Entries tagged with “Pebbles Project”.


CapeWineAuction AfrAsia Glenelly - CopyThe second AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction was held at Boschendal Wine Farm yesterday, and generated R10,5 million, exceeding its goal of monies to be raised at the prestigious event, which saw 34 wine estates offering very generous auction lots.

Bids could be made online, or in person at the Auction. Auction lots were donated by ‘Auction Ambassadors‘, with rare local and international wine collections, gourmet dinners, art, luxury cruises, and unique travel destinations.  The Auction was preceded by a ‘Barrel Tasting & Preview‘ the evening before in what looked from photographs like a magical Dylan Lewis (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Is it the right thing for Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom to feature in an ‘advertorial’ for Uber, (boringly) showing him booking his ride via phone in his Parliamentary office, and then being driven to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where he addressed the eTourism Africa Summit as keynote speaker?

*   Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009 has won World Champion Cap Classique, Best in its Class, as well as Gold in the 2014 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships in London, with 650 wines from 16 countries evaluated.  Klein Constantia MCC Brut 2011 won Gold too, while Simonsig Cap Classique Kaapse Vonkel 2010 won Silver.  A total of 185 wines won a Gold or Silver medal.

*   Yuppiechef.com has been named the Best eCommerce Store in South Africa for the fifth year running, winning ahead of (more…)

Chenin Blanc Top 10 Logo Whale CottageThe inaugural Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge winners were announced yesterday at a cosy function on a wet Winelands day at the ever smart Delaire Graff.  The function and competition, combined with the recent three-year sponsorship by Standard Bank of the Chenin Blanc Challenge, are giving Chenin Blanc the recognition it deserves, said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association.  ‘Chenin Blanc is a wine whose time has come’, he said,Chenin Blanc Top 10 Ken Forrester Whale Cottage adding that ‘Chenin Blanc is THE white wine of South Africa‘!

A total of 126 wines was entered for the Challenge, and assessed blind by a panel of judges which included chairman Christian Eedes, Jamie Goode, Alan Mullins, Carrie Adams, and Higgo Jacobs. Interviews were conducted with the judges,  Allan Mullins of Woolworths saying that Chenin Blanc has been underrated for so long. He lauded Standard Bank for the support of the competition, and as Chenin Blanc drinks so well, it should be drunk by all.  It is a gem of a wine variety, and ranges in price between R25 – R 300 in retail outlets.   British wine writer Jamie Goode said that our country has a variety of Chenin Blanc styles, ‘ranging from the ‘VW Beetle to a ‘Rolls Royce’! Eedes said that he was honoured to chair the judging panel, and while he may be ‘shot down‘ for the results, having the auditors made the results indisputable. Out of the wine (more…)

Cape Wine Auction collage of picturesThe AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction 2014 is an inaugural exclusive, almost elitist, charity event which aims to raise monies which are to be used for educational purposes in the Winelands.   It takes place at Delaire Graff Estate over lunch today, with 250 guests, half of whom are likely to travel from overseas to the Cape especially for the auction.

With an aura of a by-invitation-only attendance, Auction organiser Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Wines invited 30 Auction Ambassadors to assist him in spreading the word about the event, to assist in raising lots for the auction, and to invite guests as bidders to the event. Ambassadors include May de Lencquesaing of Glenelly, Wendy Appelbaum of De Morgenzon, Hein Koegelenberg of La Motte, Rose and Michael Jordaan of Bartinney, Delaire Graff, Charles Banks of Mulderbosch, Paul Cluver, Jeremy Ord and Kevin Arnold of Waterford, Chris and Andrea Mullieneux and their partner ‘Anlajit’ (sic) Singh, Zelma Long and Dr Phil Freese of Vilafonte, the Buys family of Vrede en Lust, Francois Pienaar, Eben Sadie, Ryk Neethling, Jean Engelbrecht, Ken Forrester, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Lanzerac Estate, Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell, and Giorgio and George Dalla Cia.  One wonders why so many of the country’s top winemakers have not been involved in the Auction, the list of Auction Ambassadors clearly concentrated in Stellenbosch. Missing from the list, one would think, is Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Boekenhoutskloof, and a winery or two from the Constantia, Paarl, Wellington, Robertson, Tulbagh, and Durbanville Wine (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Johannesburg teenager Filipa da Silva has won a competition launched by American Idols presenter Ryan Seacrest, for the best rendition of One Direction’s ‘Story of my Life’, beating former Eurovision Irish twin contestants Jedward.

*   The Tourism Indaba, held in May for the past 24 years, could be threatened by three trade and travel shows held in Cape Town under the Africa Travel Week umbrella the week prior to what is the country’s largest tourism and travel show, organised by SA Tourism and held in Durban.

*   Johannesburg was the most popular tourism destination in Africa in 2012, according to the MasterCard Third Annual Global Destination Cities Index, and should be the continent’s most visited city too, with an estimated 2,5 million visitors spending R35 billion.

*   The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction 2014 will be held over lunch at Delaire Graff on 15 March.  It will be preceded by a Barrel Tasting and Auction Preview at Waterford Estate the evening before, and the funds will go to funding education in the Winelands, benefitting Pebbles Project, the MAD Charity, and the Click Foundation.  The Cape Wine Auction Trust has been created, and its founding Trustees are Michael Jordaan, Ken Kinsey-Quick, Wendy Appelbaum, and Mike (more…)

Robin von Holdt, the organiser of Top 100 SA Wines competition, who was planning to sue Dion Martin, the writer of the Dionysus wine blog for R100000 in defamation damages, has offered to withdraw his case if both parties agree to make a R2000 donation to a charity.

Von Holdt organised a Top 100 SA Wines competition last year, and attracted criticism for his guest house Rodwell House receiving an accolade for its winelist in his own competition.  Martin wrote about this on his blog, called Von Holdt some names, and received a summons from Von Holdt with a defamation claim.

This statement was posted on the Top 100 SA Wines blog by Von Holdt on Friday:

“The matter at hand has become distorted and emotive.  Libel is libel wherever it is published and those writing on the internet should adhere to the same standards as print publications.  I have a commitment and passion for the wine industry that is bigger than this matter ius.  I have listened to what has been said and consulted with wine colleagues.  The matter is not contributing positively to the wine industry that I respect, enjoy and promote.  I feel that an on-going adversarial relationship with bloggers is highly undesirable.  It also has the potential to damage our image abroad.  I therefor (sic) make Dion Martin the following ‘without prejudice’ offer to put this behind us and end this fully:

1.  We both agree to each pay Pebbles Project a sum of R2000.00, a needier cause than those of our respective attorneys

2.   I will then drop my libel case against you.

An apology for publicly insulting me would demonstrate character and I leave that to you to consider.  I do hope that you will see fit to rise to this opportunity.  I hope too that some of the more negative journalists won’t see this as another chance to launch yet more salvos of criticism and inflame matters further”.

The last sentence may refer to the Cape Argus calling Von Holdt for input to a story about the planned court case against Martin.  Martin told me that he will accept Von Holdt’s offer, on one condition: Von Holdt’s Rodwell House must not enter any future Top 100 SA Wines competitions, which was one of the aspects that Martin criticised about the competition, given the conflict of interest in Von Holdt being a ‘non-active ‘ shareholder (Von Holdt’s description of his role) in Rodwell House.

Von Holdt must have realised that he had no hope in winning this court case, and must have been surprised that wine writers (and bloggers in particular) attacked him for this attempt to muzzle a wine blogger.  The final straw for him must have been the call from the Cape Argus journalist, to whom we had sent the story.

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

Last week I met with Andre Morgenthal, Communications Manager of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village centre, appropriately at the start of the Hermanus Wine Route, as we were struggling to co-ordinate our diaries. Andre wanted to share information about Vindaba 2012, a showcase for the wine tourism industry, which is planned to run alongside WOSA’s Cape Wine 2012, from 25 – 27 September at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Cape Wine is a bi-annual trade show which attracts international wine trade professionals and is one of WOSA’s key marketing events, in that the company brings about 160 journalists and sommeliers to Cape Town, and prepares individual itineraries for them, to not only showcase the wines inside the exhibition and workshops inside the convention centre, but also the wine estates in and surrounding Cape Town.  Cape Wine is the largest wine showcase in the country, but was not held last year due the soccer World Cup. It adds value for WOSA producers, in connecting them and their wines to the international media, trade professionals, and sommeliers.  Not only do they meet at the exhibition and seminars, but producers also host dinner parties for hand-picked invited guests to present their wines.

Vindaba forms part of Cape Wine 2012, but will be a stand-alone self-funded event, which will not be funded by WOSA.  It is planned as a wine tourism forum, a neglected part of the tourism industry, Andre told me, with ‘tour operators and leisure media’ targeted. Ten years ago a Wine Tourism Forum was created, and a strategy was written by Cape Town Routes Unlimited, but with their loss of Marketing staff this is no longer pursued.  Andre sits on the Wine Routes Forum, a bi-monthly get-together of the twelve wine routes (including the Brandy Route) in the country, and it is here that they discuss issues relating to wine tourism.   A wine route map for all twelve wine routes is being updated, with a website, and will be available next year.  Vindaba will showcase Wine Tourism products and services, much like the annual Tourism Indaba in Durban.   Not only will it attract the Cape Wine 2012 delegates, but on 27 September, being World Tourism Day, they will open Vindaba to the public, so that the locals can interact with a showcase of the wine tourism industry in its proximity.  Discount vouchers will be made available for wine tourism products and services, for locals to experience them first hand on the weekend following Vindaba.  Social environmental responsibility projects will also be showcased, such as the Pebbles Project.

Stands for Cape Wine 2012 and Vindaba will be made from recycled board, a first for environmentally responsible exhibitions, thereby off-setting the carbon footprint of all the flights to South Africa for the event.

I wondered how WOSA and its small staff (Su Birch is the CEO) copes in marketing the wide diversity of South African wines around the world.  WOSA has offices in Canada, the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, the Netherlands, and in the UK, and works with the South African embassies in China and India, to promote South African wines.

Cape Wine 2012: www.capewine2012.co.za WOSA: Tel (021) 883-3860.  Vindaba:  www.vindaba.com.

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

We are delighted to have found a wonderful project to support, and it being Christmas, has made giving even more fulfilling.

Whilst visiting Grande Provence in Franschhoek yesterday, I came across the Pebbles Project in the Gallery, and a collection of artwork by children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Western Cape schools.  We bought a painting of a beach scene for our Whale Cottage Camps Bay, which had been painted by Elizna Gertse, a 13 year old learner attending the Bergendal School, and who lives on the Fairview wine estate.   In a description attached to the painting, Elizna wrote that she wants to become an actress when she leaves school, and enjoys doing her school work, because it will bring her far.

The Pebbles Project was launched in 2004, and its focus is children whose lives are affected by alcohol.  The fundraising organisation works with wine farm owners, to uplift farm worker communities and encourages the education of workers’ children.   Wine estates that support the Pebbles Project include Backsberg, Delheim, Eikendal, Fairview, L’Avenir, Villiera, Bosman, Remhoogte, Neil Joubert Wines, Hartenberg Estate, Kaapzicht, Koopmanskloof, and Morkel.

We are proud to have assisted Elizna and her classmates in raising funds for the Pebbles Project and the good work that they do.  www.pebblesproject.co.za

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