Entries tagged with “Rustenberg”.


Veritas Wine top achieversKWV, Spier, and Nederburg are our country’s top three wine estates based on the number of Double Gold and Gold Awards they received at the 2014 Veritas Awards Gala Dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday evening, making up almost half the 51 Double Gold awards. The Veritas Awards are viewed as the ‘Oscars of the South African wine industry‘, with close to 1800 wines entered, a slight decrease on the number of 2013 entries.

KWV was announced as the Best Wine Producer for the fourth year running, and increased its Double Gold awards from four last year to seven this year.  KWV also won 2 Double Golds for its Brandy.  Spier has greatly enhanced its Veritas performance, with 7 Double Gold awards, compared to only one last year. Nederburg increased its Double Gold tally from four last year to six.  Flagstone won Best Performer in the less than 10 wines entered category, and the KWV won in the 11+ wines entered category.

Four wine industry legends Danie de Wet of De Wetshof, Diaan de Villiers, Professor Diko van Zyl (author of historical works on (more…)

Craft logoI had heard that Craft had opened in the space from which Apprentice operated for a number of years earlier this year, having been a ‘test kitchen’ for the students of Letetia Prinsloo’s Institute of Culinary Arts.  An unfortunate association with Le Chocolatier owner Daniel Waldis led to the closure of the restaurant. In its place is a dual restaurant and bar, separated only by a bar counter, but the difference in attitude of the two managers is massive.   The two Crafts are owned by Francois Jooste, who also owns Java and Apres Bistro, all close to each other in a tourist rich area of Stellenbosch.

I visited on Monday, entering on the left, at Craft Wheat & Hops, which I did not immediately associate with a bar specialising in beers.   Once oneCraft Wheat & Hops Exterior Whale Cottage enters, it is very clear what it serves, with 16 beers on tap offered, and a similar number of beers displayed on shelves.  I recognised the voice of the friendly lady behind the counter, and she reminded me that she was the Chef and Manager of The Stall in Franschhoek when it first opened eighteen months ago.  Marilie van Niekerk left when she had her baby.  She made a menu available for me immediately, without having to ask for it, it being such a pleasure to experience her excellent service.  The bar had not yet been set up, tables having been placed on top of each other, as the bar only opens at 15h00 on week days.  Interestingly Craft Wheat & Hops offers food as well, but with only two options. Flammkuchen is prepared in what look like a massive pizza oven inside the bar, seven options offered in a price range from R40 (for Caprese) to R52 (smoked salmon, red onion, rocket, and caviar).  An extensive list of Tapas dishes is offered, ranging from R29 (crumbed mozzarella sticks with berry compote) to R45 (roast chicken and cheddar quesadilla served with homemade salsa, guacemole and cream cheese).   Other tapas include lamb meat balls, ‘corn dogs‘,  chorizo and mozzarella crostini, mini mushroom burgers, and ‘beer brats wrapped in bacon‘. (more…)

Christian Eedes Cab Sauvignon Top 10 Report 2014Earlier this week Christian Eedes presented the results of his third annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments, at a lunch-time function held at Burrata.  A number of the Top 10 winemakers have collected Top 10 awards in the past three years, reflecting the consistency of the results for South Africa’s second largest varietal.  Eight of the Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon winners are from Stellenbosch this year.

Eedes explained that sixty Cabernet Sauvignon producers were invited, on the basis of their performance in Platter’s, at Veritas, and other wine awards, to submit their wines for evaluation for his Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignon Report. Roland Peens and James Pietersen, both from Wine Cellar (James was formerly with Belthazar) were his fellow judges, as has been the case in the first two years.   The standard is higher every year, Eedes said, making it more difficult to judge than before.  He thanked Social Media writers for assisting him in spreading the results of his Reports.  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The price of petrol will increase by 38 cents a litre on 1 January, taking the new petrol price to R13,20 at the coast, reports the Weekend Argus.

*   According to eTV News (another) new (national) liquor law will force all bars to offer free condoms and free drinking water!   A bartender interviewed said that he did not see it as his job to offer sex education!  In a related article, Hotel & Restaurant writes that other guidelines applicable to accommodation establishments and restaurants that are contained in the draft liquor legislation are that the minimum drinking age may be upped to 21 years; that condoms supplied for free must be tested for efficacy; that pregnant women may not be served alcohol; the street outside the establishments must be kept clean and no loitering outside is allowed!;  women with long fingernails and sharp objects such as nail files and scissors may not be allowed in on-consumption premises!;  and any noise linked to the establishment selling alcohol must remain inside the establishment.

*   Global digital agency Critical Mass has been appointed by SA Tourism to develop a campaign which will attract more UK tourists to South Africa, something that has been in decline in the past three summer seasons!

*   The next Stellenbosch Street Soiree will be held on 15 January, from 18h00 – 20h00, in the lower part of Church Street.  The cost (more…)

Diners Club Christiaan Groenewald Whale Cottage PortfolioLa 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 Diners Club Ed, Gareth Cliff Nick Whale Cottage PortfolioLa 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…)

Christian Eedes Top 10 Chardonnay Christian Whale Cottage PortfolioThe third Christian Eedes Chardonnay Report, and its Top 10 wines for 2012  in the category, was released and were announced at Burrata on Thursday.

Welcoming the guests, sponsor Sanlam Private Investments CEO Daniël Kriel said that he values the ‘decent price’ of South African wine and food each time he returns from an overseas trip.   He added that his company is passionate about wine and art investment.  Having researched the topic on Wikipedia, Kriel said that Chardonnay is the most grown grape variety in the world.  He also said that South Africa’s first Chardonnay vines had to be smuggled into the country. He thanked the producers who had offered their wines for evaluation, and for their passion for South African wines.

Wine writer and judge Christian Eedes said that Chardonnay is a (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Finalists for the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year 2013, being under the age of 30 years, have been announced:  Murray Barlow of Rustenberg Wines, Hendrien de Munck of Longridge, Attie Louw of Opstal, Emile van der Merwe of Vondeling, Narina Cloete of Quoin Rock, and David Sadie of Lemberg.   The winner in this category, as well as the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013, will be announced on 30 November. (received via media release from African Sky Communications)

*   Pedestrian safety in Cape Town is the theme of the City of Cape Town’s Transport Month this month.  With the use of radio and print ads,  the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Brett Herron, ‘has urged pedestrians to be safe and to make use of designated pedestrian crossings’, says the City media release.

*   Vinexpo Beijing, planned to have been held in June 2014, has been cancelled, due (more…)

La Parada Kitchen with Bull head Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Thursday the massive new La Parada Bar da Tapas opened on Bree Street, the second outlet with this brand name in the Harbour House group. It is a restaurant and bar that will attract custom due to the extraordinarily low prices of its food and beverages, in a block that now includes Africa Café, Bistrot Bizerca, HQ,  Awestruck, Simply Asia, The House of Machines, &Union, and Birds Boutique Café.  La Parada means stop or standstill, a clever name for one to break away from a busy day, even though one can imagine that it will become very noisy as it becomes popular due to its low prices.

La Parada is in a building that has been extensively renovated, and La Parada has taken the ground floor.  A night club is set to open in the basement in two weeks, I was told by a waiter, and a glass floor in one section will attract attention to what will be happening below.   One cannot help but notice the restaurant on Bree Street, diagonally opposite &Union, as it has windows opening along almost all of the street frontage, with counter seating inside and outside.  It was very cold yesterday, and there was no place to hide from the cold wind inside the (more…)

De Brasserie Bar counter Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Saturday I was introduced to De Brasserie in Strand by Annette Beller-Sogor, whom I had met at an art exhibition recently and who lives in Gordon’s Bay.  She raved about the excellence of the restaurant, and mentioned that it is owned by the Belgian wine family Van Almenkerk from Elgin.   We found an unexpected European haven in a most unlikely town!

It was the most beautiful clear day, with the snow capped mountains of Somerset West visible from Beach Road.  False Bay looked flat and one could even see Cape Point, the raised former Kaapzicht restaurant offering an excellent view.  The restaurant exterior looks very modern from outside, but the restaurant name could be difficult to read, being partiallyDe Brasserie Exterior Whale Cottage Portfolio blocked by beams.  In smaller type size it states ‘Est 2012 by Almenkerk’, which one cannot read from the road.  Having booked last minute, we were seated at the bar counter first, but were promised a table as soon as one became available.

De Brasserie is Joep van Almenkerk, who is a most amazing host, friendly, attractive, charming, attentive, and he makes one feel that he knew what was happening at each table, and that he made every (more…)

Tweeters are starting to express their frustration at being misled by two Cape Town based reviewers, Lionel Lelyveld, Tweeting about restaurants as @IntertwEAT, and Michael Olivier, Tweeting as @FoodWineGuru about wines.

What the two Tweeters have in common is that neither reveal to the readers of their blogs/websites nor in their Tweets (nor to the Fine Music Radio FMR listeners) that they have received their meals for free in the case of Lelyveld, and that the wine reviews are part of an advertising package offered by Olivier, showing that both the reviewers have no ethics in misleading their Twitter Followers and blog readers, and radio listeners.

Michael Olivier has been around for a while, and appears to have needed a new source (more…)