Cape Winemakers Guild members steal the show at Bot River Barrels and Beards Harvest Celebration
At this year's Bot River Barrels and Beard Celebration, CWG Member Niels Verburg of Luddite Wines walked away with first prize for his fiery handlebar 'stache and pork chop sideburns, with members Kevin Grant from Ataraxia and Adi Badenhorst from AA Badenhorst Family Wines hot on his heels.
This annual tongue-in-cheek competition celebrates the end of the harvest season and the quaint winemaking community of Bot River. Each harvest the winemakers of this unspoilt valley stop shaving and religiously avoid visits to their local barbershops in order to sport some of the hairiest countenances you will see "their" side of the Overberg. For the event, the Old Mule Shed at Anysbos Farm is emptied of its farming equipment and transformed into a vibrant make-shift cellar where as many as 10 local wineries show off their finest wines and biggest and best beards. Before the hearty homegrown dinner, the guests were able to sip and savour the best that Bot River has to offer - straight from the barrel, whilst the Stoepsitters provided background music with some authentic foot-stomping boeremusiek. Everything from the pre-dinner canapés, to the wines and boerekos served that evening was carefully selected from local Bot River producers, including one of Penny Verburg's 'happy pigs' from Luddite on the spit, artisan breads baked at Beaumont Estate, where a working watermill provides stone ground flour, as well as Anysbos olives and goats cheese.
The simple country hospitality and playful camaraderie amongst these winemakers is infectious and makes you feel like part of the community almost instantaneously. Barrels and Beards is a must see event for any wine lover, a true homegrown harvest celebration.