The biggest tasting experience in Hessequa will hit Stilbaai on Monday and Tuesday (10 and 11 April) when the Craft Beer & Wine Expo takes place in the Community Centre.
More than 20 wine farms will have their range of wines available for tasting while a wide variety of craft beers will also be available for tasting. All these wines and beers can be purchased directly from the exhibitors during the expo.
It is the second consecutive year that the Craft Beer and Wine Expo will take place during the Easter Holiday in Stilbaai and according to the organiser, Adolf Botes, it will be even bigger than 2016 with more exhibitors having made their wines and beers as well as local olive products and cheeses available.
“We are extremely excited about the amount of exhibitors at this year’s expo as well as the variety and quality of the wines, craft beers and local products that will be available to the public for tasting and purchasing,” Botes said. “Visitors and local wine and beer lovers do not have to travel far and wide to taste and acquire some of the best wines on the market. They will be able to pick and choose between a wide variety of quality products that will be available under one roof,” he said. 
“Stilbaai is a very popular destination for Easter Holiday and therefore the ideal town in Hessequa to host an event like this. The expo is the perfect place for visitors from as far as the Free State and Gauteng as well as the Eastern and Northern Cape to stock up on wines that are not necessarily available in their areas. We appreciate the wine farms and breweries taking the time out of their busy Easter schedules to bring their products to the expo,” Botes concluded.
There are not many wine estates in the Hessequa area, but the Riversdale winery, Baleia Wines, will again have their award-winning wines at the expo. With their vineyards in the Vermaaklikheid area and their cellars just outside Riversdale next to the N2 towards Albertinia, Baleia Wines has become quite popular between wine connoisseurs.
Another ‘local’ wine that will be at the expo, is Jakkalsvlei Private Cellars in the Herbertsdale area between Albertinia and Mossel Bay.
The Calitzdorp area in the Klein Karoo is some 175 kilometres from Stilbaai and known for their wines and ports. De Krans Wines will be represented by the owner, Boets Nel, himself. De Krans produced the first Touriga Nacional as a dry red wine in South Africa and made the first Pink Port as well as the first perlé Moscato wine in South Africa. They were recently awarded for their innovation and won the Most Innovative Wine Award for the De Krans Espresso, as well as for the De Krans MCC at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards.
Another winemaker, Lourens van der Westhuizen, known for his ‘single vineyard wines’, will also be representing his own wines, Arendsig Handcrafted Wines. Other wine farms from the Robertson Valley that will have their wines available for tasting include Zandvliet Estate, Rietvallei Wine Estate, Bon Courage Estate and Rooiberg Winery.
The exclusive Jan Harmsgat Wines from the Bonnievale / Drew area will also be available as well as Penhill Artisanal Wines from the Nuy Valley; wines from Saronsberg Cellars in the Tulbagh Valley and Franschhoek area’s Protea Wines and wines from La Motte Winery. Muratie Wine Estate; Beyerskloof; Delheim and Thandi Wines from Stellenbosch while wines from Diemersdal and Petit, all the way from the Cape, will also be available at the expo.
Craft beer has become extremely popular and the craft beer market is still growing with new beers being introduced regularly. The Stilbaai Craft Beer and Wine Expo distinguished itself from other wine tasting events with the introduction of craft beer tastings and a wide variety of craft beers will again be on show. The Mountain Brewing Company‘s owner and brewer, PG Groenewald, will bring their ‘Loadshed’ Lager, the Cape Kraken Belgium Amber Ale, the ‘Black or White Hy Smaak Oraait’ Vanilla Porter and their award-winning ‘Copper Dawn Lager’ from Klipbokkop in the Worcester area as well as their latest beer, Madala’s Gold while Die Biervrou, who will be at the expo for the first time, will have her own beers as well as Wild Clover’s Eagle Weiss, Blind Mole Pilsner, Double Owl Ale and Black Dog Porter available.
Also new to the expo, is Karoo Craft Breweries. They have a top of the line craft brewing facility where companies and craft brew enthusiasts can buy and even brew their own style and recipe craft beers in Paarl. Their beers include The Kudu, The Impala, The Jackal and The Oryx. Fraser’s Folly, based at the Black Oystercatcher Wine Farm at Napier, is the most southerly craft brewery in Africa and will have their Pilsner, Pale Ale, the Weizen, the India Pale Ale and Moerkoffie Stout at the expo.
Local Stilbaai olive producers, Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate as well as Botterkloof, will showcase their olive products (Baleia Wines will also have their olive oil for sale) while the cheese of Stilbaai’s local cheese producer, Kasselshoop Cheese, will also be available. Manfred Vietze has become known in Stilbaai for his ciabatta bread and will have fresh bread – to taste and to purchase – while gourmet caterer, Sureth Badenhorst, as well as Jagersbosch will again prepare their speciality dishes.
The Stilbaai Craft Beer & Wine Expo will take place between 4pm and 9pm on both Monday and Tuesday in the Community Hall in Main Road west. Entry is R60 and will include a tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets.
Visit the Stilbaai Craft Beer & Wine Expo on Facebook for more information and Stilbaai Kelders wine boutique for the widest variety of wines and craft beers.