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The Bot River Barrels & Beards wine festival returns on Saturday 22 April. This intimate gathering brings together the wine community of the Bot River valley, and apart from sipping some seriously delicious wines, you’ll also get to take part in a whole bunch of fun shenanigans.

Now in its 7th year, Barrels & Beards has become an institution to celebrate the new harvest of Bot River wine on its journey from the coastal vineyards to the wine-lover’s glass.

Bot River ranks among the most exciting winelands destinations, having maintained its own distinct, laid-back identity and focus on the creation of outstanding wines that are enjoyed all over the world.

This year the festival will be hosted at Barton Vineyards, where you’ll get to taste the latest vintage straight from the barrel, feast on a sumptuous dinner and take part in the festivities. In case you haven’t attended the festival before, this is the day when winemakers from the valley get to shave their harvest beards.

Harvest season usually means a lot of hard work and very little time for activities like shaving. Over the years this close-knit community of winemakers deliberately undertake a self-imposed shaving ban during the harvest period. It was in 2010 that Luddite winemaker Niels Verburg first declared the challenge, daring his colleagues to a clash of the beards (one wonders what will happen if a female winemaker ever joined the crew…). Once the grapes are in, the shaving ban ends, but only after their harvest party.

Barrels & Beards HR 10 (1)

You can also join the Best of Bot wine auction of rare and special vintages, which raises funds to benefit the children on Bot River. To date the auction has raised nearly R200 000.

“The evening is about feeling right at home,” says Bot River Wine Route co-ordinator and the bubbly personality behind Genevieve MCC, Melissa Nelsen. “Help yourself; break bread with your new mate. Abundance is the hallmark of this menu and we’ll be supporting our local food producers.”

Producers taking part in the 2017 Barrels & Beards celebration are Anysbos, Barton, Beaumont Family Wines, Gabriëlskloof, Genevieve MCC, Goedvertrouw Wine Estate, Luddite Wines, Maremmana Estate, Momento Wines, Paardenkloof Estate, Rivendell Estate, Villion Family Wines and Wildekrans Boutique Wine Estate.


Date: Saturday, 22 April 2017 at 5pm

Tickets R450 per adult, . They sell out fast so hurry.

For enquiries and pre-bookings contact Wilmari Geyer:; 084 231 8930.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

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