Wine farm unearths wild mushroom hunts

Blusher, porcini, boletus, pine rings… Mother Nature’s elusive delicacies are waiting to be unearthed at the legendary Delheim Wine Estate, when it opens its private forest to avid fungi foragers during its annual wild mushroom hunts, on Thursday June 16 and Friday June 17.

These ex-cep-tional excursions are led by Delheim’s Nora Sperling-Thiel and seasoned field expert Gary Goldman, aka the Mushroom Fundi, and will see intimate groups honing their foraging feelers in search of these “wild wonders”.

“The fact that we have lost 95 percent of our pine forest on the farm during the tragic Simonsberg fire in January will not deter us from sharing this magical spot with inveterate foragers and nature lovers. The pine forest was actually the only forest we were able to save, so with these exhilarating excursions on the estate we not only want enthusiasts to learn more about fungi we also want them to enjoy what’s left of it,” says, Nora, who learned the lost art of seasonal foraging from her mother and has been collecting mushrooms on their wine farm since she was a child.

With mushrooms able to deliver both death and delirium, Gary will give the group some important guidelines and pointers to follow before they trot off into the woods for the “silent hunt”.

After the outing, the foragers will enjoy lunch at the estate.The mushroom hunts start at 10am, in the vat cellar, and tickets cost R650, which includes a bottle of wine and two glasses to take home; the lecture on mushroom identification over a cup of coffee and rusks; the forest forage, as well as the mushroom-inspired lunch and wine.

Advance bookings are essential and given the intimate nature of these hunts, no group bookings are allowed.

Call 021 888 4607 or email restaurant@delheim.com for more information.