This was my first year at Diemersfontein Pinotage on Tap. Several of my friends have been going for a number of years but I’d never gotten round to it. So I enlisted the company of my right hand man and my left hand man, and we made a weekend of it.
I quick call to a friend who is the winemaker at Rosegarden Vineyards and we had a place to stay which was about a 5 minute drive from Diemersfontein. So after work on Friday we tossed our bags in the boot and headed off. The journey was a bit of an anti climax as we were amped for a road trip but you can’t really call 1 hour of driving a road trip. We tried to get lost a couple of times to extend the journey but the winemaker’s directions were pretty good so that only delayed us a couple more minutes.
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So we arrived at Rosegarden Vineyards at about 6pm and spent a lovely evening braaing and catching up. The next morning we had a lazy breakfast while gazing at the beautiful view. After cleaning up we popped in to visit some winefarms on the way to Diemersfontein. Windmeul Co-op didn’t really have much of a view but the building was nice and the wines weren’t bad, especially at that price. Rhebokskloof was absolutely beautiful. After trying the wines (I’m not excited about the new label) we relaxed on the lawn by the lake. Then we popped into Nelson’s Creek, also very beautiful and lovely wines. Then it was time for the main attraction, Diemersfontein’s Pinotage on Tap.
We parked our car and caught the tractor taxi to the entrance, grabbed our goodie bag containing a glass, newspaper thingy and a sandwich which I never ate (I think 1 person in our group at theirs). Along the path to the festivities, we encountered the first of 6 barrels containing the famous Pinotage. So we filled our glasses for the first of many times and toasted to the tough life we live in SA.
As we were walking along, we were continually offered tasty snacks (might explain why my sandwich wasn’t that appealing). We quickly found ourselves in a room with 2 huge tables covered in strawberries and each table had a chocolate fountain on the corner. Every woman in that room had a big smile and dreamy eyes, the only other time I see that look is when I turn on my charm. I eventually managed to coax the girls out of there by pretending I’d seen Brad Pitt outside. So we made our way to the main entertainment area, a grassy hillside with a stage at the bottom. Bales of hay were strewn strategically around the area.
So we spent the rest of the afternoon bumping into and chatting to people we knew, occasionally wandering off to get a refill of Pinotage. Fly Paper Jet and Prime Circle entertained us. I had not heard either of them before and was well impressed. We adopted some Pinotage vines to take home, I’ll let you know when I bottle my first vintage. Later in the afternoon there were steak burgers and chicken burgers for sale in case anyone needed something inside them to soak up the wine.
Then we went home and had a braai. We didn’t last long, we were exhausted. Too much sun, wine and fun in one day. I will definitely go to Pinotage on Tap again next year.
The next day we decided to go to the West Coast National Park and see the flowers. When we arrived the board said: Flower Season 1st August to 30th September. High fives all around the car that we had got there on the last day of the season. We paid our R25 (R15 out of season) and drove on. Obviously nobody informed the flowers that they were supposed to hang around till the 30th of September because there were none. What a waste of high fives. Anyway, we had some lunch, the restaurant is not too bad. Then we drove around, spotted some animals and one or two flowers, then decided to call it a weekend.
Any idea what the dates are for this years festival?