Wacky Wine Weekend: a decade of wine, fun and phenomenal success

Friday, 26 April, 2013
Robertson Wine Valley
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Robertson Wine Valley’s biggest annual wine festival, with the ever-popular Wacky Wine Weekend - with Kyknet as the new headline sponsor and ‘celebration’ as the theme - taking place from 6 – 9 June 2013.
A decade ago, the Robertson Wine Valley Board, and marketing team led by Bonita Malherbe, identified wine tourism development as one of its core objectives, envisaging a series of weekend events with wine as the central theme but also embracing the wide diversity of activities and experiences on offer in the Valley. The result was the first Wacky Wine Weekend, a festival where all member farms opened their doors to wine lovers for a variety of fun events. The inaugural June 2004 Wacky was an instant hit and Wacky alone now draws over 18 600 visitors to the Valley annually.

Commenting on the phenomenal success of Wacky, Bonita Malherbe enthused: “Events like Wacky attracted visitors who might otherwise not have travelled to our Valley. It was vital that we offered memorable experiences and ‘wowed’ the visitors into becoming loyal, long-term supporters. The Valley’s picturesque beauty, inimitable country hospitality, extraordinary teamwork, value for money offerings and over-delivery on expectation ensured our success. Word-of-mouth became our best form of marketing and the rest is history.”

Between 2006 and 2009 three more annual weekend festivals, spread evenly throughout the year, were launched: Wine on the River in 2006, Robertson Slow in 2007 and Hands-on Harvest in 2009. Furthermore, in 2010 the Robertson Wine Valley team extended their warm hospitality and superb wines up north when they launched their first wine festival in Gauteng.

Elizma Botha, Bonita Malherbe’s successor says: “These events have evolved over the past ten years through the intelligent use of market research and visionary thinking. Wine tourism has been a key element in building the Robertson Wine Valley brand, locally and internationally. Our Valley has become a destination of note, creating opportunities that have a positive financial impact on members’ businesses as well as the local community.”

Wacky 2013 charity drive for winter

Festival-goers are invited to join the Robertson Wine Valley in supporting their local charities. Help take the chill out of winter by donating blankets and winter clothing, for all ages, for those less fortunate. In return the Valley will reward you with wine, according to the weight of your donation, with a maximum of a 6- bottle case of wine which weighs about 9kg. Donations that weigh less than a bottle of wine will be rewarded with vouchers for wine purchases at La Verne online wine shop (www.lavernewines.co.za). All donations are please to be handed in at the Robertson Wine Valley office, corner of Voortrekker and Reitz Streets, Robertson.

The Wacky Bag Project

As part of the 10 years celebration, members of the local community have been commissioned by the Robertson Wine Valley to produce the ±18 000 Wacky ‘goodie bags’, thus providing much-needed employment and the opportunity to learn new skills for the future. The inspiration came from Khaya Power (www.khayapower.co.za) who are empowering communities all over the Western Cape by offering them an energy source powered by solar energy: 5 litre containers that are safe, portable and rechargeable. No more paraffin and candles! These power units are beautifully packaged in colourful, varnished, recycled cement bags with rope handles. The Robertson Wine Valley has teamed up with Langeberg Doulos Trust who provide the homeless with physical, mental and spiritual care, employing them to produce the 2013 Wacky ‘goodie bags’ from recycled cement bags. A total of 7 pallets of cement bags were sponsored by PPC and 29km of rope, 900 litres of varnish and 29km of duct tape are being used to make the Wacky bags. These eye-catching bags, ideal for gifts and function, will be available for order via the Robertson Wine Valley office: email manager@robertsonwinevalley.co.za.     

Four days of celebration

With 48 wineries showcasing their wines and myriad key attractions, both old favourites and novel delights, this well-loved event is a ‘must-do’ on the annual social calendar. In celebration of the 10 year anniversary, festival–goers will be pleasantly surprised to find a variety of vouchers and special offers, from various wine farms, inside the Wacky programme in their ‘goodie bags’. Some of these vouchers and special offers will be valid during the Wacky weekend, and others only after the weekend.

The Wacky Wine Weekend will include four festive days, with each day boasting its unique signature wine theme, to cater for all palates.... Whether you are a fun-seeker, novice or a wine connoisseur, there is something for everyone with: ‘Seriously Wine Thursday’, ‘Wine Up Friday’, ‘Full On Wacky Saturday’ or ‘Wine Down Sunday’.  ‘Seriously Wine Thursday’ promises to inspire wine aficionados with a range of tailor-made activities, for instance: master wine-tastings, wine- and food-pairings, educational wine presentations and private tastings with the Valley’s most esteemed winemakers.
The Wacky Wine Weekend will embrace the usual line-up of fun-filled activities, for example:
‘meet-the-winemaker’ tastings, brandy tours and tastings, fun wine competitions, river cruises, tractor trips, cheese- and olive tastings, a simulated rodeo bull, a mountain bike challenge, a fresh goods market and local performing artists. The Valley will also be presenting a gastronomic extravaganza, with visitors spoilt for choice: oysters, perlemoen, sushi, riverside picnics, ‘braaivleis’ and ‘potjiekos’ are just a few of the gourmet delights on offer. And while the adults are revelling in all the above, there will, as always, be a wide range of children’s activities including: fishing, farmyard tours, jumping castles, pony rides, a treasure hunt and face-painting.

As part of the Robertson Wine Valley’s commitment to ensure a safe festival, a Zero Tolerance Policy is implemented towards ‘drinking and driving’. Visitors are requested to make use of the Buddy Bus or appoint their own designated driver.  The Buddy Bus facility enables groups of seven or more visitors to hire a chauffeur-driven mini-bus.

Wacky Wine Weekend Bus-In Packages are also available. A2B Charters will be offering one day packages, with transport departing from the Waterfront, Tygervalley, Stellenbosch (Butterfly World) and Paarl, to Robertson, and ‘Buddy Bus’ transport between the participating wineries.  See contact details below.

For visitors from further afield, Beyond Reach has once again put together great Fly-In Packages that include flights, car rental and accommodation. See contact details below.

So head out to the Robertson Wine Valley for a winter getaway at the Wacky Wine Weekend – where the fun never stops!

Cost:    A R100.00 passport, valid for the whole weekend, must be purchased at one’s first port-of-call, ie at any of the participating wineries. The passport includes: a stylish tasting glass, free 25ml wine-tasting samples, and a ‘goodie’ bag with some great surprises, as well as the programme highlighting some special offers. All other activities during the Wacky Wine Weekend will be ‘pay-as-you-go’, with many of the activities free of charge. Visitors will also be able to purchase wine-by-the-glass or a bottle of wine to share amongst friends. 

Visit the new website www.wackywineweekend.com. Many of the activities need to be pre-booked directly with the respective wineries.

Contact the Robertson Wine Valley on (023) 626 3167
Or email manager@robertsonwinevalley.com
Visit the new Wacky Wine Weekend website. www.wackywineweekend.com.
Robertson Wine Valley office, c/o Robertson Winery, 1-10 Constitution Road, Robertson


Four days of celebration
Four days of celebration

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