Entries tagged with “Chamonix”.


WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The City of Cape Town is spending R3 million on the soccer match between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria for the Africa Confederation (AfCon) Cup qualifier at the Cape Town Stadium on 10 September. One wonders what benefit this would have for the tourism industry. In the past the soccer matches with international teams have not benefited our city and its tourism industry when former Councillor and Tourism Mayoral Committee member Grant Pascoe used this as his main strategy to try and boost tourism! (received via Twitter and Kfm)

*   UK wine writer Jancis Robinson praises Franschhoek as a gourmet and tourism town, but writes that there are few wineries. She describes it as a place ‘where the swallows make their own wine!  She highlights Boekenhoutskloof as the best known and Chamonix as the most consistently performing wineries in the village. She generally praises Franschhoek’s terroir as being ideally suited to Sémillon, and particularly winemaker Gottfried Mocke’s Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon blend, the 2012 vintage in particular.

*   Tourism booking cancellations have led Cape Town Tourism to issue a statement about Ebola:‘Cape Town Tourism would like to remind would-be visitors that there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in South Africa during the recent outbreak. In (more…)

MasterChef SA Season 3 Chefs Benny, Reuben, PeteMasterChef SA fans have been waiting in anticipation for their favourite reality TV cooking show to return to their screens, with the first episode of Season 3 starting at 19h30 this evening.  A new judge is introduced, and the contestants are said to be of a high standard. M-Net has also announced that its first Season of MasterChef SA Celebrity will stir things up for charity in January.

The M-Net media announcement about Season 3 is full of food clichés and fighting talk about how excellent the programme series is:  ‘The contestants are hungry for victory, the Judging panel has been refreshed by the addition of award-winning chef Reuben Riffel, and viewers can look forward to epic culinary triumphs as well as some spectacular gastronomic fails. MasterChef SA (more…)

Hayden Quinn 4 Huguenot Monument Whale CottageLast night’s episode 4 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was good marketing for Franschhoek, known for its food and wine, combined with its beauty, being filmed on a perfect summer’s day.  There was minimal, if any, Woolworths punting in the episode!

Hayden started his Franschhoek journey at the Huguenot Monument, erected in honour of the French Huguenots, ‘exiles‘ who picked Franschhoek to grow vines viewers were told, a bit of creative licence, as they were given the land.  Hayden explained that the village name, which he pronounced close to perfectly, means ‘French Corner’.  He  said that the monument represents peace, agriculture, and viticulture, copywriting nonsense, as the monument (erected in 1948) represents religious freedom, something the Huguenots could only experience in Franschhoek, having to flee France.  The village was previously called Olifantshoek, after the elephants roaming in the valley. The main road of Franschhoek was shown, and Hayden referred to it as having buildings with ‘French style architecture‘ (sic)! (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   New York has the best wine lists in the world, ahead of those of London. San Francisco, and Chicago, according to the UK World of Fine Wine.   Rust en Vrede won best winelist in Africa.  The wine list at Palais Coburg Residenz was judged to be the best in the world.

*   Germany’s record 7-1 win over Brazil in the Soccer World Cup semi-final on Tuesday set new records on Twitter, with 35,6 million Tweets being the highest ever for a sports match.  When Sami Khedira scored the fifth goal for Germany in the first half, Twitter reached a new record of 580166 Tweets per minute!    

*   The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) has introduced 30 minutes of free wifi at its nine airports.  After the half an hour usage, one can use the service on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis.

*   The Pot Luck Club is offering ‘Edible Entertainment’ this winter. New Bloody Mary recipes have been concocted, containing (more…)

Holden Manz Chef Julia Hattingh Whale Cotatge PortfolioJulia Hattingh is the fourth chef at Franschhoek Kitchen since Holden Manz bought the previously named Klein Genot wine estate, and it was renamed after the owners’ surnames.  She is a breath of fresh air, and the restaurant will attract back customers, as Chef Julia settles in and takes the restaurant to a new level.

Security is stricter now, one having to fill in a sheet at the boom, but friendly.   One walks through the downstairs tasting room to get to the upstairs restaurant, and I chose the smaller room with the fireplace. Front of House Manager Cobi Bosch is new, and he and I did not gel at all.  He previously worked at Rhapsody’s at Cape Town International and in Bloemfontein.  I knew that Manager Wayne Buckley would pop in, and I did want to meet Chef Julia, which made me stay.  Cobi also served as the waiter on Monday.   He recommended to a neighbouring table what his favourite dishes are, in guiding them what to order (they ordered a cheese platter to share in the end), but did not offer me this service.   He brought two wine lists, one with Holden Manz wines, and the other with wines from their ‘friends’, being other wine estates in Franschhoek and one in Stellenbosch, telling me that the Chardonnay on the list was sold out already.  He seemed most put out when I requested butter instead of the bottles of Willow Creek extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for the slices of olive oil bread which he had brought to the table. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Women business travelers want to ‘feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered’, says an American research report. About 50 % of business travelers are women, and they control up top 85% of business travel expenditure.

*   Actress Claire Danes is in Cape Town for the filming of the fourth season of the TV series ‘Homeland’. She and her husband have been spotted eating at Harbour House in Kalk Bay, dining at The Test Kitchen, shopping at the Biscuit Mill, and walking down Kloof Street, near Yours Truly.   Cape Town is doubling up for ‘both Istanbul and Turkey‘ (sic)!

 *   Chenin Blanc was praised by Greg Sherwood of Handford Wines in London, at a tasting of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines, organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Sherwood led the Chenin Blanc tasting, and said about the varietal:  ’Chenin is a massive and unique selling point for South Africa.  It has a variety of styles and gives you a Burgundy textural experience without having to pay Burgundian prices. The days of too much oak and batonnage are now in the past. These practices have (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

  Going on safari is an increasing trend, which is good for tourism in Africa, popular not only amongst European and American tourists, but also amongst BRICS travelers from Brazil, India, Russia, and China.

*   SA Tourism has appointed Gaining Edge to help increase our country’s profile as a Business Events destination in India and China, for the South Africa National Convention Bureau.  South Africa is ranked highest as a business events destination in Africa, and 34th in the world.

*   Topless Tours have a new meaning, and do not refer to Cape Town’s Hop On Hop Off buses.  It’s a new trend started in the UK, whereby ladies take photographs of themselves topless at top tourist spots, including Table Mountain! (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Going on safari is an increasing trend, which is good for tourism in Africa, popular not only amongst European and American tourists, but also amongst BRICS travelers from Brazil, India, Russia, and China.

*   SA Tourism has appointed Gaining Edge to help increase our country’s profile as a Business Events destination in India and China, for the South Africa National Convention Bureau.  South Africa is ranked highest as a business events destination in Africa, and 34th in the world.

*   Topless Tours have a new meaning, and do not refer to Cape Town’s Hop On Hop Off buses.  It’s a new trend started in the UK, whereby ladies take photographs of themselves topless at top tourist spots, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Tim James has used an aggregation poll of 29 wine retailers as well as writers, some international, to compile a Top 5 and Top 20 South African winery list.  The Top 5 ranked list is Sadie Family Wines, Mullineux Family Wines, Kanonkop, Boekenhoutskloof, and Chamonix.  The ranking from 6th to 20th is as follows: Paul Cluver, Newton Johnson, Cape Point Vineyards, Hamilton Russell, Vergelegen, Tokara, Thelema, Jordan, Cederberg, Delaire Graff, AA Badenhorst, Klein Constantia, Meerlust, Reyneke, and De Trafford.

*   A consumer promotion has been launched in the UK by Kumala wines, the largest selling SA wine in that country, to tie in with the launch of the ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘ DVD, with prizes of a visit to South Africa offered, DVDs, and wine.

*   Eat Out is inviting nominations for its Eat Out Top 500 restaurants to be included in the 2015 edition. The nominated restaurants will be evaluated by a panel, to choose the top 500 restaurants.  The closing date for nominations (on www.eatout.co.za) is 13 May. (received via media release from Irvine Bartlett)

*   The inaugural Mandela International Film Festival will be held from 3 – 12 December 2015 in Port Elizabeth.  Given (more…)

Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2012 Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Wednesday evening I attended a special tasting of the wines of Bouchard Finlayson, a Boutique Vineyard according to its marketing material,  at the invitation of Janie van der Spuy of FIVE STAR PR.  It was held in the special function room upstairs at Mondiall, with Chef Oliver Cattermole and his team preparing excellent tapas dishes which were paired with the four flights of wines we tasted.

I have to admit that I have not previously stopped at Bouchard Finlayson on the R320 Wine Route in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus, it being the longest standing wine farm in the area.  I was fortunate to sit next to Peter Finlayson, who has been at the farm for 25 years.  He studied Oenology (Chemistry was a tough subject, but he is grateful for the grounding it gave him for winemaking) at Stellenbosch University, which he followed up with a year at Geisenheim in Germany.    Of his class of nine graduating in 1974, only two have become winemakers.  Peter previously worked at Boschendal.  Only 22 ha of the 125 ha farm is planted to vine, Peter having bought it in 1989 from a farmer Bouchard Finlayson Peter Finlayson Whale Cottage Portfoliowho farmed with ‘mielies, sheep, and baboons‘, Peter said, at a time when the locals said that the valley was only suitable ‘for farming by poor Whites’!  The baboons are still there, he told me with a laugh!   The remainder of the land is covered with fynbos, and Bouchard Finlayson is committed to conserving and adding fynbos, and they joined the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. Peter was the first winemaker to import Nebbiolo and Sangiovese vines, planting them in 1994.  His real achievement has been with Pinot Noir, known as the ‘Pioneer of Pinot Noir’, and now the whole valley is synonymous with the varietal.    Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is the flagship Bouchard Finlayson wine.   Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also do exceptionally well in the valley. (more…)