Once a year Franschhoek (near Cape Town) hosts the annual cheese and wine festival on one of the magnificent wine farms, this year it was on the Bien Donne farm. Tickets are sold months in advance and advertising peaks weeks before the event. Basically you buy a ticket and get to walk around eating as much cheese as you want and drinking as much wine as you can handle… as well as some other yummy treats! My boyfriend and I took advantage of all the tasters and for those of you that missed it – don’t worry, I am sure we ate more then enough for you!!!
This Franschhoek Cheese & Wine Festival was hosted last week and people had to pre-book their tickets which meant unless you knew the weather forecast was you may be in for a surprise… The entire weekend was lovely EXCEPT the Saturday which rained and rained… and rained! Yip, you guessed it – our tickets were for Saturday!
So off we set to Franschhoek bright and early on the Saturday morning with our raincoats packed and our money ready to buy lots of unusual cheeses. The place was packed!!! There were 2 marques filled with exhibitors as well as many outside (undercover) stands with lunch options like calamari, steak rolls, pancakes, pizza and more! There were also table and chairs outside to sit and eat at – with the rainy weather it was slightly unpleasant if the umbrella you were huddled underneath was meant for the sun and not the rain! The marques were packed with people all tasting all the ‘testers’ at each table! There was just so much to eat its no wonder the event was packed. There were cheeses, wines (obviously 🙂 ) as well as biltong (which I was horrified to see that they had Rhino biltong), breads, nougats, biscuits, chocolates, ice creams, cheese sticks, olives, pestos and the list goes on.
With free samples of EVERYTHING its no wonder that after a few wine stands everyone was laughing and giggling like school girls! Plus all the products there were selling for slightly cheaper then in the stores… We bought so much for ourselves and gifts that I am sure we paid for all of our testers along the way! I got some biltong (kudu and beef – no Rhino!!!), camembert, olive brie, tomato pesto, olive oil (as Patti says we have the best olive oil around), coffee biscuits, nougat, some health bread…. Just typing all of this makes me want to run home and devour the rest!
I can highly recommend going to the Franschhoek Cheese & Wine Festival next year and I can guarantee that ill be there next year – rain or shine! I had such a great time, spent too much money and ate waaay to much, but it was the perfect thing to do. The rain added to the excitement and besides whats a little rain when there is food involved! Maybe next year it will be on a different wine farm…