This year was my fourth Pinotage on Tap (you can read about my previous one here, here and here). The formula has remained pretty much the same. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it they say. In this case I think it’s a good philosphy because you know what to expect and you’re never disappointed.
This year was a little special though as it was the 10th anniversary of Diemersfontein producing wine. So they made it a little bigger, and sold a few more tickets. Surprisingly it actually felt less crowded than last time, so their subtle layout changes obviously worked.
Lonesome Dave rocked the party, see a short video of him in mid song below. The crowd was loving it.
After Lonesome Dave, Cassette hit the stage. I hadn’t seen them live before, they are quite funky. Apparently they have recently moved to Cape Town, so they must be cool dudes. Most people were happy that the rugby was shown on big screens, so that took everyone’s attention for a couple of hours.
Highlights as usual were:
– The almost unlimited pinotage, nicely chilled.
– The mountain of strawberries and chocolate fountain.
– The music.
– The snacks that kept coming round.
– There was some Boston beer on tap for when you got tired of wine (quite popular actually!)
This year Diemersfontein expanded their accommodation offering by setting up a tented village next to the dam. I stayed there on Friday and Saturday night. I wasn’t very impressed. The tents were really small, just space for the two blow up mattresses, nowhere to put your stuff or even stand. It was freezing cold and the tents were really close together so the okes in the tent next door could hear every one of my farts. Also, there was a generator going all night which was really loud.
The showers were quite good though, supplied by the guys who do those ‘Nice’ portable toilets. Strong flow and plenty of hot water. Overall I wouldn’t recommend it, especially as it’s not exactly budget at around R500 per person per night!
I don’t know if they will do it again next year as they weren’t impressed with the service provider themselves.
If you are planning on staying in Wellington next year, I would make some enquiries now as the accommodation fills up ages in advance.
When I’m in an area I like to try get to know the interesting things in the area. Last year we visited Bontebok Ridge which is an awesome little game farm. This year we decided to visit Jorgensen’s Distillery right in the middle of town. It’s an artisinal distillery, producing vodka, whisky, brandy, gin, absinthe and limoncello. Roger and Dawn are the owners, and they are not only passionate about what they do but also very hospitable and keen to share what they do with anyone who might be interested.
We had a tour of the distilley and an interesting lesson in how these spirits are made. Most of the ingredients are grown on their own land (huge property right in the middle of town – see photos below) and they subscribe to organic and ethical practices. After the tour we did a tasting on their back veranda which has a stunning view. We tasted the Primitiv vodka, the Savignac brandy and the awesome limoncello. All of it is really spectacular. I have a bottle of the limoncello in my freezer right now, waiting for a special occasion.
I’d recommend if you’re spending time in Wellington or even passing through, give Dawn and Roger a call and pop in for a visit, you can thank me afterwards.