Once the southern summer arrives in South Africa, there are plenty of events and celebrations all over the country, and one of the favourites is the Stellenbosch Street Soirées
The food and wine sessions run every summer from November to March to celebrate the latest harvests. Stellenbosch Wine Routes joins forces with a slew of gourmet restaurants to organise these activities, which have now become a major attraction in the Western Cape vineyard region every summer.
The town of Stellenbosch is the second oldest European settlement in South Africa, after Cape Town, and became known as the City of Oaks or Eikestad in Afrikaans due to the huge number of oak trees that were planted by its founder to grace the streets and homesteads. Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named it after himself – Stellenbosch means “Stel’s Bush”, and is considered to be the heart of Afrikaner culture due to the large number of academics and students who have lived and studied there.
Presented by Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the first soiree was organised in 1971, and since then it’s been repeated for more than 30 years. Every summer, the Stellies share their vibrant street culture, enviable lifestyle and cosmopolitan charm in the heart of this historic town- all blended with cool music, delicious street food and fine wine.
Stellenbosch Wine Routes now represent more than 200 grape and wine producers included in the Stellenbosch Designation of Origin. The Wine Route is split into 5 sub-routes with most wineries offering daily wine tasting, winery tours and wine sales, and many also have restaurants and picnic facilities.
The Stellenbosch Street Soiree culinary evenings are held once or twice a month on a #WineWednesday. Upcoming dates include 16 and 30 January, and 13 and 27 February 2019 and 13 and 27 March 2019. Traffic is cut off for each soiree from downtown Drostdy Street, where cars make way for pedestrians to savour unique dishes for top-class eateries and food trucks, and wineries offer delicious vintages. Each Stellenbosch Street Soiree features a different selection of wineries and entry costs R150 per person which gets you a glass and 12 wine tasting tokens. All visitors are welcome to the events, which are accompanied by vibrant South African music and entertainment.