We made a last minute decision to head out to Robertson for the Wacky Wine Weekend 2018. This is one of my favourite festivals in one of my top weekend getaways. Robertson is peaceful and beautiful with just enough going on that there’s always something different to do or a new place to visit.
We’ve only been to Wacky Wine once before (and have been meaning to get back ever since). It’s easy to see why it’s so popular – the wine farms make a huge effort, the heart of Robertson (it’s relaxed friendliness) isn’t compromised, and there is a HUGE range of absolutely delicious wines to try.
This year we decided to go through with our boys (aged 1 and 2) because we always miss them terribly when we’re away from them and because it seemed like a good test of whether it’s fun to do a family weekend away. And if it isn’t fun in Robertson, then it won’t be fun anywhere!
Wacky Wine works on a passport system – you buy your ticket (only R200 for the whole weekend) which gets your access to tastings at all the participating Robertson winefarms – this includes many of the wine farms from the surrounding areas of McGregor, Ashton, Bonnivale and Montegu. We decided to focus on the smaller, more family orientated farms (and had some excellent input on which ones to choose from Mira at Hot Oven Marketing).
Our Favourite Wine Farms
We started at Paul Rene, known for their delicious bubbles, we’ve been huge fans for ages but have never made it to the farm. The bubbles, plus fun activities for the boys including face painting and a jumping castle made our first stop a complete success!
This is the home of our favourite Chardonnay, the Bateleur. And is also one of the most beautiful wine farms to visit. We’ve been before and it was such a treat to be back there again. We joined the tutored MCC tasting on the Friday afternoon which was amazing – comparing different MCC’s from the region, but possibly not the best deicision with 2 little boys running around. Next time we’d definitely go back to De Wetshof but skip the official tasting and rather just enjoy the regular tastings on the lawn.
Arendsig in Bonnivale was an absolute gem. I didn’t know much about the wine farm before we arrived but our expectations were exceeded on every front. The hosts were so friendly and welcoming, the wine was absolutely incredible (especially their Viognier, easily the best I’ve tasted this year), and the set up was perfect for children.
They had the tasting area set up, but you could also buy a bottle of wine and head down to the river to enjoy more unspoilt views and take your time doing some exploring.
Windfall Wine hosted us for a 3 course dinner paired with their wines on the Saturday night. This was one of the highlights for us. It was hosted in the Windfall cellar, beautifully decorated and completely authentic feeling. We were surrounded by some well-known faces, and many new ones and had a fun night being reintroduced to some of our favourite wines from the farm over dinner.
If you’re heading to Windfall I can highly recommend their award winning Sauvignon Blanc, their stunning Kibali blend and my favourite, their straight Cabernet Sauvignon. We were hosted by Bianca and her team who managed to carry of the event with effortless class despite having had no electricity for most of the afternoon when they were trying to prepare.
A Couple of Other Great Spots
There was quite a lot to do at Excelsior including go carts, a market and wine tastings.
The area had been set up beautifully to cater for visitors with tables on the lawns and outside their tasting room. We had lunch here – authentic Durban bunny chow which we thoroughly enjoyed!
Situated on the banks of the Breede River, Viljoensdrift is a beautiful spot for wine tasting. They also have a river cruise the goes every couple of hours and you get to see a couple of other wine farms from a different angle.
Our Accommodation – Windfall Cottages
This was the highlight of our weekend and we will definitely be back. It was a pity that we stayed over the Wacky Wine weekend as we felt that we needed to spend time exploring all the different wine farms when we would have loved to kick back and spend our time at the Windfall Cottages.
Each cottage is named after a grape varietal and we had 2 cottages for the weekend. We stayed in Cabernet Sauvignon (a very specious 2 bedroom cottage) and Sauvignon Blanc (a smaller 1 bedroom cottage). All the cottages have magnificent, unspoilt views and complete privacy. The cottages are situated on a large open area so there was plenty of exploring for the boys and some quality sitting-on-the-stoep for the parents. Definitely a win-win!
We loved the complete quiet and tranquility of being at Windfall, our lives are so busy and noisy in Cape Town and getting away to a place that is so completely natural and comfortable did wonders for us.
We are very grateful to Windfall Wine for hosting us, to the Robertson Wine Valley for welcoming us back and to Mira Wiener who went to such lengths to ensure that we had an amazing time. We’ll definitely be back!