Experience the finest cheeses from across the country, indulge in live demonstrations and interactive workshops, and explore a lively marketplace filled with wine, gourmet food, and more. With live music, entertainment, and a delightful kids' theme park, you do not want to miss out!
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Welcome to the South African Cheese Festival, celebrating over two decades of cheesy goodness since 2002! Join us from September 23rd to 25th, 2023, at Sandringham Estate, Stellenbosch, for an unparalleled culinary journey. Experience the finest cheeses from across the country as we showcase a variety of flavours, textures, and aromas that will captivate your taste buds. Immerse yourself in the world of cheese-making with live demonstrations, interactive workshops, and a lively marketplace where you can sample and purchase wine, gourmet food, alcoholic beverages, and related products to complement your cheese selection.
Discover an exceptional assortment of cheeses crafted by local producers, artisans, and experts. Explore the art of cheese-making, indulge in delectable cheese platters, and expand your knowledge of wine pairings. Join us for a vibrant celebration of culinary craftsmanship accompanied by live music, entertainment, and a delightful kids' corner. The South African Cheese Festival is an unmissable event that you won't want to pass up!
History of the Cheese Festival
2002 marked the beginning of the South African Cheese Festival, held at Bien Donné under the Agri-Expo banner. With 12,000 attendees, the festival featured attractions such as the Cheese Emporium, Gourmet Lane, Celebrity Chefs' Kitchen, and Kiddies Corner.
In the following years, the festival experienced growth and innovation. The number of exhibitors increased, and new participants joined, offering a high standard of products. International cheeses, especially from Italy and the Netherlands, gained prominence, and new experiences such as the Food Lover's Piazza and Craft Canopy were introduced. Following years presented new opportunities with bigger partners including KykNet, Checkers, DSTV, Standard Bank and many more. In 2019 a record number of 170+ exhibitors took part, resulting in the most successful rendition yet.
From 2009, the festival also focused on supporting small cheesemakers, showcasing their niche and alternative products. In following years culinary experts were introduced to provide pairing demonstrations, and the festival expanded its offerings with dedicated exhibition areas and collaborations with radio stations.
The SA Cheese Festival continued to attract thousands of cheese lovers, with a wide variety of cheeses and deli products available for tasting and purchase. Celebrity chefs, culinary demonstrations, and musical entertainment were popular features, creating an enjoyable atmosphere for visitors.
The festival's success was recognized with awards, including multiple EXSA (Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa) awards in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2015, including the Best Exhibition in Southern Africa (2015). These awards recognise the festival’s organisation, diversity, and contribution to the local economy. The continuous growth and positive impact on the cheese industry made the SA Cheese Festival a highly anticipated annual event.
In May 2023 the festival was sold to a consortium made up of the DGTL Marketing Group along with private investors. The new owners announced ambitious plans to elevate and improve the festival, including shifting to new dates in September, an additional event in Johannesburg and inclusion of The Pavilion - an exclusive VIP experience for festival visitors and corporate partners.