Entries tagged with “JP Smith”.


Beerhouse PR Consultant Peter Marx invited me to try the innovative new beer-based BrewFood menu at Beerhouse on Long Street, a feast which my friend Elize Skriker and I shared. Almost every dish and sauce contains beer, with a menu focusing on smoked meat dishes. Prices are very affordable. Not only was it an excellent lunch but it was also a most informative beer lesson! (more…)

V&L Entrance Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday we were invited to a first media event at Vrede en Lust at the outskirts of Franschhoek, with the specific purpose to expose the wine estate’s ten white wines, making up about one-third of its production, given that Vrede en Lust is perceived as a predominantly red wine producing wine farm.

The origin of Vrede en Lust dates back to 1688, owned by French Huguenot Jacques de Savoye, who planted 10000 vines in 1691.  The Buys family bought the farm in 1996, modernising it by building on its 320 year heritage. Former Nederburg winemaker Günter Brözel helped them build the cellar, and acts as a consultant when needed.  About 36 ha of the 55 ha farm is planted to vines.  They have recently bought Ricton close by, with a capacity of 60 ha.  In addition, they own Casey’s Ridge in the Kogelberg Biosphere in Elgin, with 54 ha of vineyards.  Vrede en Lust produces 30000 9 litre cases of wines per year, made from 800 tonnes of grapes.  Of their production, 68% is sold via their Tasting Room and at shows, while 15% is exported.  They have 1200 Wine Club members.

We met in the tasting room, having to do the tasting inside due to the unexpected rain and cooler weather. We were welcomed by Etienne Buys, brother of farm owner Dana Buys, who has taken over the management and viticulture of V&L Etienne Buys Whale Cottage PortfolioVrede en Lust, so that Dana can spend more time with his first love, being IT.

Charming winemaker Susan Erasmus, expecting her second child in May and previously at Neethlingshof (and having done harvests at Groot Constantia, Zevenwacht, and St Emilion), was a confident presenter of her white wine ‘babies‘, although she used technical terminology at times, where some of us got lost.  Interesting was observing the tastings continue in the Tasting Room, (more…)

Yesterday the controversial Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill was to have been fully gazetted, and be enforceable, but this has been held back, due to threatened legal action.

The Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law has attracted the wrath of the members of the newly-formed Club, Bar and Restaurant Association of the Western Cape, who contributed money to a legal fund to fight the By-Law by means of an interdict, reports the Cape Times.  The association is looking to get 100 members on board, to have a large enough legal resource of about R1 million to “put these guys to bed”, said Shaan Nordien of the Chrome Club, and has invited restaurants and hotels to join them in their fight.  The first step will be to apply for an interdict from the court, whereafter the association will challenge the constitutionality of the By-Law, says the association’s legal advisor Zeeshan Nordien.  An interesting development, demonstrating the seriousness of the association members, is the appointment of specialist liquor lawyer Danie Cronje of Cluver Markotter, with Jan Heunis as the advocate, reports the Cape Times.  They have sent a letter with their grievances to the City of Cape Town, which it has decided to study first before going ahead with gazetting the By-Law.  A protest march has not been excluded.  

The Association is claiming that up to 150000 jobs could be lost due to the potential loss of business caused by the new Liquor Trading By-law, reports The Times

A potential new change to the By-Law could be a “cooling off period” for drinkers, which would allow establishments such as pubs, bars and restaurants selling alcohol to allow their patrons to stay on at the establishment, serving them coffee, but disallowing the sale of alcohol, after 2h00, so that the drinkers are in a fitter state to drive home, reports the Cape Argus.   JP Smith, the City of Cape Town Councillor and Mayco member for Safety and Security, said:  “This would mean that patrons’ liquor consumption stops some time before they leave the establishment – and that would be good”.   Smith has warned the rebelling club and bar owners that the new By-Law will be implemented across the board, and accused them of ‘profiteering off liquor abuse”, the newspaper reports.   “We have always known that people who profiteer off the sale of liquor will not want to give that up.  But we will sit it out, because of how important this is.   Those that protest about the new trading hours are not the ones paying the hospitals, or the ambulances, or the emergency services.  They’re not the ones having to pick up the pieces that result from alcohol abuse.  They’re looking at their profits”, he added.

Smith said that the City would target the establishments receiving the most complaints in terms of noise level and fighting.   The By-Law will rely on customer complaints for its implementation to be effective.

POSTSCRIPT 1/7: The Cape Times has reported that the Liquor by-law has been reviewed by a ‘constitutional expert, following the outcry from the hospitality industry prior to its introduction earlier this year.  The review will lead to as yet undisclosed changes to the bylaw.

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