It’s mushroom time again! Soon, wild mushroom foragers will head into the forests in search of these delicious delicacies that only pop out for a short time in the year. Delheim Estate’s popular Mushroom Forage on 15, 16, 30 June and 1 July will explore the world of the fascinating fungi – and teach you how to identify, forage and clean your very own, hand-picked mushrooms.
Participants are limited to 40 people per day, which allows Delheim to maintain the delicate balance between sharing a family passion and protecting the environment where the mushrooms appear.
Delheim’s Mushroom Forage was awarded “Highly Commended” in the Best Wine Event category in the Drinks International Wine Tourism Challenge 2017.
‘Foraging is searching for a little magic’
These fun(gi) excursions have run annually over a number of years and become popular due to the magical experience, as well as the hosts themselves – Delheim’s Nora Sperling-Thiel and Gary “The Mushroom Fundi” Goldman. Both are experienced foragers and talented educators, who lead these ‘silent hunts’ along with the family’s inimitable Jack Russells.
Nora learned the art of seasonal foraging from her mother and has been collecting mushrooms on their wine farm since she was a child. “Foraging is searching for a little magic,” she says. “You never know if you will find some mushrooms but when you do, it makes you feel as excited as a child.”
The day begins with an enlightening workshop on mushroom identification in the farm’s vat cellar, followed by a short walk to the mushroom hunt in Delheim’s lush pine forest. Foragers then head for the estate’s Garden Restaurant where Chef Bruce von Pressentin lays on a three-course meal that showcases these flavoursome marvels. Lunch starts with a trio of starters where various mushrooms are perfectly paired with Delheim wines that your taste buds will relish. The dishes range from sautéed oysters, pickled shiitake and baked Valrhona chocolate and porcini teacups.
“It’s an incredible privilege to be able to pick such a delicious ingredient only a short walk from the kitchen to produce stunning, inspired meals. I can’t wait to go out early on a misty morning to forage for mushrooms,” says Bruce.
This gourmet food and wine experience is for adults only. It includes the workshop, mushroom hunt, a mushroom-themed food and wine experience and a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy at home. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket and should bring their own pocket knife and baskets for the hunt. The events will still take place even if it rains and all the fun starts at 9.30am – 2.30pm, but book off the rest of your day to make the most of the serene surroundings.
What: Mushroom Forages
When: 15, 16, 30 June, 1 July
Where: Delheim Estate, Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Wine Routes, off R44
Tickets: R695 pp
Book: Open 30 April, www.computicket.co.za