* Johnny Clegg has been added to the Birthday List of Queen Elizabeth II, for an OBE (Order of the British Empire), reports Business Day. Continue reading →
Jamie Goode is a well-known award-winning ‘wine journalist‘ and wine judge from the UK, writing his Wine Anorak blog for the past 14 years. Uncharacteristically he has lashed out at ‘wine writers ripping off wineries’, describing this as a ‘disturbing trend‘!
Goode wrote on his Blog last week: ‘A rant. I don’t rant often, but I’m driven to do it today. As a wine writer, I’m alarmed by the recent trend for other wine writers to behave parasitically by charging wineries to reproduce reviews. I’m Continue reading →
* Cape Wine 2015 will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 – 17 September next year, and is organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). DHL Express will be the first-time sponsor. WOSA CEO Siobhan Thompson said: ‘Delegates will have the opportunity to experience the range and depth of South Africa’s vinous dexterity, strengthened by new approaches to wine-growing and winemaking that have resulted in bold, unique and unmistakably local wines. As Tim Atkin MW remarked in his South Africa 2014 Special Report: ‘There’s never been a better time to write about, taste or buy South African wine.’ Thompson said that the DHL sponsorship will take the wine showcase to a new level. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* Peter Cheales of Hello Peter has sold his business of 14 years to an unnamed consortium of businessmen, he wrote in a letter to past users of his service, a South African type of Sweet and Sour Service Awards. In his letter he wrote: ‘It’s time for fresh blood, more energy, and new life. I will continue to watch from the sidelines. The site will always be a part of me’. Cheales will write books and speak at conferences.
* Raats Family Wines’ winemaker Bruwer Raats received the accolade of ‘most exciting and forward-thinking winemaker inStellenbosch‘ by Neal Martin, in his 2014 vintage review in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. Martin added the following Continue reading →
* Moody’s has downgraded our country’s debt rating to Baa2, one level lower, due to ‘poor growth prospects and rising public debt’, a rating on a par with the company’s ratings of Russia and Brazil, and two notches removed from ‘junk status‘. Electricity shortages were highlighted as one specific reason for the downgrade.
* The Volvo Ocean Race yachts have arrived in the V&A Waterfront, and a host of activities are planned until the yachts head for Abu Dhabi on 19 November. Only seven teams are participating in the world’s leading offshore sailing race covering four oceans and five continents. An inaugural Open Ocean Festival runs in this period, but has been very poorly publicised (shoppers to the V&A Waterfront received brochures yesterday as they entered the underground parking). Events of the Festival include the Open Ocean Film Festival this weekend, Fly Boarding today, Xtreme Water Polo from 10 – 12 November, Canoe Polo today, a Sunset Mile open ocean swim on 12 November, and the third day of the IRC National Regatta today.
* Waterford Wine Estate has been named a Global Winner in the categories Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable Continue reading →
Last night I attended the first Tracy van Maaren Wines Trade Tasting, representing a handful of select fine boutique wine estates, held at Auslese. Each of the wine estate’s wines offered for tasting was personally paired with a canapé designed by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine.
Tracy started her wine career by working as PA to Dana Buys at Vrede en Lust. She then moved into the clothing industry, but regretted this move. She returned to the wine industry, working at Jordan. Almost nine years ago she started her company, her first wine clients being Vriesenhof, Raats, and Catherine Marshall. She represents her clients’ wines in the ‘mid to top restaurants’ and independent retailers (e.g. Caroline’s, Wine Concepts, and Vino Pronto) in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with Paarl and Franschhoek.
Auslese is a renovated house, available to rent for functions, about two blocks from Aubergine. It has a smallish kitchen, and the space was cleverly used to set up tasting tables for nine brands, with Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne) represented in the entrance hall by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin and their brand new French import Morgan Delacloche.
Arriving at about 18h30, there was no crush, and one could get to easily taste the wines and food pairings, chat to the wine representatives, and to the invited guests, which included John Maytham of Cape Talk, Mark Bland of Expresso, Mandi Jarman of Aquila, Chef Vanessa Marx and her colleague Rumby of Dear Me, Catharina’s Manager Ronel Smidt, sommelier and consultant Jörg Pfützner, John and Lynne Ford, and Mike Duggan of Wine Concepts. Continue reading →