Longridge celebrates the harvest

Thursday, 14 March, 2013
Longridge Wine Estate
Longridge Wine Estate celebrated all things grape during a harvest celebration in traditional style. Hosted in conjunction with Ligia De Coito of The Wine Desk, the fun-filled day was attended by an eclectic group of wine lovers from across the globe.
The day kicked off in perfect weather conditions as guests made their way into the vineyards in picking bins pulled by a tractor. As the sun peeked over the Helderberg mountain, the eager pickers descended on the Shiraz block to hand-pick their grapes. An accordion player added to the festive atmosphere as visitors were overawed by the panoramic views sweeping across the lush vineyards towards False Bay and Table Mountain.

As the heat started to rise, it was time to retired to the cellar for a cellar tour hosted cellar master Jasper Raats. In the cool barrel hall, Raats explained the Longridge philosophy to winemaking and the farm’s ongoing conversion to organic and bio-dynamic winemaking practises.

Fortified by freshly poured must and fabulous traditional caramelised onion and gruyere tarts created by chef Bruce von Pressentin from Longridge Restaurant with its trademark country cuisine, it was time for everyone to get their hands – and feet – dirty by stomping their own grapes.

According to Jasper Raats, the harvest celebration is a perfect opportunity to gain insight into the life and heartbeat of a working wine farm. “Although we are exposed to the harvesting process on a daily basis during the season, it is a great way of exposing consumers to the complexity and intricacies behind winemaking. Everybody has loads of fun, but I also think that they leave with a newfound respect for the process and the people who make it happen. It is amazing to see the transformation from grape to wine in such a hands-on manner,” explains Raats.

Guests then retired to a long table set underneath the verandah to enjoy a traditional harvest lunch featuring the farm’s elegantly crafted wines as well as freshly baked breads served with Longridge Shiraz jam, local cheeses and olives, followed by a mouth-watering lamb phyllo pie and fresh garden salads harvested from the restaurant’s own organic kitchen garden. Fresh fruit platters and homemade ice cream in sugar cones were the perfect ending to a perfect day in the Cape winelands.

For more information, visit www.longridge.co.za or on Facebook.

perfect picking
perfect picking

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