Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration 2016

The wineries of Bot River invite you to join them for their fifth annual Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration from 15 to 16 April. The 2016 vintage is in full swing, leaving not a spare minute in the day of a Bot River winemaker for trivial things like personal grooming.

About six years ago, Niels Verburg of Luddite decided to fully embrace this spin-off of harvest-time, and challenged his winemaking compadres to a bit of a beard-off. It was so ridiculous that the rest of the Botriviera took to it like olives to a martini, and here we are today. Enthusiasts are invited to delight and indulge in a weekend filled with beautiful wines, badly behaved beards and bona-fide bountifulness when we celebrate the 2016 Harvest.

Bot River, a quirky, heart-shaped little dorpie a mere hour’s drive from Cape Town, has long been a haven for wine industry pioneers and mavericks, with 13 wine farms (most of them family-owned and run) producing world class wines. In addition, this underrated, unpretentious 10 km enclave is also renowned for its conservation initiatives; ‘chilled’ approach to life, and honest, hands-on winemaking methods.

“Bot River ranks amongst the most exciting Winelands destinations, having defiantly maintained our own distinct, laid-back identity. We invite everyone to come and celebrate with our winemakers as we flaunt our whiskers and wines,” adds Sebastian Beaumont, proprietor and winemaker at Beaumont Wines.

Cellars to take part in the 2016 celebration include Barton Vineyards, Beaumont Wines, Gabriëlskloof, Genevieve MCC, Goedvertrouw, Luddite, Maremanna, Momento, Thorne and Daughters, Rivendell, Villion and Wildekrans.

Barrels & Beards 2016 consists of three special events: kicking off with laid back get-together at Honingklip Brewery on Friday night, 15 April, easing into a not-to-be-missed Best of Bot vs International Tasting at Goedvertrouw on Saturday morning, 16 April. The weekend then culminates with the main event, The Baard Paartie on Saturday evening at Baard-ton (Barton) Vineyards at 17h00.

Friday night warm-up at Honingklip
After learning to appreciate the wide range of European beers, in particular the Belgian beers, Mark and Analize ter Morshuizen set out to brew them locally, and made their home in Bot River. After 8 years the result is Honingklp Brewery, brewing a range of Belgian inspired ales, complemented by Chef Jon Light’s cuisine featuring – among other things – homemade pork sausages. The winemakers of Bot River love nothing more than an ice cold craft beer on a Friday arve, so join them for a relaxed kuier at Honingklip from 18h00 – tickets are R180 and include beer and pork sausages.

Saturday morning Tasting with Roland Peens
The unique ‘Best of Bot River Tasting’ at Goedvertrouw Wine Estate – owned and run by Elreda Pillman – on the Saturday morning is aimed at the more serious winos and cellar buffs. During the first part of the tasting, guests will have a chance to taste the best of the 2015 vintage hailing from Bot River. After that, Roland Peens will present a blind tasting of the finest wines from Bot River against international counterparts.

Saturday evening – The Baard Paartie
At the main event at Barton Vineyards on Saturday evening, guests will be able to taste the young wines from the 2016 vintage, straight from the barrel, whilst comparing them to older vintages of the same wine. This will be followed by a delicious, proudly Botriviera dinner and of course, the long-awaited Beard competition. Wines will be on sale on the evening.

A shuttle service (departing from the Botrivier Hotel) will be available on the evening in support of responsible drinking.

Event sponsors include Wesgro and Amorim Cork, South Africa’s largest natural cork supplier.

Summary of costs, times and info:

Weekend warm-up at Honingklip: Friday 15 April, 18h00 at R180 per person – includes artisanal “beer from a barrel” and home-made pork sausages.
Best of Bot River Tasting: Saturday 16 April, 10h30 at R350 per person – includes prestigious tasting and light lunch.
Bot River Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration: Saturday 16 April, 17h00 at R450 per person – includes a glass, barrel and older vintage tastings, dinner and the Beard Parade.

There is very limited seating available for all three events, so be sure to book yours as soon as you can! For more information contact Nicolene at or go to

Botriverwines –
Honingklip –
Botrivier Hotel –
Barton Vineyards –

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. (From Cape Winemakers Guild website)