Entries tagged with “MCC”.


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…)

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…)

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…)