Festival of Fizz: When the Wine Route visits the Garden Route

This weekend we were those tourists who, despite being in a foreign country, only ate at McDonald’s. Naturally our equivalent was a little more fabulous, Capetonians attending a MCC festival in George.

Chilled bottles of MCC was available for immediate consumption. Credit: Fancourt Facebook page

Chilled bottles of MCC was available for immediate consumption. Credit: Fancourt Facebook page

The inaugural Festival of Fizz was hosted at the heavily gated Fancourt in George. Compared to the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival ‘The ‘Magic of Bubbles, it looked ridiculously tiny with only 16 odd farms. Though this number multiplied quite quickly as hardly anyone asked for a tasting coupon…

I didn’t plan on writing this post so didn’t take any notes of all the different MCCs we tasted. So this merely an oversimplified list of our festival of the festival: Steenberg, L’Ormarins, Genevieve, Tanzanite and Moreson.

In the spirit of trying something new we didn’t visit two farms that were already taking up real estate in our fridge back home, Graham Beck and our “local” De Grendel.

Once you got to the festival tent the organisation was smooth. There was one table to buy the all the MMCs represented and coupons used to purchase the food at the entrance/exit. Tables were placed under the trees for those wanting to enjoy gourmet snacks or a deeper sip of bubbly. Getting to the festival once in Fancout’s gates was a bit vague though. There would have been a better flow if there were dedicated shuttles waiting to transport to and from the parking lot, that or clear signs for those who don’t mind walking.

Saberage with a bottle of De Grendel MCC on our elopement day

Saberage with a bottle of De Grendel MCC on our elopement day in October.  Credit: Greg van der Reis

From previous visits to wine farms and other festivals we have learned quite a bit about the MCC process, so it was great to be schooled one of the lesser known joys of MCC, saberage. Saberage is the art of removing the top of a champagne bottle with a sword/knife, however it can also be done with a butter knife. The Plus One had a level of success with this over the years but hit a bit of a snag of late. The friendly guy from Moreson kindly shared a few pointers. He also pointed us the direction of Genevieve, a MCC he was sampling himself.

There was only one food stand which had exquisite looking bite sized treats. The spring roll was delicious making up for the average sushi plate. Dessert was juicy cream-filled strawberries.

A delicate spread

A delicate spread  Credit: Plus One

The Festival of Fizz was a fun diversion though I believe the tickets at R150 at pop, is quite steep for the value one gets. But even as I wrote the last sentence I knew we will most likely be back, champagne flute in hand, if we’re in the neighbourhood next year.


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