Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival
Experience 4.5 Festivals & Events Wine 4.0

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Saturday 17 March 2018

Experience: 4.5/5
Wines: 4/5

Wine – and life – is a funny old thing. A fun thing too! Ambeloui is the only winery that I have written a 3rd article on and yet the smallest I have visited. For those who don’t know – and most don’t, even those living in the Southern Suburbs, Cape Town and in the Constantia Valley – Ambeloui Wine Cellar makes superb MCCs from just 0.5 hectare of vineyards in Hout Bay. Read more here. The Cellar opens on just 2 days a year when most of its production sells out. One such day is the Annual Harvest Festival held in March.



Today was a return to the Harvest Festival having been to last year’s one too for the first time. Unlike last year, when my morning was spent in Stellenbosch for Cape Wine Academy studies, I was able to arrive at Ambeloui for 11.00 am opening time. Even so, with 10 minutes to go, there was a queue of eager visitors waiting outside this unassuming winery in a regular street in the Hout Bay suburbs. Unbelievably, there’s no entry fee. I cannot think of another wine festival I have been to that has a free entry.



Early arrival meant that my partner and I were able to get the best seat I the house! It was a small table for 2 in the shade and with a nice view of the visitors coming and going with their food and MCC. I knew it would become busy very soon so bought a bottle of Ashley Brut MCC. A full ice bucket was provided. There was a returnable R20 deposit for each champagne glass. I paid by cash which was just as well as there were e-payment difficulties due to the weak telecoms signal in the valley. The chalkboard sign that read ‘This is a Greek party – Expect some Chaos!’ said it all. Top tip: always bring cash.




My partner described last year’s Festival as ‘cheerfulness in someone’s backyard’ and this could not have been a better description for the return. It was good to see – and be remembered by – winemaker Alex and parent owners, Nick and Ann Christodoulou. Ann was promoting pre-sales of her Greek Cypriot/Afrikaans cook book called ‘What’s for Lunch?’ Now there’s new fusion cookery! I intend to review the book once published so keep your eye out on the website.



Very soon, people arrived in number searching for their friends. The Ambeloui Harvest Festival is very much a social event, perhaps even an excuse for the Cape Town Greek community to get together too. Seating is spaced around the family home and at long tables on the road in the vineyard. Blue and white bunting, in Greek flag colours, fluttered between the vines.



A few glasses of delicious, dry MCC and I was ready for some of the delicious Greek food. The lamb souvlaki (R70) were not yet ready so I bought a mezze platter (R110) and dessert platter (R60). The mezze included spanokopita, mini pitta bread, feta cheese, stuffed vine leaves, taramasalata, cucumber, olives and tomato. The dessert platter was a feast of sweet Greek delicacies – baklava, bougatsa and treats I cannot name – that were equally tasty. Later, my partner enjoyed the souvlaki that were well cooked and filling. Fortunately, a dry MCC pairs will all foods!



I stayed for a couple of hours before leaving. The Harvest Festival at Ambeloui is a great time just to relax and enjoy some excellent MCC (there were others, the MCC Rosé and pot-still brandy to drink and buy too) and Greek food. It is always a pleasure when all the staff, however busy or stressed, look as if they are enjoying the occasion as much as the guests. You put on a great Festival and with a great vibe (Greek music playing too). I shall return again next year and always recommend my friends do the same.



Meanwhile, I eagerly await my copy of ‘What’s for Lunch?’ …

Wines tasted (bought *):


2015 Ashley MCC – R195


You Might Also Like

More Still at Tanagra

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Late at Lateganskop

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Wines to Love on Love Street

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Beyond Expectation

The Ladies in Red

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Cork and Talk with Dave


Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Idiom Wines Make a Statement

Latching onto Superb Wines at De Grendel

Where Eagles Care

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Real Wines in the Place of God

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Virgin Whites Led Me into the Last Temptation

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Red Chair in the Morning

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Well and Truly Oaked!

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2!

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

Peter Puts into Hermanus

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Red, Red (Spanish) Wine

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Iconic Steenberg

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Relaxing Rosendal

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?


The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

It’s High Time Again

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

A Cape Wine Master-class

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!


Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Fish (and other foods) with Wanda!

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Class in Glass at Glenelly

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

South over the Hills in Elgin

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

No Black Marks at Raka

A Sparkling Tasting at Charles Fox

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Wines Made to Stand the Taste of Time

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Putting Capelands on the Cape Winelands Map!

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Marching into France

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Great Value in the Swartland

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

Mutual Attraction

Same but Different End to the Diploma Lectures

More than Just a Destination

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Boutique de Brendel


  1. Absolutely love this festival, and always mark my calendar! This is the third year I have been and wouldn’t miss it rain or shine!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *