The first Wine & Whatever Experience in proud partnership with Vodacom, held at Fancourt’s Conference Centre over the long weekend has drawn generous compliments from both wine enthusiasts and producers.
The event generated between R70 000 and R80 000 in wine sales.
Madi Nothnagel from George, one of the 823 wine enthusiasts who attended, commented that it was an excellent event and congratulated the organisers on Facebook.
The SABC covered the event and interviewed a number of participants.
“It’s been a lovely experience to have such a wonderful variety of wines in the Garden Route. I don’t think many people know how many estates there are here who produce wines. So it’s been a wonderful highlight of just how many people produce wine in the area and the variety that they have,” Adithi Naidoo, a wine enthusiast, told Sagree Chetty.
Rosco Lewis, a winemaker at Boland Cellars, gave a perspective from the producers. The 2018 vintage was severely impacted by the drought, but the reduction in volumes is usually compensated for by an increase in quality. “The agricultural sector is supposed to grow. This is the only sector that has the potential to grow. So I’m very positive for the coming season. The vineyards are not going to be under stress anymore.”
The problem with most wine festivals is that one tastes all the cultivars (wines made from different grape varieties) from one producer before moving on to the next producer. This results in an information overload and a dull palate; enough to kill anyone’s enthusiasm.
“What we have here is 81 different wines from 48 different wine cellars all over the Western Cape and what we’re trying is to showcase agro-processing in the Western Cape and the value of wine tourism,” said event organiser, Alewijn Dippenaar.
Eighty-one different Red, White, Rosé, Blends and Fortified Wines were available to taste, compare and discuss with their creators and other wine enthusiasts.
The red wine cultivars included: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. The white wine cultivars included: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier.
Apart from the wine tastings, four food stations catered to the attendees’ appetites and 212 attended the demonstrations on Friday where three of Fancourt’s world-class chefs assisted by wine professionals shared their expertise.
On Thursday night more than 500 guests enjoyed the Bryan Adams tribute show at Augusta Grill & Patisserie performed by the Oooth Band. The event formed part of the Wine & Whatever experience.
Organisers have promised it won’t be the last event.