This year was our first time attending the Annual SA Cheese Festival and I can’t believe we haven’t managed to go before because it is the definitely the big cheese of cheese and wine festivals. All the magic happens over at Sandringham in Stellenbosch where for four full days you will get to experience everything cheese & wine & fun in the sun!
The SA Cheese Festival is huge with thousands of eager cheesos visit very year. The grounds at Sandringham are massive with a lovely open area in the centre with all the activities and stalls set up along the edges making it easy to move around during the day.
We spent our day wafting in and out of the expo-mall and cheese emporium where we tasted cheese, wine, nougat, chocolate, pesto, guacamole, olives, butters and so much more. It was pretty jam-packed inside so it wasn’t always easy to linger and take our time but all the stands were super friendly and willing to chat about their products. A few things stood out:
Buttanutt Tree Nut Spreads – natural and organic hand crafted tree nut butters = in a range of delicious nutty flavours. I could kick myself for not picking up a jar or two to take home.
Biltong Pies – I can’t remember where these were from but I’ll say it again – Biltong Pies! Will definitely look out for these at future markets/festivals.
Arumdale Wines – I really liked the quirky look of their bottles. They are in Elgin which is very close to Cape Town which mean a little visit is in order.
Balance Wines – Super cute elephant labels and the wine is fresh and light too.
Mediterranean Delicacies – with a range of relishes – the berry balsalmic relish is a winner.
Another stand out was of course the Checkers Maze tours. This was spectacular. We were led through 6 rooms, each with its own hot-shot presentation and each interesting, funny and informative. Room 1 was the hilariously funny Nataniel talking all things cheese. Room 2 was a wines of the world tour presented by Bernard Gutman. Room 3 was the lovely Jenny Morris giving us a quick steakhouse classic chat. Room 4 was the house of whiskey by Marsh Middleton. Room 5 was a talk on Pork by Herman Lensing and Room 6 we met David Donde who took us through foreign coffee options. Definitely something to look out for next year.
There was so much going on – live music, a cocktail experience with Klipdrift, Masterchef talks from sisters Seline & Leandri Van der Wat. There was a kiddies corner with an animal farm, tables and chairs filled with friends and family tucking into the huge variety of food on offer. Drinks tents, food stalls. The list goes on and I think I want to go back again for round 2 🙂
Such a fabulous day out. Thank you SA Cheese Fest!