Entries tagged with “Chris von Ulmestein”.


Cape Wine Logo (LR)CapeWine 2015 is not just about tasting wine, and meeting the passionate wine makers, but it is also educational, with a series of seminars which have been offered in the Amorim Speakers Corner, which have included wine tastings too.

Each of the seminars are only half an hour long, meaning that speaking is concentrated to 15 minutes and the tasting equally long. Each  winemaker represented wines of a number of wine colleagues, and was not just promoting his own wines. Seating was (more…)

Bocca Interior Whale CottageThe opening of Bocca (meaning ‘mouth’ in Italian) Restaurant on Bree Street was eagerly awaited, having been held up by a last piece of paper to be approved by the City of Cape Town.  Three weeks after opening the Italian-style restaurant, seating about 90, is packed to the rafters, doing more than 200 covers per day most days.  Following a lunch last week, waiting for a car repair a block away, I enjoyed a special lunch with tastes of a number of the dishes on the Bocca menu on Tuesday.  The restaurant had been introduced to me in August already.

I was invited by Five Star PR owner Janie van der Spuy, with freelancer writers Jenny Handley and Bianca Coleman, Mail and Guardian‘s Amit Raz and Brent Meersman, and Katharine Jacobs of Eat Out.   We were joined by co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, who opened Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill in 2012.   Having bought two pizza ovens from Naples when they opened Burrata,  it was a long-term plan to open a second pizza restaurant in CapeBocca Neil Grant Whale Cottage Town. Pizzas bake at  a temperature of up to 485°C.  The two owners looked at a number of properties in the city centre, but the unusual venue on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets grew on them, allowing them space to add a mezzanine level, as well as an outside deck, which is already a hit, and attracts attention from passers-by. More space is available if they need more in future. Bocca is the only pizza restaurant on Bree Street. Natural oak wooden slats have been used throughout, from the exterior cladding, to steps into the restaurant, on the deck, and inside the restaurant, on its walls, and serving as banisters on the metal staircase, giving an (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected total international passenger numbers at 7,3 billion by 2034, an annual growth rate of 4% per annum, and a doubling of current passenger numbers.  China is expected to overtake the USA in having the largest number of passengers by 2030.  India, Indonesia, and Brazil are projected to have the third, fourth, and fifth largest passenger numbers, respectively.

*  The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) FNB Tourism Business Index for the 3rd quarter of this year is 105, an improvement on the second quarter, but markedly lower than the index range of 112 – 116 measured in the 3rd quarter a year ago, the 4th quarter of 2013, and the first quarter of this year. An Index of 110 is projected for the 4th quarter.

*   SAA has lost four non-executive Board members and one Board member in the past week, which expresses the (more…)

Chenin Blanc Top 10 Logo Whale CottageThe inaugural Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge winners were announced yesterday at a cosy function on a wet Winelands day at the ever smart Delaire Graff.  The function and competition, combined with the recent three-year sponsorship by Standard Bank of the Chenin Blanc Challenge, are giving Chenin Blanc the recognition it deserves, said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association.  ‘Chenin Blanc is a wine whose time has come’, he said,Chenin Blanc Top 10 Ken Forrester Whale Cottage adding that ‘Chenin Blanc is THE white wine of South Africa‘!

A total of 126 wines was entered for the Challenge, and assessed blind by a panel of judges which included chairman Christian Eedes, Jamie Goode, Alan Mullins, Carrie Adams, and Higgo Jacobs. Interviews were conducted with the judges,  Allan Mullins of Woolworths saying that Chenin Blanc has been underrated for so long. He lauded Standard Bank for the support of the competition, and as Chenin Blanc drinks so well, it should be drunk by all.  It is a gem of a wine variety, and ranges in price between R25 – R 300 in retail outlets.   British wine writer Jamie Goode said that our country has a variety of Chenin Blanc styles, ‘ranging from the ‘VW Beetle to a ‘Rolls Royce’! Eedes said that he was honoured to chair the judging panel, and while he may be ‘shot down‘ for the results, having the auditors made the results indisputable. Out of the wine (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Pinot Noir producers in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley are hosting their second Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration at Bona Dea Estate on 30 and 31 January, with only 150 tickets available for the event.  The key-note dinner speaker will be Norman Hardie, regarded as Canada’s best Pinot Noir producer. (received via e-mail from Hamilton Russell Vineyards)

*   South Africa has the lowest transport costs compared to 50 other countries, according to GoEuro’s Transportation Price Index.  For air travel our country ranked third cheapest, while our costs of train travel ranked cheapest of all countries.

*   Cape Town has been appointed for the second time as Official Host City for World (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Good news for our local tourism is the updated forecast of the economic growth of the UK, now at 3,2%, for 2014, the highest growth of all developed countries!   The UK was once the most important tourism source for Cape Town.

*   five hundred at The Saxon is the only South African restaurant to be included in Huffington Post‘s international list of Best New Chef”s Tables, praised for its six course Tasting Menu, each course prepared by Chef David Higgs paired with Ruinart champagne.  Cost is R4900.

*   We are delighted to have been included in the 100 Africa Travel Experts on Twitter list.

*   Wesgro has released a video to promote Cape Town and the Western Cape, with a host of activities locals and visitors (more…)

TourismIt was a shock to see that, after a steady improvement in Tourism Confidence in the past few quarters, it has done an about-turn and declined in the second quarter of this year, as reflected in the latest reading of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index.

The Tourism Business Index measured 94.7 for the past three months, below the normal average of 100, and far below the 112,4 reading of the first quarter of this year.   Whilst the forecast for the second quarter Tourism Index in the first quarter was 103, actual confidence was ten points lower than expected.  The lower Tourism Index is attributed to travel agents, transport operators, and conference centres, a far more pessimistic tourism segment, in that its average Index was only 86,2, an extreme contrast to the Accommodation segment, which more optimistically measured 105,8.

The Tourism Business Council expressed its concern about the obstacles to the growth in the Tourism industry, including (more…)

Platter's South African Wine Guide 2014 'Aquamarine' EditionSlowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago.  Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.

For the first time Platter’s has advertised!  Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too.   The advertisementPlatter ad Whale Cottage bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club!  The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been  the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide.  Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required.  Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’.  The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘!  One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career!  More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! (more…)