Chef Michael Deg of Delaire Graff Restaurant must be a happy man, with the news that the restaurant has been named the Best Winelands Restaurant in our country, in the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards!
The news must be even more joyous for Chef Michael, given that he was excluded from the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist (the Top 10 winners will be announced on Sunday), and the restaurant only scored a ‘Recommended’ rating by JP Rossouw in his 2016 Rossouw’s Restaurants Guide, rather odd as Rossouw was the restaurant judge for the regional Best of Wine Tourism Awards.
The Best of Wine Tourism Awards accolade for Delaire Graff Restaurant is as follows: ‘Delaire Graff believes their dining experience is an expression of the seasons, where classic bistro favourites are served with the finest South African touches. Their story is simple; the best food starts with the best ingredients. Overlooking a sea of vineyards and olive groves planted on the Simonsberg; views from the terrace span all the way into the Banhoek Valley. Inside, the David Collins Studio designed interiors include curving orange leather banquettes and handpicked art. The restaurant is committed to local and beautiful food and menus change along with the seasons. Find bistro favourites and enjoy a reflection of flavour, from bespoke blend olive oil that uses olives grown and pressed across the valley, to home-baked breads made with only stoneground flour. Michael Deg, Head Chef at Delaire Graff Restaurant, is a passionate South African. Michael’s style beautifully complements the philosophy of Delaire Graff Restaurant, renowned for its ‘bistro chic’ cuisine featuring fresh and vibrant flavours. Guests can expect beautifully presented, yet simple dishes, on the inspired menu with only the finest ingredients from local farmers and the surrounding area’.
Delaire Graff was also named the Regional Winner in the Art and Culture category, and here the judges described it as ‘a most aesthetically interesting contemporary art destination’, that the art at the wine estate reflects ‘South Africa’s diverse heritage‘, and that it transforms ‘Delaire Graff Estate into an unrivaled and cultural experience’.
Given its two Awards, Delaire Graff was also named the overall South African winner of the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards.
Other local Regional winners are:
- Creation, for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences
- Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm, for Architecture and Landscapes
- Boschendal, for Accommodation
- La Motte Wine Estate, for Wine Tourism Services
- Villiera Wines, for Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices.
The Great Wine Capitals Global Network is a collaboration between eight wine regions in the world, consisting of Cape Town/ Winelands, Bilbao/Rioja, Bordeaux, Mainz/Rheinhessen, Mendoza, Porto, San Francisco/Napa Valley, and Valparaiso/Casablanca Valley, and was established 16 years ago. Its focus is to achieve excellence in wine tourism, and the annual Best of Wine a tourism is a reflection of that goal.
Regional co-ordinator Andre Morgenthal said that competition in the Best of Wine Awards is getting tougher: ‘Wine tourists are asking more and tougher questions. Just knowing the tasting notes of your own wine range is just not enough. Participants are judged on general wine knowledge, while things like environmental sustainability, ethics and broader knowledge about the region are now required. The best players are looking at finer details and are being rewarded for that. Because we live here, I think we have become accustomed to it, but foreign tourists are astounded by the hospitality and sheer friendliness of our people. That is something that can’t be imitated and it’s indeed something to be very proud of’.
POSTSCRIPT 13/11: A confusing colour-coding on the Great Wine Capitals Global Network led me to mistakenly believe that Delaire Graff won the two categories globally. It is the winner for our region in the two categories, and overall winner for our country. We apologise for any confusion which the error may have caused, which has been corrected above.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here