Crush Day @ Darling Cellars: 1 March 2014

 

 

Haven’t you always wanted to get stuck into a bit of barefoot grape stumping? Now is your chance. Don’t miss the Crush Day at Darling Cellars on 1 March 2014 for a day filled with fun!

Crush Day

 

This is a day long affair and starts at 08h00 when everybody gather at the cellar to register and receive their goodie bags. After a Darling breakfast, the tractor-pulled wagons are ready to take the guests to the vineyards where you have to pick your own grapes. Once the picking is completed the fun begins…

Back at the cellar, pairs of two get into a barrels and stomp their grapes to the rhythm of the music. Prizes are up for grabs for the pairs who crush the most juice from the grapes.

After squashing the grapes between your toes, there is time to relax and have a glass of wine and wonder through the stalls with local produce while the kids (and sometimes even the gown ups!) are having fun on the slip ‘n slide or take part in the Easter egg hunt.

Also use your creative juices to create a label for the Crush wine 2014! At 13h00 you should have build up quite a hunger and then it is time to tuck into the lamb on the spit. Ease into the afternoon with the music of a local band. The day usually stops at 15h00 depending on how much the crowd enjoy themselves…

To top all of this, the wine that you created with passion will be ready for collection in August 2014.

crush day people

Booking is essential – visit www.darlingcellars.co.za or tel 022 492 2276

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Up Close Tours visits Darling

More uses for an old bath
(Courtesy of http://www.upclosetours.co.za/blog/visit-darling/)

This blog post is courtesy of http://www.upclosetours.co.za/blog/visit-darling/

Driving north from Cape Town on the R27 (take the R307 turnoff) for 72km will take you to Darling, a small town with its own wine route and a very special station. Since 1996, this station has been taken over by Evita se Perron, a restaurant-cum-playhouse-cum-art gallery owned by Tannie Evita Bezhuidenhout, otherwise known as Pieter Dirk-Uys. Evita se Perron put Darling firmly on the map and if you are looking to be thoroughly entertained followed up by an excellent meal, make a booking here.

Evita se Perron at Darling station
(Courtesy of http://www.upclosetours.co.za/blog/visit-darling/)

The Darling info centre/museum in the old town hall is open 7 days a week and has a nice display of old agricultural implements including a wheat carbine that looks like something built for the Will Smith movie Wild, Wild West. While at the museum, ask the friendly curator to show you the fascinating antique photographic glass slide collection.

There are four splendid wines farms on the Darling wine route (Cloof, Darling Cellars, Groote Post and Ormonde Vineyards) with only one – Groote Post – open on a Sunday.

The Hildebrand Monument is just outside the town and the curator at the museum can give you a very interesting insight into the death of this Boer commando.

The Voorkamerfest takes place in September and the concept here is that ticket-holders are driven by taxi to three mystery homes where they will experience some form of art (drama, mime, comedy or cabaret) in the homeowners lounge!  Stalls are setup throughout the town offering arts & crafts, food and wine tasting.

The roads around Darling are bordered by masses of white arum lilies in the winter. It’s illegal to collect them but stop and see if you can find the elusive and striking Arum Lily Frog that lives in the flower of the lily. Spring is flower season when Darling and surrounding towns are swamped with visitors. During this period, the Tinie Versfeld Flower Reserve just outside Darling is filled with an amazing array of flowers.

Other towns & places worth visiting in the area are:

  1. Groote Post farm

Named after a cattle guarding station, this 18th century farm continues its livestock breeding and dairy tradition but also includes an award winning winery and onsite restaurant serving modern country meals from the historic manor house

2.  Mamre

Originally a mission station dating back to the early 19th century, Mamre has a number of interesting places to visit –

  • There is a fantastic community-driven tour called the Mamre Donkey Trail where you take a donkey cart ride around the town escorted by a local guide. It’s a highly unusual tour worth taking and includes a meal, all at a very reasonable price
  • The Moravian mission station (church, water mill and VOC soldier’s barracks) visit is included in the above tour or drive to the site yourself
  • Visit the old goal in Mamre
  • Just outside the town is a nature garden containing indigenous plants

3.  Philadelphia

On your return to Cape Town, remain on the R307 and look out for a left turn to Philadelphia.  The town is a few 100 meters off the R307 (note that the R307 will take you back to Cape Town via the N7 highway). If I had money for a country home, this little picturesque town is where I would buy. Dominated by the huge church at its entrance, the town has a number of quirky shops, galleries, studios and restaurants. Of particular interest are the Crystals and Gemstones store and Pepper Tree Art Stable & Coffee Shop

4.  West Coast Ostrich Farm

On the N7 highway, the ostrich farm is well signposted. Visit to find out about the ostrich, its breeding & feeding habits and if you want some excitement, sit on one for a good photo opportunity

So, if you are looking for something unusual to do on a day trip, Darling and surrounding towns are worth visiting.

NOTE: Please don’t drink and drive, rather arrange a tour through us and never walk alone in any of the nature parks, we can assist with a guide. Our contact details can be found here:www.upclosetours.co.za/contact-us

This is the fourth in a series of blogs where we highlight some of the fantastic offerings in Cape Town’s neighbouring cities and towns. Look out for the next blog describing the nearby wheat region!

Groote Post Wins Vinpro Vineyard Award with Record Score

Confirmation of the intrinsic quality of Groote Post’s wines was again clearly illustrated when one of its Sauvignon blanc blocks received a record winning score of 100.5%, due to bonus points for specific criteria, at the 2012 VinPro Winetech Vineyard Block Competition for the Swartland area, which comprises 10% of South Africa’s national vineyard.

The award was handed to Groote Post viticulturist, Jannie de Clerk, by VinPro soil scientist, Braham Oberholzer, at an awards ceremony at Groote Post, where the highly-acclaimed sauvignon blanc block was referred to as “a textbook example” of a winning vineyard.

Groote Post’s 2.57-hectare award-winning sauvignon blanc block was planted in 2005 on the upper, south-and sea-facing slopes of the cool-climate Darling Hills, home to Groote Post’s 108.3 hectares of vineyards. Groote Post vineyard blocks have won this VinPro competition three times previously: in 2000 with a sauvignon blanc block and in 2001 and 2007 with merlot blocks. None of the winning blocks have been the same because winning blocks may not be entered a second time.

Groote Post co-owner, Nick Pentz, was elated with the award, “We have always made a great effort in producing the highest quality grapes as we believe that this is a crucial ingredient in making premium-quality wines. Our viticulturist, Jannie de Clerk, must be especially commended on winning this award with a record score; a tremendous achievement which reflects his passionate commitment and diligence.”

The annual VinPro Winetech Vineyard Practice Evaluation covers all the main wine-grape growing areas and is judged by a panel of viticultural experts in the industry. The competition evaluates vineyard practices on a wide variety of criteria such as: soil type and soil preparation; vine root development; choice of rootstock, clone and vineyard site; trellising methods; fertilising and pruning practices; vine shoot development; canopy management; cropping level; soil maintenance; irrigation management; weed control; spray programme and pest control.

Winter specials in Darling!

Darling, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town… but a million miles away, offers great value getaways for the 2012 winter season.

The current economic climate has led to the need for tourists world-wide to trim spend wherever possible and Darling’s tourism community has come together to ensure that value is the order of the day when travelers visit this peaceful, safe and charming West Coast village.

Complimentary wine tasting (something not many wine cellars offer nowadays), country walks in flower reserves, close proximity to the 16 Mile Beach, galleries and the best small town museum in the country at a measly R10 entrance fee are just some of the free or inexpensive activities that beckon.

The time to recharge in a time-strapped world means looking for destinations that are close-by but significantly removed from city life.

With guesthouses and restaurants charging very reasonable prices compared to the more established tourism destinations and very affordable wines to be purchased from all of the local cellars, the visitor is assured that not only will they receive great value but they will leave feeling rested and restored.

Come see why it’s called “Darling”!

Weekend Package at TRINITY LODGE 
Includes 2 nights B&B at a 4 star guesthouse. A dinner in Darling. A ticket to a Pieter-Dirk Uys show at Evita se Perron. An olive and olive oil tasting at Darling Olives. A wine tasting and lunch at the historic Groote Post farm (selected as a Top 10 Alfresco Restaurant by Eat Out Guide)
R 1 500 all inclusive per person – group rates apply
50% deposit required. Subject to availability
Contact Shaun McLaughlin 083 325 4148 stay@trinitylodge.co.za

Accommodation special at THE OLD PASTORIE (Bed only)  
SPECIAL OFFER throughout the winter months – Offer ends 31st July.
R550 per room first night then 50% discount on all following nights –   ie 1st Night R550     2nd AND subsequent nights R275.
Bookings  022 492 3715/ 072 083 9990

GROOTE POST VINEYARDS
Spoil the special Man in your life this June with a free Magnum The Old Man’s Blend Red 2011 by buying 12 bottles of The Old Man’s Blend White 2012 or 12 bottles of The Old Man’s Blend Red 2011 or a mix of both
Tel: 022-492 2825 Fax: 086 527 9991 www.grootepost.com

Accommodation Special at 43 ON MAIN (S/C)
Special offer for months of June/July
R175 pppn sharing (2 persons R350 – double room)
R250 pppn (1 person – double room)
Additional persons on sleeper couches in living room area:
R75 pppn (if double room is occupied by 2 persons)
R100 pppn (if double room is occupied by 1 person)
Bookings: 022 492 2754 /082 882 4954 or 082 573 2135

Accommodation Special at MAISON DE L’AMOUR B&B
Maision de L’amour offers the following promos :
Book any two nights during the month of June, July, and August and receive a third FREE. R800 per room per night (2 people sharing plus a full English breakfast) third night FREE
Special: R650 per room per night (2 people sharing) breakfast included Plus a bottle of rose wine on arrival.
Pay full price for your first night R800 incl breakfast and get the second night 50% off (R400)
Bookings 072 822 5518 | 022 492 3995 | 022 492 3139 www.maisondelamour.net

Accommodation Special at OLIVE & LIME COTTAGES (S/C Farm)
Winter Special: 01 July until 30 August 2012
Self catering accommodation, sleeping 4 people (2 adults & 2 children) @ R300 per unit
Bookings 082 4681 250 079 889 6898

Accommodation at TUINHUIS COTTAGE (S/C)
Tuinhuis Cottage will offer accommodation from now until end July of R275, 00 pp per night – minimum stay of 2 nights weekdays and weekends.   Tea/coffee and biscuits will always be available on arrival www.tuinhuissouthafrica.com
Bookings 022 492 2535 083 655 4237 iw@worldonline.co.za

Accommodation special at ALOE COTTAGE (S/C in village)
Aloe Cottage guests during June, July and August will receive a special complimentary bottle of Darling wine, which can be enjoyed in front of the cosy fireplace (wood is also complimentary!). Special rates of just R850 per night Sunday – Thursday and R1,200 per night Friday and Saturday. Sleeps up to 6 people in 3 en-suite bedrooms. Also ideal for a romantic getaway for 2. The cottage is fully equipped to a high standard and is pet-friendly. Visit www.aloedarling.co.za for photos and more info. Contactpaul@aloedarling.co.za or 083 400 1666 to book your getaway!

Accommodation at THE GRANARY (B&B)
Stay for 2 nights and pay for  < 1 ½ nights:
2 nights in a suite    bed and breakfast (2 guests)      R 1000.00
2 nights in a TWIN   bed and breakfast (2 guests)      R 850.00
Any 2 consecutive days, subject to availability .
Bookings Tel : 022 492 3155 Cell : 083 533 0090 Email : stay@thegranary.co.za

Darling Museum Winter Special
Free entrance for all school-going children (accompanied by an adult) during June/July Entrance fee: Adults R10/Pensioners R8-00
Open Daily: Mon – Thurs 9h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 – 16h00
Friday 9h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 – 15h30
Saturday, Sunday & Public holidays 10h00-15h00
Closed Easter, Christmas & New Year
TEL: (022) 492-3361

BUFFELSFONTEIN GAME & NATURE RESERVE 
Winter Conference Special available from 01 June 2012 till 31 August 2012 for groups of any size.

OPTION 1: DAY CONFERENCE SPECIAL R220 per Delegate
This package will include the following:
Morning Tea & Coffee with Refreshments
Conference Venue Fee
Lunch
Afternoon Tea & Coffee with Refreshments
Optional Activity: 2-3 Hour Guided Game Drive @R200 per delegate for groups of 4 – 15
2-3 Hour Guided Game Drive @R150 per delegate for groups of 16 – 60 delegates

OPTION 2: CONFERENCE & ACCOMMODATION @ R700 per Delegate Sharing
This package will include the following:
Morning Tea & Coffee with Refreshments
Conference Venue Fee
Lunch
Afternoon Tea & Coffee with Refreshments
Dinner
Accommodation
Breakfast
Optional Activity: 2-3 Hour Guided Game Drive @R200 per delegate for groups of 4 – 15
2 -3 Hour Guided Game Drive will be COMPLEMENTARY for groups of 21-60 delegates
This offer allows you up to 25% saving on your conference

Should you have any further enquiries and or wish to make a reservation; do not hesitate to contact our reservations. Terms & Conditions Apply
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: (022) 451 2824 Email: buffontein@xsinet.co.za www.buffelsfontein.co.za

 

For more information visit www.darlingtourism.co.za