Persia to Paarl… sounds rather decadent! Wouldn’t mind trying some goodies at the Persian ‘souq’.


Mention the Persia of old and you see markets bursting with opulent colours and enticing wares, belly dancers, exquisite food and superb wines.  On 25 and 26 September 2009 you only have to travel to Paarl to experience all this and much more during the Persia to Paarl festival which this year falls together with the well-loved Cultivaria event.

A highlight of the festival, which also serves as the grand opening of the festival, is the Persian tawla (table) where 350 guests will be treated to a gourmand experience second to none in celebration of 350 years of wine.  The renowned Cas Abrahams will spoil guests with a sumptuous dinner paired with a supreme selection of 100 wines.  Tickets for this event which takes place on Friday evening, 25 September, are available at R150 per person.

Upon venturing through the doors of the Nederburg Auction Complex on Saturday you will enter a Persian souq (market) with richly decorated stalls boasting a variety of must-have eats and treats, both with an Eastern and South African flavour. Some twenty Paarl wine cellars will remind you why this region is world renowned for its outstanding wines – especially its flagship cultivars, namely Shiraz (which according to legend had its origin in Persia) and Chenin Blanc.

After sampling the many award-winning wines and tasting quality Eastern, Cape/Malay or traditional South African dishes, you can enjoy some time in the Persian matbakh (kitchen) and learn some tricks of the trade from celebrity chefs, wine makers and other local experts.  Be enchanted by the magic of spices with well loved foodie Cas Abrahams, succumb to the lure of KWV Brandy paired with mouth watering chocolate and enjoy various other tastings.

The Persian parade, which commemorates the legendary arrival of Shiraz from the East, will reach Nederburg Saturday afternoon at 17:00 amidst an exuberant atmosphere of music, belly dancing and merriment.  Representatives of the participating wineries clad in splendid Middle Eastern garb will present the festival’s celebrity guest, the illustrious Lizz Meiring, with the best their cellars have to offer. Aladdin’s Corner will keep the young ones entertained and parents can make use of a professional child minding service.

Tickets for adults are R80 (Sat) / R150 (Fri) and for children from 2-18 years R25. Tickets can be booked at or purchased at the door.

For more information contact Sandra Lotz at 021 863 4886, or visit

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