Entries tagged with “fynbos”.


Yesterday I attended a Tutored Tasting of some of our country’s exceptional wines, which had in common that they were made from vines many decades old. The Tasting was led by South Africa’s leading expert on Old Vines, Rosa Kruger being a passionate pioneer for the preservation of our country’s vintage vines.  (more…)

On Tuesday evening we were exposed to Vondeling wines, three wines of which we tasted two vintages each. The tasting was led by Jane Eedes, heading up Vondeling  Sales & Marketing.  At the tasting OpenWine owners Marta Gobbo and Raphael Paterniti announced that the regular Tuesday tastings will be placed on hold for a while.  (more…)

imageOn Saturday evening I was invited by Chef Matt Manning to attend the One Ingredient dinner, each of the magical five courses containing mushrooms, and each course paired with Vondeling wines. The highlight was the use of porcini in the dessert! (more…)

Hermanus FynArtsI did a quick visit to Hermanus yesterday, and at a stop at Rivendell Restaurant, between Bot River and Hermanus, I was told that Chef Thomas Sinn was coming back from his overseas holiday especially to participate in a super-sounding feast, for which he is one of eight chefs cooking on Monday evening. The staff brought a copy of the programme, and I could not believe what the organisers have planned for the 11-day Festival, ‘A Celebration of South African Arts’ its 80-page Festival brochure proudly proclaims!

The programme consists of different themes: (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index reflects that the tourism industry is improving, with a score of 108 for the last quarter of 2014. A score of 100 is the norm.  The Accommodation sector did even better, with an Index of 113, despite the impact of Ebola, and the Immigration Regulation changes introduced late last year.  ‘Other Tourism‘ (e.g. transport, food and beverage) scored 104, lower than had been forecast for the quarter.  The exchange rate has played a role in the improving Index.  For the first quarter of this year an average Index of about 102 is expected.

*   The Cape Winelands is experiencing its earliest harvest in 49 years, having started very early in the new year, almost a month earlier than last year.  VinPro explains that three perfect winters with enough cold and sufficient rain, combined with an unusually warmer August, has led to the earlier harvest.  A smaller harvest is expected this year, but is expected to be of a good quality.  Winemakers are facing a challenge in their cellars in that many cultivars are ripening almost at the same time.

*   Cycling in Cape Town is one of the best ways to see our city, writes the Los Angeles Times, describing (more…)

Woolworths Good Food News Front page Whale CottageWe wrote recently how Woolworths has been misleading consumers with claims about its Ayrshire milk, deceiving food labelling, and how it tries to create an image of healthy produce via its ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa‘ series on SABC3. The group Grass Consumer Food Action has been persistent in its criticism of Woolworths, and appears to have hit a raw nerve in the Good Business Journey division at Woolworths, the retailer having launched a brand new ‘Good Food News‘ 16-page insert in the Sunday Times yesterday! It looks like a Taste magazine (the Woolworths sponsored magazine published by New Media Publishing) but printed in Tabloid format on recycled paper!

While the Tabloid has ‘headlines’ on page 1, to attract one’s attention to the content, it consists of a mix of ‘advertorials’ of its award-winning wines (since when are wines a food, as per the name of the publication?) in ‘Crowned as the best‘; ‘responsibly sourced‘ fish;  braai suggestions for ‘Ready Steady Braai’; and ‘Flavours of Home‘ (preparedWoolworths Good Food News Responsible Sourcing Whale Cottage foods with strong spices such as curries, and traditional foods such as koeksisters and milk tart); as well as editorial. It is obviously planned as a monthly insert, numbered ‘Issue 01′, and dated September 2014.  The focus of the first issue is ‘lovelocal‘:

*   ‘New on the shelf‘ (page 3) showcases new pack designs for wine boxes, braai tins, braai marinade, braai (more…)

Hayden Quinn Hermanus old harbourHayden Quinn: South Africa’ focused on the Overberg last night, visiting Hermanus and Stanford, as well as Elgin, but this was not mentioned, being described as being just outside Hermanus!  It was a whale of an episode highlighting the Southern Right whale visitors, the sustainable apple and pear farming in Elgin, and Marianna’s sustainable restaurant in Stanford.  No mention was made however of Hermanus’ produce nor its world-renowned wines in the Hemel en Aarde Valley!

Hayden raved about the Southern Right whales, which visit  Hermanus’ Walker Bay from July, he said incorrectly (they arrive from the Antarctic from May onwards) until early December.  On the Facebook page of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa it is incorrectly claimed that Hermanus is the ‘Whale Watching Capital of the World‘, copywriting nonsense.  Hermanus is however known as the offering the best land-based whale watching in the world, which is something different, and Hayden did say words to this effect in the episode!

To add some real adventure to his visit to Hermanus, Forest Adventures’ Clinton Lerm (infamous for wanting to change the name of the village to ‘Lermanus when his family tried to take over the tourism management of the town, to their own (more…)

Analjit Singh 2Indian businessman Analjit Singh has made a substantial investment in Franschhoek, buying three wine farms and a guest house. Last year Mr Singh bought a share in Mullineux Wines, now called Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.

In Franschhoek Mr Singh has bought the wine estates Von Ortloff, Dieu Donné, and the neighbouring Dassenberg, which will be consolidated into Leeu Dassenberg Estates.  Fynbos is to be planted and alien vegetation to be removed.  This will become the foundation for  a new luxury boutique hotel, a spa, a winery, and a wine tasting facility, which will be run under the guidance of General Manager Matthew Smith.

Mr Singh has also bought the Rusthof guest house on the top of main road inRusthof Franschhoek, which will change its name to Leeu Rusthof Country Inn when it re-opens in summer, after refurbishments commence in July.

Mr Singh’s hospitality and property interests and new developments will be looked after for him by Hector de Galard.  Mr Singh founded The Max India Group, which has interests in life insurance, health insurance, and health care.  His local business investments have been made in his personal capacity, and he is using the ‘Leeu’ name, given that his surname means ‘lion’ in Sanskrit.  He first came to our country during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and investigated investments at that time already.  This led to his (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The financially struggling SAA is losing even more money to interest on loans for its new fleet, which it cannot receive delivery of as Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi  Gigaba has rejected the proposal for not meeting the infrastructure development policies!

*   The KWV wine range has featured in The China Post, the year of its establishment being the same as the year of the late Nelson Mandela’s birth.

*   Three Ships is running a Facebook campaign from 13 March, awarding 300 bottles  of 5 Year Old Premium Select whisky live every second, within 5 minutes, to its loyal customers who know their whisky brand.  Fifteen questions have to be answered about Three Ships within 5 minutes.  A 10-day run up to the competition will provide background information to the Three Ships brand and to its distillery James Sedgwick.  (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   The last Stellenbosch Street Soiree this summer takes place on 12 March, from 18h00 – 20h00, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A new (yellow) frame for Table Mountain has been erected at Bloubergstrand, to showcase Cape Town’s icon for tourists and locals wishing to get a perfect picture, and to tie in with Cape Town hosting the World Design Capital 2014.

*   In what many see as surprise news, Facebook will buy WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp has 450 million users, growing by 1 million a day.  It is attractive to Facebook in reaching a younger audience and to improve its mobile communication reach.

*   Constantia Fresh Fine Wine and Food Festival will be held this weekend.  On Saturday 22/2 wines from Constantia can be tasted as can be canapés prepared by Chefs Brad Ball from Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82, Bertus Basson from Overture, Edgar Osojnik from Buitenverwachting, and Peter Tempelhoff  from The McGrath Collection, all available at Buitenverwachting, from 15h00 – 20h00.  The cost is R400 and tickets can be booked via Webtickets. Tomorrow a themed tasting will be held by Jörg Pfützner, from 18h00 – 19h30, at R990 per person.  The Annual Constantia Fresh Dinner will be held tomorrow at Klein Constantia, and will be cooked by Chef Bertus Basson. Cost is R990.

*   The Cape Winemakers Guild has put together an amazing auction lot for the AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which will be held at Delaire Graff on 15 March.  The lot includes (more…)