Entries tagged with “MCC”.


Leopard Trust cover Whale CottageYesterday The Cape Leopard Trust’s celebrated its 10th anniversary with a Charity Auction lunch at Leopard’s Leap, a perfect synergy between the good work done by the Trust, and the winery’s focus on leopards.  We were treated to a fine feast prepared by three chefs, and all left happy that R519000 was raised for The Cape Leopard Trust.

Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living are an amazing powerhouse couple in organising events, in addition to publishing their Opulent Living magazine.  They managed to attract 180 guests, at R1500 per head, to attend the Charity Lunch on a picture perfect day in Franschhoek.  Outside Marco Cianfanelli’s sculpture of a leopard welcomed arriving guests. We were offered a glass of Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Brut MCC on arrival, and were shown to our seats, where we were lucky to have great company, including Darryl from The Light House in Paarl, and Dr Tracey and Brett Garner.  Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp of the Expresso Show and her husband Ian Leopard Leap Elana and Ian Bredenkamp Whale CottageBredenkamp of Kfm and Cape Talk were the MCs, keeping a steady pace for the proceedings throughout the afternoon, interviewing chefs, the performers, and sponsors, which included Mercedes-Benz, FNB, and cennergi.

The outgoing CEO of the Cape Leopard Trust, and its founder, Dr Quinton Martins, became very emotional when he spoke, close to tears in seeing so (more…)

Tokara Leandri, Chef Richard Carstens, Seline Whale CottageLast night I attended a collaboration dinner between Tokara Chef Richard Carstens and Leandri and Seline van der Wat, the two sisters who made it to number two and three, respectively, in Season 2 of MasterChef SA last year. The dinner was entitled ‘Beyond the Chocolate Handkerchief’, and was a huge success, being sold out, and will be repeated tonight.

I had the pleasure of spending a day with bubbly Seline van der Wat earlier this year, showing her all the foodie hotspots in Cape Town.  More recently she and younger sister Leandri visited Cape Town, and we had lunch together at Chef’s Warehouse.  A subsequent Facebook post announced the dinner, and I booked immediately, not having seen the two sisters in cooking action except for the MasterChef Season 2 episodes, in which they both won the hearts of viewers who enjoyed the (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Western Cape Tourism, Economic Opportunities, and Agriculture Minister Alan Winde has congratulated two local businesses, Blue Africa Trading and Munch Bowls, which won SIAL Innovation Awards in Shanghai recently, for highlighting the local food industry and for being ‘brand’ ambassadors. The Western Cape food industry employs 50000 staff and is worth R19 billion, the Minister said.  Blue Africa Trading designed a tea box which is round, with a slot at the back to enable it to be hung, while Munch Bowls was recognised for its eco-friendly edible crisp wheat bowls.  A number of local food companies attended the Asian exhibition. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   The City of Cape Town is welcoming public comment until 22 August for its draft scoping report on the financial viability of the Cape Town Stadium, including plans to add sports bars, shops, offices, and clubs.

 *   The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa has come up with a clever way of celebrating Women’s Month in August, by offering a Pink Tea in collaboration with Pongrácz.  The Rosé MCC will be served on arrival, whereafter pink-themed treats will be served, (more…)

Seelan terrace Whale Cottage PortfolioI had been invited to try Seelan Restaurant & Bar a few days after it opened in March, and it was still in set-up phase at that time, a number of dishes on the menu not yet available, the menu and winelist not being perfect, and the service still needing to be streamlined. The restaurant’s new PR company Communication Services Africa invited me for a return evaluation, yesterday being a perfect day to do so, to enjoy the good weather at the outside seating, and the generous lunch.

Beverage Manager Dominic remembered me from the previous visit, and provided a media release which PR executive Kyle Krok had left for me, and copied the wine list for me.  He went through the ‘menu’ I would be served, but came back after the first course, to tell me that Chef and owner Seelan Sundoo was preparing a special ‘adventurous’ menu for me.  I was looked after with excellent service by Marilyn Baardman, whose late father had worked for Seelan.  She is the best water topper-upper I have ever experienced, and was excellent in ‘reading’ me and my requirements.  The multilingual front of house hostess Goshia, whom I met at the opening, has since left while Justin Paul Jansen is still there, but was not on duty yesterday.

Dominic told me that the Oakhurst olive oil they have on the table comes from an award-winning farm in Tulbagh, and judged as one of the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the World recently.  The Aceto Balsamico di Modena balsamic vinegar is imported from (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

*  L’Huguenot, a joint venture between Leopard’s Leap and Yangzhou Perfect, sold 1,5 million bottles of wine in China last year.   A cheaper varietal is planned for 2015, which could double the sales of the brand, according to Leopard’s Leap MD Hein Koegelenberg.

*   Brands Krone Borealis and Krone Rosé, and brand owner Vinimark, have been left red-faced after Die Burger disclosed that its 2010 MCCs in fact were not Cap Classiques, and have been removed from retail shelves due to the two brands misleading consumers.  Winemaker Rudiger Gretschel explained that the 2010 vintage bottles started exploding during fermentation.  With the help of Robertson Winery, the content of the remaining bottles was decanted and re-bottled into stronger bottles.  The 2010 vintage is now being sold with the Twee Jonge Gesellen label, at almost half the original price.  The Méthode Cap Classique Association of South Africa is reported to be outraged by the incident.

 *   Bouchard Finlayson is sponsoring the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award 2014  Tondo Competition for the Hermanus FynArts Festival, taking place from 6 – 16 June.  Each of the 40 art (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  South Africa, and the Cape specifically, has two The World’s 50 Best Restaurants on the top 100 list: The Test Kitchen at 48th position, and The Tasting Room at 72nd position.

*   A Schengen-type visa may be introduced for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, to make travelling easier for tourists.   This suggestion is on the agenda of the WTTC Global Summit, and it is planned to increase the tourism market share of the continent to a double-digit one by 2020, from the current 4%.   Our country is pushing for such a visa, but only a handful of the other SADC countries Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe is expected to sign the visa agreement initially.

*   Surprising is to read that Distell ad agency The Bester Burke Slingers Group is closing its doors in July, the partners saying that they have had enough of the advertising industry, and that they are no longer able to guide clients in their marketing.

*   SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima appears to know the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius case, telling journalists attending (more…)

Tracy van Maaren Tracy Whale Cottage PortfolioLast night I attended the first Tracy van Maaren Wines Trade Tasting, representing a handful of select fine boutique wine estates, held at Auslese. Each of the wine estate’s wines offered for tasting was personally paired with a canapé designed by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine.

Tracy started her wine career by working as PA to Dana Buys at Vrede en Lust.  She then moved into the clothing industry, but regretted this move.  She returned to the wine industry, working at Jordan.  Almost nine years ago she started her company, her first wine clients being Vriesenhof, Raats, and Catherine Marshall.   She represents her clients’ wines in the ‘mid to top restaurants’ and independent retailers (e.g. Caroline’s, Wine Concepts, and Vino Pronto) in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with Paarl and Franschhoek.

Auslese is a renovated house, available to rent for functions, about two blocks from Aubergine.  It has a smallish kitchen, and the space was cleverly used to set up tasting tables for nine brands, with Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne) represented in the entrance hall by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin andTracy van Maaren Pol Roger Whale Cottage Portfolio their brand new French import Morgan Delacloche.

Arriving at about 18h30, there was no crush, and one could get to easily taste the wines and food pairings, chat to the wine representatives, and to the invited guests, which included John Maytham of Cape Talk, Mark Bland of Expresso, Mandi Jarman of Aquila, Chef Vanessa Marx and her colleague  Rumby of Dear Me, Catharina’s Manager Ronel Smidt, sommelier and consultant Jörg Pfützner, John and Lynne Ford, and Mike Duggan of Wine Concepts. (more…)

Thelema Banner and candle Whale Cottage PortfolioThelema hosted a tasting of its Thelema and Sutherland brand wines for hotel and restaurant staff as well as writers at Dear Me in the city centre yesterday.  At the tasting it was announced that a Thelema MCC will be launched later this year.

We were welcomed with a glass of 1994 MCC, a once-off production, which had been made for a family wedding.  It was disgorged three years ago. Thelema was bought by Gyles Webb in 1983, then a 157 ha fruit farm. It is one of the highest and coolest wine estates in the area.  The first wines were produced in 1988. The Thelema Family Trust bought the 100 ha Sutherland farmThelema MCC Whale Cottage Portfolio in Elgin in 2002, and half of the apple orchards were replaced with vines.  The Sutherland wines are slower to ripen, being grown in the cooler climate Elgin, have more minerality, are more approachable, and can be drunk sooner. They are made at Thelema’s cellar in Stellenbosch.  Rudi Schultz has been the winemaker since 2000, with Webb the Cellarmaster. Thelema is particularly well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Cape Town International Jazz Festival blows its first notes from 17h00 tomorrow, with a free community concert on Greenmarket Square.  Shakatak is the biggest name group, while Tasha’s World and Good Hope FM DJ Luwayne Wonder will also be seen on the stage.  Burg and Longmarket Streets near Greenmarket Square will be closed all of tomorrow and part of Thursday. (received via media release from espAfrika)

*   Durban’s ‘crime and grime’ deters tourism to the city, and could be the reason why the number of tourists to KwaZulu-Natal has declined for three years running, according to the province’s tour operators.  The poor economic climate, the crime rate, the lack of unique tourist attractions, and the lack of cleanliness all put tourists off visiting.  Durban’s head of tourism, Philip Sithole, disagrees, saying that the city’s tourism numbers are increasing, compared to the provincial decline!  Passenger numbers at King Shaka International as well as road traffic arrivals have declined, but the tourist spend has increased.  Tourists are said to fear walking on the Durban beachfront at night.

*   The House of JC le Roux is pairing its three MCCs with home-made chocolate Easter eggs from 14 April onwards.  Their Pinot Noir Rosé  2009 will be paired with a milk chocolate egg with a rose infused truffle filling;  the La Vallée NV is paired with Belgian (more…)