* On Freedom Day President Jacob Zuma bestowed a number of awards upon South Africans as well as some international recipients, for their contribution to our country. Sadly many of the awards were made posthumously. The recipients included Caster Semenya (Bronze Order of Ikhamanga), Cameron van der Burgh (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Fanie van der Merwe (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Zakes Mda (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Sandra Prinsloo (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Raymond Ackerman (Silver Order of the Baobab), Chris Ball (Silver Order of the Baobab), Alex Boraine (Silver Order of the Baobab), Frederick van Zyl Slabbert (Silver, Order of the Baobab, posthumous), Lord Richard Attenborough (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo), Danny Glover (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo), and Quincy Jones (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo).
* American tour operators are seeing a shift of bookings to South Africa, due to the weak Rand, comparing the cost of a top end ‘five star’ meal in our country to the price one would pay for a meal at McDonalds in the USA, and praising the price of the good value ‘world class wines’ locally compared to those from Napa.
* Express in the UK praises Cape Town’s scenery, its beaches, as well as ‘sensational wines and innovative chefs’, with the headline ‘Dining on Cape Town’s cutting-edge food’. The article profiles include The Bungalow, The Test Kitchen, The Greenhouse, and Skinny Legs & All.
* ‘Chenin Blanc is not – yet – a household name among wine-grape varieties. But it’s getting there‘, writes The Western Express, focusing mainly on Chenin Blancs in France. South African Chenin Blanc is seen to be our ‘national white grape’, making a different tasting wine compared to that from France, ‘and sometimes extremely good’!
* Indaba is likely to see 3000 buyers attend this year, and more than 6000 attendees, and 200 exhibitor stands. Africa’s major travel exhibition is running from 10 – 12 May in Durban.
* A South African wine tasting event on Thursday, accompanied with food pairing, was attended by an estimated 245 persons at Zachys Wine & Liquor in Scarsdale, New York. A Zachys’ representative said: ‘most people know about South African wines but may not have a lot of experience with them‘, which is why they hosted the event.
* More Shiraz grapes were used in red wine making than any other cultivar last year, writes The Telegraph. The Shiraz wines from the Swartland, made by Eben Sadie, the Mullineuxs, and Adi Badenhorst, are praised in particular, but La Motte, Radford Dale, Thelema, Reyneke, Bellingham’s Bernhard Series, and DeMorgenzon are also praised for making ‘South Africa’s latest hit‘.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage