The Stellenbosch Wine Festival has changed up its vibe in recent years. They’ve tried to appeal to the mature wine drinker who can appreciate the wonderful offerings of the hundreds of farms within the Stellenbosch region. Gone are the days of entering the scrum of drunk, sweating students who packed the Paul
Doos Roos saal. Gone are the days of dodging puddles of red chander as you cross the cricket field to find a quite spot under a tree for a well deserved pee-break. No my friends, those days are behind us and whilst the result will most certainly still be the wine fuelled merriment of old, the crowd may be something less obnoxious.
Historically hosted at Paul Roos Gymnasium during the wet month of August, the Festival has gone through a fair amount of change over the last few years which has seen the venue move a few 100 metres down the road to die Braak – an open field in the centre of the sleepy town – and change-up winter rains for summer sun. Interestingly enough, the organisers schedule the event at the same time as Jool which sees the University
initiate welcome its eerste jaars in true Stellenbosch fashion. For the record, Jool is THE biggest night of the year for any Maties student. One would be forgiven for questioning the sense in such a decision as surely all the inebriated students in the town would find their way to the Festival? Yet due in part to an entrance fee – which any self-respecting Maties student would rather spend on Green Mamba’s – and tight monitoring of guests by security this was not the case during last years Festival. Of course the odd bloutand makes it through and manages to keep it together to do a few laps of the festival but the such characters are uncommon.
I’ve nothing against drunk students as I was one less than half a decade ago however I prefer to enjoy my vino sans drunk-obnoxious-student calling his mate a cock from across the bar. You know the guy who spilt half of his last glass of red down the front of his shirt and has onion patches which release a humbug of a stench every time he raises his arms and starts to sing a shlurred version of ‘Mr. Jones’ by the Counting Crows. It’s a personal thing and it’s not my thing.
Whilst the full Festival has been on the go since the 24th January, the doors to The Stellenbosch Wine Festival Wine Expo open this Friday and close on Sunday evening and visitors will get a chance to taste some of the world-renowned regions top wines including the likes of Thelema, Waterford, Villiera, Idiom and Jordan. Tickets are available at the door or online and will rush you R170. For more info, check out the Festival’s website.
Check out some photos from last years Festival below.
You stay classy