Elgin Valley celebrates another successful edition of the #ElginCoolFest
Over the weekend of 28 and 29 April 2018, Wines of Elgin once again welcomed visitors from far and wide to revel in the delights of the annual Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival.
This year, 13 wine farms participated, offering guests an array of wine tastings, gastronomic delights and children’s activities. What makes the festival so unique is that visitors can tailormake their own itineraries, choosing from a variety of Seriously Cool experiences. With clear skies and sunshine, the weather played along perfectly. According to locals who witness the event build-up and execution annually, #ElginCoolFest drew a record number of visitors in comparison to previous years.
“There are 1200 beds in the valley and they were booked out weeks in advance already,” says Marion Smith, chairperson for Wines of Elgin. “The festival is a very important boost for the local economy, and a jewel in our crown.” The participating farms went to great lengths to offer guests classy and memorable experiences. Free tastings were on offer across the board and venues with restaurants harnessed the opportunity to show off their excellent menus.
Independent food vendors participating in the festival also enjoyed unprecedented success. From Saturday morning till late on Sunday afternoon, food trucks and stalls were buzzing to fill hungry bellies and satisfy cravings.
With a focus on family fun, each farm catered to the needs of young visitors too. There with children’s activities a-plenty, play areas, petting zoos and, of course, large rolling lawns perfect for playing. Furry friends also received a warm welcome and thoroughly enjoyed all the freedoms offered by the picturesque countryside.
For the first time in #ElginCoolFest’s history, guests had a choice between two ticket options: green and gold. The regular green tickets were sold for R150 each and included free wine tastings at participating farms.
Golden tickets, on the other hand, went for R200 and were aimed at a connoisseur market. Those with these premium tickets got to enjoy additional experiences, including access to vertical tastings, special vintages and winemaker sessions.
The festival coincided with the opening of the brand new Elgin Railway Market. The magnificently renovated, art deco-inspired space served as the central point for the festival and also offered guests an array of delicious food and intriguing crafts, giving guests a taste of what’s to come. To further celebrate this brilliant addition to the valley, the Ceres Railway Company did two special steam train trips – one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.
Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, joined the Saturday morning excursion and spent the rest of the day exploring the Elgin Valley and meeting with representatives from the local community. He commended the Elgin community for the success of the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Food Festival and other tourism initiatives like the new Elgin Railway Market, the Cape Canopy Tour and the Trails End Bike Hotel. “Tourism is the one industry that can get South Africa out of the current slow growth phase,” said Hanekom during lunch at Paul Cluver.
With this seriously cool event being a highlight on social calendars everywhere, it’s hardly surprising that Elgin is also fast gaining a reputation for being the coolest wine-growing region in the country. “We hope that visitors to the #ElginCoolFest enjoyed taking a detour off the N2 and exploring all our valley has to offer. While we pull out all the stops for the festival, our wine farms are open year-round and always ready to treat guests to some cool country hospitality,” Smith concludes.
For more information on the valley, visit www.winesofelgin.co.za
For images and video of the event, visit www.facebook.com/winesofelgin