On Saturday 4 March, the iconic Paarl Winelands will be ready for you to get your harvest groove on!
This young wine festival will take visitors off the beaten track to sample the best of the Paarl Wine Route for the tenth year running. Festival goers will literally be guided around the iconic Paarl Rock to cellars and farms on the outskirts of Paarl to sample young wines from the 2017 harvest and to celebrate the diversity of this historic wine region.
We had a taste of Ommiberg at the media launch last week and visited some of the participating wineries, some of whom were hit by blazing fires earlier this year. It was really sad to see the devastation and we even got to hear from the brave firefighters who tried their very best to save as many lives and land as possible. By attending the festival, we will literally be helping these farms to repair and revive what was lost.
Despite the devastation, there is still a lot of beauty to be seen. Kurt and I made a date of it, however, the festival offers something for the whole family!
About the festival…
Participating wineries range from small boutique cellars to family-owned vineyards and iconic producers. Each has a unique atmosphere, but will be pulling out all the stops to present a fun-filled day programme with superlative young wines, amusing harvest activities as well as great kids’ entertainment. Visitors can also enjoy live music, fabulous food offerings and the incredibly beautiful scenery of the Boland.
OmmiBerg pays homage to this season’s young wines and wine lovers will be able to taste these unfiltered wines straight from the barrel and tanks. This unique experience puts OmmiBerg in a class of its own as it is the only event of its kind in South Africa. The tradition to honour young or nouveau wines can be traced back to Europe, where special celebrations are hosted each year. In Germany, wineries open their cellar doors for one day only during each harvest season and serve federweisser and zwiebelkuchen or unfiltered wine with onion tartlets, while in France hundreds of Beaujolais Nouveau festivals are hosted each year.
According to Stephen Richardson, chairman of the Paarl Wine Route, OmmiBerg presents quite a unique opportunity for wine enthusiasts. “Obviously, it is a very rare experience to be able to taste young wines fresh from the tank or barrel. Not only is it a celebration of the harvest that the public can now participate in, but it also shows the potential of the wines from our region. Traditionally, Paarl wines have done exceptionally well at the SA Young Wine Challenge and this allows us a sneak preview of what is to be expected. It is also a chance for members of the public to see winemaking in action, which makes a huge difference from just picking a bottle off the shelves and will hopefully lead to a greater appreciation of the art of winemaking,” mentions Richardson.
In addition to the young wine tastings, wine buffs will also be able to enjoy special tastings of bottled wines from various participating wineries as well as cellar tours, vineyard drives and blending tutorials conducted by the cellar masters and winemakers.
Harvest activities are guaranteed to lighten the mood as visitors can try their hands (or feet) at grape stomping, barrel rolling and cork spitting. Sumptuous food offerings will cater for any craving from gourmet fast foods to traditional flammkuchen, bubbly and oysters to deli treats.
Outdoor enthusiasts also have something to look forward to with a special edition of the Run The Vines trail run taking place at Calais, one of two farms devastated by the recent Paarl fires. The event offers three distances for adults and a brand new Henties Junior Challenge over 3km or 5km for youngsters. Five new MTB tracks will be introduced at Rhebokskloof catering for various skills levels from novice to advanced riders.
In keeping with Paarl’s family-oriented positioning, OmmiBerg will be no exception with loads of activities specifically for the younger crowd. Specially designated play areas, water games, kiddies menus and tasty treats will keep the kids happy and busy for the whole day.
Participants include Boland Cellar, Calais, Druk my Niet, Domain Brahms, Mellasat, Nederburg, Perdeberg, Rhebokskloof and Windmeul Kelder. Tickets are available online from www.webtickets.co.za at R120 per adults. Tickets can also be purchased on the day at the gates of participating wineries at R150 per person. A festival pass includes entry to the event, a stylish tasting glass and free participation of events as indicated on the festival programme. Kids under 18 accompanied by an adult enter for free.
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