Entries tagged with “Vineyard Hotel”.
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Sunday 11th May 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The Winter 2014 specials for more than 90 Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and the feedback about your meals at these restaurants:
* Umi in Camps Bay: 3 course set menu R260, 5 courses R360, both include a shared bottle of Warwick First Lady. Order 3 meals off a la carte menu, get the 4th free. Slow cooked shortrib R110, Karan beef sirloin R95, Japanese beer marinated Karan beef fillet R120, pork belly R90, warm salmon and black bean R120, and fish & fries R85. Tel (021) 437-1802 (added 10/5/14)
* Pepenero in Mouille Point : Order 3 meals and get 4th (cheapest) free; Sirloin R89, Rump R89, Lamb cutlets R99, Seafood platter R149, Sushi platter R129, Crayfish tails R169, Veal schnitzel R95, Soup of day R40, Prawn platter R139, Oxtail R110, and Osso Buco R89. Half price sushi (selected items) all day. Daily. Tel (021) 439-9027 (updated 10/5/14)
* 5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: 2 courses R170; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R220; 3 courses R 220; 3 courses plus bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R 270. Sirloin R95, Baby chicken R95, Braised oxtail R110, Seafood bouillabaisse R135, Grilled Prawn R99, Slow braised lamb shank R115. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 10/5/14)
* Zenzero, Camps Bay: 2 courses R160; 2 courses with bottle of Warwick First Lady (shared between two) R210; 3 courses (more…)
Saturday 9th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
It was a boisterous Diners Club Platter’s South African Wines 2014 ‘prize-giving’ last night, with a record 80 wines receiving the much-desired 5 star accolade, selected blind-tasted from double the number of 5-star finalists. It was an evening that honoured publisher Andrew McDowall, and saw new publisher JP Rossouw in action for the first time.
A number of records were set last night, with the largest number of wines evaluated ever, at 7434, there being 49 new entries, and close to 900 producers of wine in the Guide. After an absence, brandy and sherry-style wines were awarded again.
On arrival, sipping Klein Constantia MCC, a number of well-known winemakers and estate owners were visible, giving one a taste of some of the 5 star winners, including last year’s Winery of the Year winner Gottfried Mocke of Cape Chamonix, Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick, Razvan Macici of Nederburg, Anthony Hamilton Russell, Johann Laubser of Delaire Graff, and Ginny Povall of Botanica. We commented that it was wonderful to see so many women winemakers amongst the top 5 star recipients! Once we were allowed to enter the venue at the Vineyard Hotel, the wines were displayed in groups, for one to taste and to see the 5 star winners by their presence.
David Hughes sang the praises of Andrew, and his direct involvement with 29 of the 34 Platter’s Wine Guides. He described Andrew as a man ‘massive in character’, who has a nickname ‘Grunter‘, who got himself smuggled into a Nederburg Wine Auction via the boot of a car when he did not receive an invitation, who fell onto a cannon at the bottom of the steps of the Mount Nelson when he slid down the bannister at his 40th birthday party, a man one can trust when he gives you his word, ‘and a hell of a good guy‘, warning JP that he has big boots to fill in taking over from Andrew. There was roaring applause for Andrew.
Andrew looked well, and his dry humour was on full form, saying that the romance with Diners Club last year had led to marriage during the year. He was full of praise for his ‘young, strong and virile’ successor JP. He was proud that the edition was printed locally and not in Singapore. He revealed the ‘Walker Bay blue’ cover, saying that they had considered calling it ‘Pendock sea sick’, which brought the house down! He praised editor Philip van Zyl as the ‘most ethical man’, which led to applause from the floor. The 80 5 star winners include 7 brandies, up from 62 last year. I asked Andrew what he would be doing with his time, and he said he wasn’t sure, but getting better at bridge is one of his goals. (more…)
Wednesday 30th October 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Airbus has used research conducted by The London Sleep Centre to widen its seats to 18 inches (45,72 cm), the perfect seat size which allows passengers on long-haul flights to sleep more comfortably and enjoy a deeper sleep.
* The Cape Town Partnership is displaying its work at 6 Spin Street from 6 – 12 November. Entrance is free. (received via media release from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)
* Top Stellenbosch chefs are putting the wine town and its food and wines on show today at Summer Place, a ‘pop-up collaboration of restaurants, wine producers, art, music and fashion’. Every wine on show is paired with a signature dish by Christian Eedes. Chefs on show are Bertus Basson of Overture, Michael Broughton of Terroir, George Jardine of Jordan Restaurant, Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff Estate, and Grégory Czarnecki of Waterkloof restaurant, all on the (more…)
Saturday 3rd August 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
More restaurants in the Western Cape than in any other province entered and received a Diners Club International Winelist Award 2013. At the 30th Awards function held for the Western Cape at the Vineyard Hotel on Wednesday, MasterChef SA Judge and Tsogo Sun Chef Benny Masekwameng announced the 38 winners in the Diamond, 30 in the Platinum, 26 in the Gold, and 2 in the Silver Award categories, 96 awards in total.
Veteran wine critic Dave Hughes chaired the judging panel, which included fledgling judge Chef Benny, restaurant guide editor JP Rossouw, wine judges Christine Rudman and Fiona McDonald, Winestyle.biz owner Nikki Dumas, and the Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper. He said that it was fitting that the Awards ceremony was held at The Vineyard hotel, the Newlands area having been the first in Cape Town in which grapes were grown, but soon (more…)
Thursday 1st August 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The Pressure Test that five Red Team MasterChef SA Finalists, who lost the cook out in the Company’s Gardens in Cape Town yesterday, had to go through seemed less stressful and more fun than some of the others the Finalists have been through, in that they could let their creativity shine through. The winning Blue Team loved their visit to Charly’s Bakery in Cape Town.
The visiting Chef and ‘Bread and Butter’ column food writer for The Times was Andrea Burgener of The Leopard (no website for her restaurant, it appears) in Melville in Johannesburg, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood calling her the ‘Queen of Creative Cuisine’, well known for her creative cooking, eclectic and playful dishes created by experimentation, and tasty food. She presented three of her dishes, to give the Finalists an idea of what her restaurant serves, each dish having a twist on something well known, being ‘far removed from their origins’, she said. So, for example the steak tartare was presented on a Moroccan theme, and there was a ‘Korean spagbol‘, and a Gazpacho made with raw ginger. Textures are important, it was said, and Chef Andrea’s flavours ‘jump out‘. Chef Andrew Atkinson provided the brief for the Pressure Test: the Finalists had to create a dish of their own creation within 60 minutes, thinking out of the box, to be good enough to feature on Chef Andrea’s menu at (more…)
Wednesday 31st July 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Kulula has won the right to maintain its advertising claim ‘The most South African Airways’ at the Advertising Standards Authority, which rejected SAA’s objection, reports Southern African Tourism Update!
* Thirty-five Western Cape restaurants were awarded Diamond Awards for their top winelists at a function at the Vineyard Hotel today, with MasterChef SA Judge and Chef Benny Masekwameng as MC: La Colombe, Indochine at Delaire Graff, The Atlantic Grill, Bosman’s, JennaVIVA, Dash, Karibu, Meloncino, Greek Fisherman, City Grill, Pierneef â La Motte, Rust en Vrede, Signal, Wild Fig, (more…)
Tuesday 7th May 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Gorry Bowes-Taylor has built up a loyal following of book lovers as well as book launch lunch lovers on behalf of Wordsworth. The launch of Tony Leon’s latest book, ‘The Accidental Ambassador: from Parliament to Patagonia‘, which was released two weeks ago, was sold out at Myoga on Saturday, not only due to the witty smart speaker but also the excellent menu offered by Chef Mike Bassett for the event.
The book, Leon’s second (the first was ‘On the Contrary‘), tells the story of Leon’s retirement from DA (Democratic Alliance) opposition politics after twenty years, and taking up an appointment as ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, ‘jumping before I was pushed’ from his party, as good politicians should do, he said. The book launch made it clear that politicians have the gift of the gab, and Leon is no exception. He is an excellent salesman for his book, attracting one’s attention with a provocative question – e.g. how does the previous Leader of the DA promote an ANC government in South America – and then encourages one to buy the book without answering his question, so as to not do Wordsworth (and himself of course) out of revenue!
Leon names-drops a lot – he is a close friend of Joost van der Westhuizen, and Pieter-Dirk Uys’ Evita Bezuidenhout is quoted too: ‘As a fellow accidental ambassador, reading Tony Leon’s adventures in the land of the original Evita and the gauchos, reminded me there are reasons to be grateful we live in South Africa after all‘. Even ex-President Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying about Tony Leon: ‘Your contribution to democracy is enormous. You have far more support for all you have done than you might ever read about‘, high praise indeed!
Myoga is located in the Vineyard Hotel grounds, and there was a severe traffic jam in getting to park on the property, given a huge exodus of a church group with had used the conference hall, made worse by a hotel security person who could not cope with this nor speed things up. All 100 guest had pre-booked, and were seated according to a plan. The seat at the table that I was allocated to had two adjoining table legs where one’s own legs were meant to be, making it impossible to sit there. The manager Shameemah was most unhelpful, saying that she could do nothing at all, and that is how it is! Eventually she made a plan by offering a seat at a table with the most friendly ‘Wordsworthians’, who were delighted I had taken the last seat at the table, as it prevented someone else whom they had experienced at the previous lunch from sharing the table with them. One of the table companions is a regular blog reader, and she quoted reviews she had read on our blog. Ingrid Crowther and her mother were lovely guests too, and we shared notes about restaurant experiences.
Most of the guests at this table attend each of Bowes-Taylor’s Wordsworth book launch lunches, not necessarily because they like the author, will buy the book, or are avid readers, but because they get to experience new restaurants, meet nice people, eat good food, taste unknown wines, and are entertained by the authors talking about their new books, all at the cost of R250. The ‘Wordsworthians’ were more than delighted with the Tony Leon book launch lunch, as it ticked all the right boxes, despite some problems experienced in making the bookings! The disasterous Penny Vincenzi book launch lunch at Sevruga three years ago got the restaurant removed from the Bowes-Taylor list, while De Grendel restaurant appears to be one of the popular venues.
Chef Mike and his team put on a lunch of note, which was paired with the wines of the Hemel en Aarde Valley’s Domaine des Dieux. Shane Mullis introduced the wine estate, each guest having received a glass of Rose of Sharon MCC 2008 as a welcome drink, made of 75% Pinot Noir and 25 % Chardonnay, and which spent 42 months on the lees. The boutique wine estate name means ‘place of the gods‘, and is owned by Sharon Parnell. At 320 meters above sea level, the wine estate is one of the highest in the country. It is particularly known for its sparkling wines, the Claudia MCC 2007 being made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Other wines in the range are the Chardonnay 2010, and Josephine Pinot Noir 2010.
The ‘Tantalizer’ was a superb starter of pan fried prawns with the Myoga signature sweet chili, crowned with coriander infused cream, which was paired with the Domaine des Dieux Sauvignon Blanc 2009, with asparagus notes and ripe fruit aromas. The sauce was so delicious, that everyone at our table requested a spoon, to finish every last drop! ‘The Main Event‘ was a sous-vide beef fillet, which was served with crispy potatoes, pan fried mushrooms, smoked bordelaise jus, and finished off with a sun-dried tomato mousse. The main course was paired with an excellent Domaine des Dieux Syrah/Mourvédre 2010. A perfectly made dry cappuccino accompanied ‘The Crowning Glory’, a refreshing dessert of golden tart, which was filled with lemon custard on peach jus, complemented with a most unusual goat’s cheese ice cream.
Leon concluded that if one was not interested in reading his book for the South African or Argentinian politics, one could buy it for the handy tips of where to shop and what to see in Buenos Airies, which his wife Michal had written for the book. His time in South America showed him that Argentina is even more corrupt than South Africa. He said it was sad to see how Argentina, once the seventh largest economy, now has a smaller economy than that of South Africa. He says the country is very focused on its past rather than on its future, and mocked it for representing a ‘vote for a better yesterday‘! The decline of the country appears to have been triggered off by the death of ex-First Lady Eva Duarte Perron in 1952. Leon also told the story of Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who would not set foot in the cathedral of Buenos Aires, as its Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had criticised her government. Yet she traveled to Rome to attend his investure as the new Pope Francis earlier this year! He referred to other famous Argentinians: soccer star Lionel Messi and new Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Leon took his post in 2009, and the forthcoming soccer World Cup in South Africa helped him to leverage off big events, including rugby. The book details what happens in an embassy, his budget of about R20 million employing 27 staff per year. Leon told a funny story about his lunch with ex-South African Nobel prize winner JM Coetzee, who had been painted as being a recluse. Coetzee was participating in a Literary Festival in Buenos Aires, and Leon mistakenly invited him to the city’s best steak restaurant, the writer being a strict vegetarian! Leon found him to be anything but reclusive. Leon said that one should live in another country to appreciate one’s own country!
As an ambassador, Leon spent a lot of time in restaurants, and at dinners and cocktail parties at other embassies, and at the homes of Argentian contacts he got to know in his three years. He raves about the typical Asado barbeque, and the steaks served in the ‘parillas’, their meat cuts differing to ours. His guests will have been served samoosas, bobotie, and malva pudding, he shares. Funny is his chapter in not being able to find any Big Macs in Buenos Aires, the world famous burger being the benchmark for the real value of country’s currencies as measured by The Economist, as it would have shown up Argentina’s high inflation rate (of about 25%). No mention is made by him of any South African wines or the role they may have played in enhancing trade and cultural relations between South Africa and Argentina! He did visit Mendoza, the Argentinian wine region, on a number of occasions, but does not reveal which Malbec wines appealed to him.
Leon is articulate as a speaker and as a writer too, and the book is easy to read and hard to put down. One senses that he must have bitten his tongue on numerous occasions about his host country and his home country in the three years of his ambassadorship, having ended his latest career a year early, not explaining clearly why he did not end the term of his post. He now is a consultant, writer, and speaker.
Tony Leon: ‘The Accidental Ambassador: from Parliament to Patagonia‘, Picador Africa, 2013. www.tonyleon.com Twitter: @TonyLeonSA
Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, 60 Collinton Road, Newlands, Cape Town. Tel (021) 657-4543. www.myoga.co.za Twitter: @MyogaRestaurant
Domaine des Dieux, Hemel en Aarde valley, Hermanus. Tel (028) 313-2126. www.domainedesdieux.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Sunday 9th December 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 6-course dinner and glass of Prosecco R350. Tel (021) 438-7074
* Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel : 5-course menu R910. Tel (021) 483-1000
* Oasis Bistro, Mount Nelson Hotel: Buffet R650. Tel (021) 483-1000
* Tobago’s, Raddison Blu: 3-course R450. Tel (021) 441-3000
* The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek: 3 courses R375. Tel (021) 876-2729
Christmas Day lunch
* The Square Restaurant, Vineyard Hotel: 3-course lunch R 415. Tel (021) 657-4500
* Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel: Buffet lunch, party hats, gift, crackers R945. Tel (021) 437-9052 (sold out)
* The Pavilion at The Marine, Marine Hotel, Hermanus: welcome drink, canapés, Christmas lunch, petit fours R 595. Tel (028) 313-1000
* Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 6-course lunch with glass of Prosecco R350 Tel (021) 438-7074
* Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson hotel: 5-course lunch R 950. Tel (021) 483-1000
* Ballroom, Mount Nelson hotel: Buffet R700. Tel (021) 483-1000
* 1800° Restaurant, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: Christmas Lunch Buffet R320. Tel (021) 430-0506.
* Tobago’s, Radisson Blu: Buffet R595. Tel (021) 441-3000
* Le Franschhoek hotel, Franschhoek: Buffet R 395. Tel (021) 876-8900
* Le Coq Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Franschhoek: 3 courses R240. Tel (021) 876-4404
* The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz, Franschhoek: 3 courses R375. Tel ()21) 876-2729
New Year’s Eve
* Café Chic: 6-course dinner R485. Tel (021) 465-7218
* Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 8-course dinner and glass of Prosecco R 450. Tel (021) 438-7074
* Blues, Camps Bay: 4-course dinner, DJ, and unlimited bubbly R1700 Tel (021) 438-2040
* Zenzero, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner and welcome drink R 1000. Tel (021) 438-0007
* Hussar Grill, Camps Bay: 4-courses R475. Tel (021) 438-0151
* Azure at Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: Buffet and live music R 1895. Tel ()21) 437-9000
* The Conservatory at The Cellars-Hohenhort, R750. Tel (021) 794-2137
* Constantia Uitsig: 5-course dinner R 850. Tel (021) 794-4480
* Five Flies: 4-course menu, masked ball, and sparkling wine R600. Tel (021) 424-4442
* The Greenhouse, Cellars-Hohenhort, Constantia: 9-course dinner R950, or R1250 with wine. Tel (021) 794-2137
* La Colombe, Constantia: 5-course dinner, DJ, sparkling wine at midnight R1600. Tel (021) 794-2390
* La Mouette, Sea Point: 5-course meal and glass of sparkling wine R795. Tel (021) 433-0856
* 1800° Restaurant, Green Point: 6-course dinner, and entrance to the VIP Sky Bar R1200. Tel (021) 430-0506
* Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course meal at R850. Tel (021) 657-4545
* Nobu, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: 8-course dinner and band R2250. Tel (021) 431-5222
* Orinoco: 3-course dinner, ‘Sixties’ theme, DJ, welcome cocktail, canapés, glass of sparkling wine R600. Tel (021) 418-4544
* Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town: 5-course dinner and band R1750. Tel (021) 431-5222
* The Roundhouse, Camps Bay: 3-course dinner, live music and DJ, sparkling wine R1650. Tel (021) 438-4347
* Salt Restaurant, Ambassador Hotel: 8-course tasting menu, glass of sparkling wine, band R995. Tel (021) 439-7258
* Savoy Cabbage: Canapés, Christmas cocktail, gala dinner R995. Tel (021) 424-2626
* Signal, Cape Grace hotel, V&A Waterfront: 4-course dinnerR1950. Tel (021) 410-7100
* The Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront: cocktail reception, Buffet dinner, sparkling wine R2100. Tel (021) 406-5000
* Tjing Tjing Bar, Dear Me: entrance fee, food, and party R300. Tel (021) 422-4920
* The Boat House, Scarborough: 5-course dinner and sparkling wine R980. Transfer R500 pp. Tel 083 305 8533
* Massimo’s, Hout Bay: Welcome drink, 4 course dinner R425. Tel (021) 790-5645
* GOLD: Cocktail on arrival, drumming, live music, ‘African Feast’, bubbly R1100. Tel (021) 421-4653
* Makaron, Majeka House, Stellenbosch: 4-course dinner R625. Tel (021) 880-1549
* Moyo, Spier, Stellenbosch: Welcome drink, 3-course meal, R495. Tel (021) 809-1133
* Restaurant at Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 8-course food and wine pairing R468. Tel (021) 865-2022
* Tokara, Stellenbosch: 8-course dinner R950. Tel (021) 885-2550
* Eat @ Simonsig, Paarl: Live band, 3-courses, bubbly at midnight R275. Tel (021) 863-3845.
* The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Franschhoek: Welcome drink and midnight glass of sparkling wine as well as dancing, 7-course dinner R790. Tel (021) 876-8600
* The Kitchen, Maison, Franschhoek: 8 courses, each paired with a Maison Estate wine, R950. Tel (021) 876-2116.
* Reuben’s, Franschhoek: 6-course dinner R1200. Tel (021) 876-3772
* Le Coq Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Franschhoek: 3 courses and a glass of sparkling wine R280. Tel (021) 876-4404
* The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West: 6-course meal R650, or R825 with wine. Tel (021) 858-1292
* The Pavilion at The Marine, Marine Hotel, Hermanus: Canapés, welcome drink, 6-course menu, R1150. Tel (028) 313-1000
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Wednesday 31st October 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Franschhoek has shown the wine industry that it is a serious wine destination, winning the Platter’s 2013 Winery of the Year a second year running, the accolade going to Cape Chamonix wine estate, and its winemaker Gottfried Mocke. The Mullineux Family Wines of Riebeeck Kasteel also performed excellently.
Publisher Andrew McDowall announced that the blood orange colour of Platter’s South African Wines 2013 is ‘West Coast Sunset‘ this year. Published for the 33rd time, the publication has started a ‘relationship’ with and has become ‘engaged’ to Diner’s Club, the credit card brand appearing on the wine guide cover for the first time. McDowall hinted that a ‘marriage’ may follow! For the new Guide, 900 wine estates and 7300 wines were evaluated, 54 of the wineries being new. The largest number of 5 stars was awarded ever, to 62 wines. The theme of the publication this year is ‘Backstories’, showcasing the dreams, passions, challenges, and successes of the wines featured in the Guide.
Michael Fridjhon opened the proceedings, and spoke about his first involvement with the Guide 30 years ago, when it was owned by Erica and John Platter, who had just moved to Delaire at that time. He shared that Erica Platter was very strict, and a word such as ‘mouthfeel’ was banned by the tasters. He said that 30 years later, ‘the guidelines for the tasters have become far more rigorous, but that the editors are gentler’. Fridjhon was congratulated for having been announced as the International Wine Columnist of the Year 2012 in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards.
The motivation for choosing Cape Chamonix as the 2013 Platter Winery of the Year, in addition to winning four 5 Star Platter Awards for its Greywacke 2010 Pinotage, Pinot Noir Reserve 2011, Chardonnay Reserve 2011, and White Blend Reserve 2011, is ‘Kaizen’, Platter’s editor Philip van Zyl said, the process of continuous improvement, and the seamless integration of viticulture and winemaking by the same team. This has made Cape Chamonix one of the top wine growers in the country, he said. Winemaker Gottfried Mocke has worked at Cape Chamonix for eleven years, and proudly shared the honour with his assistant winemaker Emul Ross, who has worked with him for just over a year.
The husband and wife team of Chris and Andrea Mullineux did well last year, and repeated its performance this year, winning three five star Platter awards for its Mullineux Family Syrah 2010, Straw Wine 2011, and Schist 2010, and was recognised for Red Wine of the Year for its Syrah. Nederburg (Ingenuity 2011, Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2011, Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Private Bin D252 2012) and Fairview (La Beryl Blanc 2011, Nurok 2011, Jakkalsfontein 2009) also received three five stars each.
The White Wine of the Year went to Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2011. Superquaffer of the Year, selected out of 12 candidates in a 2,5 – 3 Platter star band and costing R 50 – R70 a bottle for reds and R40 – R60 for whites, was selected as the Muratie Melck Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. Three of the Platter’s winners could not be present, being stranded in America due to Hurricane Sandy: Ken Forrester, Pieter Ferreira, and Kathy Jordan.
The 5 star Platter 2013 wines are the following (first time 5 star recipients marked with an asterisk):
Von Ortloff Quintessence 2008*
Delaire Graff Laurence Graff Reserve 2009
Cape Chamonix Greywacke 2010
Cape Chamonix Reserve 2011
Newton Johnson Family Vineyards 2011
Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2010
Cederberg CWG Auction Reserve Teen die Hoog 2010*
Delheim Vera Cruz 2009
Fable Bobbejaan 2010
Fairview Jakkalsfontein 2009
Mullineux Family Schist 2010
Mullineux Family Syrah 2010
Raka Biography 2010
Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2010
Dalla Cia Wine & Spirit Company Giorgio 2007*
Fleur du Cap Lazlo 2008
Keets First Verse 2010*
Ken Forrester The Gypsy 2009
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz-Viognier 2010
Mvemve Raats MR De Compostella 2009*
Nico van der Merwe Mas Nicolas Cape 2007
Sadie Family Columella 2010
Boschendal Reserve 2011
Cape Chamonix Reserve 2011
Hamilton Russell 2011
Jordan CWG Auction Reserve 2011
Jordan Nine Yards 2011
Alheit Cartology 2011*
Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2011
DeMorgenzon Reserve 2010
Jean Daneel Signature 2011
KWV Cathedral Cellar 2011
Sadie Family Skurfberg 2011
Spice Route 2011
Fryer’s Cove 2011*
Graham Beck Pheasant’s Run 2012
Tokara Walker Bay 2012
AA Badenhorst Family 2010*
Cape Chamonix Reserve 2011
Cape Point CWG Auction Reserve 2011
David Aristargos 2011
Fairview Nurok 2011
Flagstone Treaty Tree Reserve 2010
Miles Mossop Saskia 2011
Nederburg Ingenuity 2011
Nederberg Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Private Bin D252 2012
Nitida Coronata Integration 2011*
Tokara Director’s Reserve 2011
Méthode Cap Classique
Bon Courage Jacques Bruére Brut Reserve 2008*
Villiera Monro Brut 2007
Dessert Wine Unfortified
Fairview La Beryl Blanc 2011
Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2011
Mullineux Family Straw Wine 2011
Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2011
Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2011
De Krans The Last Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2010
Catering was by the Vineyard Hotel, and one of the waiters said that each of their canapés was planned to be paired with a wine varietal. An unusual combination was the strawberry Turkish delight dessert.
It would appear that Franschhoek’s reputation as the best wine destination in South Africa will receive another boost on Saturday, when it is likely that Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof will be announced as the 2012 Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year, judging by the posters on lamp posts throughout the village, announcing that ‘Franschhoek home to the Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year 2012‘, without mentioning his name. Kent is the only finalist from Franschhoek. Discussing this with Christian Eedes at the Platter function, he expressed his disappointment, in saying that it takes the ceremony out of the award evening if the result is known up front.
POSTSCRIPT 31/10: This blogpost received an honourable mention from Neil Pendock on the Times Live blog today, quoting our last paragraph about the Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year Award in full. The question he raised is how Boekenhoutskloof managed to not receive any 5 stars from Platter yesterday, yet was named Winery of the Year 2012, and how anyone could know the results of the Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year 2012 accolade, as the wines were tasted blind! We have heard that the Diner’s Club awards function will be held in Franschhoek, and the poster headline may have referred to this, yet that would make the wording misleading.
POSTSCRIPT 3/11: The Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year posters in Franschhoek were certainly misleading. Razvan Macici, Cellar Master of Nederburg, has been named Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year 2012. Interesting is the Tweet from Llewellyn Lambert, who attended the event, that finalist Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof did not attend the Awards dinner.
Platter’s Wines of South Africa 2013. Available at book stores, retailers, and wine estates from mid-November. R169.95. www.wineonaplatter.com www.sawinesonline.co.uk Twitter: @WineonaPlatter
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Thursday 3rd May 2012 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
A year ago we first conducted a survey of top-end hotel rates in Cape Town. We repeated the survey in August 2011, and in November 2011, to track hotel pricing trends. Ellerman House has re-established itself as the most expensive Cape Town hotel, starting at R 4590 per room, and the Peninsula All Suite Hotel remains the least expensive 5-star hotel, at R1200 per room, the same rate as November 2011 and lower than a year ago. The hotels in Cape Town appear more confident about the coming winter season, judging by their pricing policy, only half of them having decreased their rates relative to the past summer.
The survey found that the average rate of the sixteen 5-star Cape Town hotels surveyed is R 2780 per room, just under R1400 per person, an average decrease by 23% relative to the November 2011 rates. Across all 29 hotels surveyed, the average rate per room is R 2297, or just over R 1100 per person, 21% lower on average than in November. The most expensive Presidential Suite is at the One & Only Cape Town, at R58541 per day, a rate which has not changed since November. Interesting is that larger top-end suites seem to have seen rate increases, while the standard rooms are more likely to be discounted.
Once again it was interesting to hear how the calls were handled, most hotel reservation departments asking careful questions, to identify if the caller was a travel agent/tour operator or a corporate caller, the questioning being very specific in this regard. Holders of a Protea Hotel Prokard would have had different rates quoted. Few hotels called had a rate sheet from which to quote immediately, having to access their computer for the ‘best available rate’ information, costing time, one hotel putting the call on hold to piped music while they did their rate calculations. The poor quality of the call handling and quoting by the hotel Reservations departments must be a concern for their bosses, quoting odd rates (i.e. not rounded off) very quickly, making it difficult to understand and record them accurately; interrupting while one was still speaking; inability to understand and hear the request, having to repeat the dates, and the number of persons; the question ‘group or individual’ is asked bluntly, without explanation; not all hotels quote rates with breakfast included, despite being asked for this rate (Protea Hotels quote room only, and seem surprised when asked to add the breakfast rate); The Protea Hotel group quotes day by day rates, and the reservations staff struggle to quote an average rate, making it tedious to obtain quotes from them, as they have to quote the average rate and then add the breakfast rate. The Portswood/Commodore Hotels, Bay Hotel/Village & Life, and Newmark Hotels group have the same switchboard for different hotels, and even if one dials the specific hotel selected, one is asked which hotel one wants to book at! For hoteliers it must be frightening to hear that not one of the 29 hotels called had a call to action, in encouraging one to make a booking, given that Cape Town has the best hotels in Africa.
Half the hotels have decreased their rates since November 2011, now quoting winter rates. However, Steenberg Hotel increased its rate from November 2011, by 4%. Interesting is the 36 % rate increase in the past five months for the African Pride Hotels 15 on Orange and Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa. The Ambassador Hotel has increased its rate by 27 % since November 2011. The Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge has been known for its competitive rates, but has increased them by 24 % for winter, and is no longer the cheapest hotel of those surveyed. The largest rate decreases since November 2011 were by the V&A Hotel (45%), Dock House (37%), and the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel (35%). The rate of the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice increased by a dramatic 107% relative to last winter! The Commodore Hotel (61%) and Portswood Hotel (45%) also increased their winter rates strongly. Interesting is that the Steenberg Hotel, voted the best hotel in Africa by Conde Nast Traveler readers, ranks 4th on price now, having ranked at 10th position a mere five months ago. The Protea Hotel-operated properties generally are at the lower end of the price ranking, being more attractively priced to fill their beds.
The rates were checked telephonically yesterday for today, for the next three days, i.e. 3 – 6 May per room for 2 adults sharing and inclusive of Breakfast per day, so as to compare the rates fairly . We added breakfast to the rates where these were quoted separately. We have ranked the hotel rates from most to least expensive, and reflect the rate change on the lowest priced room relative to our survey for May 2011 in brackets:
Ellerman House, 5 star, R4590 – R14680. (The 3-room villa was offered at R45441 and the 5-room villa at R68000). Tel (021) 430-3200 (8% rate decrease)
Cape Grace Hotel, 5 star, R4555.10 – R15388 for the penthouse, Tel (021) 410-7100 (1% increase)
Mount Nelson Hotel, 5 star, R3730 – R11290. Tel (021) 483-1000 (24% rate increase)
Steenberg Hotel, 5 star, R3580– R14580. Tel (021) 713-2222 (Not included in May 2011)
One & Only Cape Town, 5 star, R3490 – R58541 for the Presidential Suite. The non-South African resident rate starts at R4856 Tel (021) 431-5888 (10% rate decrease)
15 on Orange Hotel, 5 star, R2750 – R5370 for the one-bedroom penthouse, Tel (021) 469-8000 (1 % rate decrease)
Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, 5 star, R2650 – R3750. Tel (021) 525-3888 (25% rate increase)
Commodore Hotel, 4 star, R2580 – R8040. Tel (021) 415-1000 (61% rate increase)
The Westin Cape Town, 5 star, R2410 – R40000 for Presidential Suite. Tel (021) 412-9999 (19 % rate decrease)
Dock House, 5 star, R 2396 – R3115. Tel (021) 421-9334 (37% rate decrease)
Table Bay Hotel, 5 star, R2360 – R4760 for South African residents, R2840 – R6050 for non-South Africans. Tel (021) 406-5000 (25% rate decrease)
Twelve Apostles Hotel, 5 star, R2325 – R4565 for Bed & Breakfast, 3-course dinner, movie and popcorn, only for South African residents. Non-South Africans pay R4165 – R8845 per room and breakfast. Tel (021) 437-9000 (19% rate decrease)
Portswood Hotel, 4 star, R 2320 – R 3960. Tel (021) 415-1000 (45% rate increase)
Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, 5 star, R2300 – R10000 for the Presidential Suite. Tel (021) 430-0500 (35% rate decrease)
The Taj Hotel, 5 star, R2300 – R40000 for Presidential Suite. Tel (021) 819-2000 (5% rate increase)
Queen Victoria Hotel, not graded yet but seeking 5 stars, R2028 – R15000, Tel (021) 418-1466 (8% rate increase)
Bay Hotel, 5 star, R2000- R2800. Tel (021) 438-4444 (25% rate increase)
Protea Fire & Ice Hotel, 3 star, R1860 – R2110, Tel (021) 488-2555 (107% rate increase!)
Cullinan Hotel, 5 star, R1850 – R5159. Tel (021) 415-4000 (14% rate decrease)
Victoria Junction Hotel, 4 star, R 1850 – R 2150 Tel (021) 418-1234 (10% rate increase)
V & A Hotel, 4 star, R1720 – R2170 . Tel (021) 415-1000 (45% rate decrease)
Ambassador Hotel, 4 star, R1590 – R2020. Tel (021) 439-6176 (17% rate decrease)
Winchester Mansions Hotel, 4 star, R1550 – R3550. Tel (021) 434-2351 (5 % rate increase)
Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, 4 star, R1550 – R3220. Tel (021) 409-4000 (11 % rate decrease).
Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, no star grading, R1445 standard room, R1690 business suite. Tel (021) 406-1911 (12% rate increase).
President Hotel, 4 star, R1306 – R1723. Tel (021) 434-8111 (11% rate decrease)
Peninsula All Suite Hotel, 5 star, R1200 – R3490. Tel (021) 430-7777 (24% rate decrease)
Vineyard Hotel, 4 star, R1165 – R4270. Tel (021) 657-4500. (Not included in May 2011)
Cape Sun Hotel, 4 star, R1160 – R5920 for Presidential Suite. Tel (021) 488-5100 (23% rate decrease).
POSTSCRIPT 4/5: Two Cape Town hotels, the Alphen Boutique Hotel (not yet included in this survey) and the Queen Victoria Hotel, are the only two South African hotels on the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List of Best New Hotels 2012. Frommers.com has selected Steenberg Hotel in its Top 12 ‘Best Vineyards Inns & Hotels around the World’, the only South African hotel on the list.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage