* South African wines won more than 300 medals at the 2015 International Wine Challenge held in London, which included 28 Gold (double the number compared to last year), 111 Silver, and 175 Bronze medals. The organisers said that South African white wines had ‘an outstanding year‘, while Shiraz was the top SA Red wine performer. Stellenbosch wines won the most SA Gold Awards.
* The 2015 Bollinger Wine Exceptional Service Award is now open for entries, which must be in by 31 May. The first prize winner will win a Riedel Glass Trophy, as well as a visit to France to the House of Champagne Bollinger. Entrants must have a good knowledge of local and international wines. SA Sommelier Association Chairman Neil Grant says wine service has a poor history in our country. (received via media release from Hazell Public Relations and Wine Consultants)
* The first Winelands Chocolate Festival will be held on 25 and 26 July at Lourensford, with hourly chocolate demos, Chocolate High Tea using Lindt chocolate, and a chocolate wrapper design art exhibition. Entrance R120. (received via e-mail from event organiser Di Burger)
* After three Seasons of MasterChef SA and Celebrity MasterChef, Nederburg will not be renewing its contract with the reality TV show, winemaker Razvan Macici says. (via private conversation)
* Durbanville Hills is offering a weekend soup with bread and wine pairing on 6 and 7 June. Three soups are paired with the Rhinofields range, at a cost of R70. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)