Botrivier is a fabulously unique area. I like to call it BotiRiver as wine is a very important part of the culture.
The beautiful and well-maintained N2 passes Botriver and cuts through the area making access to wine farms and restaurants an absolute pleasure. Just outside Botrivier one can also turn off into Botrivier or go in the direction of Hermanus.
Luddite and Genevieve Go Large in Jozi
Book now for Bot River wine giants descending on the City of Gold
Sunday, 14 July
A royal wine experience hits the City of Gold on 14 July, when two outstanding boutique Cape wineries put on a once-off showcase of their collection of extraordinary vintages. Dubbed the GO LARGE Lunch, the event sees 9-litre bottles from the famed Bot River region’s King of Shiraz and Queen of Méthode Cap Classique served up alongside the big, bold flavours of Urbanologi restaurant.
The featured wineries are Luddite, whose owner winemaker Niels Verburg is renowned for his Midas touch with the red cultivar, and Genevieve MCC, crafted by owner Melissa Nelsen. Both hail from Bot River in the Overberg, a region known by its credo “real wine made by real people”; the unspoilt, down-to-earth, sociable character of the farmers; and, wines for lovers of the road less travelled.
For the small-town experience in the big city of Jozi, serving the Shiraz from 9-litre bottles and the MCC from magnums makes the occasion unique. The aim is to give enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the difference in taste that a large-format bottle makes.
Guests will be welcomed with canapes and the 2010 vintage Genevieve MCC, a tiny producer with small amounts bottled in magnums.
Then it’s onto a tapas-style lunch paired with five vintages of Luddite Shiraz out of 9-litre bottles; 9.0 L Salmanazar: Equivalent to twelve standard 750 ml bottles or a full case of wine! – the first of its kind to take place in Johannesburg and one designed to show the varying effects that terroir, climate and crop size has on wine. “In big bottle format wine comes across fresher,” says Niels’ wife, Penny, who co-hosts the event. “It just seems to age better in big bottles.”
Luddite has built a loyal following since its establishment, particularly for the Shiraz whose first vintage came in 2000. In fact, the 8,5ha farm was bought with Shiraz being the Verburg’s sole aim. Luddite was the name given to 19th century workmen who destroyed labour-saving machinery. The name suited Penny and Niels’ focus on artisanal passion and excellence rather than wine mechanisation.
Today, some people describe Luddite Shiraz as Niels-in-a-glass; he’s six foot four, with a smile the embodiment of a warm embrace.
As for the bubbly to be served, 2010 was the first year Melissa decided on magnums, setting aside just 120 bottles of her precious Genevieve MCC. She had always had a love for bubbly and when the opportunity arose to make it, she jumped. Genevieve is her second name and the patron saint of Paris, making Genevieve MCC the perfect link between great South African MCC made in the style of French Champagne.
The Genevieve 2010 spent four years on lees and five years on cork. Made from Chardonnay, the wine shows delicate and generous bubbles with crisp aromas of lime blossom, fig and hints of bright mineral flavours. Vibrant and supple on the palate, it reveals rounded and expressive flavours of pear and brioche that linger.
Coming together at Urbanologi, famed for fine, eco-friendly food, the wines meet a formidable partner that has been described the “clear standout of must-visit inner-city dining spots”. Located at the uber-cool 1 Fox Precinct of Ferreirasdorp in the heart of Jozi, the restaurant epitomises the concept of casual fine dining.
It’s an ideal match with Bot River’s farmer-friendly philosophy thanks to chef Jack Coetzee’s new Project 150 culinary mantra – a sustainability declaration to source all ingredients except spices, within 150km of the restaurant.
For the GO LARGE Lunch, Jack goes beyond the ordinary, stepping away from the regular menu. He won’t reveal the line-up just yet, except to say a divine culinary surprise awaits. One thing’s for sure though: if you’ve booked a seat, you’re in for a royal treat.
Date: Sunday, 14 July
Cost: R900 per person
Tickets are limited. To book contact Sharon at email@example.com, or call 028 284 9308
You will find the R43 a very interesting road to travel by.
Wine farms, olive oil producers, cheese makers, craft beer, commendable restaurants and coffee shops will keep your journey highly interesting.
Some of our Super Favourite spots are:
Ecology Lifestyle Farm on the R43
The Suntin’ Shed
Please peruse the www.botriverwines.com website to get inspired to visit this beautiful and friendly area with its magnificent wines, olive oils and interesting locals.
13 April 2019
Some nine years ago the wonderfully eclectic bunch of very talented Bot River Winemakers challenged each other to grow the most luxuriant beard during harvest. The Shave Off on the 1st February marks the start of harvest each year as well as the start of a new beard. The grape harvest waits for no-one – when the fruit is ripe, it must be picked and taken to the cellar. There is little time for sleep and even less for time-consuming activities like shaving – this must take a back seat too, so beards in the vineyards and cellar are not unusual at this time of year.
At the end of harvest, the now well-bearded winemakers arrive at the annual Beard Parade – a talent show contest based on beards and bulldust, of inconsequence and almighty mirth. This is an opportunity for the public to taste new vintage wines straight from the barrel as well as special release wines and also to meet the winemakers, make new friends, party and do some good in the process.
The occasion centres around the auction: the sale of truly special Bot River wines. The auction benefits various school-level educational projects in the region.
This is followed by a dinner known as the Botriviera feast!
Bot River lies a mere one hour’s drive up the N2 highway from Cape Town. A perfect getaway, the region has long been known for its wine pioneers and Mavericks. There are 13 wine farms, most of them family-owned and run, producing world-class wines.
Despite the rain on the second day, the 2018 spring festival was enjoyed by many happy people!
We will update this page with the 2019 details as soon as it becomes available.
All information about the yearly frolicking festival of the Overberg with Botrivier Wines on www.botriverwines.com
Get FaBULLous at the Bot River Spring Weekend
Seize the bull by the horns and head for the Overberg
1 & 2 September 2018
The bull takes center stage for this year’s Bot River Spring Weekend festivities hosted on 1 and 2 September by the region’s fun-loving and fancy-free wineries.
Food, wine, music and entertainment – for kiddies too – will be a-plenty at the event taking place on the first official weekend of Spring. But, wait! There’s plenty more happening around the Overberg hamlet’s famous, bull-tide bash.
Expect an orchestra of superb activities all hosted by the various farms, each celebrating the dispatch of winter with their own unique and bull-inspired themes. In fact, you might say they’re all quite bullish at the prospect.
And what would a bull fest be without a race. (This is no cock and bull story!)
This doesn’t however involve running with bovids of any kind. Rather, the highlight of highlights Bull Race takes the form of a scavenger hunt for grown-ups. Hosted by the Gallivanting Goose, participants are required to complete challenges prompted by a mobile phone app. This is your chance to learn more about Bot River and win cool prizes too. The game is limited to 40 people only, so rush to book forthwith!
You’ll also have to navigate the rest of your schedule with care if you’re to get to all else that catches your eye that weekend. No bulls in china shops can succeed!
For a taster, Goedvertrouw has yoga lined up in the vineyards, with a vinous twist…
At PaardenKloof Ecology Lifestyle Estate, one of the first farms in the Western Cape to re-introduce the Nguni cattle to the region, you’ll be able to interact with farmyard animals, let the children ride ponies and even buy Nguni skins and horns. There’s a Fresh Farmer’s Market too, where you’ll be able to shop for local produce, Protea flowers and nursery plants.
Estate-on-the-koppie Gabriëlskloof, which will launch its latest ROSEbud wine, will have its Little Spring Market as well as servings of salt & pepper calamari and steamed pork buns.
It’s also an outstanding food line-up that joins the stellar wines at Wildekrans for the Spring Weekend this year too. Expect amongst others, Friday Steak Night and Saturday Curry Night as well as an ox braai with traditional sides like curried boontjies and phutu pap.
Chef Matt Manning, who perfected his trade in London’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants, will cook up a storm at Luddite where the Rivertones reggae band will play on Saturday night.
At Genevieve MCC, there will be sushi with a lively treasure hunt for children while the taurine theme gets a punt with bubbles and a game of boulles (pronounced “bull”). They’ll be joined on the day by Thorne & Daughters, hoping to put on a spot of clay bull shooting.
At 7pm on Saturday night, Kobie Villion of Villion Family Wines will host an exclusive dinner in the Barton Cellar (R43). The evening will consist of a fa-BUL-ous 3-course dinner, with an Ox-Tail Potjie as the delicious main course. Welcome drinks are included in the R285pp ticket, and there will be a Wine Bar at the venue. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any more details or dietary requirements, Tickets limited to 40 people.
The line-up of fun goes on and on. Be sure to check in on the full list of activities also happening at Beaumont, Arcangeli and Rivendell.
STOP THE PRESS! For a faBULLous foretaste of what to expect in your glass at this year’s Bot River Spring Weekend, join the clan of amicable winemakers who will descend on Cape Town on Wednesday, 29 August to share their latest cellar gems with enthusiasts. This once-off public tasting will take place at La Tête Restaurant, 17 Bree Street from 18h00 to 21h00. Tickets cost R200 per person and include a glass, wine tasting and some decadent pairings from the kitchen. Tickets are available on quicket.com, and limited to 150 people.
Bot River Spring Weekend booking essentials:
Get tickets online through Quicket. The price is R100 for a single day pass (Either Saturday or Sunday), includes your wristband and wine glass for free wine tastings at participating farms.
The Full Weekend Pass for both Saturday AND Sunday costs R150, includes your wristband and wine glass for free wine tastings at participating farms.
Temporary Quicket stations will be at Gabriëlskloof and Wildekrans, and the Main Quicket Station will be located at the Fiore Nursery in the Bot River Town Square.
Entries for the Bot River Bull Race will be available on Quicket as a separate item.
Bot Bull Goosechase Game!
The Gallivanting Goose along with the Bot River Wine Route, brings you the Bot Bull Goosechase Game, for the Spring Festival 2018.
Imagine if the Amazing Race, your funniest home videos and Cranium got crazy inside a smartphone – that’s a game with The Gallivanting Goose! Funny, challenging and a real eye-opener!
It’s an app-driven scavenger hunt unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The game stars you, your co-workers, family or friends and will provide teams with a chance to experience the Bot River Wine Route; its beautiful tastes, sights and sounds, as well as interesting and educational facts. The game is played in real-time and the scoreboard can be seen by all the players, throughout the event.
The competition will be tough, as teams have 100 minutes to complete all the challenges, whilst driving from place to place. Each challenge is delivered in the form of a photograph or video – so there is plenty of photographic and video footage to laugh over in the end.
NB Details – Meet at 10am on the 1st September 2018, on the lawns of the Bot River Hotel. Each team is to be made up of 4/5 people per car. Participants are to be 18 years and older. Fuel costs for the duration of the game are for the team’s own account and each team can expect to cover 40 – 50 km’s in total. Price per person is R400 and this includes the use of the smart phone per team ready and loaded for the duration of the event, a bottle of water and snacks as well as a Weekend Wine Pass (valued at R150/person) to allow participants to enjoy the venues at their own leisure, post the game.
Each participant will be required to sign an indemnitiy document. The Gallivanting Goose
For more information about the faBULLous Bot River Spring Weekend 2018, please contact Melissa Nelsen at email Melissa@genevievemcc.co.za.