Organisers of the OmmiBerg Harvest Celebration, on Saturday March 3, have put plans in place to ensure that the event is water-wise and supports the massive water-saving initiatives of the provincial government, Cape Winelands District Municipality and Drakenstein Municipality.
According to Annelize Stroebel, general manager of the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association, they are extremely cognisant of the fact that the province is in the midst of a severe drought.
“All our event plans have included water-wise activations and we have liaised closely with the participating wineries to ensure that wine lovers can still enjoy this amazing celebration of the annual harvest, while conserving water.
“After all, the members of the Paarl Wine Route have to deal with water restrictions on a daily basis and have all become really savvy at saving every drop possible. Most of the farms have alternative water sources, which have been tapped into for a significant period already. Participants have adapted their activities to ensure that no water wastage will take place. Bottled water will be on sale at each venue as it has become the norm over the past couple of years,” says Ms Stroebel.
Standard operating procedures on the wineries have included recycling, placing bricks in toilet cisterns and providing hand sanitisers to minimise hand washing.
Several venues such as Boland Kelder, Perdeberg and Ridgeback will be using portable toilets, which operates with chemical supply tanks of recycled water.
Boland will be closing off their existing toilets for the duration of the event and an additional water car will be on standby.
Wineries such as Landskroon and Mellasat have cancelled the slip’* slides that normally form part of their kids’ entertainment and replaced it with jumping castles.
Mellasat will also be offering hand sanitisers for hand washing and will be using their usual grey water collection facility to cover operational uses.
Water collected through this system is treated again and then used for irrigation of the vineyards.
Rhebokskloof and Windmeul have independent water supplies and festival visitors will not place any burden on potable water supplies.
“We would like to ensure potential visitors that they will still be able to enjoy an exciting day with great wines, fabulous foods and plenty of harvest fun for the whole family.
“OmmiBerg celebrates the harvest, which is one of the most important periods on our agricultural calendar, and as a single-day event, it does not place a significant burden on our water resources,” says Ms Stroebel.
The programme includes special harvest activities such as grape stomping and barrel rolling, cellar tours, unique tastings of the region’s wines, music and food. Most venues are child-friendly with specific activities to cater for young visitors.
Tickets are available from www.webtickets.co.za at R150, or R180 at the gates on the day. Children under 18 accompanied by an adult enter free.