On the 24 January 2015 the 16th Annual Blessing of the Vines was held on the farm, Nagenoeg Landgoed, near Stellenbosch. About 80 people attended Mass that was carried out in the farm’s chapel, St Anthony in the Valley. Latecomers unfortunately had to stand outside. There were lots of first timers and the chapel was packed.
People still arrived during Mass. Mass was said by Fr John Bartmann and four fellow priests. The readings were chosen to celebrate the Blessing of the Vines and to ask God’s Blessings on the harvest process and all those involved.
After mass it was a mad scramble to the tractors and trailers and the lorry with benches. Kids and adults alike jumped into the big bins on the trailers. Finally the tractors were started and kids (and some adults) could barely contain their excitement. We followed a two and a half kilometre route through the vineyards.
The priests climbed onto the back of the farm’s one pick-up truck that served as the Priest’s mobile (Pope Mobile) and while driving slowly through the vineyards the Priests blessed the vineyards with Holy Water. Once a few years ago the one priest remarked that it would be easier bless the irrigation dam’s water and then irrigate the vineyards.
Driving through the vineyards people had excellent views to the Stellenbosch Mountain range as well as clear views towards Table Mountain. Photos were taken as there were enough photo stops.
After the actual Blessing, we drove back to the farmyard and the people moved into the oak forest where the picnic was held. People brought their chairs and tables and the picnic started. It is a safe and friendly environment without loud music or crowds. Schalk Visser officially opened the picnic by “sabrage” a bottle of MCC (Bubbly) the “African Way” with a panga. “Sabrage” is an old French method of cutting the head off a bottle bubbly in on swift sliding manoeuvre. Every year new attendees get’s invited to do it.
all over the mountains and Table Mountain is clearly visible from the farm.
More than 300 people attended the event, where we prayed for a good harvest and for a blessing of all involved in the harvest and those who work on the farm.