With this April’s “Rooibos Experience” in the spotlight, visitors to the festival will be able to taste and experiment with the widest range of gourmet Rooibos flavours in food, drink and so much more while being treated to traditions and dances exclusive to only the Rooibos culture.

The already well-established Root 44 Market, located at Audacia Wine Estate, on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset-West will play host to the “Rooibos Experience” on 22 and 23 April from 10h00 to 16h00 in beautiful (mostly covered) wine estate surroundings.

A large marquee will house the more than 40 specially selected rooibos traders who will be showcasing only the best that rooibos has to offer. Traders will wow visitors with an indoor rooibos spa where guests can enjoy super-indulgent massages and the like by trained therapists, along with all kinds of scrumptious savoury and sweet rooibos delicacies that one can imagine.

Visitors will also be introduced to a host of new and exciting product offerings, including a range of top-quality designer rooibos teas – an absolute must for tea-connoisseurs to savour, while those looking for something slightly stronger can indulge in KWV’s premium boutique gin or Audacia’s wooded wines, which is sure to hit the right notes. They both contain rooibos and honeybush, and incidentally also count among the healthiest and most flavourful liquors in the world.

There will also be a wide selection of delectable rooibos-infused cocktails and mocktails which will tantalise every taste bud.

The Nuwe Graskoue Trappers, who belong to a group of “Riel” dancers from Wupperthal, will perform various dances that aptly reflect the culture and traditions of the people who come from the Cederberg region – the home of rooibos. See them in action on 23 April at 13h00.

Ernest du Toit, director of the SA Rooibos Council says this is the first time that rooibos will be showcased in this manner and the Rooibos Experience will literally bring the industry under one roof to promote the best of rooibos’ growing food, drink and beauty sectors.

“The SA Rooibos Council’s association with the event reflects its commitment to encourage the exchange of ideas, helping to build connections among rooibos producers, marketers and the community, open up opportunities and strengthen relationships, whilst celebrating the uniqueness of rooibos.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to this year’s first Rooibos Experience and would like to encourage festival-goers to arrive early to make the most of the day as the venue can only accommodate 4 000 people at any given time,” says du Toit.

Entrepreneurs, academics or those interested in the science behind rooibos, can join the special Science Café where researchers from across South Africa will share their findings and reveal the exciting new research that will be conducted on rooibos in the next few years.

Du Toit points out that rooibos has been proven to reduce one’s risk of various life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. “It can also ease stomach cramps, bring relief to asthma and those suffering from allergies, and reduces premature aging. Scientists continue to surprise us with the versatile plant’s (Aspalathus Linearis) myriad of health-enhancing properties.”

The Rooibos Science Café will be held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s SA Renewable Energy Technology Centre on 26 April from 10h30 to 15h00, but will be limited to 100 guests. Booking is advised.

For families with young children, the Root 44 Market provides a play area to keep young ones entertained. Popular music bands will also be there to provide engaging entertainment for the duration of the festival.

All in all, the Rooibos Experience promises to make for a delightful outing where young and old can expect to be amazed by this natural wonder and its many uses in food, wine, cosmetics and more.

For further information about the Rooibos Experience or Science Café, visit www.sarooibos.co.za or the SARC Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rooiboscouncil/. Alternatively send an email to suzanne@skaa.co.za.