Ultimate Guide to the Top Food & Wine Festivals in the Western Cape in 2024

Looking for the best food and wine festivals in the Western Cape in 2024? Diarise these upcoming festivals!

Experience the best of South African food and wine at these upcoming festivals in 2024. Sample some of the country’s finest wine and freshest food, spend a thrilling weekend annerkant die berg, taste cool wines, savour heartwarming food and full-bodied reds in winter, and more. Here’s your list of the top food and wine festivals in the Western Cape in 2024.

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#HappyBirthdaySAWine: Harvest Festivals & Parties in celebration of South African wine

As the only wine-producing country in the world that can pinpoint the exact start of our industry, we’re excited to celebrate the birthday of South African wine on 2 February 2024! “Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes,” Jan van Riebeeck wrote in his diary on 2 February 1659.

A birthday well worth celebrating, the wine industry annually hosts birthday parties and harvest festivals around this time. Here’s a roundup of exciting events to attend in honour of #HappyBirthdaySAWine.

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The tale of Catharina of the Cape

You must hand it to Catharina Ustings Ras. If the stories are even half true, she would have been someone to meet. The 17th century woman crossed the oceans, braved hostile territory and was unafraid of brandishing a weapon.

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Namaqua West Coast: It’s a Way of Life

There’s plenty of great food and fine wine in the world, but nowhere else has the ‘weskus vibe’ of the Namaqua West Coast. The people you meet here are what sets this place apart.

The scenery is much like you’d expect: little red fishing boats resting on the beach, an icy, bright blue ocean, fields of flowers lining the roads and fresh fish being served up with a glass of white wine. Stay a few days and join in some of the discoveries that we made on a recent road trip to the region.

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The wine route less travelled

The N7 from Cape Town isn’t an obvious track for a close-to-home wine trip, but those in the know tell you it’s where some of SA’s real winery gems lie.

“We’re on the very edge of the border. In fact, most people who arrive here by chance are surprised to discover vines out here,” says viticulturist Hein Grobbelaar. In fact, Org de Rac is quite possibly more well-known than its actual location, out here on the rim of the Swartland.

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A Swartland Retreat: Kalmoesfontein Farm

Kalmoesfontein Farm, located in the scenic Paardeberg area in the Swartland is a working wine farm, the home of AA Badenhorst Family Wines, luxury farm-style, self-catering accommodation, and plenty of peaceful wide-open spaces. Kalmoesfontein is all about slow living.

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Take a road trip to the Swartland

There are at least a hundred reasons to visit the Swartland region, the top three being the world-class wine and olives, its proximity to Cape Town and the quiet beauty of the area.

We recently went on a road trip of the Swartland and put together this weekend of activities, recommended accommodation and (of course) food and wine that will make you fall in love with this region just like we did. Try it over a weekend or whenever you have a chance to break away.

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Going back West

Wine doesn’t immediately come to mind in discussions of the Cape West Coast. This doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for wine lovers to see.

Short excursions to favourite places may not always appear to link up with interests in wine, but in the Cape, that’s rarely possible. One route where this again reveals its truth is up the West Coast. Just two hours out of the city, the region provides not only an array of marvellous experiences but some outstanding wine-related stops too.

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Don’t Forget to Discover Darling

For the past few years, thousands of international music-lovers have descended upon the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling for the Rocking the Daisies Music festival.

While, due to the pandemic, the festival headliner, British rapper Stormzy, did not have the opportunity to travel to Darling in 2020, the Darling wine route boasts a myriad of reasons for him to discover Darling, post-pandemic.

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Explore the wineries of Stanford

Stanford has always been a popular break-away destination thanks to a combination of factors. Many visitors eventually retire there too. It’s a mix of well-preserved historical buildings, lush gardens, muted CBD, diversity of activities on surrounding farms and distance from the city all conspire to make it so.

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The Chardonnay Way

Without Chardonnay, Dom Perignon would never have uttered the words: “come quickly, I am tasting the stars.”

Without Chardonnay, Winston Churchill would have been less inspired to fight for Champagne.

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The unconventional coastal wine route

It was a flash of brilliance that established South Africa’s first official wine route. Prior to the 1970s, very few private wineries existed, and you generally didn’t go because farms weren’t open places to visit.

Since Stellenbosch started the revolution, many have followed. Now, the formalised route has become an indispensable tool for almost every wineland visit. But not all visits may be defined by official road-markers and new “routes” have arisen by pure volume of travellers. Take the Cape’s R43, for example, which is bound to be a-buzz again this holiday.

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The Agulhas Wine Triangle – A place to explore

“My grandfather witnessed the shooting of the last hippo here in 1855,” says local farmer Dirk Human as we look out over a lake of the Nuwejaars Wetland. Now the hippos are back, part of a pioneering conservation initiative of which he’s chairman, alongside being owner of Black Oystercatcher Wines.

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Why Tulbagh should be on your wish list

The Tulbagh valley has always been celebrated for the beauty of its setting and the historical significance of its town. In more recent times, wine has moved centre stage and visitors to the valley can now enjoy a wide range of wines from the various estates and private cellars wines that have received a string of national and international awards including Diners Club Wine Maker of the Year, a healthy spread of gold and double gold Veritas awards, and numerous others.

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Explore Elgin’s Seriously Cool Wines

The rural area of Elgin lies just east of Cape Town, a wide plateau of undulating hills surrounded by mountain peaks. Its cool climate, the combination of elevation and proximity to the sea, allowed apple and pear farming to thrive for decades. Forestry makes up another important part of the local economy and wine, too. The combination along with a large part of the region being part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, adds to its attraction as a breakaway for lovers of the outdoors.

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A weekend getaway in Elgin

Visit the magnificent Elgin Valley that’s just an hour’s drive from Cape Town and you’ll be delighted to find not only excellent wines to please every palette, but also activities that will enchant everyone from thrill seekers to city slickers seeking something off the beaten track.

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Is Franschhoek the Capital of Fizz?

Around the world, purveyors of sparkling wine pursue the spirit of celebration with impassioned fervor. In France, where the method champenoise is trademarked, the pop of a champagne cork signifies celebration. In New York City, the Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic celebrated its 12th iteration in 2019. In Paarl, the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cape Town toasted to its ninth annual iteration in 2019.

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Boschendal adds premier artwork to its visitor experiences

The tree-lined path leading to the manor house at Boschendal must rank among the most Instagrammed of the Cape Winelands. These days, however, stepping through the door of that historic Cape Dutch building brings an unexpected scene.

Inside, visitors are greeted by a dramatic visual display of art and a gift shop.

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Six ways to enjoy Worcester Cab

The world celebrates Cabernet Sauvignon Day on September 3. Clifford Roberts highlights Worcester as an area to explore an alternative expression of the variety.

The Worcester wine region has become a champion of Chenin Blanc. So much so that it isn’t popularly associated with Cabernet Sauvignon as much as it once was. To disregard it completely however, is to make a serious mistake.

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Head out to Wellington for a heartwarming experience

Make your way to Wellington’s wine cellars and expect to be welcomed by a soon-to-be familiar scene. A cosy fireplace, friendly faces and an assortment of wines to warm the heart. Add to this epic mountain views, good food and a short drive from Cape Town and you have the perfect weekend break ahead of you.

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