Barrells and Beards 2015 Harvest Festival Tickets On Sale Now

Posted by The Cape Country Meander on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 with 1 comment
The increasingly popular annual Barrels and Beards grape harvest celebration in Bot River in the Overberg takes place on 17 and 18 April. Local winemakers, members of the community and visitors will get together for some musical toe tapping, delicious farm fresh food, and of course the obligatory barrel wine tastings. The weekend also provides an amusing opportunity to seek out and admire your favourite set of facial whiskers.

Long live the beard

Winemaking may be the most tactile way to understand the land, but the beard competition is a quirky insight into the unpretentious, genial personality of the place. The self-imposed shaving ban starts on 1 February and judging takes place on Saturday, 18 April. Judging is impartial although the rules (or lack thereof) are such that the winning beard could be anything from longest or thickest to most original, or perhaps even best effort.

Starts Friday, 17 April

Laid-back revelry begins with sundowners on the verandah of the historic Bot River Hotel (link to Bot River Hotel blog article). Visitors can amble over to the rail-side Shuntin’ Shed for wood-fired pizza and a chummy chat with some locals.

Gets hairy Saturday, 18 April

On Saturday morning wine tasting begins in earnest with a Best of Bot River Tasting at Luddite Wines, hosted by affable owner-winemakers Niels and Penny Verberg. Select Bot River wines will be ‘blind tasted’ against top international wines ranging from Rhône vintages to exciting new varietals. Incidentally, Niels is the original Bot River bearded man. It was he who initiated the competition back in 2011 when he was crowned hairiest of them all.

This year’s whisker king will be crowned in a beard parade at Beaumont Wines at the Saturday evening Showdown. The Showdown will include barrel tastings, a hearty country dinner and a marimba band to set the floor ablaze. Local wines will be on sale. You will also get to taste and celebrate new vintages and older favourites.

“A new addition to this year’s hairy hullabaloo will be the launch of an exclusive Bot River Auction Reserve 2013 wine, which will be auctioned off on the evening. For one night only, guests will have the opportunity to get their hands on this premium red blend, made with only the finest grapes from the Bot River area, with proceeds going towards paying for an extra teacher for Bot River Primary School. Only 100 magnums and 300 750 ml bottles will be produced to go under the hammer”.*

Heed the urge

Barrels and Beards is deliberately free of crushing crowds to make for a full, fun and immersive experience. To this end, you will need to purchase one of the sought-after tickets to participate in what is easily becoming a must-do on the annual wine event calendar. April is made for festivals. The Cape sun is warm, but the wind subsides to make the air bearably cool. It really is the perfect time to abandon the clamour of city and head to the Overberg for an easygoing, pleasure-packed weekend in nearby Bot River.

Event costs and times

Drinks at the Bot River Hotel
Friday, 17 April 18:00

Best of Bot River Tasting
Saturday, 18 April
R300 per person (includes all tasting wines and lunch)

Bot River Barrels and Beards Showdown
Saturday, 18 April
R350 per person (includes barrel tastings, dinner and entertainment)

To book or get more information contact Nicolene Finlayson on 082 852 6547 or

 * Paragraph taken from the official Bot River Wines press release (link to press release) issued by Random Hat Communications.