Entries tagged with “Hamilton-Russell”.


WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Daniel ‘Harry Potter’ Radcliffe was spotted climbing Table Mountain yesterday.  He is in Cape Town for the filming of ‘Game Changer’.

*   Lion’s Head is closed to hikers, due to a rockfall, but Table Mountain National Park is hoping to re-open it in time for the weekend.

*   Cape Vintner Classification will be launched officially at the London Wine Fair this week, to counter the image of our country’s wines as ‘cheap and cheerful‘.  The Classification will represent the 80% of brands that make up 10% of our wine export volume, and will market quality local (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlinese

*   A bid for Cape Town to host a Grand Prix next year will be submitted by Cape Town Grand Prix SA to Motorsport South Africa tomorrow.  It is planned to be hosted in Green Point and at the Cape Town Stadium.  The costs involved are in the region of R750 million.

*    Nando’s is using its international outlets to attract attention to top South African design, including Vogel riempie chairs, and tables by Egg Designs. Pedersen + Lennard and Design Afrika have been commissioned too.  Nando’s designer Tracy Lee Lynch said about the project: ‘We’re implementing the project slowly and realistically. We’ll start with 20 pieces by 10 designers that will be used by the Nando’s interiors teams across the world. Customers in places such as Canada and the UK will see the best of our local talent‘.  The company’s head office (more…)

CapeWineAuction AfrAsia Glenelly - CopyThe second AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction was held at Boschendal Wine Farm yesterday, and generated R10,5 million, exceeding its goal of monies to be raised at the prestigious event, which saw 34 wine estates offering very generous auction lots.

Bids could be made online, or in person at the Auction. Auction lots were donated by ‘Auction Ambassadors‘, with rare local and international wine collections, gourmet dinners, art, luxury cruises, and unique travel destinations.  The Auction was preceded by a ‘Barrel Tasting & Preview‘ the evening before in what looked from photographs like a magical Dylan Lewis (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Moody’s has downgraded our country’s debt rating to Baa2, one level lower, due to ‘poor growth prospects and rising public debt’, a rating on a par with the company’s ratings of Russia and Brazil, and two notches removed from ‘junk status‘. Electricity shortages were highlighted as one specific reason for the downgrade.

*   The Volvo Ocean Race yachts have arrived in the V&A Waterfront, and a host of activities are planned until the yachts head for Abu Dhabi on 19 November.  Only seven teams are participating in the world’s leading offshore sailing race covering four oceans and five continents.   An inaugural Open Ocean Festival runs in this period, but has been very poorly publicised (shoppers to the V&A Waterfront received brochures yesterday as they entered the underground parking).  Events of the Festival include the Open Ocean Film Festival this weekend, Fly Boarding today, Xtreme Water Polo from 10 – 12 November, Canoe Polo today, a Sunset Mile open ocean swim on 12 November, and the third day of the IRC National Regatta today.

*   Waterford Wine Estate has been named a Global Winner in the categories Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points, giving a new interest rate of 5,75%. Governor Gill Marcus blamed inflation for the rate increase.

*   Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers.  Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries.  The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors.  The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event.  Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average.   Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.

*   Melanie Verwoerd has compiled a book ‘Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela, containing short stories of numerous persons that met the late Nelson Mandela, including Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, Adam Small, Francois Pienaar, Amanda Strydom, Sir Richard Attenborough, and many by Mrs Verwoerd herself.

*   The Drinks Business and Intangible Business in the UK evaluated the world’s most powerful Champagne and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Constantia Glen was recognised as Wine Producer of the Year at the recent SA Wine Index (SAWi) 2014 awards, and Beyers Truter of Beyerskloof was named the Wine Legend of the Year, recognised as a pioneer of the South African wine industry. DeMorgenzon won White Wine Producer of the Year, and Kanonkop Red Wine Producer of the Year. Best South African Brandy Producer went to KWV.  Top scoring wines, at 99 out of 100, were Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Saronsberg Full Circle, Rijks Pinotage, and Kanonkop Paul Sauer.   The event was held at Grootbos, which is exclusively offering the full range of SAWi Grand Wines Collection scoring 93+ points out of 1oo.

*   The Local Grill in Parktown in Johannesburg has won the Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship 2014 for the second year running, with The Godfather from Centurion in Pretoria taking second place, beating 140 steakhouses around the country, and then a shortlist of five, which included two steakhouses in Cape Town.   The judges selected the Local Grill on the basis of its expertise in ‘meat, consistent service, and accurate grilling‘.   The steakhouse opened a branch in Woodstock a few months ago.  Chefs Pete Goffe-Wood, Reuben Robertsons Pop-Up and Pop-In Riffel, and Arnold Tanzer were the judges, all associated with MasterChef SA Season 3. (received via media release from Hazell PR and Wine Consultants).

*   Jordan Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2013 won the Decanter International Chardonnay Trophy, having won the same (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…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has announced that CapeWine 2015 will be held from 15 – 17 September 2015. (via Twitter)

*   Franschhoek resident Nolan Hoffman has won the 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. (Via Twitter)

*   While online accommodation evaluations are much more responsibly handled, about half of travellers feel that a substantial part of accommodation reviews have been ‘manipulated, a Tourism professor told the travel industry at ITB, the international travel  expo which ended in Berlin this weekend.

*   The most child-friendly airports in the world, according to Travel News Weekly,  are Heathrow (number one on the list, and offers children play areas, a quiet room, and a game zone), Zürich (with child minders), Frankfurt (with boarding passes for teddies too!), Munich (with touch screen terminals to explain how an airport works, and German TV series shown), Singapore (with a Butterfly Garden, arcade games, a four storey slide, and internet terminals), and Chicago (with an interactive educational play area).

*   The flagship MCC Villiera Monro Brut 2008 won one of 20 Bacchus Trophies at the 16th Annual Taj Classic Wine Trophy (more…)

Constantia Fresh posterI was invited to the Constantia Fresh Fine Wine and Food Festival held at Buitenverwachting yesterday afternoon. It was a sold out fun event, 44 wine estates (not only from Constantia) presenting their 200 ‘freshest’ and most interesting wines, and chefs (mainly from Constantia) preparing food.

The entrance fee was R400 per person, and included as much wine tasting and food as one liked.  The tables were set out by region, with Constantia having the central stage around a massive oak tree in the middle of the large lawn on which the Festival was held.  It is always interesting to see how the wine estates market themselves in the relatively small space they have.  It was impossible to taste all the wines of all the wine estates represented at the Festival, and it was a pity that one did not receive a leaflet or information about each of the wines and wine estates at the Festival.  The Festival is the concept of wine editor, Platter taster, sommelier, and wine consultant Jörg Pfützner, who is known as a Riesling fan.

The Constantia Fresh Festival was preceded by two events on Friday: Jörg led a themed tasting with the interesting title: ‘If modernity is sexy, is tradition passé?’  This was followed by a four course dinner cooked by Chef Bertus Basson, paired with a total of twelve wines from the Constantia valley, which was held at Klein Constantia.  Yesterday the ‘walkabout tasting‘ allowed attendees to taste to their heart’s content, and to meet wine estate representatives, although most top winemakers were not present due to the harvest being in full swing. On its website, Constantia (more…)