Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run
John Keats surely knew a thing or two about this lovely season…
Tulbagh is, of course, beautiful in every season of the year. This year, however, we locals are particularly looking forward to a softening of the harsh summer drought and the occasional weak cold front pushing tentacles of cloud through the poorte. Our hearts leap when we feel the north-west (rain-bearing) wind freshen and the drop in temperature is just as welcome, as is the greening of the grasslands.
The harvest from the fertile soils of our Valley of Abundance is in; our winemakers are eagerly anticipating the new wines of the 2016 vintage and hardworking farmers can turn their attention to more mundane housekeeping tasks and perhaps, depending on the summer’s yield, begin to think of taking a well-deserved holiday themselves…
Visitors to the valley can revel in the crisp champagne weather (sorry, we’re not allowed to call it that, but pssst! do you know you can enjoy a fascinating cellar tour at our very own House of Krone as well as taste their heavenly vintage MCC wines for free!). Energy revives after the long, hot summer and a gentle hike in the foothills of the Winterhoek mountains at Murludi or to the Waterfall (which may actually start running) Reserve now seems vastly more appealing, not to mention a magical horseback ride through the glorious autumnal shades of the orchards and vineyards.
Why not try a self-drive ‘tastes of Tulbagh’ tour – alternatively bikes may be hired from Detour or Vindoux. Try award-winning olives and oils at Oakhurst, cheese at Kimilili, artisanal bread from the Amazi House of Bread, handmade chocolates at Moniki, traditional bakes, preserves and dried fruit from the Home Industry shop and wonderful wine from an array of more than a dozen cellars. All you need bring is a receptacle to collect your preferred goodies and a blanket to park off for a picnic in the Community Gardens in historic Church Street.
Those with especial forethought could organise a picnic hamper from Readers Restaurant or the deli at Vindoux and simply collect it!