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

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

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

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

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

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Virgin Whites Led Me into the Last Temptation

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Well and Truly Oaked!

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

South over the Hills in Elgin

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Wines Made to Stand the Taste of Time

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

More Still at Tanagra

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk


More-ish Wines at Môreson

Marching into France

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Boutique de Brendel

Beyond Expectation

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Late at Lateganskop

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

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

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Real Wines in the Place of God

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch


In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

A Sparkling Tasting at Charles Fox

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Iconic Steenberg

Putting Capelands on the Cape Winelands Map!

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

It’s High Time Again

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

More than Just a Destination

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Idiom Wines Make a Statement

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Mutual Attraction

Red Chair in the Morning

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Cork and Talk with Dave

No Black Marks at Raka

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

A Cape Wine Master-class

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

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

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley


Wines to Love on Love Street

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Where Eagles Care

Fish (and other foods) with Wanda!

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Latching onto Superb Wines at De Grendel

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Great Value in the Swartland

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Summer Whites …… and Rosés


  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 *