Entries tagged with “Neil Pendock”.
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Tuesday 31st December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of how bad it could become. While it has many negative associations, it also was a year of highlights, from our perspective.
For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April. He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful. He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers. Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time. It felt like a double whammy loss year. Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.
2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month. We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry. We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! (more…)
Wednesday 11th December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Twice this past weekend über-nasty Neil Pendock has publicly shared that he has been fired from the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel, clearly very angry about this, and lashing out at Diners Club, its CEO Ebrahim Matthews, and its management and Board members.
One wonders how precocious Pendock can be surprised about being fired, when he:
* has attacked the ‘Platter’s South African Wines 2014′ guide and the evaluation of wines in it ever since his services as a wine taster were no longer required. The Guide is now owned by Diners Club. He described the Platter’s Guide as ‘a cynical vuvuzela for fashionable wine brands‘!
* has implied that as a director of Diners Club, Reg Lascaris’ part ownership of Boekenhoutskloof has earned its Cabernet Sauvignon a 5-star rating in the Platter’s guide. He asks: ‘…is the Reg Lascaris/Diners Club cosy monopoly about to be challenged?’
* wrote critically about the Diners Club gala dinner held at La Residence ten (more…)
Sunday 1st December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
La Residence pulled out all the stops in hosting the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Awards last night, seating and serving 150 guests in its massive entrance hall, lounge and dining room, demonstrating why it was recently voted joint Best Hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. The Awards evening was described as ‘a gathering of wine aristocracy’, and the ‘Oscars of the Wine Awards’! The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award is the only award given to an individual, and is even more special in that it is received in the presence of an audience of experts and peers.
Gareth Cliff of 5FM was a good MC, admitting his ignorance as a wine drinker, and doing a brilliant Julius Malema impersonation based on wines (with Ed Morton and Nick Solomon of La Residence in the photograph below). As the venue was so large, video screens were set up throughout the venue, allowing each table to see a screen close by. A Twitter Feed ran on the screen, Cliff being a heavy Tweeter, which will have pleased his hosts at La Residence and Diners Club, with his 571343 Twitter Followers. Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Finalist Johan Jordaan from Spier was an informative and fun table neighbour, as was Franschhoek Tatler editor Siegfried Schäfer and Helgard van Schalkwyk from Lynx Wines. Johan was an excellent ‘lighting assistant’, in lighting my plates with his phone to photograph the food! (more…)
Saturday 30th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
One of the social highlights of this year was the unveiling yesterday of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘The Chinese Girl’, South Africa’s most internationally recognised painting, at its new home at Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, which celebrates its 10th year of being in Mr Graff’s ownership. The 40th Graff jewellery store was also opened at the wine estate, the first in Africa.
Delaire was bought by Laurence Graff OBE in 2003, and he invested a lot of money in setting up a cellar, a winetasting centre, the main restaurant, and investing in interior design created by the late David Collins from London. The Boutique Hotel followed, which houses Indochine and the Spa, also decorated by Collins. Commendable has been Mr Graff’s investment in South African art, and his William Kentridge dominates the main restaurant, while Lionel Smit’s work is striking, a four-piece work as well as a portrait of Mr Graff dominating the reception of the main building. (more…)
Friday 29th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* The 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 28 and 29 March. The top artists performing in the past fifteen years can be expected on the stage next year. Last year 60000 jazz lovers attended the jazz performances. Early bird specials are available for the first 1000 tickets booked at Computicket.
Rashid Lombard, CEO of espAfrika, organisers of the Jazz Festival, said: ‘Fifteen years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that the festival would have such a massive impact. It’s got its own beat now – and we just love the fact that we are able to keep giving people what they want and to promote jazz and jazz related as a music genre in this country’. (received via media release from networx public relations)
* Taipei has been announced as World Design Capital 2016, it was announced today by Cape Town Design NPC, the company managing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town. (received via newsletter)
* Ellerman House has opened a Wine Gallery, to the irritation of Neil Pendock, whose petite (2 x 4 m space, and 6 bottles only per month) Wine (more…)
Thursday 7th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tonight it’s the first Thursday of November, and Capetonians and the city’s visitors can look forward to visiting 31 art galleries (some with coffee shops too) in the centre of Cape Town, including Bo-Kaap, until as late as 21h00 this evening on ‘First Thursdays’.
A unique concept which has been successful in other cities such as London, Ontario and Seattle, First Thursdays is designed to attract locals back into the city centre at a time of day in which parking is freely available and the city is free of its aggressive parking marshalls. Most of the galleries offer a free glass of wine, and even some snacks, many galleries using the occasion to launch new art exhibitions. Many art enthusiasts walk from gallery to gallery, and pop in at pop-up restaurants such as food trucks which were introduced in October, as well as a City All Sessions free concert on Greenmarket Square at 17h30. The use of the MyCiTi Bus is encouraged.
The First Thursday website is disappointing in explaining little, and (more…)
Monday 4th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Monday 28th October 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Despite one of the worst winters ever experienced by the Cape hospitality industry, most restaurants appear to have survived it. A surprise trend is the number of Mediterranean style restaurants opening, with true Spanish and Italian owners and/or staff. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* The Harbour House group has opened La Parada Spanish Tapas restaurant on Bree Street, with a subterranean bar/nightclub (above).
* Café Puerto Cabo has opened on Loop Street, a Spanish eatery and men’s clothing shop.
* The House of Machines has opened on Shortmarket Street, building motorcycles, offering good Evil Twin coffee, and serving very healthy food.
* Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.
* Equus restaurant on the Cavalli stud and wine farm on the R44 has opened. (more…)
Tuesday 15th October 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The wine industry is surprised about the repeated missives i.e. missiles from Neil Pendock, the blogging bully attacking Pieter de Waal, Secretary of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG), sponsor FNB, Christian Eedes as chairman of the judging panel, and the Sauvignon Blanc producers generically. Most readers of Pendock’s raving ramblings have no idea what his fight is all about. There is no better book title to describe this mess than the one penned by Pendock himself, appropriately entitled ‘Sour Grapes‘!
The Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group, with the material muscle of its sponsor FNB, is not allowing polemic Pendock to get away with his defamation, denigration, and disparagement, and has taken action (more…)
Friday 11th October 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The dominant talk at the Chenin Blanc Association summer tasting at the Cape Grace hotel this afternoon (other than how fabulous the 21 Chenins we tasted were) was that Pieter de Waal, Secretary of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG*), which recently announced its FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc list to much criticism by Nasty Neil, is allegedly suing puerile Pendock via FNB. It is speculated that the attack resulted from sour grapes, after Pendock was not invited to serve on the judging panel this year, and his services were cancelled at short notice for last year’s judging!
Prickly Pendock was visible by his absence at the Chenin Blanc Association tasting today, and appears to have gone into hiding, not having blogged for most of the day. He has been a furious blogger in the past week, and has lashed out wildly at a number of victims, including ourselves. Odd then that he blogged about David Cope’s (the first WhaleSpotter) new wine bar Publik on a personal website neilpendock.com this afternoon for the first time today, and that no blogpost by him has appeared on the Sunday Times Live blogsite today. Could it be that Pendock’s column has been suspended, as the rumour mill is alleging? Cope and (more…)