Ommiberg Festival is a fantastic festival in Paarl – literally meaning “Around the Rock” (being the Paarl Rock), it includes all the wine farms surrounding Paarl Rock and the town of Paarl. With harvest in full swing, the festival allows you to taste unfiltered wines at different stages of the wine-making process. Activities range from grape stomping, cork spitting, tractor rides, bottling competitions to live music, market foods and much more. Make sure you head out there this weekend. Tickets are R80 at Webtickets or R100 at the door of any participating farm.
Last year we started at Laborie and entered the Grape stomping competition, we had to carry the graes, stomp them, full a bottle and cork it – loads of fun. Their market was running and its actually really cool being able to taste the new wines at their different stages, the beginning stages are delicious sweet grapes juice, the middle stages are awful! But its still cool to try them.
(The picture of us is a little blurry with all the grape juice smudged on the cellphone camera lense – I’ll try do better this year!)
We then walked over to KWV for their ice cream pairings – Brandy with ginger ice-cream and the Pinotage with mushroom ice-cream – very interesting. They had a bunch of local, Paarl talents performing throughout the day.
Last year the shuttles were running between the farms, so we hopped on one to Ridgeback which was lovely and relaxed with slip and slides for the kids. Our last stop was Windmeul which was pumping! The usual market activities where on, but there was a bedouin tent under which bands were playing and there must have been a memo that went out to the students, because it was full and festive there.
This year we’re thinking of hitting up the otherside of the valley, trying out Mellasat with their White Pinotage, perhaps Olsen vineyards because being private they are not usually open for tasting and maybe even Proviant restaurant who have Black Pearl, Mitres Edge and other boutique wines available for tasting.
Unfortunately there are not shuttles this year :(. But there is information on the website about hiring shuttles for big groups.
While Saturday is the main event and all the big activities, this year the festival extends onto Sunday as well with a more Slow Ommiberg feel, with picnics and live music on the lawns on most of the farms.
Go check out the full programme on their website – www.ommiberg.co.za
Are you coming through – which farms are you planning on visiting?
See you there!