Wine festival visitors drink in atmosphere

28th Jan 2013

Organisers of the 2013 Stellenbosch Wine Festival in South Africa are hoping this year's event, which runs until February 3, will attract more people than ever.

Visitors to the picturesque town near Cape Town have more than 150 wineries to explore and can learn about the country's wine-making history, which began in 1659 when the first commander of the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck, managed the first vineyard to produce wine.

He wrote in his diary of February 2: "Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes."

This year's festival was moved to the summer months to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of South African wine.

Restaurants in Stellenbosch are offering special food and wine pairing menus as part of the event. A host of unique tours and tasting programmes are also taking place, and there are other cultural attractions, including sports events, musical performances and art exhibitions.

Annareth Bolton, chief executive officer of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the company that organises the festival, said: "We realised that it makes sense to showcase our world-class wines during a period when everything that Stellenbosch offers, its natural beauty, unique cultural heritage, excellent academic institutions and vibrant agricultural industries, is at its best and brightest."


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