Fifth taste fest of waterblommetjies and wine

Monday, 2 September, 2013
Windmeul Wine Cellar and Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Waterblommetjie dishes are now a sought after item among gourmets and this uniquely South African dish will be celebrated again this year at the fifth Waterblommetjie Festival. It will be jointly presented by Windmeul Wine Cellar and Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Agter Paarl on Saturday 7 September.
This is the only waterblommetjie taste fest of its kind and it celebrates the fact that this dish was part of South African cuisine even before the first Europeans settled here in 1652. Waterblommetjie (the Cape pondweed) is a vegetable ingredient used mostly in stews and soup, a special food item which is not eaten every day.

The preparation of waterblomme as food product starts in February/March when fertiliser is introduced to the dams where they grow. The dams are then plowed to improve the growth of the bulbs, after which the dams are filled at the end of March or early in April. The dams are about one meter deep to facilitate the picking process. Waterblommetjies have a slow growth process, just like any other plants during the colder winter weather, but come into their own in the middle of August, according to Attie Krynauw, farm manager of Oudepont outside Wellington.

According to Danie Marais, founder of the festival and chief executive of Windmeul, it is noticeable that waterblommetjies are now regarded as a top notch and unique culinary experience like crayfish and other sought after dishes.

“As it is part of the Boland gourmet tradition, the food and wine experience is the leading theme of the Waterblommetjie Festival. There are a number of wines which co-ordinate well with this delicate potjiekos and stew dish, providing a taste discovery to celebrate as part of the Cape winelands,” says Danie Marais.

The highlight at Windmeul is their Waterblommetjie Potjiekos Competition and festivalgoers can tuck into these dishes. Food lovers with a passion for potjiekos can also participate. The winner receives a Windmeul gift voucher for wine to the value of R2000, followed by R1000 and R500 for the first and second runners-up. For enquiries and entries, contact Liezl Vermeulen (tel. 021 869 8100, e-mail

Rhebokskloof’s culinary theme is to provide food and wine lovers with paired tastings of various cooked waterblommetjie dishes and wines, to discover the best matches between recipe and wine.
And this year, Rhebokskloof will present a Miss Waterblommetjie Festival Pageant for little girls. The competition is open to girls between the ages of 4 and 6 years. During the first round of the competition, 24 finalists will be chosen from photographs submitted by their parents, along with the entry form. For more information, contact Lillian Jonker (cell 082 953 5825, e-mail The entry forms are also available on Miss Waterblommetjie wins a kiddies’ party at Rhebokskloof to the value of R5000, while the first princess wins a picnic for eight people to the value of R1500 and the second princess wins a picnic for four people to the value of R750.

At Windmeul and Rhebokskloof there will be a wide variety of fresh Waterblommetjie dishes on sale and live music by well-known artists form part of the festival, as well as kiddies’ entertainment including pony rides, four-wheel motorcycles, jungle gyms and jumping castles at Rhebokskloof.

The Waterblommetjie Fest will kick off at Windmeul at 08:00 along with their monthly Windmeul Farmers’ Market and Farm Breakfast, followed by the judging of the Waterblommetjie Potjiekos Competition and announcement of the winners. Rhebokskloof’s activities take place from 10:00 to 16:00 and include a flea market.

Complete programme:

08:00 to 16:00: Waterblommetjie festival.  Includes Farmers’ Market from 08:00 to 13:30 and Farm Breakfast at 11:00, as well as the Waterblommetjie Potjiekos Competition. The winners of the Potjiekos Competition and stalls will be announced at about 14:30. Live music from 10:00 to 16:00. Wine sales from 09:00 (10 % discount on wine purchases). Fresh waterblommetjies and waterblommetjie bredie will be on sale. Kiddies’ entertainment.

10:00 – 16:00: Waterblommetjie Festival (flea market, food stalls, fresh waterblommetjies and dishes, wine tasting (includes a free glass). Die Broers will perform (11:00 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 13:30).  Miss Waterblommetjie will be on the runway from 11:00 to 13:00 (girls 4 to 6 years old) followed by the crowning ceremony of Miss Waterblommetjie. The rugby (SA vs Australia) will be broadcast in the restaurant. Waterblommetjie dishes include waterblommetjie soup, quiche, waterblommetjie lamb pie, waterblommetjie ice cream and much more. Kiddies’ activities all day.

For more information, or tel. 021 869 8100 (Windmeul) and or tel. 021 869 8386 (Rhebokskloof).
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