The R20 million Waterfront solar project is at an early stage, and reflects the commitment by the country’s most popular tourist Continue reading →
Boschendal has been below the radar for the past year, the only news having been that the estate was closed while it transformed itself into a wedding function venue. It appears that the wine estate is not only catering for weddings, but has a number of exciting restaurant developments up its sleeve too, some completed and some more to come. Having new Chef Christiaan Campbell on board, formerly of Delaire Graff, the estate is transforming itself into Boschendal Farm, with a focus on ethical and sustainable sourcing of ingredients and preparation of food.
I visited Boschendal Farm yesterday, and was astounded at the energy, and part transformation which has already taken place. Gone are the ‘cobwebs’ and the old fuddy-duddy feel which one experienced in the Buffet restaurant and the Café. It started with me parking my car and Events and Functions Manager Aldo du Plessis (previously with La Motte and Grande Provence) driving past, stopping immediately, and inviting me on a guided tour, an offer which I could not refuse!
We drove to the new wedding and conference venue The Olive Press, which is in a section of the more than 2000 ha farm which one has not seen Continue reading →
Not only is the 2011 edition of Platter’s South African Wines grass green in colour, but it also focuses on sustainability in the guide by highlighting the work by organisations and individuals in protecting and restoring the environment, and in promoting biodiversity. Each of the invited guests at the launch function received their guide in a lively new multi-coloured carry-bag which Woolworths is selling, to educate wine drinkers about responsible wine production and drinking.
Launching the 31st edition of Platter’s at Capelands in Somerset West yesterday afternoon, publisher Andrew McDowell said that 6500 wines had been evaluated sighted from 800 producers, and the highest number of 5-stars ever was awarded to 58 wines. The short-list of wines was tasted unsighted, and resulted in the final list of 5-star wines. The Red Wine of the Year was voted as De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described by the judges as “pure hedonism and promising outstanding development over the next decade”. White Wine of the Year was Fleur du Cap’s Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from chenin blanc in the main, and was described as “arresting, with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity”. Superquaffer of the Year, offering outstanding value, was Nederburg Lyric 2010, a blend of chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, described as “a celebration of fruit and a delightful demonstration of how well the three varieties can work together”.
The Platter’s Winery of the Year went to Nederburg, in recognition of a ‘winery (which) stood head and shoulders above the rest’. The winery won eighteen 5-star ratings in eleven editions, and five 5-star wines in the new edition. Cellarmaster Razvan Macici was delighted to receive this prestigious honour, particularly as he is celebrating his 10th anniversary at Nederburg.
The 5-star rated wines are the following, by variety (* denotes first-ever 5-star rating):
Cabernet Sauvignon: Boekenhoutskloof 2009, Delaire Graff Reserve 2008*, Kanonkop 2007, Klein Constantia 2008, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007, Le Riche CWG Auction Reserve 2007
Grenache: Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections 2008
Pinot Noir: Meerlust 2008, Newton Johnson Domaine 2009
Pinotage: Beyerskloof Diesel 2008
Shiraz: Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2008, Eagles’ Nest 2008, Haskell Pillars 2008, Rijk’s Private Cellar 2005, Saxenburg Select Unlimited Release 2006
Merlot: Shannon Mount Bullet 2008*
Red Blends: Ernie Els Signature 2007, Graham Beck Ad Honorem 2007, Hartenberg The Mackenzie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2007, Reyneke Reserve Red 2007*, Spier Frans K. Smit 2006, Vergelegen Red 2005
Chardonnay: Groot Constantia Gouverneurs 2009, Julien Schaal 2009*, Mulderbosch 2008, Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2008
Chenin Blanc: Botanica 2009*, StellenRust ’45’ Barrel Fermented 2009*
Grenache Blanc: The Foundry 2009
Sauvignon Blanc: Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2010, Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009, The Berrio 2009, Zevenwacht 360º 2009*
White Blends: Cape Point Isliedh 2009, Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2009*, Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009*, Nederburg Ingenuity White 2009, Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Private Bin D253 2009, Rall White 2009, Sadie Family Palladius 2009, Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2009, Strandveld Adamastor 2009*, Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009
MÃ©thode Cap Classique: Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008*, Villiera Monro Brut 2005
Dessert Wine, Unfortified: Fairview Le Beryl Blanc 2009, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2009, Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2009
Port: Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Tawny NV, JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve 2007
The Woolworths Biodiversity & Wine Initiative bags depict colourful images of wine glasses, bottles and proteas, and the logo of the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI). Wording on the bags encourages sustainability: “Support conservation in the Winelands; look out for our wines displaying this label…Get the latest project information by writing www.bwi.co.za”; “Woolworths supports the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. The Cape Winelands is home to more plant species than are found in the entire northern hemisphere, with 70 % of these plants found nowhere else in the world. The Cape Floral Kingdom is recognised as a World Heritage Site”. Attached to the bag is a BWI brochure, which explains the importance of ‘production integrity and environmental sustainability”, lists the members of the BWI, and salutes the BWI “Champions”: Backsberg, Bartinney, Burgherspost, Cederberg, Cloof, Delheim, Eikenhof, Graham Beck, Hermanuspietersfontein, Klein Constantia, La Motte, Lourensford, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Schalkenbosch, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, Waverley Hills, and Wedderwill. Woolworths encourages wine drinkers to look for wines carrying the BWI logo on the back labels of its wines.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Du Toit-Helmbold sees Cape Town developing into a top world city in 2020 in which to “live, visit, study, work and invest in”, and into a centre of innovation and creativity, welcoming 4 million international visitors annually. It will become a favourite domestic destination too, and will be known as the ‘events capital of Africa’, she said. “The city is clean, green and safe – recognised as one of the most livable cities in the world” in 2020, she added.
We welcome her vision that by 2020 “Cape Town now sustains a healthy year-round tourism industry with many direct flights from key markets across the world”, especially as she mentioned that feedback from Cape Town Tourism members shows that “…some establishments reporting alarmingly low occupancy levels” since the World Cup. Also, she indicated that there was no clear picture yet about the festive season bookings, and reiterated how important it is to address seasonality variations, the winter months being a severe problem. Events are an important means of countering seasonality, and she announced that with its funder, the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism is working on an Events Strategy for the city, linking already established events with new ones held in “off-peak” season.
Du Toit-Helmbold also said that world cities such as Cape Town, and its tourism brands, must work on their “future fit”, in exploring new markets, and in investing in web, emarketing and technology to ensure that Cape Town Tourism can meet its goal of doubling its economic impact on the city in the next 10 years. She said that more than 70 % of tourism bookings are made on-line.
On the topic of the suggested amalgamation of Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which Cape Town Tourism is respectfully resisting, a guest speaker Claes Bjerkne, a destination marketing expert, said that Cape Town is the “ideal master brand as it is one of the better known cities of the world’, on a par with Paris, London, San Francisco and Beijing. Du Toit-Helmbold said that Cape Town Tourism was seeking an apolitical tourism structure for the province and the city, “driven by the private sector and supported by government”. “Cape Town Tourism will not compromise our status as an industry-led association, and we remain committed to marketing Cape Town and its unique experience”, she concluded.
At the AGM, new directors were elected/re-elected: quantity surveyor Pierre du Plessis (we question his tourism knowledge), Susanne Faussner-Ringer (who pushed for MATCH bookings for the World Cup with her friend Nils Heckscher, which should have got both of them fired from the Board of Cape Town Tourism for their irresponsible advice to and pressure on the accommodation industry, in our opinion), Bulelwa Nobuzwe Makalima-Ngewana (Deputy CEO of the Cape Town Partnership), Sarah Struys (Events and Marketing Manager of Kirstenbosch), and Claus Tworeck (CEO of City Sightseeing Cape Town). They join existing directors Sabine Lehmann of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, Nils Heckscher of the Winchester Mansions Hotel, Guy Lundy of Accelerate Cape Town, and Rashid Toefy, of the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
POSTSCRIPT 10/10 : Southern African Tourism Update provides extra input to the Cape Town Tourism AGM, the future of brand Cape Town, and of the funding of Cape Town Tourism, not mentioned in the Cape Town Tourism media release:
“Keynote speaker, Claes Bjerkne, CEO of Bjerkne & Co, a Swedish destination marketing consultancy, said the city and province should work together to develop a tourism strategy, “but it’s a waste of time not to use the strong city brand”. He suggested: “Let Cape Town be the driving force in the process of developing tourism in the city as well as the province.” He proposed local tourism marketers combine brand Cape Town with topics of interest – such as wine, whales, flowers, culture, golf and wildlife – to entice visitors further into the region.
Pointing out that few people knew the provinces that housed such strong city brands as Berlin, San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and London, he said similarly visitors to South Africa didn’t know its various regions but recognised brand Cape Town. This did not mean they would not travel further into the province to pursue their interests. The same was true overseas, he said, where tourists combined San Francisco with the Nappa Valley to taste wine, travelled to the Great Wall of China from Beijing, or left Edinburgh behind to play golf at St Andrews.
CTT CEO, MariÃ«tte du Toit-Helmbold, also made a strong case for Cape Town to be the brand for the city and the province and for tourism marketing to remain driven by the tourism industry and not by civil servants. “We will not compromise on the industry playing the leading role,” she said. “Cities are the super-brands of the future. Cape Town has all the potential to become this.”
Cape Town City Council Mayoral Committee for Economic Development & Tourism, Felicity Purchase, expressed continued confidence in CTT as the city’s marketer. The city will fund CTT to the tune of R38m for the next financial year.”
POSTSCRIPT 12/10: We have amended our blog post after receiving feedback from Cape Town Tourism. A future vision for Cape Town for 2020 was oddly written in the present rather than in the future tense in the media release.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage