WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 2 August


WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Perfect China has bought the cellar and wine farm of Val de Vie for use by Perfect Wines of South Africa, in which it has a 51% stake (with Leopard’s Leap), reports Bloomberg, the first purchase of a local wine estate by a Chinese company.  Close to 3 million bottles of the company’s L’Huguenot wine were exported to the Asian country in 2011 and 2012, representing about 25 percent of all South African wine exports to China.  The cellar and maturation capacity are to be increased.

*   More storms, including hail, have hit the wine regions of France, especially the Génissac region last week, in which 30 – 100% of the crops were destroyed, reports Wine Spectator.

*   USA wine blogger Joe Roberts, writing 1WineDude, will be the keynote speaker at the Nederburg Auction, an interesting reflection of the growing influence of wine bloggers!

*   Interesting news is that Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk has promulgated draft legislation to have one united set of legislation relating to tourism nationally,and to not allow fragmented activity of the tourism industry by province or region. The Western Cape province is working on updating the Tourism Act of 2004, which could become obsolete if the Tourism  Minister has his way.  Is there a place for provincial (and even city) tourism marketing bodies if this legislation is passed?

*   Business with BRICS countries is brisk for South Africa, and is expected to double from $230 billion to $500 billion in two years from now.  SA Tourism is opening an office in Brazil this year.

*   Creation has just launched its 2013 vintage of its Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – the 2012 vintage achieved 89 points by US wine critic Robert Parker. According to Creation Cellarmaster JC Martin the 2013 vintage shows the same potential. (via e-mail received from Creation).

*   Six of our country’s hotels are in the World’s 50 Best Hotels 2013, as voted by Travel & Leisure, and only one is in the Cape, being the Cape Grace.  The new Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg is at number 50.

*   Standard Bank has joined Du Toitskloof Wines in sponsoring the new Wine Writer of the Year competition, which aims to reward in-depth writing on challenges facing the wine industry. All participants have to submit an article on the same topic.  The competition is open to published wine writers who have to submit an in-depth article on the topic ‘The consequences of climate change for the South African wine industry’ by 27 September. There is one prize of R30000 for the winning entry. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   The Cape Wine Academy is offering a series of wine courses:

Introduction to the wonders of wine, topics encompass wine styles and the effect of wine on the taste of food; vineyard and winemaking practices and how they contribute to making a quality wine. There is a tutored tasting at each of the presentations.


Groot Constantia Estate, Constantia         24 August

St James Hotel, Durban KZN                        31 August

Morgenhof Wine Estate, Stellenbosch      30 August


Wine.co.za, Somerset West                           26 August

2.   WINE & FOOD –  Stellenbosch           16 August

Focuses on food and wine combinations and its effect on taste. After the course one is able to partner wines and food with much more savvy and understanding.

3.   2 Day – FRONT OF HOUSE  – Stellenbosch     13-14 September

Topics encompass wine styles and the effect of wine on the taste of food; vineyard and winemaking practices and how they contribute to making a quality wine, as well as how to set a standard in the wine industry regarding service and attitude

4.   2 Day – WINES OF THE WORLD  – Stellenbosch      25-26 October

From France to Australia and the Americas,  their wines will be compared against ours. (received via e-mail from the Cape Wine Academy)

*   The continued heatwave in the UK is bad for travel agent business, seeing a drop in business, as happened two weeks ago as well, when agencies lost up to 20% of bookings!

*   It’s fitting that The Beer House opens on 223 Long Street today, it being International Beer Day today!

*   Richelieu XO Cognac Fine Champagne has won the accolade of being named the best Cognac in the world, and receiving a Gold Outstanding medal, at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.  It is made from Ugni blanc grapes harvested in the Grande and Petite Champagne areas of Cognac, and double-distilled before being matured in French oak barrels for 25 years and longer.  It sells for about R1600. (via media release from De Kock Communications)

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

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