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

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

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

Ruddy Red and Blanc Sauvignons

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

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

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Where Eagles Care

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

An Early Start at Rietvallei

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Putting Capelands on the Cape Winelands Map!

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

It’s High Time Again

Red, Red (Spanish) Wine


Real Wines in the Place of God

Being Creative at Flagstone

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

South over the Hills in Elgin

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Cork and Talk with Dave

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Beyond Expectation

Morgenhof in the Morning

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle


I-own-a Wine Farm!

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

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

More than Just a Destination

More Still at Tanagra

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Relaxing Rosendal

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Simple Spier

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

A Cape Wine Master-class

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

All Green at Villiera

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Wines to Love on Love Street


My Best Blend at Zandvliet

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

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

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Iconic Steenberg

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

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

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

A Sparkling Tasting at Charles Fox

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Idiom Wines Make a Statement

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Red Chair in the Morning

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Wines Made to Stand the Taste of Time

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

The Ladies in Red

Colmant Sparkled

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Mutual Attraction

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Well and Truly Oaked!

Late at Lateganskop

Fish (and other foods) with Wanda!

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Latching onto Superb Wines at De Grendel

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Individual Quality at Jordan

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

No Blues at Hillcrest

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Marching into France

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Virgin Whites Led Me into the Last Temptation

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Same but Different End to the Diploma Lectures

Boutique de Brendel

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Great Value in the Swartland

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

No Black Marks at Raka

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!


  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 *