Entries tagged with “Val de Vie”.


Last Monday I attended The Sommeliers Selection 2018 tasting of the top-scoring wines at Tokara Delicatessen, driving through from Cape Town on a rainy day. My two favorites I tasted were Arra Shiraz 2015, as well as Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2017.  The top wines in the tasting were selected by top Sommelier members of the South African SOmmeliers Association, and the Black Cellar Club.  (more…)

Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early heavy winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands are feeling the pinch, and many have closed down, even some on the iconic restaurant Bree Street, as well as in the Waterfront!  (more…)

imageOn Friday evening Prince Harry and a group of eight other guests had dinner at Reuben’s Franschhoek, on the eve of a charity Polo Cup match at Val de Vie, the main purpose of his visit to the Cape. It is the second visit by the Prince to the restaurant.

Restaurant Manager and sister of Reuben Riffel  (more…)

imageThe FNB Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Top 10 wines were announced over a lunch held at Val de Vie today!

Invited guests included the Top 20 Finalists for the awards, and tasting tables had been set up to allow the twenty Finalist wines to be tasted. No one knew who would make the Top 10 list.  A shelf had been set up to display all top twenty (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index reflects that the tourism industry is improving, with a score of 108 for the last quarter of 2014. A score of 100 is the norm.  The Accommodation sector did even better, with an Index of 113, despite the impact of Ebola, and the Immigration Regulation changes introduced late last year.  ‘Other Tourism‘ (e.g. transport, food and beverage) scored 104, lower than had been forecast for the quarter.  The exchange rate has played a role in the improving Index.  For the first quarter of this year an average Index of about 102 is expected.

*   The Cape Winelands is experiencing its earliest harvest in 49 years, having started very early in the new year, almost a month earlier than last year.  VinPro explains that three perfect winters with enough cold and sufficient rain, combined with an unusually warmer August, has led to the earlier harvest.  A smaller harvest is expected this year, but is expected to be of a good quality.  Winemakers are facing a challenge in their cellars in that many cultivars are ripening almost at the same time.

*   Cycling in Cape Town is one of the best ways to see our city, writes the Los Angeles Times, describing (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

 *  Cape Town’s hosting of World Design Capital 2014 has benefited only a few Capetonians, says mega-moaner ANC City Councillor Tony Ehrenreich, while Grant Haskin, African Christian Democratic Party caucus leader, agrees.  Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Garreth Bloor disputes this, many of the 450 design projects initiated this year having a longer-term legacy.  The City of Cape Town is spending R40 million on the project this year. 

*   Despite there being no cases of Ebola in South Africa, some tour groups from Asia have cancelled their trips to our country, for fear of the West Africa cases spreading to our country.

*   Artist Aleta Michaletos from Pretoria will exhibit 32 of her works at De Oude Drostdy, the home of (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging its members to use IT to improve the customer experience, saying that airlines ‘fly people and cargo, not planes‘. Consistency of customer experience is not yet satisfactory for airlines, with little differentiation. Customers would like to use IT to check in online, tag luggage themselves, board themselves, and collect bags themselves, an IATA survey found last year.  IATA’s goal is that 80% of passengers have a ‘self-service suite based on industry standards‘ available to them by 2020.

*   PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is not known as a Tourism consultancy, so its prediction about our country’s tourism future is a surprise.  Its report presents growth of 4% in international tourists 2013, far lower than the 10% growth in 2012.  Growth is said to be solid and good, but ‘not fantastic growth‘.  Almost three quarters of international visitors to our country are from Africa, the report confirms.  Nigeria would become the leading source market for our country, the PwC study predicts.  The Guest House category is the fastest growing in respect of room availability.  South Africa’s strength is that it attracts leisure as well as business travelers.

*   France must be feeling the tourism pinch, having announced plans to become more welcoming to tourists, English speaking ones in particular.   The country hopes to increase tourist numbers to 100 million, (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

*   Mango is tightening up its credit card procedures, to prevent fraud, by demanding that tickets bought by credit card are verified with the actual card.  If the card is not with the passenger, he/she may not board.

*   ESKOM started load-shedding around the country today, without prior warning, the rain in Johannesburg allegedly wetting the coal and therefore affecting its supply!  The Cape has not been spared, with electricity cuts in Somerset West, Claremont, Durbanville, Tokai, Kenilworth, Parow, Elsies River, Wellington, and Hout Bay this morning, followed by Sea Point, Camps Bay, and many other Cape Town suburbs later in the day.  Our international visitors (other than those from other African countries) are shocked! (via Twitter)

*   Chef Chris Erasmus will leave Pierneef à La Motte in June, to open his own restaurant with his wife in Franschhoek in September.

*   The Bols Bartending World Champion Rusty Cerven chose Cape Town as one of his four world cities to visit, with Sydney, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, as part of his prize when he beat 3000 bartenders from 66 countries.  In Cape Town he demonstrated (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headline

*   Tuk-tuks operating in Cape Town are doing so illegally, even if they are offering the service for free, and passengers travelling in them will not be covered by insurance as a result.  The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Brett Herron, confirmed that only one tuk-tuk operating in Cape Town has been licensed.

*   Interesting is the effect of the shut-down of the non-essential services by the American government on tourists as well as on American citizens.

*   The City of Cape Town is to erect warning signs about rip currents on its beaches.

*   Woolworths Chairman Simon Susman writes in its latest annual report that South Africa’s growth is lagging that of other emerging (more…)