Kate Liquorish on the Wine and Bubbly
This weekend celebrated the second year of the Sasfin Plett Wine and Bubbly Festival and what a pleasure it was. With Sasfin on board as the exclusive sponsor, a ‘blue and white’ theme was the call for the weekend with clear blue skies, crisp ocean and stunning white sands of Central beach (where the festival was held) playing along beautifully.
Plett’s wine industry is fast becoming big talk in South Africa with winemaker Anton Smal (of Villiera fame) spearheading many of the vineyards to award-winning success: Bramon Wine Estate and Newstead Wines have both taken home Michelangelo Double Gold Awards (among others) for their MCC’s.
Beyond the accolades and awards, what makes the Plett Wine region so special, is the fact that the majority of the wine farms are looked after by the owners themselves, all of whom could be found manning their stands at the festival. They got seriously stuck-in with consumers and worked passionately to grow the reputation of Plett as a wine region.
The region itself has come to be best known for its MCC’s, Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays and, most recently, its Rosés. However this year we’ve seen the beginning of a more experimental leap into the territory of Pinot Noir and even Malbec, with Packwood Wine Estate being the first to launch their 2014, award-winning Pinot Noir. Other notable winefarms at the festival included Luka Wines, Redford Lane Wines, Anderson Wines, RE Vineyards, Lodestone Wines and Plettenvale Wine Estate.
Not only could you find spoils in terms of the superb selection of wines paired with decadent plates of gourmet fish cakes, avocado Ritz and spiced mussel bunny chows from five of Plett’s top restaurants, but there were also serious spoils in the form of some of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians. Josie Field, Wendy Oldfield and Arno Carstens took to the stage on Friday and Saturday evening and played to the wonderment of the wine-warmed crowds. As the wine and bubbly flowed so too did the tunes with bands playing on the main stage until well after the sun had set.
Other events linked to the festival included the opening of the new and exquisite Equinox restaurant – situated right on the edge of Lookout Beach, The Sasfin Plett Classic at The Plettenberg Bay Country Estate and the Tour de Plett: an epic, 85km cycle race.
People can say what they like about wine festivals in the Winelands, but a wine and bubbly festival on the beach with dolphins breaching in the background is quite something else. I will certainly be looking to go back for round three next year!