Chenin Blanc is our country’s top-selling white wine, and is also the most widely planted white wine variety in South Africa! More and more Chenin Blanc wines are winning awards. Sales are growing dramatically, reports the Chenin Blanc Association. Continue reading →
* Comair is taking SAA to court for its bailouts received from the government, challenging the constitutionality of such payments, and calling for an equal playing field with ‘equal competition rules’ for all airlines.
* Ghanaian rapper D Black has been holidaying in Cape Town, his Instagram and Twitter (with 146000 followers!) shows. He visited Robben Island, Table Mountain,CampsBay, and the V&A V & A Waterfront. He also recorded with local musician Donald in Denial.
* Cape Town has been named by National Geographic as the second best Beach City in the world, the Clifton beaches mentioned specifically for their protection against the wind and expensive accommodation. The False Bay beaches, as well as Milnerton and Blouberg, are referred to. Number one is Barcelona, with its Barcenoleta Beach. The rest of the Beach City ranking is Honolulu (Waikiki Beach), Nice’s three beaches, Miami Beach, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Santa Monica, Sydney’s Bondi, Tel Aviv, and Vancouver’s ten beaches.
* SA Tourism, host of INDABA 2015, is describing the trade show as one which will exceed the expectations of both Continue reading →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has introduced a customer protection program to allow stranded passengers flying to or from or within Europe to be guaranteed a flight back home in the case of the airline going bankrupt.
* The best-selling red wine in Sweden is South Africa’s Umbala, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinotage blend from Mare Magnum, while Zumbali Chenin Blanc box wine is a top seller too, reports Euromonitor International. The country’s wine sale grew by 2% last year, and value is important to Swedish wine drinkers. By 2018 wine sales are expected to grow by 6%.
I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday yesterday, having been invited to join a media sail from the Royal Cape Yacht Club, to generate publicity for the Cape2Rio 2014 Yacht Race, which starts in Cape Town on 4 January. The 14th 3000 mile Cape2Rio Yacht Race is the ‘PR opportunity of the Year’ for Cape Town, and links to the 2014 Soccer World Cup taking place in Brazil, each of the 36 yachts taking a soccer ball.
Despite my uncertainty as to whether my guest house duties would allow me to participate, my staff gave me off, and the day could not have been more perfect for a sail, with no wind, and the temperature around 30°C. I had been invited by Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer Judy Lain, and she was waiting for me with a bunch of flowers! I thanked her for choosing such a perfect day and date for the sail! A number of media representatives were invited, and we gathered in the ‘galley‘ at the yacht club to hear more details about the race and its participants from the Race Marketer Toni Mainprize. The pioneering spirit and human struggle in making a yacht crossing was saluted, and it was said that Cape Town seems to have turned its back on the sea, despite it surrounding us. I personally had not sailed in years, having been a regular weekend sailor twenty years ago. We were encouraged to come to the Yacht Club on a Wednesday afternoon, and volunteer to crew on the yachts going out to sea. Teams from Angola, the UK, Australia, Italy, and Germany have entered the Race.
A number of representatives of the participating boats were present, and the idea was that we interview them on the water, the owners of Isla having made their catamaran available for the media outing. The response had been so great that Judy and other PR executives stayed on land, as the Hendersons, owners of Isla, were very strict about the total number of persons allowed on the yacht.
The 14,8 m catamaran Isla was built by its owner Ian Henderson, and sleeps eight. He will be putting his business interests on hold for the next year, taking his wife Elskeand their two daughters of 4 and 7 years with them on the race, and they plan to travel along the east coast of South and North America thereafter. Elske told me that they rarely get seasick now, regularly doing outings along the coast, and sleeping on the boat when they do trips away. Elske said she volunteers to helm, as it makes her less likely to become sea sick. She laughed, saying she is quick to delegate the food preparation when she feels queasy. She has found homeopathic medication to counter the sea Continue reading →
* The Legatum Prosperity Index shows that most African countries, including South Africa (now in 77th position) have declined in prosperity in the past year. The most prosperous countries are, in order, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark. Both the USA (11th) and UK (16th) have slipped on the Index relative to last year, particularly the former.
* World Travel Market, one of the top three travel and tourism exhibitions, and taking place in London from Monday – Thursday, will boost the UK economy by £160 million, and deals to the value of £2 billion are expected to be signed amongst the 50000 attendees.
* The Gfk Consumer Climate Europe is measuring a small upturn in the economic outlook for the European Union countries, signalling that the worst of the economic crisis in Europe may be over.
* Ebony Gallery on Loop Street is exhibiting Grace Kotze’s ‘Within’ exhibition from 7 November – 4 December. (received via e-mail from Ebony)
* Cape Town has been named third best city in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 Top Cities listing. It was beaten by Paris and Trinidad, but was ranked ahead of Riga (capital of Latvia), Zurich, Shanghai, Vancouver, Chicago, Adelaide, and Auckland. Top 10 countries in the world are Brazil, Antarctic (unusual to call this a country!), Scotland (is it not part of the UK?), Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia, and Malaysia. The rationale for Cape Town’s ranking was: ‘Expect sculpture-lined green spaces, sustainable projects that are more than just a pretty face, and further regeneration of former industrial districts. 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of South African democracy – honour it by exploring the city’s history,’ encourages the travel guide.
Cape Town was crowned with first place in the category Top 10 Cities in Africa and the Middle East and ranked eleventh in the Top 25 Cities in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The city as also rated tops as Africa’s Leading Destination and also as Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination by World Travel Awards. (received via e-mail from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)
Yesterday I spent a most entertaining afternoon at the Grande Roche hotel in Paarl, to observe the last phase of the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Sommelier World Cup competition, the announcement and evaluation of the Top 3, and the awarding of the prize to the winning sommelier Will Predhomme.
The invited guests were the twelve finalists for the Sommelier World Cup, media representatives from the USA (I sat next to Rebecca Canan from the Terroirist Blog), Sweden, and Belgium, local writers, the local and international sommelier judges, and WOSA staff from its international offices as well as from its head office in Stellenbosch. After a welcome glass of wine, we sat down for lunch at Bosman’s, and it was clear to see why this Continue reading →
The function moved to different venues inside the hotel, a welcome glass of Balance Boldly Brut being served with a canapé of samoosa filled with crocodile (luckily we were not told what was inside when it was served!), bacon, and green apple on an Asian spoon, in Sandy B, the downstairs bar.
The tasting was held in the downstairs Bistro, with an introduction of Overhex Wines International by co-owner and MD Gerhard van der Wath. The company was established seven years ago, and he got Swiss winemaker JC Martin, co-owner of Creation and son-in-law of highly respected winemaker Walter Finlayson, on board as winemaker. JC and Gerhard recently bought out the other partners, and JC makes his own Creation wines as well as blending the Balance wines. The company is one of the top 20 exporters of South African wines. Their strategy is to be different, Gerhard said, which shows in their fun label of an elephant balancing on the letter ‘l’! They develop different styles of wines for different markets. All the grapes are bought in for their wine production, a total of 10000 tons. He shared that they have won the largest number of wine tenders in Finland in the past Continue reading →