This year’s fourth annual Constantia Food and Wine Festival took place from 19th to 21st April at Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, adjacent to the vineyards on the Cricket Oval. Blessed with beautiful autumn weather during the weekend, the general ambience and turnout was good, so much so that I found myself having to park nearer to River Café (lucky, Motorport provided a shuttle service all the way up to the entrance of the venue).

Tickets were on sale for R150 (R30 for children and persons under the age of 18), which included 10 coupons for wine tastings but not necessarily ten tastings, as many of the wines (particularly reds and sparkling) were 2 or more coupons. Each person was allocated one coupon-booklet, once the tickets were up you could not purchase another booklet. In this way, customers were encouraged to buy wine by the glass or bottle. Some people complained about this – personally I thought the system worked well.

Participating wine farms included Constantia Uitsig, High Constantia, Beau Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Glen, Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia, Silvermist Vineyards and Eagle’s Nest – together showcasing over 40 of the Cape’s premium wines. A selection of the Constantia’s award-winning restaurants such as La Colombe and Pastis presented their favorite food in accompaniment to the wine.

Various displays from budding local businesses were also featured. Oryx Desert Salt, sourced from the Kalahari, demonstrated benefits and differences in tastes. The Big Heart Company from the Neighbour Goods Market claimed a homely corner of decorative delights, while cured hams aplenty were proudly carved up by The Charcuterie. Something in particular that caught my eye was Wine On Tap, “thinking outside the bottle” by launching the innovative concept of wine by the keg (available both privately and commercially). Advertising a lower carbon footprint, flexible serving options and cost effectiveness, this is definitely something to look out for!

While many children enjoyed the ‘kids corner’, including a supervised outdoor climbing wall, others played sports on the field. Guests were kept entertained with musical performances in turn by Fiona Harewill, Shen Wynberg, IKE Moriz, Blackbyrd and Docetones.

With most guests in full-bellied jovial spirits, clutching uncorked bottles and sporting red-wine-mustaches, the outcome of the event was just what is to be expected of a festival of wine; festive and full of fun.

This guest post was written by Tarn de Villiers, a well-travelled lifestyle journalist who still finds Cape Town the most inspiring place to write about.
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