Visit Knysna, Knysna Tourism, Garden Route, South Africa

Knysna Wine Festival Returns

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Knysna Wine Festival is finally back in person on the 8th and 9th of July 2022 to celebrate its 15th anniversary at this year Knysna Oyster Festival.

There are a few changes this year, but the event provides an opportunity for the South African Wine industry to showcase its award-winning and exceptional wines.

Some 40 wineries will converge on the Knysna Wine Festival in July, to offer unlimited tastings of more than 200 varietals.

The Knysna Wine Festival will once again take place during the Knysna Oyster Festival on the 8 & 9 July from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., and in addition to wine, guests can enjoy craft beer, Gin, various liqueurs, whisky tastings as well as a taste of some South African artisan craft cheeses and olive oils.

“We are very excited to finally have the wine festival after two years without,” Knysna Wine Festival event organizer Belinda Hobson said. “We’ve got great wines already signed up this year, and our festivalgoers are in for a real treat.
It’s fantastic to be showcasing the wonderful bounty that our region offers.”

Wine lovers will have the choice of purchasing tasting tickets, which include tastings from the 40 or more wineries on hand, a commemorative wine glass, and an informative tasting booklet. Once you’ve finished tasting you can purchase all wines at cellar door prices either to enjoy on the day or stock up your cellar.

Prices for the wine tasting are R180.00 pp and will be available on Web tickets at https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/event.aspx?itemid=1514368605 as well as Knysna Tourism Office and Sedgefield Cycle Worx’s. Please note a limited number of tickets will be available.

Food will be provided to purchase at the Premier Resort the Moorings – Knysna pop-up restaurant, and what would a premier event of The Knysna Oyster Festival be without the opportunity to indulge in delicious Oysters.

Follow us on Facebook @GardenrouteWineFestival
Email: infoknysnawinefestival@gmail.com

Big-Hitters Of Modified Saloon Car Category Set To Take On 2022 Simola Hillclimb

The Modified Saloon Car category at the annual Simola Hillclimb is renowned for lining up an exhilarating array of the wildest, most powerful and fastest tin-top racing cars in the country. The 12th edition will be no different when these no-limits beasts of King of the Hill are let loose on the challenging 1.9km course on 7 and 8 May 2022.

Simola Hillclimb regular Pieter Zeelie threw a spanner in the works last year when he claimed his first King of the Hill crown in his highly modified 2002 Toyota MR2 Super GT, powered by a turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 Toyota engine. His faultless performance in the all-or-nothing Top 10 Shootout secured a winning time of 40.402 seconds, knocking 2019 champion and pre-event favourite Franco Scribante and his radical multi-winged 2016 Nissan R35 GT-R off the top step of the podium.

The question is, can he do it again? “I am up against competitive machinery and drivers, especially the four-wheel drive Nissans which gain around 1 to 1.5 seconds on us from the start to corner one, and I know Dawie Joubert made some extensive changes to his Lotus,” Zeelie says. “All of these drivers have serious intent on winning, so reaching the Top 10 in 2022 will already be a huge achievement. I will certainly do my best and hope to get a top-three position.”

Zeelie isn’t taking the title fight lightly, with an eye on competing internationally too: “The modifications never stop, and we spent most of our effort on aerodynamic changes to the car. We’re hoping to get some extra downforce and reduce drag, and also managed to get a little bit of extra power from the Toyota engine,” he says. “Some changes were made for my planned endeavours in the FIA International Hillclimb Cup in Europe later this year to make the car FIA-compliant, and we’re shipping it overseas straight after the Simola Hillclimb.”

As for what makes the Simola Hillclimb special, Zeelie highlights the fantastic nature of the event as a whole, as well as an interesting personal affinity with Knysna: “We always make it a social and business event with clients, family and friends joining us from all over South Africa. The adrenaline, together with social side, makes it very special for us, and I’ve always enjoyed hillclimb events.

“The Knysna Forest is where my family originally lived until they were forcefully removed,” Zeelie points out, referencing historical books such as Fiela se Kind, Kringe in die Bos and Toorbos that regale the troubled past. “Our family has a very rich history in the Cape and Knysna since 1648, and I am busy finalising a book about them.”

Whether Zeelie will be able to write his name in the Simola Hillclimb record books for a second time remains to be seen, but he certainly faces a stern challenge – most notably from multiple winner Scribante, behind the wheel of his time-attack inspired Nissan R35 GT-R with its distinctive massive front and rear wings.

In 2021 Scribante set a new official record time for the Modified Saloon Car category of 39.303 seconds in the Class Finals. However, a less-than-perfect run in the Top 10 Shootout saw him cross the line in 40.522 seconds which relegated him to second place for King of the Hill. “Our objective this year is to get the car reliable, as we’ve had numerous issues developing this car,” he says. “We don’t even know yet what the GT-R is capable of because we’ve always had to work around a variety of problems.

“We’ve looked at the gearbox and clutch issues, and for now we’re not aiming to go faster but to be more reliable,” Scribante says. “When we’ve maxed out the reliability then we will take it to the next level in the years to come.” The Scribante name will also be represented by Aldo and Silvio in a pair of highly tuned 2011 Audi S4s – the latter making the switch from a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo driven last year.

As indicated by Zeelie, Dawie Joubert is sure to be a formidable opponent once again in his twin-turbo Ferrari V8-powered 2001 Lotus Exige, which has been upgraded since its debut last year. Joubert notched up an impressive time of 39.888 seconds during his best qualifying run in 2021, and will be aiming for an even better time when it counts in this year’s Top 10 final. He will be joined by brother Charl in a turbocharged Honda V6-powered Elise, while Craig Czank returns in his Lotus Exige, having opted for a Nissan R35 GT-R twin-turbo V6 engine, with the Simola event being used last year as the initial shakedown test for the car.

The Van Zummeren family always draws a crowd in their loud and wild Nissan GT-Rs, and Martin returns to the fray in his explosive four-wheel drive 2002 R34 after missing the 2021 edition. He will be backed up by his two sons, with Wade stepping back into his rear-wheel drive R34 GT-R after delighting the crowds in dad’s car last year, along with brother Jody in a four-wheel drive 1994 R32 GT-R. Another interesting new rival will be former touring car racer Farouk Dangor, who joins the Nissan GT-R brigade in a 2001 R34 GT.

However, there’s another serious contender that should never be underestimated. With three consecutive King of the Hill titles in the Road and Supercar category (2017-2019), Reghard Roets has taken over the reins of the BB Motorsport Nissan R35 GT-R formerly campaigned by Wilhelm Baard.

Roets certainly knows his way up the 1.9km Simola Hill and has been doing extensive testing in his new steed which powered Baard to victory in 2017 and 2018. If reliability issues with the car don’t hamper his efforts, the popular production car ace is sure to be in the thick of the battle until the final flag drops on Sunday afternoon.

Several other competitors are likely to be slugging it out in the thrilling Top 10 Shootout, including Franco di Matteo who recovered from a crash last year to power his way into the Top 10 final in the NOS-boosted Jaguar XKRR V8 Super Car. Charl Arangies finished third last year in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, but returns this year in a similarly-powered V10 Audi R8 LMS GT3, while Anton Cronje remains another driver to watch in his rapid Subaru Impreza WRX STi after he claimed the sixth-fastest time in 2021.

Whoever emerges as this year’s triumphant King of the Hill, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of excitement and fireworks on the road to victory!

Online ticket sales for the Simola Hillclimb, along with more information on the event, are available on the website: www.simolahillclimb.com

Pink Loerie™ 2022 highlights not to be missed

The Pink Loerie™ Mardi Gras and Arts Festival in association with Men International will host a spectacle of not-to-be-missed events from 29 April to 1 May as it returns to the Garden Route town of Knysna after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.

“Not only will the international singer-songwriter sensation Cassa Jackson be headlining the festival,” said Festival Director John-Louis O’Neil. “Mr Gay World™ South Africa 2021 Shanon Kannigan will lead the annual street parade.”

The street parade features high on the programme for Saturday 30 April, but festivities kick off with a VIP dinner and fundraising auction on the Friday. “Cassa Jackson will be supporting Lionel Ritchie later this year, but she’s coming to celebrate the festival’s 22nd birthday with us first,” said O’Neil. “We are also extremely proud to host her first South African performance.”

Having appeared on stages including Wembley Arena, Cassa Jackson will perform at the VIP function hosted by Villa Castollini. Shanon Kannigan will lead the event as guest MC and auctioneer for the fundraising auction.

Tickets to the VIP dinner and fundraising event with Cassa Jackson and Mr Gay World ™ South Africa Shanon Kannigan are available at https://charityaffair.africa/shop/.

Saturday is packed with fun and entertainment with highlights that cannot be missed.
• Girls just wanna have fun with Wendy Dewberry hosted by The Queen, 10 Queen Street from 8am to 2pm.
• A pre-assembly point cocktail event with live entertainment hosted by Oaks on Main, Knysna Main Street, from 9am to 2pm.
• Unleash the animal / Superhero in you street party, Gray Street between Nelson and Rawson Streets, 2pm to 4pm.
• Knysna Pride Street Parade from Rawson Street to The Waterfront Knysna Quays via Gray Street, 4pm, led by UK pop sensation Cassa Jackson and Mr Gay World™️ South Africa 2021 Shanon Kannigan.
• Official After Party from 4:30pm to 11pm at The Waterfront Knysna Quays with UK pop sensation Cassa Jackson and guest artists, and be taken on a journey of sound by DJ’s Nick, Quinton Kelly, Nukes and more.

All COVID-19 prevention regulations will be adhered to and access to the street party and after party will be limited to 2000 attendants each.

“Monday 2 May is a public holiday,” said O’Neil. “This means everyone can enjoy the farewell lunch with live music hosted by Olde’s Pub & Grill on Sunday afternoon.”

“As well as celebrating the diversity of our community, the festival hopes to highlight local business and tourism in Knysna,” he continued. “This is an open invitation to businesses in Knysna, who may be running specials during the festival, to send us their advertisements so we may publish them on our social media platforms.”

“We are looking forward to bringing the festival back to Knysna this year,” O’Neil concluded. “It is high time that everyone gets to let their hair down and have fun again.”

Cassa Jackson is brought to the Pink Loerie™ Mardi Gras and Arts Festival in association with Men International courtesy of Marshall Arts Talent, ETC Zone Centurion and Jacaranda LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival. She has over 170 000 followers on TikTok and more than 180 000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

The Pink Loerie™ is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally (LGBTQIA+) culture and identity held in the picturesque town of Knysna. The festival hosts a series of cultural, entertainment and community fundraising events and aims to highlight local business and tourism in Knysna and the Garden Route.

Thank you to the people of Knysna, the Garden Route District Municipality, Knysna Municipality, Wesgro, Visit Knysna and our other partners for working with us to make the festival a reality this year.

Olde’s Pub & Grill’s farewell lunch offers set menus from R200pp and bookings are essential, book at 044 382 6514.
Contact office@pinkloeriefoundation.com for advertisement specifications and submissions.
For more information, news, and updates, visit www.facebook.com/pinkloerie or www.pinkloerie.co.za.