Entries tagged with “Ataraxia”.


The 33rd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction held at Spier yesterday raised R13,2 million, and set a new record price for red wine, Kaapzicht Estate The Ultimate Vision Red Blend 2015 made by Danie Steytler, achieving R16600 for a case of six.  (more…)

imageAt the presentation of the 2016 Prescient Chardonnay Report at SMITH Studio on Wednesday afternoon, Winemag.co.za Editor Christian Eedes said that South African Chardonnay at the top end had ‘never looked so good‘! The number of awards presented to Chardonnay wines scoring 90 or more out of a quality score of 100 points was testimony to his enthusiasm about the category.

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imageThe judges for the Prescient Chardonnay Report 2015 found that the sixty Chardonnays that they evaluated were so superb, that they acknowledged all 29 wines that scored 90 and more points.

The 5th Chardonnay Report 90+ score winners event was held at MOMA on Buitengracht Street, a spacious if not noisy gallery filled with works of (more…)

Cape Winemaker Guild bottleThe 31st Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction 2015 held at the Spier Conference Centre today achieved almost the same total as last year, at R11,8 million, despite 264 fewer cases having been sold today. Record prices for red and white wines were achieved, with an increase in the average price per case of 10%. The average price per case was R4599, or R767 per bottle. The 2015 revenue generated by the Auction was about R 100000 lower than that of 2014.

The 55 wines sold at the Auction today were 34 red wines, 17 white wines, 3 Méthode Cap Classique, and a dessert wine. The highest price achieved at the Auction was for the Kanonkop CWG (more…)

Cape Winemaker Guild IMG-135 hrTo give wine lovers a taste of the excellent quality of wines to be sold at the 31st Cape Winemakers Guild Auction at the Spier Conference Centre on 3 October, a tasting of the 55 wines takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre tonight.

The focus of the Cape Winemakers Guild auctions is quality-crafted wines made by the select group of winemakers who form part of the elite Guild. Each of them makes a wine specifically for the Auction, and is branded and labeled as such. This year 34 red wines, 17 white wines, 3 Méthode Cap Classiques, and one straw wine will be auctioned, and available for pre-tasting, representing a total of (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Commonwealth Fencing Junior Championships for fencers under the age of 20, and inaugural Commonwealth Fencing Cadet Championships for under-seventeens started at UCT on Saturday, and runs until 17 July. Cape Town is the first host of the championships, in which 14 nations are participating, including a Western Cape team, according to a newsletter received from the City of Cape Town.

*   Little Havana in Umhlanga Rocks has won The Wolftrap (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Cape Town International Jazz Festival blows its first notes from 17h00 tomorrow, with a free community concert on Greenmarket Square.  Shakatak is the biggest name group, while Tasha’s World and Good Hope FM DJ Luwayne Wonder will also be seen on the stage.  Burg and Longmarket Streets near Greenmarket Square will be closed all of tomorrow and part of Thursday. (received via media release from espAfrika)

*   Durban’s ‘crime and grime’ deters tourism to the city, and could be the reason why the number of tourists to KwaZulu-Natal has declined for three years running, according to the province’s tour operators.  The poor economic climate, the crime rate, the lack of unique tourist attractions, and the lack of cleanliness all put tourists off visiting.  Durban’s head of tourism, Philip Sithole, disagrees, saying that the city’s tourism numbers are increasing, compared to the provincial decline!  Passenger numbers at King Shaka International as well as road traffic arrivals have declined, but the tourist spend has increased.  Tourists are said to fear walking on the Durban beachfront at night.

*   The House of JC le Roux is pairing its three MCCs with home-made chocolate Easter eggs from 14 April onwards.  Their Pinot Noir Rosé  2009 will be paired with a milk chocolate egg with a rose infused truffle filling;  the La Vallée NV is paired with Belgian (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Good news is that the UK travel industry is seeing the first signs of recovery, after two years of a ‘meltdown‘, which severely affected the Western Cape tourism industry too!

*   One third of active American travelers travel with a smart phone and a tablet, and are an important market to watch for trends, now called the ‘Digital Elite’!

*   Ataraxia Serenity 2008 was the best selling wine at the recent Free State FNB Wine Show. (via media release from Ataraxia)

*   Sarah Baker of Wild Peacock Emporium has moved to the wholesale division of Wild Peacock, focusing on the supply of artisanal boutique cheeses.

*   French wine estate owners are being warned against fraudulent (more…)

Seafood at The Marine interior Whale Cottage PortfolioAfter seeing a Tweet by The Collection by Liz McGrath Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff about the new interior of SeaFood at The Marine earlier this week, I decided to lunch there yesterday, being in Hermanus for the day.  It was a most disappointing experience, given the five star and Relais & Chateaux status of the hotel.

The Marine hotel has a long heritage and was bought by Mrs McGrath a number of years ago. and sat on its own on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay, technically a magnificent location, but little is made of the beautiful view.  A recent flurry of development across the road from the hotel has given it a lift.  Mrs McGrath appears to be like Le Quartier Français owner Susan Huxter who renovates her establishment annually.  Mrs McGrath did the latest interior design of SeaFood at The Marine, her staff told me.  The colour scheme now is grey, with grey chairs, grey tables, and grey (more…)

Hermanus is synonymous with the annual Whale Festival.  This year it is laying on a 10-day Hermanus FynArts festival, a feast of the visual arts, classical music, jazz, literature, wines, and gourmet food, a fusion of Art Festival and Winter School in a town that has long been known for being home to many leading artists. It will run from 7 – 16 June.

Over the ten days entertainment will be offered over the two weekends, while on weekdays one can attend courses and workshops on photography, ceramics, painting, drawing, writing, cooking, and viticulture.  Top sculptor Dylan Lewis will exhibit his work outside the Marine Hotel and will host a talk about his work, interviewed by leading writer Christopher Hope, one of the co-founders of the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Land sculptor Strijdom van der Merwe, and co-owner of Stellenbosch restaurant Casparus, will host a photographic exhibition of his work, with a talk.  Guy du Toit’s ‘Talking Hares’ will be on show at Sumaridge wine estate. Jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, photography and film will be exhibited.  Ceramicists include Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, and Tania Babb, with Ardmore Ceramics exhibiting at the Marine Hotel.  A National Art Competition will run alongside the festival, sponsored by the SA National Space Agency.  A talk will focus on JH Pierneef, one of our country’s best artists ever.

Vintage South African movies will be screened, as well as classic Hollywood movies, in the Romantiques vintage shop.

A number of the wine farms on the impressive Hermanus Wine Route (including Hamilton Russell, Creation, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, La Vierge, and Bouchard Finlayson), as well as the art galleries in the town will host an art exhibition, and will offer special events.   During the festival, concerts will take place at lunchtimes in the Anglican Church; high teas will be available at the town’s coffee shops at 15h00 each day; wine tasting and food and wine pairing can be enjoyed on the wine farms and at the town’s restaurants, with Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris and Eat Out Top 10 Chef Peter Tempelhoff cooking a dinner on 7 June; guided walks in Fernkloof nature reserve will be offered; and one can enjoy a ‘virtual tour‘ of South African wines.

The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform in the Hawston Hall in celebration of Youth Day, and UCT Head of the Opera School Professor Angelo Gobbato will talk about opera, and one of his talks will focus on ‘Celebrating Verdi’. There will be opera recitals too, including by Gobbato!  Singer Zanne Stapelberg and Kathleen Tagg (South African pianist now based in New York) will perform ‘Soul of Fire’.  Well-loved conductor Richard Cock will be in attendance, and the baroque Camerata Tinta Barocca will perform.

To allow a feast of ‘fine living’ without concern for drinking and driving, a hop-on hop-off bus will take festival goers to the wine estates as well as to the venues in the town.  Booking opens today.

Hermanus FynArts 2013. Hermanus Tourism Bureau.  www.hermanusfynarts.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage