On Sunday the 8th of March we celebrated the first De Savoye Day at Vrede en Lust, On De Savoye Day we celebrate the new harvest and more than 300 years of proud history. Jacques de Savoye founded Vrede en Lust in 1688 – 321 years ago this year!
De Savoye’s chidren never had any sons and his name died out in South Africa. The Snymans and Viljoens in South Africa are mainly direct descendents of his daughter and granddaughter.
For most of our team the day got off to a very early and windy start. They met at the winery at 6am and worked hard to get everything setup in time for the 11am start.
The wind had been calm for 4 very hot days prior to the 8th, but it made up for its rest by blowing a full gale. That meant we had to change the plans somewhat in real time and we covered part of the Plaza with one of our free-form tents. Etienne and my youngest brother Johan had to jury rig the edge of the tent a few hours later when the wind’s force destroyed some of the steel fasting rails!
Fortunately the setup worked well and while the wind claimed a few empty glasses later in the day, everyone had a lot of fun. Well over 200 guests attended our first harvest festival – more than we had expected given the clash with the massively popular Argus Cycle Tour. Thanks very much all of those great guests who made this day possible!!
A jumping castle provided entertainment for the kids once the grape-stomping was over. Some of the guests played petanque, while most very happily eating, drinking and chatting to old and new friends. The Hungarian Trio provided a wide range of excellent music. Anneke, Elzanne and their cellar-door team worked very hard to serve the larger than expected crowd with fantastic support from the rest of the Vrede en Lust staff.
We have started planning next year’s event already, having learned a great deal hosting our first event. Next year’s De Savoye Day will be on the Saturday before the Argus cycle tour and we will start marketing a limited number of 150 adult tickets at the start of December. Children will be welcome and we hope to raise the bar significantly! The Cotage will help with the catering of next year event which will allow us to put more effort into wine & fun!
Lynne, Anneke, Natani, Elzanne and Ven – tired but happy after a hectic 12 hour shift!