Last night I attended the launch of the ‘Platter’s by Diners Club International 2019 South African Wine Guide’ at the Table Bay Hotel. It was an evening of some surprises, and new awards presented! But one thing was consistent – the Mullineux duo of Chris and Andrea lead this country in its consistent wine award performance, winning Winery of the Year for the third time in the 39 year history of the Platter’s Guide. Continue reading →
A record 111 South African wines received a coveted 2018 Platter’s Guide five-star rating at the Awards ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel tonight. Raats Family Wines was named as the 2018 Winery of the Year. Continue reading →
For 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’. Continue reading →
* The Design Indaba has announced that it will eliminate the Design Indaba Expo, largely due to the large drop in attendance this year, reaching the 2009 attendance level. The venue of the Design Indaba conference will change to Artscape, and the date will move from the last weekend in February. Owner Ravi Naidoo would like to take the event to Johannesburg and Durban too, as well as internationally.
I 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: Continue reading →
* Platter’s is evaluating its 5 star wines differently this year, already tasted blind by its panel of wine evaluators. Tim James, one of the Platter’s tasters, has explained in his blog today what changes publisher JP Rossouw has introduced, the selection of the more than 200 potential 5-star wines taking place today. The potential 5-star wines are nominated by the tasters. For the evaluation, additional tasters will be used, who were not used for the sighted tastings due to their commercial links to some wines. Seven panels with three tasters each will blind taste about 30 wines, scored in silence, and discussed thereafter, one by one.
* Dame Helen Mirren was seen arriving at Cape Town International this morning, to star in a film with actors Colin Firth and Aaron Paul, in Gavin Hood’s ‘Eye in the Sky‘.
* Etihad Airways has bought a 49% share in Alitalia. The investment will benefit Alitalia as follows: ‘The recapitalized Italian national airline will now be able to invest in a comprehensive strategic business plan which will see new long-haul routes from Rome and Milan, a revitalized brand, and a greater focus on Italian tourism and trade promotion’.
* The award-winning winemaking team of Andrea and Chris Mullineux, of 2014 Platter’s Winery of the Year Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, now has access to the Roundstone wine farm inRiebeek-Kasteel, on which they will plant new vines (with viticulturist Rosa Kruger) as well as Continue reading →
I was sorry to miss the vertical tasting of ten vintages of Saronsberg Shiraz at Auslese last week, not being able to attend earlier in the day due to a work commitment. I was however able to taste two of the vintages with the lunch prepared by Aubergine Chef Harald Bresselschmidt.
Saronsberg has been very low-key in the past ten years in terms of its media coverage, and only recently commenced with a PR campaign via Waterford Communications. Its Shiraz has been regarded as one of this country’s best, and has won a 5 star Platter rating for its 2010 and 2011 vintages. Other awards which the Shiraz has won include double gold at the Veritas Awards, Gold at Michelangelo International Wine Awards, Gold at Syrah du Monde, the Red Wine Trophy at the Winemakers’ Choice awards, Gold and trophies at the Decanter Asia awards, and the South African Shiraz Trophy at the International Wine Challenge. Winemaker Dewaldt Heyns has been building the Saronsberg wine brand since owner Nick van Huyssteen bought the farm in Tulbagh in 2012, the year in which he joined Saronsberg. Half of the farm is planted with Shiraz, due to the good quality red wines made in the region. Dewaldt’s expertise in making the Saronsberg wines led to him being invited to become a member of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild, an association of top winemakers for which membership is by invitation only. Just a few days ago wine writer Tim James included Dewaldt in a list of 12 top winemakers of our country! Continue reading →
Slowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago. Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.
For the first time Platter’s has advertised! Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too. The advertisement bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club! The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide. Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required. Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’. The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘! One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career! More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! Continue reading →
* The Dutch government is sponsoring World Design Capital 2014 with a R4,5 million investment through the ‘Department of Design’ event, to be held at Provenance Auction House in Vrede Street in Cape Town from 8 – 27 July. A Dutch economic trade mission will visit Cape Town and the event, which consists of workshops, presentations, debates, and activity relating to sustainability, focusing on water management, transport and logistics, agriculture and farming, health and science, and the creative industries in particular.
* R4,7 million has been spent to upgrade the facilities of the Department of Home Affairs’ passport control counter at Cape Town International, in the interest of improved service, reports The New Age. Passport control has been moved closer to the Duty Free section of the airport. An automated queuing system with turnstiles has been introduced.
* Start-up Cape Town company Over has won first prize in the U-Start Conference in Milan, its app allowing one to place text and artwork over photographs. The app has been downloaded 8 million times since it was developed in 2012. Western Cape Minister Continue reading →