Some nine years ago the wonderfully eclectic bunch of very talented Bot River Winemakers challenged each other to grow the most luxuriant beard during harvest. The Shave Off on the 1st February marks the start of harvest each year as well as the start of a new beard. The grape harvest waits for no-one – when the fruit is ripe, it must be picked and taken to the cellar. There is little time for sleep and even less for time-consuming activities like shaving – this must take a back seat too, so beards in the vineyards and cellar are not unusual at this time of year.
At the end of harvest the now well-bearded winemakers arrive at the annual Beard Parade – a talent show contest based on beards and bulldust, of inconsequence and almighty mirth. This is an opportunity for the public to taste new vintage wines straight from the barrel as well as special release wines and also to meet the winemakers, make new friends, party and do some good in the process.
The occasion centres around the auction: the sale of truly special Bot River wines. The auction benefits various school-level educational projects in the region.
This is followed by a dinner known as the Botriviera feast!
Bot River lies a mere one hour’s drive up the N2 highway from Cape Town. A perfect getaway, the region has long been known for its wine pioneers and Mavericks. There are 13 wine farms, most of them family-owned and run, producing world-class wines.
Book your tickets at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/67960-botrivier-barrels-and-beards-2019/#/
ARABELLA COUNTRY ESTATE NEWS
12 Incredible Orchid Facts That No One Ever Told You Before from Plainviewpure.com
- Orchids are the largest family of flowering plants.
They have also been around the longest as they are one of the oldest flowers in existence. Since varieties of orchids are found all over the world, it’s accepted that orchids were in existence prior to the separation of the continents.
- There are more than 25,000 documented orchid species throughout the world.
This means the number of orchids on the planet is four times the number of birds and four times the number of mammals! That’s A LOT of orchids!!
- Although generally thought of as a tropical plant, orchids grow on every continent.
From the Arctic Circle to the southernmost jungle (except Antarctica). They’re valued and thought of as beautiful across continents and cultures with varying meanings and customs surrounding their existence.
- The smallest orchid is the size of a dime.
This amazing orchid is small enough to fit in a doll house!
- The vanilla orchid (and its vanilla bean) is the only commercially grown orchid crop (Vanilla planifolia).
Orchids yummy enough to eat and cook with!
- Orchids have the tiniest seeds in the world.
This makes them a challenge to grow and cultivate. They take forever to sprout and actually turn into a plant! Growing orchids from seeds is only for the patient and very green-thumbed.
- There can be up to 3 million seeds in a single orchid seedpod.
You’ll never see them though, they are the size of a speck of dust and are only visible under a microscope. Part of the reason for their small size is that they lack an endosperm and have no nutrients within. They require contact with a particular fungus to germinate and grow. We find this fact particularly interesting!
- It takes patience to grow an orchid.
The plant’s first flowers won’t appear until at least 5 to 7 years after germination. The houseplants you find in stores are often a decade old. From duck to swan!
- Some orchid flowers bloom for mere hours, while others last up to half a year.
Phaleanopsis orchids are versatile enough to last in a cut flower arrangement longer than most. That’s why we like Phalaenopsis orchids the best!
- Orchid flowers always grow upside down when mature.
The orchid can have enough blooms to be heavy enough for the orchid to hang down. Gravity always wins!
- Orchid plants can live to be up to 100 years old.
Who said orchids are hard to grow?
- Orchids have become one of the most popular houseplants of all time.