Food and wine lovers should diarise the second annual Spier Secret Festival, taking place from 25 to 26 October at Spier Wine Estate. CONFERENCE An exciting line-up of local and international speakers – including UK-based baker Lily Vanili, controversial American restaurateur Robert Sayre, and local author and columnist Sam Woulidge – will deliver presentations and workshops with insights on food and wine trends, ethics and a particular focus on biodynamic farming. Johan Jordaan, Spier’s senior red winemaker, will also host a wine-blending workshop. This year’s conference includes a special four-hour lecture by French winegrower and pioneer of the biodynamic wine movement, Nicolas Joly. Limited tickets will also be available for an interactive dinner presented by well-known eating designer Marije Vogelzang, where she will be exploring the culinary history of British and Dutch root vegetables and the ancient cooking method of baking food in clay. MARKET There will also be a Saturday market at Spier Wine Estate, open to the public, where vendors will include a variety of food and entertainment, as well as a Chenin Blanc tasting expo. SECRET DINNERS A highlight of the festival are the exciting Secret Dinners with the opportunity to attend more than one in the weeks leading up to the conference. Each supper is presented by a leading local food personality, costs R350, and includes Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines. This year, our very own House and Leisure Food Editor, Raphaella Frame-Tolmie, is hosting a secret dinner (which is already sold out!) at a secret location in Clifton, but there are many other Secret Dinners you can still book for. Visit spiersecretfestival.co.za/secret-dinners for more information about how to book a seat at the Secret Dinners, and spiersecretfestival.co.za/tickets for the conference programme and ticket prices.