from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – WINE connoisseur and enthusiasts are to converge at the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Coast for an annual festival that is marking a milestone 15 years.
The South Coast Spring Wine Festival kicks off today (Friday) until the 22nd of September at the Riverbend Crocodile Farm in South Broom.
Some 40 top wine estates and 150 fantastic wines will be on show.
Howard Kelly, event organizers, from Riverbend Crocodile Farm told CAJ News Africa that the community will also benefit with some 12 locals employed for that night.
“The South Coast community benefits by having the opportunity to taste some of South Africa’s best wines and to buy them at discounted prices besides having a wonderful night with family and friends,” he added.
Approximately 12 young south coast residents are also employed on the night,” Kelly told CAJ News Africa.
The event starts at 17h30 and is restricted to all over 18 years of age.
Due to catering all tickets are presold and no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets will be limited to the first 300 patrons.
The festival has grown from humble beginnings to now attract hundreds of wine lovers.
“In 2005 I renovated an old dairy into a beautiful space which now houses the Riverbend Art Gallery,” Howard recalled how the festival started.
“ A visiting family member who is in the wine industry visited one Xmas and commented that the South Coast didn’t offer much in the way of decent wines and said he could help me in sourcing fabulous wines from the Western Cape for a Cellar in the Art Gallery.”
In 2011, Howard was approached to present a few wine estates wines to some select customers which gave him the idea to present an annual wine festival.
“Hence the birth of the South Coast Spring Wine Festival hosted here at Riverbend Crocodile Farm each year.”
“The event is hosted on our beautiful grounds here at Riverbend under stretch marquees and in our conference venue,” Howard said.
Once again, patrons will be offered a meal, a free tasting glass, a free Gin (profiling Sugarbird Gins at the gin bar this year) and the opportunity to taste and purchase more than 250 different wines at cellar door prices.
Wines ordered on the night get delivered after the event to buyers.
As this year marks the 15th anniversary, organizers will also stage, for the first time, an after party.
It will feature local favourites, The Gentry.
To complement the wine festival, Riverbend Art Gallery will also present its annual art exhibition this year.
It will be titled, “Wandered through the Wilderness.”
It will feature the work of well-known artists, Marke Meyer, famous for his bronze work, and Munro, probably South Africa’s most prolific by sales artist.
– CAJ News