Entries tagged with “Wacky Wine Weekend”.


Yesterday I posted an overview of the Media Visit day we spent in McGregor for Wacky Wine Weekend, my first taste of the wine event covering the Robertson Wine Valley, which continues until the end of today. It is the 14th Wacky Wine Weekend. I was unable to ascertain where the ‘Wacky’ part of the event name comes from! (more…)

On Thursday a number of writers and I spent the day in McGregor, to enjoy a taste of the wine and food offering of the village, invited by Hot Oven Marketing owner Mira Weiner, ahead of the Wacky Wine Weekend being held in the Robertson Wine Valley until Sunday.  (more…)

The first taste of the Cape winter this weekend is likely to be felt by the restaurant industry, which will see hard times in the next two months, if close to zero accommodation bookings in the Cape are anything to go by.  Other than Hermanus FynArts and the Wacky Wine Weekend kicking off next week, ‘Cook Franschhoek‘ running over the Youth Day long weekend, and the Bastille Festival weekend on 13 – 14 July, no significant events are planned to attract visitors to Cape Town and the Winelands.  A number of restaurants are closing for an annual break in the next two months.

This list of restaurant openings and closings isupdated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*   The Crypt Jazz Restaurant has opened below St George’s Cathedral.

*   Frères Bistro has opened next door to Col’Cacchio on Hans Strydom (more…)

It was appropriate for Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism Alan Winde to speak to the Cape Town Press Club about Tourism yesterday, and to announce that his department is working on a plan to establish Cape Town as a hub for the Southern Hemisphere wine industry, in creating a platform for the wines of Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, given that it was the opening day of CapeWine 2012, probably one of the most significant wine-related tourism events ever held in Cape Town.

Speaking at a Cape Town Press Club lunch at 6 Spin Street yesterday, Minister Winde highlighted that events are an important driver of tourism in the Western Cape, and he highlighted how important wine tourism is for our province, it being a unique tourism product for the Western Cape.  The CapeWine 2012 and Vindaba exhibitions are therefore vital in focusing attention on our highly regarded wine industry, and in attracting local visitors to the Cape.  The Minister related that 41 % of the Western Cape tourists are locals, of which close to 90% are from other parts of the Western Cape, and only 10% are from Gauteng. The Minister would like to see the domestic tourism proportion increase to 50%, to make the Western Cape less susceptible to the impact of the international economy, the effect of the international recession having been felt since 2008.

The Minister welcomed the delegates attending CapeWine 2012 to Cape Town, and invited the public to visit Vindaba on World Tourism Day on Thursday. He said: “Wine tourism in the Western Cape generates income in excess of R5 billion per annum and creates thousands of jobs. We will continue to support the sector to ensure that it grows even bigger and employs even more people. It is also important that liquor and wine traders in our Province operate responsibly. We want traders that are successful and consumers that are healthy”.

Minister Winde also announced a number of other tourism related initiatives he and his department are working on:

*   direct flights between Cape Town and Miami, feeding into the USA as well as South America.

*  a Tourism Business School, to raise the ‘level of competence’ of tourism staff

*  the reduction of the abuse of liquor by implementing stricter rules for the restaurant industry and liquor trade

*   spend more money on tourism marketing, and less on computers in tourism bureaus. He emphasised the importance of spending marketing monies in attracting more of the Gauteng market to the Cape.

*   ensure that SAA has enough capacity to bring more Gauteng tourists to Cape Town – over the past long weekend the flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town were fully booked, which kept potential tourists away from the Western Cape.  He will also address the feedback received from the important wine media, wine trade, sommeliers, and wine lovers attending CapeWine 2012, the German contingent having been on a SAA flight with unfriendly staff, poor food, and very poor wines, the latter running out in Economy class within two hours of the commencement of the flight. The water on board had run out the next morning.  The connecting flight to Cape Town from Johannesburg was missed due to the simultaneous arrival of a number of flights, causing congestion at Passport Control and the baggage retrieval, which meant a three hour (unscheduled) wait at OR Thambo airport.   Minister Winde emphasised that Brand South Africa commences when tourists get onto the plane to South Africa, and not when they set foot in our country or province.  A shock statistic is that there are 36 flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg daily, the 9th busiest route in the world!  It is also equivalent to the number of flights between the USA and Africa.

*   the legislation to allow the incorporation of the previous Cape Town Routes Unlimited into Wesgro is being written

*   Cape Agulhas is being upgraded, with the addition of new benches, the renovation of the lighthouse, and the addition of new signage on the N2.

*  the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe is a cause for concern, and the Minister has received representation from the three Mayors of the towns on the route, as well as a petition with 6000 signatures, calling for the reinstatement of this historic rail route.

*   in the Cape events are vital, and the Minister mentioned the success of the Loeries which had been held in Cape Town over the long weekend, the annual Design Indaba, the Design Capital 2014, the effect of the planned doubling of the Convention Centre which could attract a conference with 16000 delegates being bid for currently, the International Jazz Festival, The Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the Wacky Wine Weekend, and the ABSA Epic Cycle Tour.  Ravi Naidoo has achieved such a good international reputation for his work on Design Indaba, that he has been invited to set up Design Shanghai, the Minister shared.

Overall, the Minister wants to see the contribution of Tourism to the economy of the Western Cape increase from the current 10% to 15%.  The success of CapeWine 2012, and its large international contingent attending this prestigious event, must be a sign to the Minister and the local wine and tourism industry what value there is in investing in the marketing of our province’s liquid gold, and its Wine Routes linked to it!

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

As far as Cape Town events go, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is the ‘stepsister’ of higher profile events such as the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and the J&B Met.  Today Cape Town hosts the 43rd Two Oceans Marathon, which carries the proud pay-off line of ‘The world’s most beautiful marathon’, says its website.

The pay-off line describes the picturesque route the 56 km ultra-marathon runners will cover, starting near SA Breweries at Main Road in Newlands, going through Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, and Constantia Nek, and ending at UCT.  One hopes for the runners that the rain will hold off until they complete the marathon.  The half-marathon of 21 km is run in Constantia.  The Two Oceans Marathon will result in a number of road closures in the Southern Suburbs, including Constantia, Claremont, Newlands, Bishopscourt, and Mowbray.

Interesting is that little information about the economic value of the Two Oceans Marathon could be found via Google, such information usually proudly presented by sponsors and organisers of the other mainstream Cape Town events. A Cape Business News article quoted Calvyn Gilfellan, the former CEO of the now defunct Cape Town Routes Unlimited, in providing the economic value of major Cape events, and the Two Oceans Marathon falls in fifth place, in having generated R80 million for the local economy.  This compares to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival economic impact of R500 million, that of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour of R450 million, the Cape Epic at R200 million, and the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK) at R96 million.  The J&B Met and Wacky Wine Weekend in Robertson are far smaller in their economic impact.

The tourism impact of Cape events appears to be reducing, we found this year, with occupancy of Camps Bay guest houses having reduced for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, the J&B Met, and the Cape Town International jazz Festival, compared to previous years, indicating that more locals and fewer out-of-town visitors may be participating in these events, and therefore the economic impact figures for this year may be lower than last year.  Odd therefore was to see a lightweight media interview by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold with Eye Witness News (the news service for Kfm), her first media appearance since she took maternity leave in December last year, even though she has not yet officially returned to work.  She states that the Easter weekend will be busy due to the Two Oceans Marathon and the KKNK (in Oudtshoorn), but this is contrary to our experience, with many Camps Bay guest houses not being fully-booked this weekend.  The rain forecast for the next three days would not encourage tourism to the city.  She also referred to ‘other events in the city’ over this weekend, but we are not aware of any event other than the Two Oceans Marathon.  She countered the petrol price increase, and its impact on tourism, saying that ‘we still expect a lot of people to come to Cape Town over the Easter weekend‘, without backing up her claim with quantitative information.  She appears to be very out of touch with the tourism industry due to her long maternity leave break.

We wish the 23000 Two Oceans Marathon runners, and visitors to Cape Town supporting them, a wonderful day in the most beautiful city in the world!

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