The first Malbec Festival to celebrate a lesser-drunk cultivar in our country is to be hosted by the Benguela Cove Wine Estate outside Hermanus on 18 April 2020. Malbec lags other more popular cultivars in the Cape wine region, but put Mendoza in Argentina on the world wine map. Continue reading →
Attending a Tour Guiding course this week, one of our topics was the South African Wine Industry, taught to us by winemaker and consultant Pieter de Waal of Hermit on the Hill. Generously he gifted me the latest The South African Wine Industry Directory 2020, a publication which I have never seen. I have extracted some key information from the publication below. Continue reading →
In August last year I spent four days in Santiago in Chili, visiting two sets of friends. I tasted some of the good Chilean wines, and even went on a wine tour in the Casablanca Valley outside Santiago. To prepare myself for the wine tour, I read up about the Chilean wine industry. Continue reading →
I had no plans to visit Santiago in Chile. The Chileans are very friendly, maybe a little like South Africans. Two Chilean couples I met on my trip, unrelated to each other, invited me to come and visit them in their city, and stay over. As I only had four days in Chile before a last day in Buenos Aires, at the end of my trip, I split the visits into two two-day stays. I am so happy I took up their invitations, getting to know more about their wine industry, and being able to eat at Boragó, the 26th Best Restaurant in the world! Continue reading →
On my trip to Cuba and South America in our winter 2019, I had tremendous luck in the top international restaurants I was able to get a table to eat at, not planned as part of my trip initially, but just evolving during my travels, and often booked at very short notice. One of the most disappointing dining experience relative to its 26th rank on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list was at Boragó (meaning Borage) in Santiago in Chile, at the end of August. Continue reading →
Hermanus, and neighbouring towns in the Cape Whale Coast region, has recently been named the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) City of Gastronomy, in a bid led by Darryl David, surprisingly from KwaZulu-Natal. Hermanus takes its place alongside top international cities of Gastronomy, such as Parma, Italy; San Antonio in the USA; Phuket, Thailand; and Bergen, Norway.
On Friday evening I attended the launch of the 40th edition of the Diners Club International 2020 South African Wine Guide, at the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront, an event that is pretty much the same in format every year, yet was different this year, in the interest of making the event shorter.
More than 8000 wines from more than 900 producers were rated for the 2020 Platter’s Wine Guide edition. Of the 125 5-star wines awarded, 26 went to Chenin Blanc brands, 18 to Shiraz/Syrah, and 11 to Chardonnay brands.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the A4 Arts Foundation, which I discovered on Buitenkant Street whilst going for a walk near The Fugard theatre last night. Despite being past 19h00, I was allowed to enter to view the exhibition, and then was offered a glass of Boschendal red wine as well as a bag of popcorn, a generous way to kill time whilst I was waiting for the show to start. The staff were very friendly and the exhibition impressive. The Foundation website describes it as ‘a free to public not-for-profit laboratory for the arts of Southern Africa’. Continue reading →
On Saturday I attended the opening of the new Art Gallery and Sculpture Park at Benguela Cove outside Hermanus, with 40 sculptures by master sculptor Anton Smit spread around the wine and residential housing estate. The local Sculpture Park flows from a collaboration between Smit and Benguela Collection owner Penny Streeter to create a Sculpture Park at its Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in the UK. Continue reading →
Last week I joined Steenberg Public Relations Consultant Gudrun Clark for lunch at the recently opened Tryn restaurant, in the transformed space that was the home of Catharina’s at Steenberg for twenty years. Tryn was the nickname of founder owner Catharina Ras. Its Kitchen is now headed up by Chef Kerry Kilpin, who has been in charge of Bistro Sixteen82, also at Steenberg, for the past five years. Catharina’s has been transformed, renamed, and modernised, to bring her into the 21st century. The restaurant transformation was accompanied by a major renovation of the Steenberg Hotel. Continue reading →