* The first ever Canadian Braai Day will be held in Toronto on 21 September, to celebrate our South African heritage and wine culture, sponsored by Two Oceans and Nederburg wines.
* The 2013 Champagne vintage could become as good as the legendary 1996, early analyses indicate.
* The Northern Cape is the province with the second highest revenue derived from Hunting Tourism, earning it R 398 million per year, with a strong interest from Spanish, Danish, and American hunters.
* ‘Sell stories, don’t sell wine‘ said 1WineDude American blogger Joe Roberts in his keynote address at the Nederburg Wine Auction on Saturday!
* Food and drink tourism is a growth trend and the largest niche travel sector, Scotland, Spain, France, Italy, and Sweden having benefitted from it already. Peru and Ecuador are likely to follow suit.
* The concept of the ‘Beautiful South’ tasting of South African, Chilean, and Argentinian wines in London on 11 and 12 September is praised.
* The Olympic Games 2020 will be held in Tokyo. (via ZDF TV News)
* Airline passengers would rather have wifi on board than more legroom or peanuts, a study conducted for in-flight wifi supplier Honeywell has found.
* A SAB World of Beer National Craft Brewers’ Championship has been announced, open to all South African craft breweries. The championships recognise the growth in craft beers, and their contribution to the culture of beer drinking!
* To celebrate Arbor Month the City of Cape Town is planting 500 trees in September.
* The Nederburg Auction raised over R4 million in sales, almost double its 2012 tally. Regarded as ‘South Africa’s premier fine wine auction’ by Michael Fridjhon, lowering the volumes sold by evaluating the suitability of the wines via a tasting panel paid off, according to Nederburg’s auction manager Dalene Steyn. The highest price paid was R22000 for three bottles of Zonnebloem Cabernet 1973 by a Nigerian bidder, R17000 paid for a case of six Monis Collectors Port (Double Stamp Collection) 1948, R8 500 paid for six bottles of Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, and R7 000 paid for one case of six De Krans Vintage Reserve Port 1993. Sales to African bidders represented 29% of the Auction income, while that to United Arab Emirates bidders was 5%.
* More than 350 whales and dolphins could die off the USA coastline in the next five years due to that country’s bomb testing and sonar use.
* The Bruwer family of Bon Courage will be celebrating its 30th anniversary later this year. In October 1983 André Bruwer changed the farm’s name from Goedemoed to the French translation, ‘Bon Courage’, in honour of their French ancestors. The first Bruwer ancestors bought the farm in 1927. The wine estate won Best Producer Awards at both the 2013 Novare SA Terroir Awards and the SA National Young Wine Show. (via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants)
* The Top 10 UK restaurants in the 2014 Good Food Guide have been announced:
1. L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
2. The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire
3. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall
4. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
5. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
6. Pollen Street Social, London
7. Hibiscus, London
8. The Square, London
9. The Ledbury, London
10. Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage