Saturday the 16th April dawned bright and beautiful on Koelfontein – which was a very good thing because the farmstead was already buzzing as everyone got ready to welcome almost 100 of Koelfontein’s family, neighbours, suppliers and hangers-on to celebrate our annual Oes-af in style on the same day as our annaul Witblits Stookdag!
“Oes-af” is a traditional farm celebration symbolising thanks at the end of a successful harvesting season, and we were glad to share it with those near and dear to us on the farm – it takes so many people doing so many things well to make a success of a business dependent on the soil, the bees and the vagaries of weather!
Handri gave a quick sermon – sorry, thank-you speech and then everyone turned their attention to the delicious snacks and salads (all full of dried fruit and nuts, obviously!) …
…as well as the mouth-watering spit offerings and the witblits, of course!
“Stook dag” (Brewing day, for the linguistically challenged) is always a big day on Koelfontein. It starts early in the morning with the filling of the generations-old “ketel” (pot-still) with hanepoot wine, capping it with the “Hoed” (the copper dome collecting the precious vapour), sealing the joints with clay and lighting the fire underneath. The ritual is completed by lining the last lip of the pipe with a citrus leaf to impart that final flavour kick, legend has it.
Though at 75% proof (as verified by none other than Mr Conradie Snr), no additional kick is really needed!
Koelfontein has one of the few remaining original stills in the country so even though when Jaco pours it into the large glass bottles it looks more dangerous and less legal, Koelfontein is actually one of the very few licenced distillers of witblits left.
Of course lots of our wonderful wine was also enjoyed, and guests got a sneak preview into the renovated old cellar which will soon be offering full wine-tastings on the farm – a first in Ceres! Watch this space for more info…
A wonderful day of relaxing and celebrating was had by all, and we hope you’ll drop by to taste our wine or even brave our witblits sometime soon!