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Delheim unearths forest fare during Wild Mushroom Weekends

Rare foraging excursions on offer at this legendary wine farm

30 & 31 May and 3 & 4 July 2015

The legendary Delheim Wine Estate is offering avid foragers two ex-cep-tional weekends of wild mushroom hunts in its private forest, for enthusiasts to unearth theses elusive, seasonal delicacies and revel in fungi spotting excitement on 30 & 31 May and 3 & 4 July.

These foraging excursions are led by Delheim’s Nora Sperling-Thiel and Gary Goldman, a seasoned field expert and mushroom cultivator, and will see intimate groups setting foot for a magical ‘walk on the wild side’, in search of these delicious gems, lurking right there under one’s nose. The whole idea is for visitors to hone their foraging feelers and become comfortable in picking their own mushrooms, whilst embracing the lost art of seasonal foraging.

After an exhilarating morning, engaging in ‘the silent hunt’ amidst towering pine trees and indigenous flora, foragers will be rewarded with a mushroom-inspired three-course lunch in the historic Vat Cellar which promises to leave the taste buds euphoric.

“No one should fear the fungi! I will give a short lecture on edible and poisonous mushrooms before we trot off into the forest, so that you know how to identify the good, the bad and the ugly and really enjoy this magical spot at Delheim. There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no bold, old mushroom hunters,” shares Gary who goes by the moniker The Mushroom Hunter.

“Most mushroom pickers are very tight-lipped about the whereabouts of their sources so this is a golden opportunity,” adds an elated Gary who can spot a camouflaged porcini in no time.

“Mushrooms simmering in garlic butter is one of my all time favourite smells and evoke fond childhood memories. It is just so much more rewarding if you know where it came from…and even better so if you have foraged it yourself,” adds Nora who grew up on the farm and learned to pick wild mushrooms from her mother.

There are only 40 spots available per day as Delheim treasures a delicate balance between sharing their ‘family passion’ and protecting their natural habitat.

This exploration of the hidden world of the fungi starts at 10am and tickets cost R595 per person. A ticket includes a choice of an exclusive mushroom foraging basket or a Delheim bottle of wine and two glasses to take home; the insightful lecture on mushroom identification; the forest forage, as well as the mushroom-themed three course lunch and a glass of Delheim wine.

Pre-booking are essential and given the intimate nature of these events, no group bookings are allowed. For more information or to secure your spot contact Tel: 021 888 4600 or send an email to info@delheim.com.

Delheim was the originator of the now-popular concept of fungi foraging events in the country and has since definitely managed to raise awareness for mushroom foraging in South Africa. Although these events take place at the time of year when there is the largest chance of finding wild mushrooms and the ‘moon is right’, Delheim cannot guarantee that you will find any on the day.

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