Seize the bull by the horns and head for the Overberg
From 10h00 until 17h00
At Bot River
The bull takes center stage for this year's Bot River Spring Weekend festivities hosted on 1 and 2 September by the region's fun-loving and fancy-free wineries. Food, wine, music and entertainment - for kiddies too – will be a-plenty at the event taking place on the first official weekend of Spring.
But, wait! There's plenty more happening around the Overberg hamlet's famous, bull-tide bash. Expect an orchestra of superb activities all hosted by the various farms, each celebrating the dispatch of winter with their own unique and bull-inspired themes. In fact, you might say they're all quite bullish at the prospect.
And what would a bull fest be without a race. (This is no cock and bull story!) This doesn't however involve running with bovids of any kind. Rather, the highlight of highlights Bull Race takes the form of a scavenger hunt for grown-ups. Hosted by the Gallivanting Goose, participants are required to complete challenges prompted by a mobile phone app. This is your chance to learn more about Bot River and win cool prizes too. The game is limited to 40 people only, so rush to book forthwith! You'll also have to navigate the rest of your schedule with care if you're to get to all else that catches your eye that weekend. No bulls in china shops can succeed!
For a taster, Goedvertrouw has yoga lined up in the vineyards, with a vinous twist while Villion Wines winemaker Kobie Viljoen will host a private cellar dinner at Barton Vineyards. At PaardenKloof Ecology Lifestyle Estate, one of the first farms in the Western Cape to re-introduce the Nguni cattle to the region, you'll be able to interact with farmyard animals, let the children ride ponies and even buy Nguni skins and horns.
There's a Fresh Farmer’s Market too, where you'll be able to shop for local produce, Protea flowers and nursery plants. Estate-on-the-koppie Gabriëlskloof, which will launch its latest ROSEbud wine, will have its Little Spring Market as well as servings of salt & pepper calamari and steamed pork buns. It's also an outstanding food line-up that joins the stellar wines at Wildekrans for the Spring Weekend this year too. Expect amongst others, Friday Steak Night and Saturday Curry Night as well as an ox braai with traditional sides like curried boontjies and phutu pap.
Chef Matt Manning, who perfected his trade in London’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, will cook up a storm at Luddite where the Rivertones reggae band will play on Saturday night. At Genevieve MCC, there will be sushi with a lively treasure hunt for children while the taurine theme gets a punt with bubbles and a game of boulles (pronounced "bull"). They'll be joined on the day by Thorne & Daughters, hoping to put on a spot of clay bull shooting. The line-up of fun goes on and on. Be sure to check in on the full list of activities also happening at Beaumont, Arcangeli and Rivendell. Now, you may be wondering: what's with all this bull? Why, it's Bot River’s very foundation and the reason it's the wine route’s logo. Amongst the Khoisan people, the valley was once called Gouga – the place of cattle; the Dutch made the connection to butter, which led to its modern name. In this sense, the bull represents fertility, virility, leadership and strength. More importantly, it connects the history of all inhabitants of the region for possibly over 1 000 years; a symbol of the meeting of diverse cultures; and, the sense of place offered in every glass of Bot River wine wherever it may be enjoyed around the world.
Now you know. Bot River Spring Weekend booking essentials: • Get tickets online through Quicket. The price is R100pp/day. • The weekend pass includes an armband and wine glass for free wine tastings at participating farms, which you may collect at Fiore Nursery on the town square. • Temporary Quicket stations will be at Gabriëlskloof and Wildekrans. • Individual activities must be booked with each farm directly. • Entries for the Bot River Bull Race will be available on Quicket as a separate item.
For more information about the faBULLous Bot River Spring Weekend 2018 contact Melissa Nelsen at email Melissa@genevievemcc.co.za. STOP THE PRESS! For a faBULLous foretaste of what to expect in your glass at this year’s Bot River Spring Weekend, join the clan of amicable winemakers who will descend on Cape Town on Wednesday, 29 August to share their latest cellar gems with enthusiasts. This once-off public tasting will take place at La Tête Restaurant on Bree Street from 18h00 to 21h00. Tickets cost R150 per person and include a glass, wine tasting and some decadent pairings from the kitchen.
Tickets are available on quicket.com. Connect with Bot River Wines on social media and follow the bull trail on Facebook @BotRiverWines, Twitter @BotRiverWines and Instagram with botriverwines.