Entries tagged with “Ormonde”.

imageKAMERS has grown over the past 13 years, to become a showcase of the innovation and hand-crafting talents of entrepreneurs from around our country. KAMERS opened in Cape Town yesterday, at the Castle of Good Hope, which celebrates its 350th anniversary this year, and runs until Sunday. It probably is our country’s largest pop-up market, and was the first to create this trend!  (more…)

imageLast 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 (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted to the additional Immigration Regulations introduced on Monday, requesting our government ‘to act in the best interests of the country and review‚ modify‚ and if necessary‚ rescind‚ the new measures if they do not have the desired effect and if they act as a handbrake on travel‚ tourism and economic growth‚ not just for South Africa — which is experiencing its weakest GDP performance in decades — but for the entire region. From a commercial and economic perspective‚ the industry is concerned that the harsh and onerous requirements South Africa has prescribed for travellers will negatively impact on the sustainability of air services‚ travel‚ trade and tourism to‚ from and via South Africa‘!

*   The inaugural Cabernet Franc Carnival will be held at Avontuur on 20 June, with thirteen producers presenting their wines to taste, including Ridgeback Wines, Avontuur, Lynx Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Camberley Wines, Cape Chamonix, CK Wines, Doolhof Wine Estate, Druk-My-Niet Wine Estate, Mont du Toit, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, and Nelson Family Vineyards. Entrance R120.


According to Simon Halliday of Raisin Social, one of the largest importers, distributors and marketers of South African wines in the United Kingdom and in other European countries, South African wines represent 10% of UK sales, and he sees this increasing in 2013, given the very poor wine harvest this year in France.   About 80% of New World wines are being bulk imported into the UK, for re-packaging.

Simon started Raisin Social in 1986, and is based in London, but visits his clients and suppliers in the Winelands regularly.  Namaqua makes up about 60% of his company’s distribution in the UK and Europe. Recently they introduced a 750ml Tetra Pak for the brand in the UK, a world first, as well as for the Du Toitskloof Fairtrade brand.  The packaging has reduced the price of the brands by about 15 – 20 %, even though some of the decrease has been negated by increases in UK excise duty. The reduced carbon footprint is an important advantage of using this new packaging form.  Other brands which are distributed by Raisin Social include La Motte, Leopard’s Leap, Kanonkop, Van Loveren, Elgin Vintners, Ormonde, Landskroon, and Beyerskloof.  Hein Koegelenberg and Simon conceptualised the Leopard’s Leap brand, and only launched it in the UK after rigorous consumer market research in the form of focus groups had been conducted.

Having lunch at The Long Table at Haskell Vineyards, Simon shared that the UK economy is at a low point. He did not want to follow the bulk import route, but had no choice but to do so, to be able to continue trading. The economic downturn in the UK has meant that the model of distributing and marketing wine has had to change, due to the squeeze on producer and retailer margins, Simon said. He described the economy as ‘shocking’, with no growth at all, but did concede that the economic downturn is being better managed by the British government.  He said that unemployment is increasing, and that young persons who have finished studying are feeling this the most.  His company has had to adapt to the changed times, moving from being an agent to being a bulk importer of wine, which is packaged, in glass bottles, boxes, and the new longlife Tetra Pak packaging in the UK.  The better prices his company can offer with the UK-packaged products has enabled his company to obtain listings in smaller convenience and wine retailer stores, without having to pay for shelf space, as larger importers of South African wines are doing.  The economic situation has seen the closure of five to six of his competitors in the past few months, as they did not change their operating models.  One benefit of the economic downturn is that the poor quality wines will eventually be eliminated.

Simon said that South African wine producers need to become more competitive, to cope with the dire situation in the UK.  He was also critical of the lack of marketing in selling South African wines overseas, most wines having brand names that have never been heard of in our country, are poorly labelled, rarely marketed, do not identify the origin of the wines in South Africa, and contain very low quality wine at low price points.  All of this has a negative effect on South Africa’s wine image, he feels, especially as the quality/price ratio of these wines is not good.

Simon is seeing the low cost German retailers such as Aldi and Lidl entering the UK market, meaning that they are pressurising UK retailers to reduce their margins, and therefore prices, to remain competitive.   He warns that private label wines in retail outlets are overstocked, and yellow with age, 2011 stock still sitting on the supermarket shelves.   Simon does not believe in ‘bribery’ in paying for shelf space, or for restaurant listings.

The quality of the lunch at The Long Table had declined since a last visit two and a half years ago, a free range De Denne farm duck breast with a honey and nut crust, served with a sweet potato, pear and Gorgonzola bake, and a pickled pear and duck confit ‘samosa’, with a coffee bourbon infusion seemed overcomplicated and not attractively plated, compared to our last visit.   The dessert of Summer Berry Pavlova with berry sorbet and custard looked attractive, and Mari and I shared it.  The bread had a hair in it, and the service generally was slow, yet friendly.

Raisin Social, London.  Tel +44 01883731173. www.raisin-social.com

The Long Table Restaurant & Café, Haskell Vineyards, Stellenbosch.  Tel (021) 881-3746. www.longtable.co.za Tuesday – Sunday 8h00 – 17h00, Fridays until 21h00.

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