The Klein Karoo, an arid region with a rich and diverse geology, ecology and history, is home to the historical village of Calitzdorp, about 160km from Bamboo, the Guest House Accommodation Knysna. Surrounded by the Swartberg, Rooiberg and Gamkaberg mountains, Calitzdorp, known as the Port Capital of South Africa, is feverishly geared up for the annual Port and Wine Festival now known as the Calitzdorp Festival held from 16 to 18 June 2017.
The Douro valley in Portugal, the home of port wine, shares many climatic and geographic characteristics with Calitzdorp. Internationally recognised vines such as Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional are cultivated in the Klein Karoo and, once harvested, are processed by dedicated local port-makers into world class port wines, with low sugar and high alcohol contents.
Calitzdorp is thus the natural stage for the annual Calitzdorp Winter Festival , a celebration not only of the fine tipple but of the region as a whole – its culture, biodiversity, agriculture, arts, history, food and geology. The festival centres around the historic Calitzdorp Railway Station and is hosted by all 8 Calitzdorp Wine Cellars – Axe Hill, Boplaas, Calitzdorp Wine Cellar, De Krans, Du’SwaRoo, Peter Bayly, TTT Cellars and Withoek.
The 3 day festival program includes something to suit everybody. This year's theme was Karoo Krismis. Some of the events/activities on offer include:
- Night market at the Calitzdorp Railway Station.
- Krismis dinner and cabaret with Emile Minnie and Hanmari Pretorius at the Calitzdorp Railway Station.
- Boplaas Medieval Party.
- Wine pairing at The Queen of Calitzdor.
- Cycling enthusiasts will again be participating in The Calitzdorp MTB Classic mountain bike race – the only 3 day MTB stage event held in South Africa. The stages start and end each day at the Calitzdorp Spa just outside of town.
Calitzdorp is situated on Route 62, a scenic alternative to the coastal N2 highway. Festival goers are spoilt for choice regarding attractions on this route.
For those in the area over the festival period, take some time out and appreciate the wonders of the Klein Karoo. Visit their website for further information on next year's edition.