With their voluptuous shape, sweet flesh and honey scent, figs are said to be an aphrodisiac. It’s still the month of love and the perfect time to indulge in some freshly picked figs.
An easy 80km drive north-east from Cape Town, at the bottom of the breathtaking Bothmaskloof Pass, you will drive through beautiful farmlands, into the picturesque Riebeek Valley and onto the Kloovenburg wine and olive estate.
The fig harvest season usually starts at the beginning of February and lasts for up to two months. But in 2016, this is likely the final week that the offering will be available, so go and benefit from it before it’s too late.
Figs are one of the oldest cultivated crops and the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were fond of the seductive plump fruits. Figs are incredibly healthy, as they contain soluble dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants that support optimum wellness. Fresh figs can be incorporated into recipes and enjoyed in different ways or even be preserved or dried.
At Kloovenburg, you can pick Parisian figs, also called Evita. Kloovenburg started planting them in 2009 and now have 3.5 hectares of glorious fig orchards.
Parisian is a variety of fig which originated in the south-east town of Solliès-Pont in France. There, it is known and sold under the name Violette de Solliès and is the only fig to have an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) which translates to ‘controlled designation of origin’, meaning it conforms to the concept of terroir-based exclusivity. Kloovenburg chose this fig because it grows well in the Mediterranean-type climate in the Riebeek Kasteel area. The fertile red soils at Kloovenburg promote large, juicy figs for export and the local market.
It’s a small to medium-sized, slightly flattened shape, purple-skinned fig with a dark red pulp. The fruit is sweet and rich with a slight acidity enhancing the flavour.
If you’re keen to get outside and pick some figs, meet at Kloovenburg’s tasting room and someone will accompany you to the Fig Orchard. Bring a basket to collect your haul of fruit, bring gloves to protect your hands, and go wild picking up to a kilogram or two of figs.
The Riebeek Valley is part of the Swartland, an area which offers visitors a variety of attractions and picturesque scenery and is definitely worth a visit. Check out our blog post to find out about the Pastorie at Kloovenburg, a luxurious getaway offering.
When Monday – Friday until around the end of February 2016 from 7 or 9 am – 10 am
Where Tasting room, Kloovenburg Wine and Olive Estate, R46, Riebeek Kasteel, Western Cape
Cost R20 per kilogram
Contact Pieter on +27 82 553 4329,+27 22 4481 635, [email protected]
Photography courtesy Guido Schwarz and Kloovenburg Facebook page