Paarl


The Sweet Service Award goes to Melissa’s, and its Area Manager Mariska Slabbert, who has been extremely efficient and service-orientated in assisting me with the supply of fresh figs, arranging to leave some for me at their Paarl branch, when I recently drove through the town. She also assisted in sourcing stickers which the Kloof Street branch used to sell, but which had been sent to their Stellenbosch branch. She had them sent back, for me to collect, sending me a message that they had arrived.  (more…)

Every week OpenWine introduces the top wines of one of its wine brands, at a tutored tasting on Tuesdays. It is a fantastic way to learn more about a wine estate in an hour. Last night Georgie Prout, Marketing and PR Manager of Glen Carlou, introduced four wines with her Regional Sales Manager colleague Elize Barnard.  (more…)

imageOn Tuesday evening I attended a tasting of four Avondale wines, out of their portfolio of seven wines, at the relatively new Open Wine Taste Pair Shop on Wale Street.

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imageToday I attended an interesting Nederburg event held at MOMA Gallery on Buitengracht Street, to create awareness for new labels for the wines in the Nederburg range, as well as a new TV commercial. The new pay-off line for the brand is ‘There’s always a story (more…)

NEDERBURG NEW LOGOIn launching a multi-million Rand global campaign for Nederburg, the brand has had a make-over, and its new label and packaging are being launched piece-meal, commencing with their 56HUNDRED.

The Nederburg brand crest is far more prominent compared to past label designs, ‘to clearly convey Nederburg’s heritage, pedigree and sophistication, to establish a stronger family resemblance across the range and to amplify shelf stand-out’,  said Carina Gous, head of the Distell luxury brand portfolio into which Nederburg falls.  ‘The redesigned,

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imageThe FNB Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Top 10 wines were announced over a lunch held at Val de Vie today!

Invited guests included the Top 20 Finalists for the awards, and tasting tables had been set up to allow the twenty Finalist wines to be tasted. No one knew who would make the Top 10 list.  A shelf had been set up to display all top twenty (more…)

imageThe 41st Nederburg Rare South African Wine Auction raised a record R6,2 million over the past two days, in what is one of the highlights of the wine industry events calendar. A total of 67 wineries, four being new (Anura, Axe Hill, Bloemendal, Pella) this year, participated in the Auction.

The second highest average price per liter was achieved this year, says Nederburg Auction Manager Dalene Steyn. The trend of last year to achieving premium price continued this year, the largest number of private buyers ever creating strong competitive bidding, with an average price per liter of R576. Record price per liter was achieved for the Fortified, Cap Classique, Port, and Dry White wine categories. UK wine judge Tim Atkin said that our local wines are still undervalued, especially (more…)

Le ChocolatierOne cannot get more notorious than being featured in Noseweek (July 2015 issue), and to have a Facebook group created about one’s business. Such an ‘honour’ has been bestowed upon Daniel Waldis, owner of Le Chocolatier, who has operated in Franschhoek, now in Stellenbosch, and with a factory in Paarl!

I first met Waldis at his restaurant in Franschhoek, after I had written a less than complimentary review of it. He was (more…)

five hundred dishIt was a recent article by Nick Lander, husband of renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson and restaurant critic in the UK, about restaurants in hotels he had visited in Dubai that made me consider once again why hotel restaurants fare so poorly in patron support and in the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant awards in our country.
Lander writes that specific rules about restaurants and liquor licences force restaurants to be linked to hotels in Dubai.  In our country no such rules apply, and as a service to guests, hotels have over the years added dining facilities, in early days being the only restaurants offering tea and cake, and lunch and dunner.  My parents drove us with overseas visitors to Franschhoek’s Swiss Farm Excelsior (now the Le Franschhoek Hotel), the benchmark of restaurants in those years.

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Bertus Basson at SR Interior doilies Whale CottageI received a personal invitation from Chef Bertus Basson to join him for lunch at his new Bertus Basson at Spice Route restaurant, which opened on the Paarl wine farm 6 weeks ago. He and his charming wife Mareli managed to re-invent the restaurant within five days from taking over the space, modernising it to reflect their promise of ‘A Modern South African Restaurant’, both in terms of its decor and its food offeringBertus Basson at SR Bertus Whale Cottage.

A lot has changed at Spice Route, my last visit having been when Charles Back had taken over the wine estate, previously called Seidelberg, next door to his Fairview.  I didn’t have time to see all the artisan businesses which have opened at Spice Route since Back took over, but they include a Richard Bosman charcuterie outlet, with tastings at R30 (a bit cheeky I thought), a wine tasting centre, and Cape Brewing Co, about which I (more…)

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