The Lovely Constantia Food and Wine Festival



 
Last weekend the lovely man and I spent our Saturday at the Constantia Food and Wine Festival, held at Constantia Uitsig. It was the most perfect autumn day, and we hardly needed an excuse to visit one of our favourite wine farms, tasting and drinking the best that the region has to offer.




Most of the usual suspects were represented - namely Steenberg Vineyards, Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia and Buitenverwachting. Our "wine find" of the day, however, was from a newcomer - Beau Constantia - more on them a little later.

 
It was my first time at the festival, and from the start, I was incredibly impressed with the thought and attention to detail that had gone into the planning - Subaru 4x4's had been arranged to transport visitors from their cars to the venue, so there were no long walks or muddy feet, and they were on call to take you back to your car when you had eaten and drunk sufficiently. The cricket oval itself was a spectacular venue - with a backdrop of vines, mountains and cotton-wool clouds, nature certainly wore her best for the day.

Lovely wine barrel tables and bean bag couches were scattered on the lawns, so there was ample space to sit outside and enjoy the many glasses of wine you were able to enjoy - for your entrance ticket of R120, you received a lovely, full size, wine glass, and 20 wine tasting tickets. Luke and I found this to be more than generous - using only 12 tickets between the two of us!


  
Of course, Luke and I have our favourites, but the surprise of the day came from a fairly new winery called Beau Constantia. Situated at the top of Constantia Nek, their tasting room has only been open for 3 months, and I already foresee the lovely man and I visiting very soon. Luke is going through an adventurous white wine phase (as we were both very much traditionally red wine drinkers) and Beau Constantia's Cecily Viognier 2010 made a serious impression on Luke and was named his "wine of the day". Not terribly surprising seeing as it received award for the best Viognier at the 2011 Novare Terroir Wine Awards.


Food wise, there were treats on offer from most of the wine farms, as well as market stalls selling cheese and charcuterie. My "food find" of the day, was the double cream gorgonzola from the Constantia Cheesery. Rich, creamy, tangy, and perfectly indulgent, this is a real treat of a cheese. I bought a wedge, and am using it sparingly - I never want to be without it. I served it crumbled over brushetta, topped with thyme roasted tomatoes, buttery mushrooms and crispy bacon pieces. I'm hoping to use the remainder of it in a risotto with bacon and peas. Keep an eye out here!

 
It was a truly beautiful day, and I can't recommend the festival highly enough. Already counting down the months until it returns in 2013!

 

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