Last Monday I attended The Sommeliers Selection 2018 tasting of the top-scoring wines at Tokara Delicatessen, driving through from Cape Town on a rainy day. My two favorites I tasted were Arra Shiraz 2015, as well as Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2017. The top wines in the tasting were selected by top Sommelier members of the South African SOmmeliers Association, and the Black Cellar Club. Continue reading →
I love seeing how restaurants can reinvent themselves, and often a new chef can be the catalyst. Chef Archie Maclean has been at Catharina’s for about four months, and has gone back to the history and origin of Steenberg wine estate and its first owner Catharina Ras for inspiration for his creative new menu. Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended the Chenin Blanc Showcase at the Cape Grace Hotel, a presentation of 44 wines segmented into six categories. Continue reading →
# Meloncino: Glass of Moët et Chandon and 2 oysters R169; 750ml bottle of Moët et Chandon Impérial R 749, 750ml bottle of Moët et Continue reading →
Last night KWV was crowned as the king of the wine industry for the fifth year running, winning 5 Double Gold and 9 Gold Awards for its wines, more than any other winemaker. Nederburg (2 Double Golds and 11 Gold Awards) and Spier (2 Double Golds and 8 Gold Awards) followed in second and third place, respectively, awarded at one of the highlights of the wine industry, a function attended by about 400 wine industry staff and media, with their partners. Kanonkop won the Best Performance by Entry title for 10 wines or fewer entered, while KWV won the title for more than 10 wines entered. A total of 57 Double Gold, 157 Gold, 473 Silver, and 662 Bronze medals was awarded. A mix of local and international judges evaluated the entries.
Not only were the wines with their winemakers and related staff celebrated, so too was the 25th anniversary of the Veritas Awards. The highlight of the evening for me was seeing how many women Continue reading →
Last Friday my life changed, when I had the pleasure of meeting the nicest possible Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen in the world, and eating at his Nice-based Jan Restaurant, which opened almost two years ago. To my knowledge it is the only South African chef-owned restaurant listed in a Michelin Guide!
I first heard about Chef Jan from the Facebook page of Errieda du Toit, and was granted a Friend request! I loved his photographs, and the Michelin Guide listing achievement for one of our locals made me determined to visit Continue reading →
The Chenin Blanc Association hosts a tasting of its top members’ wines twice a year, to match the summer or winter season. Last week a tasting of 25 top Chenin Blancs was followed by a summery Italian-inspired lunch with a view onto Table Mountain at Meloncino in the V & A Waterfront.
The tasting of the 25 Chenin Blancs was divided into five groups of five wines, and was led by Jeff Grier of Villiera, a gentle good off-the-cuff speaker, being so good with his notes that he often knew more about the wines than was shared by the winemakers. Jeff stood in for Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association, who spends a lot of his time marketing his wines in the USA. What makes these events great is that writers can meet a number of the winemakers at the table, getting to know them a little better, the Simonsig (Hannes Meyer), Ayama (Liezel Delport), and Rijk’s (Pieter Waal) representatives sitting Continue reading →
* At the SAACI Congress Wesgro has been named as South Africa’s best Convention Bureau, and the Cape Town International Convention Centre the country’s best Convention venue. (via Twitter)
* Hanneli Slabber, SA Tourism Country Manager for India, has received the ‘Best Professional in Marketing‘ award at the Safari India National Tourism Awards. Since her appointment in India, there has been a marked growth in tourists from India to South Africa.
* Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has praised the role of Business Tourism as well as of Events, in addressing the SAACI (South African Association for the Conference Industry) Congress today. He said that this sector of Tourism, which has an above average spend when visiting Continue reading →
* UK X Factor judge and singer Cheryl Cole was spotted at The Duchess of Wisbeach in Sea Point on Saturday evening, and Tweeted to her 4,5 million Twitter followers, The Daily Mail reports.
* Beer sales in Africa are expected to be the fastest growing, predicts a report by Rabobank, the continent having the fastest growth in legal beer drinking population between 2013 – 2018. SABMiller has announced that it will triple production at its plant in Nigeria, with an investment of £110 million.
* The Good Food & Wine Show 2014 will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 29 May – 1 June, and an action-packed program has been announced: 8 top restaurants will offer signature dishes; Woolworths and Robertsons will Continue reading →
Yesterday 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 Vrede 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, Continue reading →