In the land of the oaks there is always something to entice the senses and to be enjoyed. Stellenbosch has some familiar favourites for 2014 as well as a few not so well- known events to indulge in. We have a comprehensive guide to events in Stellenbosch in 2014 so that your stay at Fynbos Villa Guest House is a pleasant and fun- filled one:
A trip to Stellenbosch without wine would be like a trip to Paris without Parisians. And there is no better time to revel in the area’s wine culture than at the annual midsummer wine festival. Over the course of ten days or so there are concerts, street parades and markets, before the festival culminates with a Wine Expo over the final weekend, where hundreds of local wine farms set up stalls offering free tastings. There is also a food tent with an array of local fare, and live music throughout the day. View the Stellenbosch Wine Festival website.
Stellenbosch University comprises much of the Stellenbosch town centre and is as integral a part of the local culture as wine is, and the start of the new university year always brings with it a heightened sense of excitement to the area. Over the course of “Jool week” there are stage and street performances, fundraising events and no shortage of parties. For the young or the young at heart, sampling at least part of these festivities is a must.
Between 16 February and 16 March it’s best to clear you Sunday afternoon calendar and make your way to Backsberg Estate Cellars for a relaxing afternoon in a beautiful vineyard setting. It is a perfect opportunity to bring your family and friends, sip on some local wine, munch on a delicious beef burger and listen to some of South Africa’s superb local music talent.
The important line-up:
16 February- Koos Kombuis
23 February- Blues Broers
02 March- Francois van Coke
09 March- Bed on Bricks
16 March- Mr Cat and the Jackal
Visit the website for more: plankton.mobi
The annual harvest festival will be hosted by the Melck family at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch. The festival includes all things delicious including good food, wine, live music, good company and great fun stomping the newly harvested grapes.
Make your way down to the wine farm on Saturday anytime from 11h30 where you will be greeted with a complimentary glass of Muratie wine on arrival. There will be a host of food, wine and cold- drink on sale as well as the opportunity to sample Muraties’s delicious Farm Kitchen summer menu. Wine and cellar tours will be on offer as well as vertical wine tasting at R50 per head! The popular Kitchen Jammin Blues Band will entertain your afternoon.
Visit the website for further information: www.muratie.co.za
The streets of Stellenbosch will be transformed into a colourful street hub during these gatherings. Food, wine and live music will combine to turn these events into a formidable social gathering.
There will be wine offered by various estates and gourmet bites from surrounding restaurants in the lower part of Church Street. The event is your perfect after- work get- together to relax and unwind along oak- lined streets. You’ll also be glad to know that 4 out 10 restaurants from the prestigious 2013 Eat Out Awards hail from the Stellenbosch Wine Routes! The Stellenbosch Street Soirees takes place between 18h00 and 20h00 and each event plays host to a different selection of eateries and cellars.
Be there on one of these dates:
12 March – weather permitting
Over the course of ten days, Woordfees celebrates everything about ‘the word’ in the Afrikaans language in as many ways as you might be able to imagine, whether it’s through poetry, drama, visual art or music. A variety of well-known local celebrities are invited to attend and perform along the lines of the annual theme and the event is growing in size and stature every year, and is also very family friendly.
This year’s main themes focus on the following:
Running throughout the university year, the Stellenbosch University music department puts on a host of first class classical and orchestral music evenings at the beautiful Endler Hall, featuring both music students and renowned local professionals. Buy your tickets via Computicket.
This year the route has been changed to take the approximately 1200 cyclists on a spectacular journey. It promises to be as gruelling as before as world champions and dedicated amateurs take to South African soil.
The Absa Cape Epic Race is held over eight days at the end of March and attracts professional and amateur cyclists from all over the globe. The race is roughly 800 kilometres long and covers some of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the Western Cape, though the route changes every year. This is an unforgettable African experience for any cycling aficionados. View the Cape Epic website.
This event is a local favourite, bringing the cream of the crop of the region’s cheese makers under one roof and drawing crowds of more than 30,000 over the course of a weekend. Whether blue cheese, camembert or good old Gouda is your cup of tea, there are tastings galore, not to mention live music and moonlit picnics, cooking demonstrations from SA’s top chefs and even a cheese carving competition. View the SA Cheese festival site.
Over a ten day stretch, this annual event looks to highlight talented young musicians and give them a chance to be coached by experts in the field and then perform on an internationally-recognized stage. Universities from around the world (including Austria, the USA, the UK and more) send representative student groups to attend the festival. As well as the concert performances there are also public master classes and a lecture series. View the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival site.
A renowned and highly anticipated event for mountain bikers, this challenging race has its choice of 5 picturesque routes catering for all levels of riding and experience. It is held in partnership with the Simonsberg Conservancy and will start form Eikestad Primary School, Krigeville Stellenbosch.
For more information, please visit: www.dirtopia.co.za
The festival is a celebration of good food and wine where you will have the opportunity to learn from local and international food and wine experts at workshops, talks and dinners. There will also be a superb selection of food and produce at the Secret market. A number of dinners leading up to the secret festival will allow guests to attend more than one of Spiers Secret Festival’s culinary adventures. The day of the market will be a celebration for the entire family and the chance for kids to meet some of the farmyard favourites such as the chickens, a lamb and calves in the petting pen. There will also be a sand art installation, face- painting, and a magnet- fish game to name a few. The market will run on Saturday October 18th 2014.
For more information visit: www.spiersecretfestival.co.za
If you want to live a happier and healthier life in 2014, the Look & Feel Good Expo is jam- packed with new ideas an products to set you on the right track. There will be over 400 exhibits including beauty, health, fitness, entertainment, education and information and wellbeing. On top of this, you can expect to find prize giveaways, live demos, try- it classes and goodie- bags. This is your chance to explore some of Stellenbosch’s and South Africa’s best products, services and advice all under 1 roof!
Check back on the website over the next while for more information: www.ifeelgood.co.za/The-Cape-Expo
The event is listed as one of the leading festivals worldwide and includes a rich selection of more than 150 features, documentaries and short films. Expect a celebration of music, art and culture through film and a rich diverse portfolio of work from around the world.
For more see the website: www.films-for-africa.co.za
One to diarise and get to before the rush of the last- minute Christmas shoppers! The popular market is a great choice for those looking to stock up on fresh goods before Christmas. From organic meat and turkey to cake ideas and recipes and everything in between and “slow”. You will also find micro- breweries and boutique wineries to choose from. Make sure to bring a blanket for when you are done shopping to enjoy the carol singing.
To find out more visit: www.sa-venues.com/events/westerncape/slowfood-christmas-candlelight-market