The annual Waterblommetjie Festival in Paarl is back on Saturday, 2 September, and visitors can expect a jam-packed day filled with fabulous wines, live entertainment and creative interpretations of this local treat.
The waterblommetjie (little water lily) is one of South Africa’s most popular ethnic foods and can only be harvested from dams in the Boland region during the winter season. These little flowers will be the culinary stars of the day and will be served in several innovative ways ranging from traditional potjiekos, stews, pastas, pizzas and even ice cream!
This year, the festival has expanded to include four Paarl wine producers: Boland Cellar, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Under Oaks and Windmeul Cellar. Each farm will present their own fun-filled program, and since they are all within a 5km radius you can easily pop between them and make the most of the festival.
You can kick off the day at Windmeul Cellar with a farm breakfast and to browse the farmers’ market for fresh local produce and home-made treats. Fitness enthusiasts can enter the 5km or 10km Run the Vines trail run, while kids can bounce around on the jumping castle or have fun in the designated play area. The winemaking team will present a tasting session featuring a Windmeul wine with a waterblommetjies dish between 10:00 and 12:00 (or while stocks last), with special wine offers as long as available. Watch the experts in action during a potjiekos competition and stock up on some fresh waterblommetjies to try your own recipe at home. Open from 08:00 – 16:00.
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate is promising plenty of fun for the young ones. Kids can join their Super Hero Adventure Race, where participants can tackle a fun obstacle course dressed as their favourite super heroes. Register at Hero Adventures on the farm on Friday, 1 September, between 15:00 – 17:00. Entry fees are R30 for kids aged 6-12, and tweens over 13 pay R60. Free entry for toddlers and kids under five. Other fun activities include face painting, pony rides, jumping castles and Zorbing. Adults can enjoy live music and the gourmet offerings at the pop-deli, including waterblommetjie ice cream and stews as well as oysters and bubbly. Wine lovers can join Shiraz tastings and take advantage of tempting wine specials. Open from 08:00 – 17:00.
For lunch, pop over to Under Oaks, where the traditional waterblommetjies will experience a culinary transformation and can be tasted in muffins, pastas and even as a pizza topping. Savour the special Waterblommetjie & Wine pairing at R100 per person. You can also join winemaker Bertus Fourie and well-known charcutier Richard Bosman for the Canapés for Kings pairings at 12h00 and 14h00 to learn more about the art of making wine and charcuterie. These sessions will take place in the private cellar at R150 per person and pre-bookings are essential.
You can also head over to Boland Cellar for waterblommetjie tapas, a pop-up shop with waterblommetjie-inspired arts and crafts, special kiddies’ entertainment, henna tattoos and great wine promotions. Local artist Ivan van der Merwe will be performing from 10:00. Festival trading times: 09:00 – 16:00
The Haven Night Shelter in Paarl is once again the official festival charity. Festival goers can obtain entry to all four venues by donating one tin of canned food per vehicle.
Waterblommetjie Festival visitors also stand a chance of winning one of four R500 cash prizes! Collect your passport card at any participating wine farm or cellar and stamp the card at each establishment to secure your name in the draw.
Waterblommetjie Festival details:
Date: Saturday 2 September 2017
Venues: Boland Cellar, Under Oaks, Rhebokskloof Wine Estate and WindMeul Kelder
Time: From 08:00 / 09:00 till 16:00
Entrance: One tinned can of food per vehicle
For further festival updates, follow the respective wine producers’ social media pages @BolandCellar @WindmeulKelder @UnderOaks @rhebokskloof #waterblommetjiefestival2017