It's cheese time again at the 2019 SA Cheese Festival in Stellenbosch

The 18th SA Cheese Festival took place on the weekend of 26th-28th April at Sandringham near Stellenbosch. Agri-Expo does an amazing job of bringing together so many businesses to showcase their wares at this massive venue which Agri-Expo now own. Sensible thing to own the land you need for all the huge exhibitions they put on.
I was privileged enough to be a VIP guest on Sunday, but I do think that the R180 ticket price is very reasonable considering you get to taste EVERYTHING at the show. Wines, Bubbles, Beers, Beets, Oils, Ginger shots and of course a great variety of delicious cheeses.
There are 2 large tasting venues where tutored tastings were held - and the Chenin Blanc Association was on form there as ever. South African's biggest Wine Competition, Veritas, had their top wines available to taste and many cheese makers presented to full houses on their ranges.
Plenty of wineries took advantage of the 10 000 daily attendees - Linton Park, Du Toitskloof, Spier, Teubes, Orange River Cellars with Simonsig hosting their MCC Lounge set up with oysters and bubbles on tap!

It was a bit of a bun-fight in the massive cool and air-conditioned hall, to taste the cheese, as it was a surprisingly hot day for late April, but we did manage to sample quite a few - with one of our favourites being from Puglia.  I am keen to find out more about them.
I also discovered the perfect cheese wrapper made from beeswax on the most beautiful paper. The Plastic Warrior (Yvonne  Wellman-Thompson) is the brains behind this initiative and she makes these really eco-friendly wrappers in all sizes - perfect for your cheese or sandwiches for school or work and exactly the right thing for your fruit, as the wrapper takes on the shape of the article it is covering with the beeswax warming up from use. A warning to all friends & family - these are your new prezzies for a while!

Well done to Agri-Expo for a very slickly run festival. There was plenty of room to sit in the shade and relax and enjoy a cheese & charcuterie platter or a smoothie or glass of wine. Even on Sunday afternoon after 3 days of hot and hard work - the parking attendants were still super friendly!