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HOH OPT

TASTING THE LIFESTYLE IN ROBERTSON WINE VALLEY
by Myrna Robins
ROBERTSON WINE VALLEY – THE DESTINATION THAT LIVES UP TO EVERY EXPECTATION. It’s a beguiling valley, beautiful, spacious, offering compelling reasons as to why visitors should taste its lifestyle, Pretty towns and magnificent farms offer a broad palette, bisected by the iconic Breede river that winds placidly through the countryside. The Langeberge frame the eastern aspect, the Sonderend mountains ripple coastwards and local hills rear up to add diversity to the landscape.
The valley’s delicous wines, fine country fare, famous stud farms and rose-strewn gardens are renowned.  Even more important is the widespread hospitality which is allied to a down-to-earth disposition that is characteristic of most valley dwellers. Locals welcome travellers with warmth, make sure they are happy, and combine quality service and products with value for money. What more could anyone expect?
Now with harvest in full swing across the wine regions of the Western Cape, Robertson farms and cellars make time to slow the pace, to offer visitors cellar and vineyard tours, tastings and more:
The 2017 Hands-on Harvest is scheduled for the second weekend of March: From Friday 10 – Sunday 12 when more than 20 venues are offering an appetising range of activities.Take part in harvesting, from picking and stomping to blending and tasting. Adrenalin junkies can also take to sky-diving and rock climbing, hiking and biking, cruising and boules. Those who favour more leisurely pursuits can focus on venues for  brunch or lunch, take in tastings casual or tutored, sample wines from garagiste through boutique to the vintages from giant cellars with endless rows of steel tanks. Groups can be as intimate as four or up to 30 – choose your preference.
Add a visit to a small distillery for sampling world-class grappa and eaux de vie, and make sure you don’t leave the valley without visiting the first Harvest Family Market: This takes place on the Breede river banks at Viljoensdrift, on Sunday March 12 from 10am, offering the perfect finale to a rustic weekend.  All ages are catered for, and the range of country goodies will be mouthwatering. Entrance is free and the setting is soul-soothing.
Among items worth hunting down are wholewheat rusks, excellent melktert, apricot jam and seasonal preserves, freshly harvested pecans and boerseep.
It all adds up to a fruity fiesta that should see city-dwellers go home happy and relaxed, carboots filled with fine wine and goodies from many a farm and village kitchen. It makes sense to plan your weekend in advance: log onto www.handsonharvest.com and work out your itinerary, booking with the relevant farms at least three days ahead. Any other questions will be answered by the staff at the Robertson  Wine Tourism office – contact them on 023 626 3167 or send an email to events@robertsonwinevalley.com.

 

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Lelienfontein

russel hobbs 10 2017