* Angola and Nigeria will be the two African countries on which Wines of South Africa (WOSA) will focus its attention, says new CEO Siobhan Thompson
* Jancis Robinson chose two South African cultivars, out of a total of seven, at a New York tasting of ‘unusual grape varieties that typify an ongoing trend in wine to re-visit traditional grapes in their historical homes around the world‘, being Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
* The price of petrol has decreased by 28 cents a liter.
* Huffington Post Travel recommends ten wine destinations around the world, and includes ‘Cape Town’, but elaborates that the Cape Winelands is meant, and Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek in particular. Groot Constantia is recommended for a visit. The other destinations are the Yarra Valley in Australia, Napa and Sonoma in the USA, Okanagan in Canada, Bordeaux in France, Finger Lakes in the USA, Mendoza in Argentina, Willamette Valley in the USA, Tuscany in Italy, and Barcelona in Spain.
* New World wines from New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa make up 30% of world wine exports, states the Morgan Stanley report.
* A bottle made from recycled paper and weighing only 65 gram has been developed in the UK by GreenBottle for American wine brand Truett-Hurst’s Paper Boy, with its label designed by Stranger & Stranger.
* The remaining ownership in Ramsay Media has been sold by the family to Caxton.
* A free new app abuzzWine allows one to buy wines at cellar door prices from one’s smartphone or tablet. Wines are delivered. A number of wines are exclusive to the app. Tasting and technical notes are also available, and details of Wine Clubs one can join are too.
* Another SAA route which may be axed is that between Johannesburg and Mumbai, it not being profitable, largely as it is too expensive for Indian tourists!
* A handful of wine estates have got together to launch a Cellar Door Collection Passport, whereby one pays the tasting fees upfront, and receives wine purchase discounts. For a price of R120, one is entitled to taste for free at eight wineries over a period of six months. The fourteen wineries forming part of the Collection are Nederburg, Plaisir de Merle, Fleur du Cap, Alto, Le Bonheur, Stellenzicht, Uitkyk, Neethlingshof, JC le Roux, Van Ryn’s Distillery, Durbanville Hills, De Oude Drostdy, Klipdrift Distillery, and the Amarula Lapa.
* An American wine blogger praises Graham Beck wines, her first taste of South Africa.
* New Twelve Apostles Executive Chef Christo Pretorius is preparing a 4-course dinner, paired with Bouchard Finlayson wines, on 29 November at Azure restaurant. The cost is R545. (received via media release from FIVE STAR PR)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage