said that it would be nice to see him perform “one day”. Step One in the Law of Attraction: Put the wheels in motion.

During the course of the day, I came across a competition by Wine Extra, whom I have been following for some time now. The prize: Double tickets from Solms Delta to see Kalahari Karoo Blues presented by the legend himself: David Kramer at the Baxter Theatre! Needless to say, I immediately entered and started the long wait! Step Two: Believe and wait for it to come to you.

The competition was due to close at 4PM on the day with winners to be announced shortly thereafter. Well, I must have checked my BlackBerry about 100 times between 4PM and 11PM. When I arrived at work on Wednesday morning, my enthusiasm got the better of me and I sent them a message enquiring about the winners. I nearly jumped out my skin when they announced a bit later that I had won. Step Three: Show gratitude!

Jacques was extremely happy and of course, impressed by my winning skills, which once again managed to ensure something which was guaranteed to be a cracker of a night.

So a huge thank you to Wine Extra and Solms Delta for a fab night!