If you believe that Sundays are for good wine, the great outdoors, homegrown talent, and delicious cheat meal food (think carbs, cheese, and chocolate), then you’ve got to plug Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate into your car’s GPS and hit the road! Every month, this beautiful wine farm becomes the stage for a series of truly exceptional local musical talents, the melodies of which guests can enjoy from picnic blankets on the lush lawns or while perusing the small adjoining market.
The most recent installment of the Live@Vergenoegd summer concerts (4th March) featured SNAFU, the Rivertones & And The Riddle, and, the main act, Desmond & the Tutus. Towards the end of the month, 25th March, the historic estate will be hosting local music legend Arno Carstens (opened by Dave Ferguson, Marcel Dalmayda, Jake Gunn & Devin Smith) and on the 8th April, Goodluck (opened by Gemma Griffiths and Betsy Beers)
The Venue: the Charming Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate and its Indian Runner Ducks
Lying on the outskirts of Stellenbosch and dating back to over 300 years, Vergenoegd is one of the country’s oldest wine estates. But what holds greater celebrity status than its award-winning wines (and this says a lot) is its hard-working gang of Indian runner ducks, which have a comical upright posture. This beloved creature has very much become the mascot of Vergenoegd – as any visitor can tell from the adorned entrance gates – and rightly so.
Every morning, the ducks are paraded out into the vineyards to perform their essential duties, namely, to snap up snails, caterpillars, and other pests. After a day of feasting, which protects the vines, the ducks are marched back to their accommodations on the farm. It’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship that keeps the population of Indian runner ducks safe, happy, and well-fed, while enabling Vergenoegd to keep its vineyards free of pests, without the use of nasty chemicals. Also, duck poop is a great fertilizer.
One of the great pleasures offered by the farm – and there are many – is watching the so-called “Duck Parade”, which is when the flock is led out into the vineyards. But even ducks deserve a day off from work, and so, on Sundays, the noisy birds are allowed to join their native cousins in the large dam that fronts onto the estate. And it’s here – watching the comical Indian runner ducks scampering their way into the dam – that we began our Sunday summer concert at Vergenoegd Löw.
What’s on offer at Live@Vergenoegd?
After delighting in the local bird life, we made a beeline for the restaurant where we had a glorious pre-packed picnic and chilled bottle of Vergenoegd’s “Runner Duck” Sauvignon Blanc waiting for us. The basket was filled to the brim with gorgeous treats, from fresh bread, matured cheeses, red onion marmalade, and tiny pastries to a garden salad, nuts, popcorn, moist chocolate cake, and more.
We took our lunch al fresco on the restaurant’s patio; however, one could just as easily make use of the tables and chairs that are set out to the left of the stage, or even bring a picnic blanket and spread out on the lawn in front of the stage. The picnic baskets can be pre-ordered and collected on the day. If you prefer something a little less elaborate, Live@Vergenoegd does feature a small craft and food market; and if the enticing aromas emanating from its vicinity were anything to go by, it’s well worth checking out!
After mowing our way through our picnic basket and enjoying the music of the first two performers, SNAFU and the Rivertones & the Riddle, we took a slow stroll through the craft market, where local artists and craftspeople had laid their wares out for perusal. We then HAD to check out Vergenoegd Löw’s tasting room and, curious to explore their repertoire of wines, indulged in the cheese and wine pairing. Incidentally, buying two bottles of Vergenoegd gets you a free tasting, which is a great deal if you plan to spend the day lounging on the lawn, drinking wine, and watching the bands, which you absolutely should.
The main act – Desmond & the Tutus – went on at 4 PM by which stage the lawns were teeming with Sunday revelers who were giddy with wine and infected by the charming atmosphere of the farm.
Vergenoegd Löw’s Sunday summer concerts truly epitomize the way Capetonians love to spend Sundays: embraced by stunning natural and historic surroundings, under the azure skies of summer, with a filled wine glass in hand, and a soundtrack provided by exceptionally talented local bands and performers.
Upcoming concerts to be enjoyed are:
Sunday 25 March 2018: Arno Carstens (opened by Dave Ferguson, Marcel Dalmayda, Jake Gunn & Devin Smith)
Sunday 8 April 2018: Goodluck (opened by Gemma Grifiths, Grace Delahunt & Timothy Demonk)
Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate is located on Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch.
For more information on Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate’s Live Summer Sunday Concerts, contact 021 843 3248 or visit www.vergenoegd.co.za. Stay up to date with the latest news by visiting Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.