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Wine, food fest draws crowds from all over

Wines of Elgin once again welcomed visitors from far and near to revel in the delights of the annual Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April.

This year, 13 wine farms participated, offering guests an array of wine tastings, gastronomic delights and children’s activities. What makes the festival so unique is that visitors can tailor-make their own itineraries, choosing from a variety of seriously cool experiences.

With clear skies and sunshine, the weather played along, rewarding festivalgoers with a perfect way to experience the magic in the valley. “It is definitely worth making a full weekend of this auspicious event to experience the best of it; there are 1 000 beds in the valley and many were booked out weeks in advance,” says Catherine Boome, executive head of Elgin Grabouw Tourism. “This festival is a very important boost for the local economy and a jewel in our crown.”

The participating farms went to great lengths to offer guests classy and memorable experiences. Free tastings were on offer across the board and venues with restaurants harnessed the opportunity to show off their excellent menus. Independent food vendors participating in the festival also served delicious food, with food trucks and stalls buzzing to fill hungry bellies and satisfying cravings.

With a focus on family fun, each farm catered for the needs of young visitors too. There were children’s activities aplenty, play areas, petting zoos and, of course, large rolling lawns perfect for playing. Furry friends also received a warm welcome and thoroughly enjoyed all the freedoms offered by the picturesque countryside.

The gorgeous art deco-inspired Elgin Railway Market formed the central hub of activities. This is where guests could pick up their festival passes and wine glasses on arrival, and also where they could hop on board a shuttle. This year, the valley partnered with the Grabouw Taxi Organisation to cover six different shuttle routes between participating farms and ensure that guests don’t drink and drive.

Appletiser also came on board as a festival partner, sponsoring delicious sparkling fruit drinks that kept designated drivers well-hydrated and energised throughout the festival.

With this event being a highlight on social calendars, it’s hardly surprising that Elgin is also fast gaining a reputation for being the coolest wine growing region in the country.

“We hope that visitors to the festival enjoyed taking a detour off the N2 and exploring all our valley has to offer,” Boome concludes. “While we pull out all the stops for the festival, our wine farms are open year-round and always ready to treat guests to some cool country hospitality.

V For more information on the valley, visit www.winesofelgin.co.za.

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