Ommiberg Festival Reportback

Were you at the Ommiberg Festival this week?  Are your feet still stained purple from the grape stomping?  Did you win any prizes or find any new favourite wines?Paarl Valley

As I said before, we decided that this year we would visit some of the lesser known farms with our Ommiberg passes.  Last year we were in the thicket of stomping competitions, bands playing and loads of activities.  This year we ventured over to the other side of the Paarl valley, which is covered by vineyards and evergreen trees, with the odd luxury guest house dotted in between.  It really is beautiful, and it is definitely worth checking out some of those guesthouses.

Elsabe's Pinotage Jam

So, we started at Druk-My-Niet Wine Estate (which also has self catering cottages).  We tested their Young Rosé which was super sweet of course because the sugars have only just begun fermenting and converting to alcohol.  Their Malbec 2010, Cabernet Franc 2010 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 were also available for tasting.  The Malbec was really nice and mulberry-ish.  The Franc was my favourite with blackcurrants and nutmeg.  The Cab Sav was also good, but tasted a little young… perhaps a few more years in the bottle.  They had a lovely relaxed atmosphere with a ‘Pig on the spit’ and an iPod docking station playing background music.  One or two market stalls were also setup – one of our favourites – Elsabe’s, was there.  She makes the most delicious Pinotage jam and now has a reduction version of the same… yum!

Next stop was Mellasat Vineyards which calls themselves the “Home of the White Pinotage”.  We were just in time for some barrel tasting of the White Pinotage, of course it was pretty awful because it is half way through the wine-making process, but it’s still quite cool being able to sample wine straight out of the barrel.  They had an awesome one man band playing outside under the trees amongst all the tables laid out on the grass.  There were grapes to stomp if you wanted to and even vinotherapy foot massages, by real beauticians, not just the feel of grapes under your stomping.  We just missed one of the tractor rides through the vineyards when we arrived, I was probably the only child-excited one that was disappointed about that – next time I am jumping on for sure!

The White Pinotage is really nice with the nutty tropical flavours coming from the barrel, it’s a lovely smooth white wine, definitely the favourite at Mellasat.  The Tempranillo was also a lovely red, serious structure with its smokey French and berry flavours, but quite lovely.  So too was the flagship M, a blend of Shiraz and Pinotage.   I also enjoyed the Dekker’s Valley Shiraz Rosé, made only from Shiraz it is a more spicy and dry rosé and quite refreshing.  The Dekker’s Valley Chenin Blanc was also a nice easy drinking, fresh and zesty wine.  Great farm and atmosphere for the festival!

Last stop was Olsen Private Vineyards, who are not usually open to the public.  We actually weren’t there for very long as we had to get a moving to other parties and commitments.  But the live band was really festive and they have some of the most spectacular views across the Valley and up the enormous mountains on the Du Toitskloof Pass side.  We tasted the two Chenin Blancs, one wooded and the other not.  The unwooded was far nicer, personal preference.  The farm and their owners actually have quite an interesting story if you pop over to the website and have a read.

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring some new areas and wine farms in the valley and loved all the entertainment provided at the farms.  It was quite pleasant being on the slower side of the valley this time, but as always the festival is so well organised I don’t think it matters which farm you visit, you are bound to have a great day!

Were you at Ommiberg this weekend?  Which farms did you visit?

Bodel Road, Daljosafat, Paarl – tastings usually by appointment
Tel: +27 21 868 2393

Mellasat Vineyards, Keerweder Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl
Tel: 27 21 862 4525
GPS: S 33 44′ 30″ E 19 02′ 31″ (Do not take the toll road)

+27 21 862 3653


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