Entries tagged with “MCC”.


DG Sunrise Whale CottageOn Friday last week we were invited to attend the launch of Delaire Graff’s new Crémant de Loire blend MCC, unique in that it is Chenin Blanc driven, and a unique blend with Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes.  The new MCC is named after the ‘118.08 carat Delaire Sunrise Diamond, the largest square emerald cut  fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world‘, in reflecting the colour of the yellow diamond.

Winemaker Morné Vrey introduced the MCC to us, saying that in the seven years that he has been at Delaire Graff, he knew the day would come that he would be asked to make an MCC.   He wanted to make something different, so traveled to the Loire valley, the making of the MCC being ‘a learning curve for him‘, he said.   Given Delaire Graff’s strong Loire-style wine DG Sunrise Morne Vrey Whale Cottageportfolio, he decided to make the Chenin-dominant (58%) MCC, with 34% Chardonnay and 8% Cabernet Franc.  The Chenin Blanc grapes came from 20 year old Stellenbosch bush vine, while the Chardonnay grapes came from Elgin, and the Cabernet Franc from Stellenbosch. It spent 15 months on the lees. Residual sugar is 5,9 g/liter.

The first Sunrise was bottled last year, but the MCC will be sold NV (Non Vintage).  The MCC will only be sold at Delaire (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Cape Town’s biggest sporting event, the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, has been renamed the Cape Town Cycle Tour for 2015.  Entries for the Cycle Tour open today.

*   Infamous Irish chef and now restaurant consultant Conrad Gallagher, who left Cape Town under a cloud of debt, has set up shop in the Mother City again.  His website proudly brags about the restaurants to which he consults (a photograph he uses on his website is taken in chef’s uniform at the Table Bay Hotel).

*   Ajax Cape Town will make the Cape Town Stadium its new home ground for the next three soccer seasons, after a deal with the City of Cape Town, which was approved yesterday.  Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, said the deal was part of the City’s goal to build (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  To grow Tourism, our country should focus on attracting tourists in other African countries, and work with other African countries to combat common issues, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom told the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Cape Town yesterday.  Issues that need a joint approach are easier inter-country travel on the continent, and addressing the spread of Ebola and the perception that Africa is one country, which is infected with the disease.

*   Slow Food is celebrating its 25th anniversary, having been founded in Italy to counter the growth in fast food.  It celebrates the ‘diversity of food, the richness of our traditions, the connection between what we eat and how it is produced. Since then, Slow Food is the only movement to connect the pleasure of food with social responsibility; fighting for the fundamental right to good, clean and fair food for everyone‘.

*   South Africa has overtaken Spain to become the fifth largest seller of wines in the UK.  Argentina, Australia and South  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The announcement by Virgin Atlantic that it will drop Cape Town from its London route from 26 April 2015, at the start of the local winter, comes as a shock to the Tourism industry.  The new Immigration Regulations are said to be to blame in part, but the London-Johannesburg route has not been axed, therefore not making this reason credible.  It would appear that it is an unprofitable route in winter, due to Cape Town’s terrible Seasonality problem in winter, but word received says that this is a permanent route axing!  Tokyo, Vancouver, and Mumbai will also be chopped!

*   Better news is that Qatar Airways is changing its three times a week via Johannesburg flights between Doha and Cape Town to five direct flights between the two cities from 3 November onwards.  The change is justified on the basis of Cape Town’s popularity as a destination in Africa.

*   Minister Derek Hanekom addressed the e-Tourism Africa Summit 2014  in Cape Town today, highlighting how technology has changed tourism information provision and bookings.  In 2011 150000 tourists booked via SA Tourism’s online travel agency partners.  Two years later this doubled to 285000.  He encouraged tourist product owners to offer tourists free wifi, so that they can share their local tourist experiences via Social Media.

*   The Beautiful South, a showcase of 250 wines from South Africa, Chile, and Argentina, will be held for the (more…)

Graham Beck Gorgeous Label Whale CottageOn Friday writers and the trade were treated to a vertical tasting of Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs MCCs, were surprised with the launch of new Graham Beck Gorgeous 2014, and were spoilt with a lunch at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.

The late Mr Beck loved the ‘gorgeous’ adjective, and because he loved the Graham Beck wines, it was decided to name the new wine Gorgeous.  Having Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes available from its MCC production, it was decided to use the same ‘recipe’ in making its range of seven MCCs, by blending the two grape varieties (58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay) to produce a still wine, in beautiful soft feminine packaging.   It has a lower alcohol level, at 11,2%, and is good value for money at R60.  The grapes used are from newly planted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards,  which will produce fruit going into the production of the Graham Beck MCCs over time.

Pieter ‘Bubbles‘ Ferreira took us through the 2006 – 2010 vertical tasting of the Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs.  He shared interesting information about wines and winemaking in general, such as that the wine region demarcations are becoming smaller and smaller; that Graham Beck produces 1 million bottles of MCC per year, for which 85% of the grapes are brought in from other areas outside of Graham Beck Gorgeous Pieter Ferreira Pierre de Klerk Whale CottageRobertson;  that their non-vintage MCCs spends 18 months on the lees, while their vintage MCCs spend 4 years or more on the lees; to qualify as a Cap Classique the wine needs to spend at least 9 months on the lees; a Champagne spends a minimum of 15 months on the lees; at 12 – 15 months the effect of the yeast is most pronounced, there not being  much impact in the firsts nine months; for their Cuvée Clive there are no rules, Pieter going with his ‘gut feel‘ in deciding when this exceptional MCC should be made, the fourth release in the past 11 years about to be launched; they don’t encourage malolactic fermentation, but it can happen to 10 – 15% of the wine; they are building up a vinoteque of their MCCs;  Magnums (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…)

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…)

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*   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…)