The Bot River Harvest Celebration
Some nine years ago the wonderfully eclectic bunch of very talented Bot River Winemakers challenged each other to grow the most luxuriant beard during harvest. The Shave Off on the 1st February marks the start of harvest each year as well as the start of a new beard. The grape harvest waits for no-one - when the fruit is ripe, it must be picked and taken to the cellar. There is little time for sleep and even less for time-consuming activities like shaving – this must take a back seat too, so beards in the vineyards and cellar are not unusual at this time of year.
At the end of harvest the now well-bearded winemakers arrive at the annual Beard Parade – a talent show contest based on beards and bulldust, of inconsequence and almighty mirth. This is an opportunity for the public to taste new vintage wines straight from the barrel as well as special release wines and also to meet the winemakers, make new friends, party and do some good in the process.
The occasion centres around the auction: the sale of truly special Bot River wines. The auction benefits various school-level educational projects in the region.
This is followed by a dinner known as the Botriviera feast!
Bot River lies a mere one hour's drive up the N2 highway from Cape Town. A perfect getaway, the region has long been known for its wine pioneers and Mavericks. There are 13 wine farms, most of them family-owned and run, producing world-class wines.