* Women business travelers want to ‘feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered’, says an American research report. About 50 % of business travelers are women, and they control up top 85% of business travel expenditure.
* Actress Claire Danes is in Cape Town for the filming of the fourth season of the TV series ‘Homeland’. She and her husband have been spotted eating at Harbour House in Kalk Bay, dining at The Test Kitchen, shopping at the Biscuit Mill, and walking down Kloof Street, near Yours Truly. Cape Town is doubling up for ‘both Istanbul and Turkey‘ (sic)!
* Chenin Blanc was praised by Greg Sherwood of Handford Wines in London, at a tasting of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines, organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Sherwood led the Chenin Blanc tasting, and said about the varietal: ‘Chenin is a massive and unique selling point for South Africa. It has a variety of styles and gives you a Burgundy textural experience without having to pay Burgundian prices. The days of too much oak and batonnage are now in the past. These practices have been reined back and there is a more vineyard expression‘. Sherwood led the panel through a tasting of nine Chenin Blancs, including Ken Forrester FMC 2006, DeMorgenzon Reserve 2007, Bruwer Raats 2009, Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2012, Jean Daneel 2003 Signature Chenin, and Nederburg Edelkeur Noble Late Harvest 2011. Gavin Patterson from Sumaridge led the tasting of Pinotage, including Diemersdal 1998, Kanonkop 1999 and 2003, and Neethlingshof 2006. Sumaridge Epitome is a blend of Pinotage and Shiraz.
* Sad news received today was the passing of Bernhard Huber, regarded as the premier ‘iconic‘ Pinot Noir producer in Germany. Huber and his wife Barbara visited South Africa 18 months ago, and I had the honour of taking them around Franschhoek, having been connected by German wine writer Mario Scheuermann. Franschhoek winemakers were extremely generous in sharing their time, their wines, and information and experiences, including La Motte and Leopard’s Leap, Boekenhoutskloof, Grande Provence, Chamonix, and Haute Cabriere. After their return to Germany, the Hubers kindly sent over some of their wines via Ernst Gouws Jnr, who had worked at Weingut Huber.
* Top South African wines Graham Beck The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 and AA Badenhorst Secateurs Red 2011 are some of the wines served tonight with the four-course dinner prepared by Chef Michael Ober, including hazelnut-crusted sea bass, and ostrich fillet, celebrating South Africa at The Backyard Bar in West Palm Beach, USA.
* SAA has a lucrative route between Johannesburg and Lagos, flying its largest aircraft seven times a week, due to the demand for Nigerian traders flying to São Paulo via Johannesburg, particularly in its first class section. SAA offers its Lagos passengers very generous baggage allowances, far in excess of its normal baggage weight allowance. SA Tourism is attempting to entice the traders to spend some time in Johannesburg too.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage