As we drove back on the Sunday 8th June along the long and winding R60, home from Wacky Wine, through the breathtaking landscape of Robertson I could not help but reminisce on the past Wacky Wine Weekend of 2013. Having taken place in this scenic wine valley, it was truly a spectacular weekend away filled with unique and wonderful people and experiences.
Our wine filled journey began in Robertson itself, at the information centre where the fun and unique passport packs were collected. In our passports pack came the programme, a map, leaflets on the various farms and of course our tasting glass! So with our glasses in hand and wine on our mind we set off for the first stop on our Wacky route.
First stop was (of course) Van Loveren for a food and wine pairing. As we approached the venue we were greeted with a crowd playing a wine bottle throwing competition with much cheer and the smell of freshly made Spur burgers – yum! Our first port of call was the wine tasting room. As we walked into the beautiful main hall we were handed pamphlets, chose our pairing and sat down at a tasting table on the beautifully laid out tasting deck. Boards were brought out with four glasses of wine and one brandy for tasting, tasting cards and pencils for notes to be taken. We were encouraged to analyse the colour of the wine, the smell and then the taste before then tucking into the corresponding chocolate. As we analysed, sniffed and sipped on our wine we really felt like wine connoisseurs, making our notes on the pairings for future reference. After the educational tasting we moved onto the bustling arena where bands were playing, bars were buzzing and crowds of people were enjoying the effects of fine wine, good music and spur burgers! However, as there was just too many wine farms to visit – we were onto the next one.
Our next stop on the route was the absolutely breathtaking Esona, meaning ‘the very one’ in Xhosa. Situated between Robertson and Bonnievale, Esona is a small family owned and run wine farm with the most awe-inspiring views over their wine lands and the Breede River. The tastings are done in the historic old cellar which has a cosy intimate atmosphere in the cold winter weather. I would recommend the 2011 Wooded Chardonnay with exceptional butterscotch flavours from the French oak barrel maturation. It was also here that we managed to get our hands on some much needed soup and rolls to enjoy on the upstairs deck.
After filling our bellies we moved onto the next stop on our journey, Goedverwacht. With a cosy atmosphere and screens to watch the rugby, it was a fun and intimate tasting experience perfect for those looking to relax with a glass of wine and watch some rugby followed by some live music. It was a lovely farm.
The next and final stop for the day was Arabella for the much anticipated Jeremy Loops, food trucks and wine tasting. The atmosphere was electric with excitement as people exchanged their wine glasses for the iconic Arabella mugs and tasting all the delicious Arabella wines before heading into the Arabella Live arena. At this stage, people were certainly feeling the effects of their wine and the staff at Arabella was more than capable of managing the rowdy and excitable. There were plenty of staff on hand to ensure safety and monitor happenings in the Live arena as well make sure the toilet facilities were clean and orderly. For those wanting some food there was Bacini’s offering up their delectable pizza’s as well as a few other stalls with wraps, burgers, chips, coffee or tea and whatever else you could want! After the exciting (and well played) Springboks vs World XV match, we were entertained by Me & Mr Brown and Jeremy Loops. As the crowd danced the night away, it was the perfect ending to a wine filled day at the Wacky Wine Weekend Festival.
But this was not the end of our Wacky experience. Our Sunday morning was spent grabbing a cup of coffee from Strictly Coffee and browsing through the isles of Laverne Wine Boutique. After which we headed to Graham Beck for a lazy Sunday afternoon tasting in their exquisite tasting room. As expected, Graham Beck was buzzing with wine lovers. For those looking for a lazy lunch to the sounds of good music there was the tented area just outside of the tasting venue which boasted many lunch options in beautiful surroundings. While others who wanted a spectacular view could head up to the tasting room and sip on some fine wines overlooking the Robertson Wine Valley. The tasting room also boasted an illustrated history of the farm as well as how the Graham Beck wines are produced.
Standing on the tasting deck and overlooking the Robertson Wine Valley was truly the best way to end our Wacky experience, and what a lovely experience it was. Don’t miss out on the 2015 Wacky Wine Weekend, it is an experience of a life time.