* The 2015 Global Finals of Diageo Reserve’s World Class Best Mixologist competition will be held in Cape Town next September, it has been announced in London, where the 2014 Global Finals have just ended, with 48 competitors. Mayor Patricia de Lille expressed her delight at the announcement: ‘As the City of Cape Town we welcome the Global Finals as another addition to our events calendar as part of our efforts to secure Cape Town as the events capital of Africa. The Global Finals have been hosted by many major cities in the world and Cape Town is proud to be ranked among the best in the world. We look forward to hosting the many dynamic talents that will take part in the event’. Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, accepted the announcement in London on behalf of Cape Town. Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Vice President Commercial of Diageo Reserve, said about the 2015 city choice: ‘WORLD CLASS™ is all about anticipating trends, being at the forefront of fine drinking culture and always looking for new and exciting innovations in our industry. These are the key criteria we look at when we select the location of the Global Finals. Africa ticks all these boxes and more; it is a booming and ever-changing continent and we see it as a new frontier with huge potential. When we bring the WORLD CLASS™ global final to a location, it has the ability to fundamentally step change the fine drinking scene and we strongly believe this will be the case in 2015‘. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The most hard-hitting criticism we have read about the new Immigration Regulations is an editorial from Southern African Tourism Update, which refers to the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba as ‘Tourism Terminator’! The editorial states that South African tourism is sure to feel the impact of this fiasco, with first tour group cancellations, as international media and travel agents do not recommend countries receiving ‘bad press’! Tourists not requiring visas (see list) to our country would be exempt from the regulations. Thankfully these include almost all countries in Europe, including the UK, as well as the USA, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, and Argentina. The Department of Home Affairs hopes to have Biometric measurement facilities in place in all South African missions by 1 October! The problem is the sufficiency of such centres, India and China only having two each, compared to Australia’s ten each! The editorial expects the impact of the Immigration Regulation fiasco to be felt in 2015.
* Overhex Wines International founder and MD Gerhard van der Wath is handing over his position to Gert van Wyk, previously of VINPRO, but will remain as its Executive Chairman. Highly regarded winemaker Jean Daneel has been appointed as the advisory winemaker, responsible for its blends, working with Natalie Malan, who has been promoted to Operational Director, with four winemakers reporting to her. The company is one of the top exporters of wines, available in 33 countries, and increasingly its portfolio is Fairtrade certified. (received via media release from Waterford Communication)
* The Blaauwklippen Blending Competition, now in its 31st year, received 99 entries. The 7 finalist teams which are in the running to win the competition on 17 October are: Baronne Wynklub, Pretoria; Bonza Bay Winos, East London; Oude Molen Wynkring, Potchefstroom; Vaal Ja-Pe Wynproe Groep, Pretoria; Versapper, Centurion; Weskus Wyngilde, Vredenburg; and Wine 101, Pretoria. (received via media release from Waterford Communications)
* Professor Tim Noakes will visit Hermanus on 11 September, and talk Banting. Tickets at The Book Cottage and Whale Coast 96FM. Cost is R75. (received via e-mail from Whale Coast 96FM)