Yesterday I attended the Winemag.co.za 10 Year Wine Awards at Magica Roma in Pinelands, and 19 wines (six white wines, ten red wines, and three fortified wines) scored 90 points or more. Tokara won the most awards, with three of the 19 awards collected by its GM Karl Lambour. Tokara Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2007 and Nuy Muscadel 2007 were the highest scoring wines, at 94 points out of 100. Continue reading →
A number of records were broken last night when 94 wines and one brandy were awarded 5 star status at the launch of the Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2017 at the Table Bay Hotel, a new venue, the event having been held at the Mount Nelson for years. The colour of the 2017 Platter’s Guide is Harvest Green. Continue reading →
Multi-wine and brandy brand company Distell was crowned as top producer at the Veritas Awards Gala Dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday evening, winning two Double Gold and 12 Gold Awards. Distell also won Best Performer by Enry, in the 10+ Entry wine category. A total of 30 Double Gold and 130 Gold awards were awarded to 1760 entries. Continue reading →
Last night KWV was crowned as the king of the wine industry for the fifth year running, winning 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold Awards for its wines, more than any other winemaker. Nederburg (2 Double Golds and 11 Gold Awards) and Spier (2 Double Golds and 8 Gold Awards) followed in second and third place, respectively, awarded at one of the highlights of the wine industry, a function attended by about 400 wine industry staff and media, with their partners. Kanonkop won the Best Performance by Entry title for 10 wines or fewer entered, while KWV won the title for more than 10 wines entered. A total of 57 Double Gold, 157 Gold, 473 Silver, and 662 Bronze medals was awarded. A mix of local and international judges evaluated the entries.
Not only were the wines with their winemakers and related staff celebrated, so too was the 25th anniversary of the Veritas Awards. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing how many women Continue reading →
To 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 Continue reading →
* German competition authorities have reacted strongly against Booking.com, which prohibits accommodation establishments from offering better rates to clients booking with them directly relative to the rate they charge via Booking.com. Action is also being taken against a similar booking site Expedia.com
* The contribution of Tourism to the economy nationally has remained at 2,9% in both 2012 and 2013, reaching a total of R104 billion. Just more than half of the spend was Continue reading →
The 2015 Platter’s Wine Guide was launched at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel last night, in a Beaujolais Ferment colour, with a number of changes in terms of its methodology to evaluate the 5 star wines, as well as in the content of the Wine Guide. Out of 6000 wines submitted for evaluation, a total of 50 wines and one brandy received the highly desired 5 star rating. The Platter’s Winery of the Year is Sadie Family Wines, the second time that Eben Sadie has received this accolade. DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013 was named the White Wine of the Year, and De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012 was named the Red Wine of the Year.
The first Platter’s change is that JP Rossouw has been the new publisher for the past year, looking confident last night, relative to his first more restrained presentation a year ago. It was nice to see former publisher Andrew McDowell Continue reading →
KWV, Spier, and Nederburg are our country’s top three wine estates based on the number of Double Gold and Gold Awards they received at the 2014 Veritas Awards Gala Dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday evening, making up almost half the 51 Double Gold awards. The Veritas Awards are viewed as the ‘Oscars of the South African wine industry‘, with close to 1800 wines entered, a slight decrease on the number of 2013 entries.
KWV was announced as the Best Wine Producer for the fourth year running, and increased its Double Gold awards from four last year to seven this year. KWV also won 2 Double Golds for its Brandy. Spier has greatly enhanced its Veritas performance, with 7 Double Gold awards, compared to only one last year. Nederburg increased its Double Gold tally from four last year to six. Flagstone won Best Performer in the less than 10 wines entered category, and the KWV won in the 11+ wines entered category.
Four wine industry legends Danie de Wet of De Wetshof, Diaan de Villiers, Professor Diko van Zyl (author of historical works on Continue reading →
* Du Toitskloof and Standard Bank are calling for entries for their second Wine Writer of the Year competition, this year linking to Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014. The writing topic for this year is ‘The role and/or history of design in contributing to the uniqueness of the South African wine industry‘, and the entry should not previously have been published. Entries close on 26 September.
* Evelyn Mahlaba has been appointed by SA Tourism as its Director for Africa, responsible for enhancing tourism to our country from East, West, and Central Africa, working with its travel trade in particular.
* Amarula Cream is celebrating its 25th birthday over three months, from October onwards, offering gifts and prizes in competitions. When buying two bottles, one receives R50 back in cash via an ABSA ATM. Independent retailers are offering prizes. Ordering an Amarula birthday drink at participating bars, clubs and restaurant could win a R25000 cash prize. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* The Cape Winemakers Guild has announced the wines each of its members will be offering for tasting (in Cape Town on 21 Continue reading →
On Thursday evening my friend Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht and I attended Fine Brandy Fusion at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, having been invited by Manley Communications. Fine Brandy Fusion is a fine showcase for the local brandy industry, the Bisquit cognac with South African links being our highlight.
At the registration desk we received a goody bag, and a booklet of coupons, to allow us to taste brandy cocktails and taste some of the 50 fine brandies neat. Immediately on entering we passed a smallish restaurant, catered by the Convention Centre kitchen. The food quality of the Convention Centre has been poor at every exhibition attended in the past, but picked up when its new Chef Warwick Thomas arrived a year ago, reaching a new low at World Travel Market Africa last month. I was immediately sceptical, but the food options which were displayed in a refrigerated unit looked better (just from the plating) than I have ever seen there before. We received two food coupons each, which Bettie used for linefish and I ordered tasty calamari rings, Bettie saying that it would be important to line our tummies for the brandy tasting to come. We both ordered a cheese platter as well. The service was excellent and professional, and the prices very reasonable at about R50 each. We felt severely under-dressed when a fashionista wearing fur and her partner shared our table! Continue reading →