* Brazilian hotels have been found to be up to five times more expensive than normal, and FIFA accommodation booking agency MATCH has been blamed for excessive accommodation pricing for the 2014 World Cup, with average accommodation prices twice as expensive as those in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
* Durbanville wine estate Diemersdal has won top prize at the South African Young Wine Show for best current vintage wine, a competition which attracted more than 2000 entries. Thys Louw of Diemersdal is the proud recipient of the General Smuts Trophy, and they were also crowned the Champion Sauvignon Blanc. The Louw family has been farming at Diemersdal for six generations. Bon Courage won the Pietman Hugo trophy for achieving the highest score for the best five wines entered, and winning SA Champion Dessert Wine for their Red Jerepigo, SA Champion Natural Sweet White Wine, and the SA Champion Noble Late Harvest. The Namaqua Wines’ Pinotage won the SA Champion Pinotage; Perdeberg Winery’s Pinotage/Mourvedre/Petit Verdot won SA Champion Red Blend; Spier Wines won the SA Champion Shiraz; Flagstone Winery won SA Champion Cabernet Sauvignon; Botha Cellar won SA Champion Merlot; Alto’s Cabernet Franc won SA Champion Other Red Cultivar; KWV’s Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon won SA Champion White Blend trophy; Alvi’s Drift Wines International won SA Champion Chenin Blanc; David Nieuwoudt’s Sémillon from the Ghost Corner range won SA Champion Sémillon; Goudini Wine Cellar won SA Champion Chardonnay; Merwida Cellar’s Novelle won SA Champion Other White Cultivar; The Boplaas Family Vineyards Vintage Port won SA Champion Port; and Allesverloren Red Muscadel Jerepigo won SA Champion Muscadel.
* The 7th edition of ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson will be launched in October, both as a conventional book as well as for the first time as an e-book. The Swartland has been included for the first time, as have Ningxia in China, Croatia, and Canterbury in New Zealand.
* Mango is commencing flights between Johannesburg and George from 18 November.
* Recent airfare surcharges due to rising fuel costs and exchange rates are temporary, says IATA (International Air Transport Association), and should decline again.
* A R5,8 million project to kickstart employment of young persons and to help increase the number of artisans in our province has been launched by Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism, Alan Winde. The pilot phase of the Artisan Development Programme will assist 200 young people with theoretical knowledge of artisanship but not yet employed, in completing their in-service training at any of 72 companies, in order to write the National Trade Test and become fully qualified. Minister Winde said: ‘The lack of artisans in our region could have a devastating impact on our economy down the line as artisans play a crucial role in the delivery of services, especially in engineering trades. At present, the average age of artisans is 55 years old. This means that within the decade, artisanship will become a really scarce skill. If we do not have enough artisans to meet the demands of business, business will go elsewhere‘. (via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage