* Cape Town will host the 14th World Summit of the Noble Peace Prize Laureates from 13 – 15 October, the first time that it will be held in Africa, report the Cape Times and Weekend Argus. A total of 1500 delegates is expected to meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with the topic ‘Peace: living it’. Previous Noble Peace Prize recipients such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa will join FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
* The largest number of international visitors to Cape Town in the third quarter of last year, ranked by figures just released by Wesgro, were from Germany, the USA, the UK, and Italy. Gauteng was the largest source of local visitors, followed by those from other parts of the Western Cape.
* Rio de Janeiro received close to 900000 visitors during the Soccer World Cup, spending $4,4 million, with more than half of the visitors planning to return in two years to attend the 2016 Olympic Games. The city hosted the closing Final, which was viewed by 3 billion TV viewers, and its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer against a sunset was shown during the broadcast, as well as the FIFA Fan Fest on the Copacabana beach. It was a South American World Cup, with 70% of the visitors coming from the continent. Other source countries were the USA, Mexico, France, the UK, and Germany. Average hotel occupancy was 98%, particularly in 5-star hotels. Christ the Redeemer received close to 300000 visitors during the four-week period, four times as many as its highest ever visitor number a year before.
* In an UK article on wines to order to impress a first date, Ken Forrester FMC 2011 is the only South Africa wine of five recommended, mainly because Chenin Blanc is a ‘flagship white grape’ , such a good food pairing wine, and is such a ‘now’ wine. Further motivation for the recommendation is the diversity of styles in which it is made. It refers to Forrester as the ‘King of Chenin Blanc in South Africa‘.
* Highly regarded UK wine writer Robert Joseph has praised the ‘clever‘ marketing by Mike Ratcliffe of Vilafonte, in offering half of its production to the 800 members of its wine club, in sending a regular newsletter, in making a personal call to each club member, in supplying only 22 top restaurants locally, in offering older vintages (e.g. some 2004 has just been released), the quality of the website, and the quality of the wines themselves.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage