Olives


 I am about to leave my second home, Apricus Locanda in the village of Apricale in Italy, close to the French border. I have spent the last thirteen days here, writing SwitchBitch Book 2 here, and recovering from walking the Camino in Northern Spain for three weeks. 

Despite having had the most unbelievable obstacles put in my way by airlines Emirates and Iberia to finally get to Apricale, via train to Ventimiglia, last year and this year, respectively, there is no friendlier and more perfect location for me to have written my first two SwitchBitch books.  (more…)

Yesterday I posted an overview of the Media Visit day we spent in McGregor for Wacky Wine Weekend, my first taste of the wine event covering the Robertson Wine Valley, which continues until the end of today. It is the 14th Wacky Wine Weekend. I was unable to ascertain where the ‘Wacky’ part of the event name comes from! (more…)

I don’t often visit Lifestyle on Kloof, but needed to buy something at Wellness Warehouse yesterday morning, so spent an interesting morning, revisiting the centre, and some of its more quirky shops. My shock surprise was discovering the jam-packed Olive Branch Deli, a ‘Community Grocer‘ which has been in the centre, adjacent to Woolworths, for 18 months already!  (more…)

Open Wine is offering local wine lovers as well as visitors to our city a wonderful service in introducing the wine brands it stocks by means of a one-hour tasting on Tuesday evenings, each tasting being hosted by a different wine brand. Last night the focus was on Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate, not only on its wines but on its olive oils too. (more…)

Olive Oil awards 2016

At the SA Olive Oil Awards held outside Paarl earlier this week, 36 extra virgin olive oils received Gold Awards, while 53 Silver and 11 Bronze medals were awarded.

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imageLast Saturday I was invited to attend the opening of the brand new Paardevlei Farmers Market on the former AECI site, and visited the Lourensford Harvest Market too, which re-opened after a building renovation and winter break. Both markets are in Somerset West, and are owned by two driven, goal-orientated entrepreneurs!

Lourensford Harvest Market

Last Saturday the Lourensford Market re-opened, after a winter and a renovation break. I had never visited (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   South African Rowan Gormley created online retailer Naked Wines in the UK six years ago, and has funded the expansion of his Naked Wines company into the USA and Australia too, via ‘crowdfunding‘.  Called ‘angels‘, investors pay £20 a month, and receive wines at discounted prices.   This year the company plans to invest £70 million in 145 vineyards in 13 countries.  The system is so popular that investors are ‘queuing’ to join.

*   Former suspended SAA CEO Monwabisi Kalawe, once Chairman of Cape Town Tourism, has tendered his resignation and has withdrawn his attempts to be reinstated by the airline.  He will receive a three-month salary (more…)

Biga Exterior Whale CottageWithin 2 minutes of walking into Biga Café, Bakery, and Deli the rudeness of co-owner Hanli Carstenson came to the fore, and this continued from her, magnified by a rude departure ‘greeting‘ from fellow co-owner Glen Herringshaw, when I popped in there yesterday, after visiting the Hermanuspietersfontein market further down the street!

Biga (meaning sourdough starter in Italian, Hanli said) has been open since December, and has taken over the space of former Season, one of the few restaurants in Hermanus which I enjoyed eating at (mainly for its calf’s liver and mash).  It has also taken over some of the space of Hornbill House, an art gallery, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mosaic Team South Africa participating in the World Blind Challenge on 18 October in Champagne against 22 other teams will consist of the winners of the South African Wine Tasting Championship 2014: wine writer Samarie Smith, Chris Groenewald, Lizé Oosthuizen, Ralph Reynolds, and Gavin Whittaker. (received via e-mail from Jean Vincent Ridon)

*   Nominations for the 34th Diners Club Winemaker of the Year (dry white blends) and 14th Young Winemaker of the Year (30 years or younger, producers of red blend) are now open, the winners receiving a flight to the USA for two as well as prize monies of R50000 and R25000, respectively. The winners will be announced in November. (received via media release from African Sky Media)

*   Guinness is targeting its (black) beer at Africa, via a multimedia campaign using artists and performers from Africa, which positions the brand as #madeofblack.

*   The 17 gold medal winners of the SA Olive Awards have been announced in three categories:  in the Delicate (more…)