Entries tagged with “Sumaridge”.


imageAt the presentation of the 2016 Prescient Chardonnay Report at SMITH Studio on Wednesday afternoon, Winemag.co.za Editor Christian Eedes said that South African Chardonnay at the top end had ‘never looked so good‘! The number of awards presented to Chardonnay wines scoring 90 or more out of a quality score of 100 points was testimony to his enthusiasm about the category.

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imageFor the fourth year Hermanus FynArts is showcasing and celebrating the best of South African Arts, from 10 – 19 June. The theme of the Festival this year is ‘French Connection’. (more…)

imageThe judges for the Prescient Chardonnay Report 2015 found that the sixty Chardonnays that they evaluated were so superb, that they acknowledged all 29 wines that scored 90 and more points.

The 5th Chardonnay Report 90+ score winners event was held at MOMA on Buitengracht Street, a spacious if not noisy gallery filled with works of (more…)

Hermanus FynArtsI did a quick visit to Hermanus yesterday, and at a stop at Rivendell Restaurant, between Bot River and Hermanus, I was told that Chef Thomas Sinn was coming back from his overseas holiday especially to participate in a super-sounding feast, for which he is one of eight chefs cooking on Monday evening. The staff brought a copy of the programme, and I could not believe what the organisers have planned for the 11-day Festival, ‘A Celebration of South African Arts’ its 80-page Festival brochure proudly proclaims!

The programme consists of different themes: (more…)

PLATTERS 2015 Guide CoverThe 2015 Platter’s Wine Guide was launched at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel last night, in a Beaujolais Ferment colour, with a number of changes in terms of its methodology to evaluate the 5 star wines,  as well as in the content of the Wine Guide. Out of 6000 wines submitted for evaluation, a total of 50 wines and one brandy received the highly desired 5 star rating. The Platter’s Winery of the Year is Sadie Family Wines, the second time that Eben Sadie has received this accolade.   DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013 was named the White Wine of the Year, Platter's JP Rossouw Whale Cottageand De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012 was named the Red Wine of the Year.

The first Platter’s change is that JP Rossouw has been the new publisher for the past year, looking confident last night, relative to his first more restrained presentation a year ago.  It was nice to see former publisher Andrew McDowell (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom said that he does not have the power to change the new Immigration Regulations which come into effect on 1 October, when he addressed the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) this weekend.  He admitted that ‘new regulations could have unintended, negative consequences for the tourism industry‘!  However, the new regulations are the responsibility of the Department of Home Affairs, he said.  Some concessions have been made by the Department, including that the unabridged birth certificates of child travelers no longer have to be translated into English, and that more visa application centres (in India and China in particular) will be created.  Fortunately tourists from Europe, the UK, and USA do not require visas to travel to our country, and are therefore not affected.  Tourism consultancy Grant Thornton is to conduct a study to measure the impact on Tourism of the new regulations.

*   Cape Town has been rated as 8th friendly international city, while Johannesburg has been ranked as the most unfriendly city in the world by Conde Nast Traveler!  Auckland and Melbourne were jointly voted as the most friendly cities in (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Women business travelers want to ‘feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered’, says an American research report. About 50 % of business travelers are women, and they control up top 85% of business travel expenditure.

*   Actress Claire Danes is in Cape Town for the filming of the fourth season of the TV series ‘Homeland’. She and her husband have been spotted eating at Harbour House in Kalk Bay, dining at The Test Kitchen, shopping at the Biscuit Mill, and walking down Kloof Street, near Yours Truly.   Cape Town is doubling up for ‘both Istanbul and Turkey‘ (sic)!

 *   Chenin Blanc was praised by Greg Sherwood of Handford Wines in London, at a tasting of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines, organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Sherwood led the Chenin Blanc tasting, and said about the varietal:  ‘Chenin is a massive and unique selling point for South Africa.  It has a variety of styles and gives you a Burgundy textural experience without having to pay Burgundian prices. The days of too much oak and batonnage are now in the past. These practices have (more…)

Hermanus is synonymous with the annual Whale Festival.  This year it is laying on a 10-day Hermanus FynArts festival, a feast of the visual arts, classical music, jazz, literature, wines, and gourmet food, a fusion of Art Festival and Winter School in a town that has long been known for being home to many leading artists. It will run from 7 – 16 June.

Over the ten days entertainment will be offered over the two weekends, while on weekdays one can attend courses and workshops on photography, ceramics, painting, drawing, writing, cooking, and viticulture.  Top sculptor Dylan Lewis will exhibit his work outside the Marine Hotel and will host a talk about his work, interviewed by leading writer Christopher Hope, one of the co-founders of the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Land sculptor Strijdom van der Merwe, and co-owner of Stellenbosch restaurant Casparus, will host a photographic exhibition of his work, with a talk.  Guy du Toit’s ‘Talking Hares’ will be on show at Sumaridge wine estate. Jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, photography and film will be exhibited.  Ceramicists include Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, and Tania Babb, with Ardmore Ceramics exhibiting at the Marine Hotel.  A National Art Competition will run alongside the festival, sponsored by the SA National Space Agency.  A talk will focus on JH Pierneef, one of our country’s best artists ever.

Vintage South African movies will be screened, as well as classic Hollywood movies, in the Romantiques vintage shop.

A number of the wine farms on the impressive Hermanus Wine Route (including Hamilton Russell, Creation, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, La Vierge, and Bouchard Finlayson), as well as the art galleries in the town will host an art exhibition, and will offer special events.   During the festival, concerts will take place at lunchtimes in the Anglican Church; high teas will be available at the town’s coffee shops at 15h00 each day; wine tasting and food and wine pairing can be enjoyed on the wine farms and at the town’s restaurants, with Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris and Eat Out Top 10 Chef Peter Tempelhoff cooking a dinner on 7 June; guided walks in Fernkloof nature reserve will be offered; and one can enjoy a ‘virtual tour‘ of South African wines.

The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform in the Hawston Hall in celebration of Youth Day, and UCT Head of the Opera School Professor Angelo Gobbato will talk about opera, and one of his talks will focus on ‘Celebrating Verdi’. There will be opera recitals too, including by Gobbato!  Singer Zanne Stapelberg and Kathleen Tagg (South African pianist now based in New York) will perform ‘Soul of Fire’.  Well-loved conductor Richard Cock will be in attendance, and the baroque Camerata Tinta Barocca will perform.

To allow a feast of ‘fine living’ without concern for drinking and driving, a hop-on hop-off bus will take festival goers to the wine estates as well as to the venues in the town.  Booking opens today.

Hermanus FynArts 2013. Hermanus Tourism Bureau.  www.hermanusfynarts.co.za

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

At the function to present The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report 2012 at French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar yesterday, sponsor Alwyn van der Merwe of Sanlam Private Investments emphasised that like Team GB obtained success in the 2012 Olympics, so too our Chardonnay winemakers are using ‘incremental improvement’ to obtain success. Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2011 and Jordan Barrel Fermented 2011 Chardonnays were both awarded a 5 star rating, and were the top two Chardonnays out of 60 evaluated.

Chardonnay is a white wine that should get recognition, said competition co-ordinator, wine judge, and wine writer Christian Eedes.  The first successful Chardonnay was made 20 years ago by Danie de Wet, of De Wetshof in Robertson.

Eedes explained that he started the Chardonnay competition last year, as he felt that wine judging needed a shake-up, as strange results were coming out of competitions.  Involving Roland Peens of Wine Cellar and James Pietersen, Beverage Manager of Belthazar and Balducci, as his fellow judges, they invited 60 Chardonnay producers to enter the competition, not charging an entry fee.  2010 and 2011 vintages were tasted, and Eedes said that they did not have the same richness as those of 2009, which now are ‘fantastically drinkable’. The vintages evaluated this year are ‘big and forceful’ wines, he said.

The Top 10 Chardonnay list, not ranked other than in terms of its star rating, is as follows:

* 5 stars:

Uva Mira Single Vineyard 2011

Jordan Barrel Fermented 2011

*   4,5 stars:

Tokara Reserve Collection Walker Bay 2011

Sumaridge 2011

Sterhuis Barrel Selection 2010

Radford Dale 2011

KWV The Mentors 2011

Hartenberg 2010

Hamilton Russell Vineyards 2011

Almenkerk 2011

French Toast served a number of their tapas dishes, including chicken kebabs, salmon pancakes, deep-fried seafood treats, mushroom bruschetta, and Mediterranean vegetable stirfry bruschetta.

Disclosure: We received a bottle of Uva Mira Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 with our media pack.

The Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report 2012.

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

The Hermanus Wine & Food Fair is more low key than similar ones in Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Riebeeck Kasteel.  This year the Fair is expanding its reach by putting close to 50 wine producers’ more than 250 wines, from Elgin to Elim and including Hermanus and Stanford, on show over the Women’s Day long weekend, from tomorrow until Sunday, in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village at the entrance to Hermanus.  The proceeds of the Fair will go to the nearby Camphill School for children with special needs.

This is the 15th year that the Fair will be staged.  The wines on show represent a wine region which has more 4 and 5 star Platter-rated wines than any other in South Africa, says the Fair write-up in Bay.

For the first time an interactive website www.thevine.co.za will allow winelovers attending the show to rate and review the wines they have tasted, and so build up a history of their wine tasting experiences, and share these with other wine lovers.  The producers who will present their wines, many of them on the Hermanus Wine Route, are the following: Arumdale, Almenkerk, Ataraxia, Barton, Beaumont Wines, Belfield Wines, Black Oystercatcher, Boschrivier, Bouchard Finlayson, Brunia, Creation, Domaine des Dieux, Feiteiras Wines, Ghost Corner, Henry, Hamilton Russell, Hermanuspietersfontein, Hornbill, Iona, Jakob’s Vineyards, Jean Daneel, La Vierge, Lomond, Newton Johnson, Raka, 7Springs, Southern Right Wines, Spioenkop Wines, Spookfontein, Strandveld & First Sighting, Stanford Hills – Jackson’s, Southhill, Sumaridge, The Berrio, Vaalvlei, Whalehaven, Walker Bay Vineyards, William Everson, Winters Drift, and Zandfontein.  Paul du Toit, owner of Wine Village, is the co-ordinator of the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair.

The food at the Hermanus Wine & Food Fair will be provided by the restaurants in the Hemel-en-Aarde Village centre, including The Class Room, B’s Steakhouse, and Season.  EAT will run a Peroni Beer and wine bar.  In addition, cheeses, olive products, charcuterie, buchu teas, bee products, herb liqueurs, nuts, sundried tomatoes, pomegranate products, pesto pastes, artisanal chocolates, and breads will be available for tasting and to purchase.

Hermanus Wine & Food Fair, Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Hermanus. 9 – 11 August, 11h00 – 19h00. R 95 per day, or R200 for 3-day pass. Free parking.  www.hermanuswineandfood.co.za. Book via Computicket.

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