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A Little Something French

During March French culture is celebrated worldwide. For the first time Franschhoek is part of the Festival Francophonie. Get out your beret and do something with French flair on the Human Rights Day long weekend.

La Motte Harvest Experience – You’re Invited!

La Motte Harvest Experience
The La Motte Harvest Experience is a Winelands treat

Harvest time is the most important time on a wine farm, but it is also a time to celebrate the season’s special tastes and traditions. After a beautiful cold and wet winter and relative cool start to summer, quality expectations are high and the La Motte winemaking team invites visitors to share in the excitement of harvest time in the Winelands. Enjoy a tour of the vineyards and cellar, try fermenting grape juice from the tanks, taste the estate’s latest vintages and linger for lunch in the garden with a special harvest platter.

For the La Motte team, harvest is also a time of thanksgiving. When booking for the Harvest Experience, you are invited to join them by sharing what you are grateful for on a complimentary tag that you can hang in the vineyards.

What you can expect from the La Motte Harvest Experience:

One of the estate’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable wine tasting ambassadors will guide you on this celebration of unique harvest traditions:

·       In the vineyard – enjoy an introduction to the various varietals, harvest processes and the estate’s biologic farming practices. Spot the differences between the various varieties and taste the sweetness of the ripe berries. Write and hang your tag in the vineyard.

·       In the cellar – experience the hand-sorting of grapes, crush, pump-overs and other cellar activities, concluded with a tasting of grape must (fermenting grape juice) from a fermentation tank.

·       In the tasting room – sit down to a tasting of La Motte’s award-winning collection of wines – six wines from the La Motte Collection as well as the two wines from the estate’s renowned Pierneef Collection.

·       In the shade of the age-old oaks – relax in the calm ambience of the estate gardens and enjoy Chef Eric Bulpitt’s special Harvest Plate – with a glass of wine of course!

The Harvest Experience at R120 per person includes the vineyard and cellar tour as well as wine tasting. It takes about 90 minutes and happens hourly from Tuesdays to Sundays, between 10h00 and 15h00 during February and March.

A Harvest Plate is additional and optional and is available at R220 per person. This nostalgic platter of Winelands favourites includes a sausage roll, cured meats, boerenkaas, pickles, chutney, curried eggs, farm-baked bread with butter and hummus, grapes and crudités as well as the popular La Motte mosbolletjie!

The Harvest Experience takes place outside and in the spacious cellar and tasting room where social distancing as well as all other Covid protocol are in place.

Reservations are recommended and can be made with the La Motte Tasting Room: T +27 (0)21 876 8820 or E tasting@la-motte.co.za

La Motte’s renowned harvest-time mosbolletjies are also available at the La Motte Farm Shop for the duration of harvest. They sell like hot cakes, so to avoid disappointment, order yours in advance: T +27 (0)21 876 8840 or E farmshop@la-motte.co.za

New Cape Music Collective Inaugurates With a South African Première

Four members of the Cape Chamber Music Collective premières a new South African classical composition at its five inaugural concerts in Cape Town and the Boland from 19 to 23 January. They are violinist Jeffrey Armstrong, pianist Tertia Visser, viola player Stéphanie Lawrenson and Cellist Graham du Plessis.

A brand new South African classical composition premières the inaugural five concerts by the Cape Chamber Music Collective (CCMC).  Conveniently for locals one of the concerts is in Franschhoek.

SA’s Richest Street Mile to Be Held in the Valley of Dreams

Johan Fourie and Zach Moolman
Huguenot descendent, athletics coach and former star mile runner, Johan Fourie, joined Môreson viticulturist Zach Moolman in front of the iconic Huguenot Memorial to toast the launch of the Franschhoek Street Mile with Miss Molly Blanc de Blancs 2015 – Winemag.co.za’s best MCC for 2021. The race, that is set to be South Africa’s richest street mile, will take place in November 2022.

The inaugural Franschhoek Street Mile will take place in November 2022, in this prestigious Cape Winelands village.  Located in South Africa’s Valley of Dreams, the village is positioning itself and its breath-taking surroundings as a centre of sporting excellence.

The route takes in the historic heart of the village, amongst others Huguenot Street with the iconic Huguenot Memorial at its terminus. The day’s slate of events will include a Men’s Invitational race that promises to attract the cream of South Africa’s mile talent, a Ladies Open race and a Sport Celebrity Race.

Favourable feedback has already been received from top trainers and former elite athletes, such as Johan Fourie and Elana Meyer about the Men’s and Ladies Races.  Confirmed entries in the Sport Celebrity Race will be announced in due course.

Runners will compete for the richest pot of all South Africa’s Street Miles. Equal prize money is offered for the Men’s Invitational and Ladies Open Races.

Snow and Misdemeanours

Snow igloo
Caption: The igloo Wilroux Ackermann and friends built in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.

A late winter storm at the end of August led to the heaviest snow falls the valley had seen in at least 20 years.  As villagers know by now snow on the mountains means a busy weekend for those in the tourism sector.

While main road businesses benefitted from the visitor influx, most visitors were here for one reason: to get as close to the snow as they could. That meant a bumper weekend for the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve at the top of the Franschhoek Pass.

Cars were already streaming up the pass at dawn on the Saturday morning. By midmorning the parking area in the reserve was overflowing and visitors were parking along the pass for more than a kilometre from the reserve’s gate.

According to a spokesperson for the reserve most visitors were well-behaved and kept to the rules – in particular the requirement to stick to the footpaths. Where people strayed off the footpaths significant damage was done to the fynbos, which is particularly brittle under very cold conditions. Paths also suffered under the heavy foot traffic. Reserve management has already undertaken remedial work to the footpaths and is exploring ways to encourage the trampled fynbos to recuperate.

In a novel incident a helicopter owner offered flights into the mountains for those who didn’t feel like hiking to the snow. These were however unauthorised – no landings are allowed in protected nature areas – and were reported to the aviation authorities.

While snowball fights and snowmen were the order of the day, one group of friends went the extra mile and built an igloo. This impressive, though technically illegal activity, garnered Wilroux Ackerman and his friends a fair bit of media attention.

Wilroux and his friends used a plastic container to make the ‘bricks’ for their igloo which they constructed on the Perdekop trail near the Wemmershoek lookout. They started work at 10h00 and completed their project around 5 hours and 366 ‘bricks’ later. His helpers were his sister, Lenchen-Marié Ackermann, Donovan Oliveros, Nicol Oliveros and Richard Smith.

Text: Editorial Desk  Image: Wilroux Ackermann

NOTE: The management of the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve wish to inform the public that they no longer accept cash payments at the reserve entrance. The public are requested to either pre-buy their permits via webtickets.co.za or bring a credit / debit card along.

Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals

St George’s Anglican Church, located on the Delta Rd off the R45, brings to a close their 2021 Season of Creation titled “Oikos, our Common home” on the feast day of St Francis, Sunday, 3 October 2021. They will have a special Blessing of the Animals ceremony at 11h15 as animals occupied a very special place in the heart of St Francis.

The Rector, Fr Wilfred, wishes to extend a warm welcome to all in the valley – with or without animal companions – to join us as we give thanks to God our Creator for the creatures we love and who share this Oikos, our common home. The service will take place in the Rector’s garden and will include prayers for healing humanity’s relationship with the earth and all creatures who share the earth with us. The Service of Blessing will celebrate our unconditional love for our pets and our other humans. Stuffed animals as well as photographs of pets who would not find attending the event a blessed experience are more than welcome. All animals will receive an individual blessing from a priest. One request is that pets where possible be kept on a leash. Attendees must please remain masked at all times and are requested to maintain social distance where possible.

Everybody is invited to bring a donation of dog or cat food which will be distributed to the Solms-Delta farming community where so many of the farm households have been without an income for several months. We are grateful for the many in our greater community who have extended a helping hand to these people in their need. As a result of their lost in income many animals (53 dogs and 32 cats) have been underfed during this time. Our donation of animal food will be a blessing to all the animals on this farm.

At the event there will be flamed Braai Worsrolletjies for sale along with a variety of coolers.

A final thought from Gandhi: “Tthe moral progress of a Nation and its greatness should be judged by the way it treats its animals”.

The Wait Is Over – for Good!

Good Food & Co
The airy interior at Good Food & Co's new Bijoux Square premises

Fans of Good Food & Co will be glad to learn that after a month of being deprived of their favourite deli products and heat & eat meals they have now reopened in their new centrally-located premises at Bijoux Square. To go with the move Chef Nico Vorster has also created four brand new menus – including a vegan one – to tempt locals and visitors to savour their fare. Another new addition is Truth Coffee which can be enjoyed indoors, in the courtyard or as a take-away. All the friendly front-of-house faces are also back to welcome guests with efficient service and a friendly smile. It really is as they say: Good things come to those who wait.”

Opening times: Sun & Mon: 08h00 – 17h00 Tue – Sat: 08h00 – 21h00 (Book online or phone)

Tuesday Burger Nights are back. Buy one get one free!

www.goodfoodfranschhoek.com | www.goodfoodbowl.co.za | 021 876 3556

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Scarf Handout

Scarf Hand-out
FLTR: Suzette De Jongh, Aliki Brunt (Ambassador for 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day) and Adell Ferreira at the La Motte scarf hand-out

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day did their annual scarf handout at the La Motte feeding scheme on 19 August in conjunction with one of Sylvia Bell’s soup kitchens. It is normally done on Mandela Day, 18 July, but due to level 4 lockdown, they were unable to do so at the time.

The “Knitwits”, as this group of ladies are known, are based in Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. They knitted and crocheted over 350 scarves and beanies. These were hung between the trees for the community to help themselves. Each handmade item had a special message attached to it “I am not lost. If you are cold and need me, please take me. With love 67 Blankets.”

67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day is a non-profit organisation that was established by Carolyn Steyn in 2014. The organisation’s purpose is to crochet or knit something warm to donate to those in need every year, either in the form of a blanket, scarf, beanie or anything else which might be of use to the less fortunate or to keep someone warm and make them feel special.

The organization has attracted thousands of members (Knitwits) in South Africa as well as all around the world. Their motto is: “Stitch by stitch we keep people warm in the name of Nelson Mandela, our father.”

“We get everybody involved from schools to churches and old age homes and those who would like to do a good deed for their community,” says Aliki Brunt their local ambassador. “We would like many more helping hands to continue this amazing project,” she adds.

For further information, contact Aliki Brunt on 061 524 0129, alikibrunt@mweb.co.za or visit www.67blankets.co.za

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Supplied

Dalewood Does More Dairy

Dalewood Dairy Products
Dalewood's new dairy products are available from their Cheesery Shop

Like many of us, Dalewood Fromage’s Rob Visser and his team found that they had a bit more time on their hands during lockdown. Unlike many of us, they put that time to good use! The result is the addition of a whole new range of dairy products to their range.

Visitors to the Cheesery Shop on the farm can now also stock up on buttermilk, cream and crème fraiche for their cooking or baking projects. While there they might as well pick up some of the estate’s hand-made, lightly-salted butter and the full-cream stirred Jersey yoghurt. The latter is entirely free of additives, preservatives, thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers, milk powder and sugar making it as natural and healthy as can be. For your home-made pizzas and salad the full-cream Feta is just the ticket!

Dalewood’s unique recipe was formulated by Rob Visser who studied Dairy Technology at Elsenburg College. After years of experimenting, time in France sniffing out traditional cheese making secrets and countless cheese tastings Dalewood Cheese was launched in 2000.

Dalewood’s single Jersey herd grazes each day on bio-dynamically grown pastures surrounded by vineyards. Because of its focus on regenerative farming Dalewood is able to produce all-natural products with no preservatives, colourants or flavourants and suitable for vegetarians.

The Cheesery Shop™ is open:

Monday – Friday 09h00 – 16h00

Saturdays 09h00 – 15h00

Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Due to Covid and the size of our Shop we are unfortunately unable to offer any cheese tastings.

www.dalewood.co.za

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Supplied

Local at the Olympics

Michelle Weber

When the Tatler learned that Franschhoek-based open water swimmer, Michelle Weber, qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo we just had to get in touch. We managed to have a coffee two days before she departed for Tokyo and were mightily impressed by the humble and determined athlete we met.

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