As writers we are invited to many events. I have attended the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards over a number of years, but none have been as much fun as the one I attended at The Franschhoek Cellar on Thursday! Continue reading →
Last night I attended a tasting of six wines by Cederberg Wines with Altitude at OpenWine on Wale Street. The Wine estate has the highest location above sea level, at 1036m, of all vineyards in the Cape. 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 →
* The Top 5 restaurants based on service in the UK are: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, The Fat Duck in Bray,
Carters in Birmingham. HKK in London, and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London. Perhaps Eat Out could add such an evaluation to its Restaurant Awards?!
* McGrath Collection Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff is opening Mondiall as a Brasserie in the former Green Dolphin Restaurant in the V&A Waterfront on 29 November with Patrick Symington, and Chef Oliver Cattermole as Head Chef. (received via media release from FIVESTAR PR)
* Uma Thurman is the star chosen for the cover picture Continue reading →
* A trade union of European air traffic controllers is threatening to strike at all airports in Europe on 10 October.
* Are the days of the wine sommelier coming to an end? With 100 Master Sommeliers in the USA alone, they are finding it tougher to find jobs, as restaurants move away from fine-dining to more relaxed and informal dining.
* Four South African wines, out of a total of 32, were named International Trophy winners at the 2013 Decanter Wine Awards in London earlier this week, a total of 14000 wines having been entered: Ghost Corner Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (best Sauvignon Blanc over £15), Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh 2012 (best White blend over Continue reading →
* Brazilian hotels have been found to be up to five times more expensive than normal, and FIFA accommodation booking agency MATCH has been blamed for excessive accommodation pricing for the 2014 World Cup, with average accommodation prices twice as expensive as those in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
* Durbanville wine estate Diemersdal has won top prize at the South African Young Wine Show for best current vintage wine, a competition which attracted more than 2000 entries. Thys Louw of Diemersdal is the proud recipient of the General Smuts Trophy, and they were also crowned the Champion Sauvignon Blanc. The Louw family has been farming at Diemersdal for six generations. Bon Courage won the Pietman Hugo trophy for Continue reading →
* 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.
The Hermanus Wine & Food Fair is more low key than similar ones in Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Riebeeck Kasteel. This year the Fair is expanding its reach by putting close to 50 wine producers’ more than 250 wines, from Elgin to Elim and including Hermanus and Stanford, on show over the Women’s Day long weekend, from tomorrow until Sunday, in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village at the entrance to Hermanus. The proceeds of the Fair will go to the nearby Camphill School for children with special needs.
This is the 15th year that the Fair will be staged. The wines on show represent a wine region which has more 4 and 5 star Platter-rated wines than any other in South Africa, says the Fair write-up in Bay.
For the first time an interactive website www.thevine.co.za will allow winelovers attending the show to rate and review the wines they have tasted, and so build up a history of their wine tasting experiences, and share these with other wine lovers. The producers who will present their wines, many of them on the Hermanus Wine Route, are the following: Arumdale, Almenkerk, Ataraxia, Barton, Beaumont Wines, Belfield Wines, Black Oystercatcher, Boschrivier, Bouchard Finlayson, Brunia, Creation, Domaine des Dieux, Feiteiras Wines, Ghost Corner, Henry, Hamilton Russell, Hermanuspietersfontein, Hornbill, Iona, Jakob’s Vineyards, Jean Daneel, La Vierge, Lomond, Newton Johnson, Raka, 7Springs, Southern Right Wines, Spioenkop Wines, Spookfontein, Strandveld & First Sighting, Stanford Hills – Jackson’s, Southhill, Sumaridge, The Berrio, Vaalvlei, Whalehaven, Walker Bay Vineyards, William Everson, Winters Drift, and Zandfontein. Paul du Toit, owner of Wine Village, is the co-ordinator of the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair.
The food at the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair will be provided by the restaurants in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village centre, including The Class Room, B’s Steakhouse, and Season. EAT will run a Peroni Beer and wine bar. In addition, cheeses, olive products, charcuterie, buchu teas, bee products, herb liqueurs, nuts, sundried tomatoes, pomegranate products, pesto pastes, artisanal chocolates, and breads will be available for tasting and to purchase.
Hermanus Wine & Food Fair, Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Hermanus. 9 – 11 August, 11h00 – 19h00. R 95 per day, or R200 for 3-day pass. Free parking. www.hermanuswineandfood.co.za. Book via Computicket.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage