Entries tagged with “Chamonix”.

imageThe judges for the Prescient Chardonnay Report 2015 found that the sixty Chardonnays that they evaluated were so superb, that they acknowledged all 29 wines that scored 90 and more points.

The 5th Chardonnay Report 90+ score winners event was held at MOMA on Buitengracht Street, a spacious if not noisy gallery filled with works of (more…)

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*.   Noma owner Chef René Redzepi has announced that he is closing down the tasting menu Noma on 31 December 2016, moving to the Christiania suburb in Copenhagen, where he will build a glass house over a derelict skating park for a new restaurant, and create an urban farm. The produce served as well as the place settings will change as the seasons change.  In January next year Noma sets up a pop-up restaurant in Sydney for 10 weeks.

*   The Western Cape Government’s Tourism department has made a detailed analysis of the new visa regulations, and their (more…)

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*   The announcement last week of the discovery of a new hominid species Homo Naledi at The Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng, and its international media coverage by National Geographic in particular, could give Tourism to our country a much-needed boost.

*.  The 31st Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild will be held at Spier on (more…)

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*   Wine writer and taster Tim Atkin has released his Tim Atkin 2015 South Africa Special Report, describing our country as the ‘most dynamic and exciting winemaking country in the New World‘! He lauds our winemaking industry for its ‘diverse terroirs, old vines and pure winemaking talent’. He writes that it has ‘never been so intoxicating to taste and drink the wines of the Cape‘! For the first time he has saluted our top winemakers (Eben Sadie and Morné Vrey) and wines (more…)

Racine signage Whal e CottageI met with Chef Reuben Riffel in December, for a coffee date at Crisp.  I spoke to him about going to Racine, his second restaurant in Franschhoek which he opened two years ago, and he requested that he accompany me to Racine. Last Thursday our diaries both had a lunch opening, and we met for what was an early but long lunch.

He told me that the idea of the second restaurant arose when Chamonix wine estate owner Chris Hellinger ate at Reuben’s Franschhoek, and suggested that Chef Reuben take over what was already a vacant Racine Chef Nico Whale Cottagerestaurant, after the owners of the former Mon Plaisir had left.  The rental offer by Mr Hellinger was a very generous one, and Chef Nico Pretorius working with Chef Reuben at the One&Only Cape Town was looking for growth, so Chef Reuben signed the lease and offered Chef Nico the job two years ago.  I met Chef Nico when I arrived, and he seems very quiet and introverted, not returning to our table during our three-hour lunch.

Having only been to Racine once before, I had not noticed that Racine has its own entrance,  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Eskom remains a laugh-a-minute, its CEO Tshediso Matona saying yesterday to a meeting of 100 business and agriculture executives that ‘one unexpected event at any of its power stations can push the country to the total failure of the national electricity system that may take weeks to resolve’.  Loadshedding was predicted for late last week, but did not take place.  It has now been predicted for next week. Economists predict that Eskom’s ability to prevent loadshedding will influence the country’s economy.   A shortage of diesel appears to be affecting electricity supply.

*   The City of Cape Town plans to revise its loadshedding schedule, to make it more equitable and fair to all its residents from 1 February.  This comes in response to the claim by COSATU Western Cape leader Tony Ehrenreich that the City’s current loadshedding schedule is ‘racist and unfair’, and plans to take the matter to the Human Rights Commission!

*   Franschhoek wines Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2010 and Chamonix Chardonnay Reserve 2012 are the only two South African (more…)

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*  SAA would consider a partner to assist it in running its loss-making operation, the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said earlier this week.  The airline’s application for more funding was recently rejected.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has opened a Hong Kong office to market our country’s wines to all of Asia, and will be managed by Michaela Stander, who has managed the region from South Africa for the past six years.  South African wine sales into China grew by 5% and to Japan by 12% in the past year.   The marketing program includes consumer education, a sommelier competition, dinners, and offering wines by the glass.  It will be visible at the HKTDC fair in Hong Kong next week, and at ProWein China from 12 – 14 November.

*   The 40th annual Volvo Ocean Race of 39000 nautical miles, will welcome the first yachts into Cape Town on Sunday, (more…)

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*   The South African Football Federation (SAFA) has declined the offer to host the 2015 African Confederations (Afcon) Cup, due to Morocco cancelling its hosting due to the Ebola threat. SAFA says that our country does not have the funds to host the event.

*  A host of South African companies is participating in the South Africa-China Expos next week, 51 local companies participating in the expos in five Chinese cities. Their participation is supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, so that trade and investment between the two countries can be increased.  Bayede wine company is one of the participants, and wants to enhance its presence in China. Robinson and Sinclair Wine Company is another exhibitor, while Rooibos Tea will be promoted generically.

*   The Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2014 recognised Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2013 as Best Wine Overall in the Made from Organically Grown Grapes category, as well as Organic Best White Wine.  Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2012 won (more…)

Chalk & Cork logo Whale CottageI was bombarded with a barrage of Tweets when the new owners of Mozzarella Bar on Kloof Street first opened in July, having bought the business from ‘Mr Charm’ Giorgio Nava.  Nava must have sold the owners Amy and Marc Botes a good dose of rudeness and cheek too, which is what I experienced when I popped in at the now renamed Chalk & Cork, waiting for my car to be washed at the Engen garage nearby, earlier this week. I enjoyed going to the Mozzarella Bar, with its charming Italian manager Simone, previoulsy.

I photographed the counter as one enters (there is no signage at the entrance, but only on the low wall of Chalk & Cork Interior Whale Cottagethe outside seating, visible to all passing on Kloof Street (the patrons that is, and not the branding)!  The waitress could not tell me why the restaurant is named Chalk & Cork, other than to say that they have a lot of wine on the winelist!  She could not explain the ‘Chalk‘ part.   There is a cork collection building up on both sides of the front door.  The downstairs entrance doesn’t appear to have changed much, although there is more equipment against the back wall behind the counter compared to the Mozzarella Bar.  The Pizza oven is still there, as is the drinks fridge. They are no longer selling Mozzarella, which will be available at Piazza Italia, up the road on Park Road.  Upstairs they can seat 30 patrons.  On a rainy day they have next to no business, the upstairs seating not being visible nor known.  (more…)

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*   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…)