Ladies and gentlemen, lovers of food and wine, chasers of new adventures, assemble! Wacky Wine Weekend has a whole bunch of reasons why you simply cannot afford to miss out.
To give you a taste of what this weekend-long celebration of the vine and all of its related shenanigans in the Robertson Wine Valley entail, here are our top 10 picks of things to do and encounters to enjoy during this popular wine festival.
#1 Discover enthralling wine tasting experiences at the Wacky Wine Weekend
Wine tasting, when done right, is the surest way to literally taste a place. After all, a well-made wine is an expression of a given area’s terroir, aka its soil, air, water, weather conditions, etc. With more than 35 different producers in the Robertson Wine Valley taking part in this annual event, there are an incredible array of tasting opportunities on offer throughout the Wacky Wine Weekend. There is a big focus on getting the tasters in on the actual action instead of leaving them to sip demurely on a glass of wine. Think barrel tastings, blend-your-own experiences, and all sorts of unusual pairings that really bring the magic of wine alive.
#2 Follow in the footsteps of the masters
Winemakers are fascinating people. Part alchemist, part straight-up mad scientist, these inspiring folks tend to weave their magic in isolation, so when you are invited into their domain to take a peek behind the curtain it’s quite a high honour. Head into underground cellars, walk the vineyards and get a taste what goes into the making of a wine by following in the footsteps of the cellar masters. Meet the winemakers and get their perspective of what goes down between vine and glass.
#3 Live that dreamy country life
Don’t get us wrong – we love the city. But man, what a treat it is to leave the bustle behind for a bit and head out into the country for some fresh air and Danish-style hygge. After all, what’s better than waking up in a country cottage to the call of a far-off guineafowl and heading out onto the stoep with a steaming cup of boeretroos and a rusk or two? If it’s some serious R&R you’re after, the Wacky Wine Festival will be right up your alley – it’s country life at it’s most lekker. And we say cheers to that!
#4 Work up an appetite
If you like your food & wine experiences with a side of exercise-induced endorphins, step right up. The Wacky ’18 organisers have your back. Bring your bike and take part in a scenic MTB challenge through the vineyards with magnificent mountain views, join in on motorbike race or simply lace up your takkies and enjoy one of the local hikes throughout the valley – the options are endless.
#5 Date night? Pfffft, more like date weekend!
By now we all know that a babysitter is less expensive than a divorce lawyer. Keep the romance alive by using Wacky Wine Weekend as your own personal date weekend. Whisk your partner away to a candlelit wine tasting in an underground cellar (verrry Beauty & The Beast), do dinner and dancing under the stars, or up the cultural quotient by indulging in some wine & art pairing (très sophisticated, yo!). To be honest, you can turn pretty much any wine-related excursion on the Wacky Wine Festival line-up into a romantic outing – all you need is a bit of that luuuuurve swagger, so dig deep and make your partner feel all glowy and loved-up to reap those relationship rewards.
#6 Cruise the Breede River
Just when you think things couldn’t get any more interesting, they go and throw a boat cruise into the mix! Festivalgoers can make their way from one tasting to the next via hop-on, hop-off boat cruises on the rather lovely Breede River that winds its way through the Robertson valley. Tailor your own picnic basket by choosing from a superb array of local olives, cheeses, handmade artisan charcuterie and preserves from riverside delis, take a seat and make a day of it as you watch the world (aka vineyards!) go by.
#7 Indulge your wanderlust
There is a lot be said for taking the time to explore a region at a leisurely pace. Because the Wacky Wine Weekend is spread out along Route 62, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover the delightful nooks and crannies of Robertson, Ashton, Montagu (hip new B&B destination alert, FYI!), Bonnievale and more. Make your way from one dorpie to the next and develop a real feel for the unique zeitgeist that makes for such a singular way of life in the Robertson Wine Valley
#8 Feast, feast, feast!
We’re just going to leave this here: abundant farm-style breakfasts, dew-dappled fresh produce, steaming soups, handmade roosterkoek slathered in lashings of butter and jam, fragrant potjies simmering on outdoor fires, olive oil trickling over freshly baked bread, the smell of newly shucked oysters drenched in lemon… You get the picture. Better pack those big pants.
#9 Choose your own adventure
The organisers of the Wacky Wine Weekend know what’s up, that much is clear. There has never been a wine festival that offers such an exciting array of ways to arrive and get around. You can hop on a day shuttle from Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Paarl or anywhere in the Cape Town area; take a scenic bus tour with JB Bus Tours; rent a Buddy Bus for the day; book a local taxi; or arrive by Ceres Rail like true-blue royalty. Alternatively, if you’re already heading down in your own vehicle, dial up the luxury on your weekend by booking a personal driver who knows their way around. That way you can have a fat chat with your crew or gaze out the window at the lovely scenery while you make your way from one wine experience to the next.
#10 Contribute to a worthy cause
It’s always nice to know that you’re giving back, especially when you can do so while you’re having loads of fun. To give festivalgoers a built-in opportunity to pay it forward to the local community, the various role-players that participate in the Wacky Wine Weekend jointly founded the Thunderchild initiative in 2017. Thunderchild is a local wine blend produced by wineries in the valley as part of their contribution to Die Herberg Orphanage. Every cent of the profit of the sales thereof are donated to the orphanage to help fund the education of the children, and with each coupon used throughout the weekend, Robertson Wine Valley will also donate money towards the Thunderchild project. Feel-good vibes all around.