Tag Archives: Kumala

CapeWine 2018 largest wine trade exhibition in Southern Hemisphere, showcases diversity and quality of SA wines!

Despite a hugely challenging year for the wine industry due to the drought, CapeWine 2018 is an impressive showcase of optimism, friendliness, and proudly South Africaness, running at the Cape Town International Convention Centre until tomorrow. I attended yesterday, with my Parisian friend Aurelié Jullien, and we were both impressed with the magnitude and professionalism of the exhibition, held every three years, and attended by the local and international wine trade. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 24 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Tim James has used an aggregation poll of 29 wine retailers as well as writers, some international, to compile a Top 5 and Top 20 South African winery list.  The Top 5 ranked list is Sadie Family Wines, Mullineux Family Wines, Kanonkop, Boekenhoutskloof, and Chamonix.  The ranking from 6th to 20th is as follows: Paul Cluver, Newton Johnson, Cape Point Vineyards, Hamilton Russell, Vergelegen, Tokara, Thelema, Jordan, Cederberg, Delaire Graff, AA Badenhorst, Klein Constantia, Meerlust, Reyneke, and De Trafford.

*   A consumer promotion has been launched in the UK by Kumala wines, the largest selling SA wine in that country, to tie in with the launch of the ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘ DVD, with prizes of a visit to South Africa offered, DVDs, and wine.

*   Eat Out is inviting nominations for its Eat Out Top 500 restaurants to be included in the 2015 edition. The nominated restaurants will be evaluated by a panel, to choose the top 500 restaurants.  The closing date for nominations (on www.eatout.co.za) is 13 May. (received via media release from Irvine Bartlett)

*   The inaugural Mandela International Film Festival will be held from 3 – 12 December 2015 in Port Elizabeth.  Given Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 17 March

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Lufthansa is now allowing unlimited use of electronics by its passengers.

*   SAA has received delivery of six A320 aircraft this year, benefiting the airline on African routes and in being more environmentally friendly.

*   TripAdvisor is once again under suspicion, with its China website causing concern about false reviews by prolific reviewers, a KwikChex analysis has found.

*   French air traffic controllers are reported to be on a 24 hour strike tomorrow, affecting air traffic across Europe.

*   Accolade Wines has redesigned the packaging of its Kumala brand, ‘most loved South African export Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Nook Eatery celebrates, no longer hidden in the corner!

Nook Eatery is one of my favourite eateries, and I have always been made to feel welcome since I discovered it a year ago.  Today it celebrates its first anniversary (and co-owner Luke’s birthday yesterday).   From a quiet low-key opening, it has grown into a known and loved destination, and having Restaurant Christophe next door, the two restaurants have become a food lovers’ haven on Van Reyneveld Street in Stellenbosch, although they differ vastly.  Nook is no longer a hidden corner!

Co-owner Jessie is the chef, and she takes special pride in preparing everything herself, and sourcing organic foods where she can.  Nook has become a popular student lunch stop, and their pizza evenings on Wednesdays, the only day they open at night, are extremely popular.   They have a collection of cream tables and modern silver chairs outside, and on a summery winter’s day this is the ideal spot to watch the student parade.  It is enjoyed by non-students too.  Luke connects with his customers, often hands-on in taking the orders and serving the food, and the regulars soon become friends.

Breakfast starts at 8h30, and scrambled eggs cost a mere R20.  Lunch is served from 12h00 – 15h00, and one can order the soup of the day – sweet potato and pear soup on the day that I was there (R30); Croque Monsieur (R35); a Nook Burger, made from free-range beef and served with salad, avocado and fries (R50); toasted sandwiches, made with Boerenkaas (R26) or with gypsy ham added (R32), Thai chicken (R35), Roast Beef (R36), and mushroom brushetta (R32).  Sweet treats include croissants (R12); massive pain au chocolat (R14); toasted coconut bread (R12); French toast, bacon and syrup (R30); and poached pear and Greek yoghurt (R28).

The lunch buffet opens at 12h00, and is a recent addition at Nook Eatery, for which those that know and want it come to punctually, before the food runs out.  It costs R13 per 100 gram.  The buffet changes daily, and on the day I visited Nook it consisted of slow roasted lamb and rice; mushroom, cinnamon and lemon; organic pear and gorgonzola salad; organic lentil and spinach salad; and avocado, tomato and herb salad.  The ‘Wood-Fired Wednesdays” pizza evenings have become an institution, and eleven pizza choices are available, including Argentinian chorizo, avocado and gorgonzola (R62); organic pear, gorgonzola and fresh rocket (R52); anchovies and capers (R50); and four cheese – with mozzarella, gruyere, gorgonzola and parmesan (R50).

The wine list is short – De Waal Sauvignon Blanc (R16 by the glass, R65 bottle), Kumala (R18/R70) and Krone MCC (R20/R100). MAN Vintners Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz all cost R70.

Nook Eatery is highly recommended, for friendly service, an homely atmosphere and excellent healthy food.   It was selected as the location for the soccer-inspired “League of Glory” TV series.

Nook Eatery, 42 Van Reyneveld Street,  Stellenbosch.  Tel (021) 887-7703. www.nookeatery.co.za.  Free wireless internet.  8h00 – 16h00 Monday – Friday, 8h00 – 13h00 Saturday.  Pizza evening Wednesdays 18h00 – 21h00.   On the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.

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

SA wines fastest growing in UK

South African wines are the fastest growing in the United Kingdom, and make up a market share in volume of 12,3 %, as measured by A C Nielsen.  

South Africa has the 4th largest market share, on a par with that of France, and follows Australia and the USA.   Wines priced R 60 – R 84 grew by 15 % in value in the past year.  Those costing between R 84 – R 120 increased by 27 % in sales value, and South African wines costing over R120 grew by 43 %, even though they have a small market share.   South Africa’s top-selling brand in the UK is First Cape, which increased by 80 % in sales volume and by 73% in sales value.   Other strong South African brands are Kumala, Arniston Bay, Two Oceans and KWV. 

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) CEO Su Birch is expecting growth of 10 % of South African wine sales in the UK in 2010, if the Rand does not strengthen “materially”.

South African wines also performed well in Sweden (18 % increase) and in Canada (11% increase), while sales in the Netherlands, Germany and the USA were on a par with the previous year.

WOSA is an industry-funded body marketing South African wines generically internationally.

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

Telegraph Top 10 SA wines

In preparation for the FIFA World Cup, the Telegraph newspaper in the UK has selected its choice of top 10 South African wines.  South Africa is the world’s 9th largest producer, according to the report, and has more than 600 wineries and 6 000 wines.   It has a 12 % market share in the UK, closely following France and Italy.

The largest volume of sales of South African wines is of Arniston Bay and Kumala.  But high-end wines such as Hamilton Russell, Vergelegen, Boekenhoutskloof, Meerlust, Thelema, Toakara, Kanonkop and Rustenberg are also imported into the UK.

The top 10 list of South African wines for wine writer Jonathan Ray, are the following, with his rationale and food-pairing suggestions: 

“1 2009 Ken Forrester Cape Breeze Chenin Blanc, 13%vol, South Africa (£4.98; Asda)

Ken Forrester knows his chenin blanc inside out, and his so-called FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin) is a much-loved classic (and highest-ever scoring South African white in Wine Spectator). This entry-level version might sound like a shampoo or a Duluxpaint, but it’s a great value introduction to the grape, with crisp, sweet-edged fruit and a dry finish. An ideal crowd-pleaser for parties.

2 2009 Flagstone Noon Gun Dry White, 13.5%vol, South Africa (£4.99 reduced from £6.99 until Dec 1; Tesco)

Bruce Jack, one of the nicest and quirkiest of all SA winemakers, shocked many by signing up with the world’s largest wine producer, Constellation. Flagstone, housed in a former dynamite factory, is his baby, though, and he vows he’ll be left to his own devices. This chenin blanc/viognier/sauvignonblend is a typical Jack charmer, being light, aromatic and fruity. Delicious with grilled sea bass.

3 2008 Beyerskloof Pinotage, 14%vol, South Africa (£5.99 if you buy 3, otherwise £8.99; Wine Rack)

Pinotage, a cross between cinsault and pinot noir, is South Africa’s USP, loved for its fruit by some, dismissed as tired and redolent of burnt rubber by others. In the hands of Beyerskloof’s Beyers Truter, one of the grape’s most vociferous supporters, it works a dream. Here, his entry-level version is ripe, juicy and full of spicy plum fruit, withno hint of rubber. Enjoy with slow roast belly of pork.

4 2009 Stellar Organics Syrah Rosé, 13.5%vol, South Africa (£6.05; Asda, Budgens, Londis, Spar)

South Africa is strong on Fairtrade and Stellar was the first organic winery in the world to be so accredited. The winery gets its fruit from farms along the northern boundary of Olifant’s River and processes around 4,500 tons of organic grapes a year. This pink syrah is hardly complex, just delightfully fruity and off-dry in the mouth, with a dryish, peppery finish. Serve it well-chilled at parties, or with stuffed red peppers or roasted root vegetables.

5 2007 Bellingham Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc, 14.5%vol, South Africa (£8.99; Majestic)

Chenin blanc does better in South Africa than anywhere else outside the Loire Valley, and this from Bellingham’s Bernard Series (formerly the Maverick range) is a first-rate example of real style. Made from 40-year-old, high-altitude bush vines, it has wonderfully concentrated rich, ripe fruit withhints of peach, apricot and cream. A touch full-flavoured for an aperitif, it works really well with fish pie or creamy mushroom pasta.

6 2007 Paul Cluver Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest, 12%vol, South Africa (£11.49 per 37.5cl; selected Waitrose stores and www.waitrosewine.com)

Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Estate makes smashing wines and I’ve long been a fan of the estate’s pinot noir and their classy gewürztraminer. This is a corker too: a late-picked, botrytised, cool-climate riesling, packed with concentrated honeyed apple/peach flavours and a zingy acidity. It’s great with desserts such as tarte tatin, but even better with gooey blue cheese.

7 2005 Iona The Gunnar, 14%vol, South Africa (£11.95 – £14.95; Really Fine Wine Co 0131 669 7716, Swig Wines 08000 272272, Hic Wines 01977 550047)

Iona is celebrated for its chardonnays and sauvignons and does a fine syrah, too (and a brand new Noble Late Harvest sauvignon, which is gorgeous). This blended red, from cabernet, merlot and petit verdot, is a belter as well. Inimitably SA of course, it also has a touch of Left Bank Bordeaux style and is smoothand rounded with luscious ripe fruit. Enjoy with roast loin of venison.

8 Graham Beck Brut NV, 13%vol, South Africa (£12.99; Waitrose, Wholefoods 020 7368 4500, DJ Foodfare 020 8748 5974)

I’ve always enjoyed Graham Beck’s sparklers, made in the champagne method under the supervision of the legendary Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira. This 50-50 blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from the Robertson region is about as good as it gets for a non-champagne fizz, being crisp and clean, but toasty and brioche-like too. A cracking aperitif.

9 2001 Morgenhof Cape Late Bottled Vintage, 17.5%vol, South Africa (£16.99; Cellar Door Wines 01727 854488, Wright Wine Co 01756 700886)

This is scrumptious stuff, the Cape’s answer to the Douro Valley. Made from 100 per cent tinta barroca, one of port’s major grapes, and aged for four years in French oak, it has raisins, liquorice and ripe damsons on the palate and a rich, succulent finish. Enjoy as you would any LBV port, with cheese, chocolate puddings or a hearty Cuban cigar.

10 2007 Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir, 13%vol, South Africa (£24.99; Wine Society, Harvey Nichols)

The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, near Hermanus, is home to some fascinating wines. Although nobody agrees on exactly where the prime valley starts and ends, it’s fair to say that Hamilton Russell put the region on the map with its pinots and chardonnays. Known as the most “Burgundian” of SA’s pinots, this is as elegant and silky as they come, with a touch of vegetalspice and dark berry fruit. Perfect with chicken and truffle risotto”

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