Entries tagged with “WOSA”.


Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak 2012 Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Wednesday evening I attended a special tasting of the wines of Bouchard Finlayson, a Boutique Vineyard according to its marketing material,  at the invitation of Janie van der Spuy of FIVE STAR PR.  It was held in the special function room upstairs at Mondiall, with Chef Oliver Cattermole and his team preparing excellent tapas dishes which were paired with the four flights of wines we tasted.

I have to admit that I have not previously stopped at Bouchard Finlayson on the R320 Wine Route in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus, it being the longest standing wine farm in the area.  I was fortunate to sit next to Peter Finlayson, who has been at the farm for 25 years.  He studied Oenology (Chemistry was a tough subject, but he is grateful for the grounding it gave him for winemaking) at Stellenbosch University, which he followed up with a year at Geisenheim in Germany.    Of his class of nine graduating in 1974, only two have become winemakers.  Peter previously worked at Boschendal.  Only 22 ha of the 125 ha farm is planted to vine, Peter having bought it in 1989 from a farmer Bouchard Finlayson Peter Finlayson Whale Cottage Portfoliowho farmed with ‘mielies, sheep, and baboons‘, Peter said, at a time when the locals said that the valley was only suitable ‘for farming by poor Whites’!  The baboons are still there, he told me with a laugh!   The remainder of the land is covered with fynbos, and Bouchard Finlayson is committed to conserving and adding fynbos, and they joined the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. Peter was the first winemaker to import Nebbiolo and Sangiovese vines, planting them in 1994.  His real achievement has been with Pinot Noir, known as the ‘Pioneer of Pinot Noir’, and now the whole valley is synonymous with the varietal.    Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is the flagship Bouchard Finlayson wine.   Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also do exceptionally well in the valley. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The City of Cape Town has cancelled its R234 million contract over a seven year period (entered into in 2011) with Lumen Technologies for the operation of the MyCiTi Bus control centre.
The contractor was responsible for tasks such as scheduling and monitoring the buses by GPS to check on their punctuality relative to the schedules, reports The New Age.  The Cape Times reported today that Lumen Technologies denies that it has underperformed, and plans to sue the City if it does not reinstate the contract.

*   A seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity in Africa, together with the 56th Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa, is scheduled to take place in Luanda with tourism industry representatives in Africa from 28 – 30 April.

*   The Youth Market is growing at 9% compared to the average tourism market growth of 2%.  It is a valuable market segment, these travelers staying in an area for longer.  On Facebook travel posts are in second place after relationship changes in number of posts, highlighting the importance of  travel for young persons.  In Cape Town backpackers are doing exceptionally well, followed by self-catering accommodation, and guest houses, Cape Town Tourism has found.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of our country’s democracy this year with an animated video, which refers to the Rainbow Nation to (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has announced that CapeWine 2015 will be held from 15 – 17 September 2015. (via Twitter)

*   Franschhoek resident Nolan Hoffman has won the 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. (Via Twitter)

*   While online accommodation evaluations are much more responsibly handled, about half of travellers feel that a substantial part of accommodation reviews have been ‘manipulated, a Tourism professor told the travel industry at ITB, the international travel  expo which ended in Berlin this weekend.

*   The most child-friendly airports in the world, according to Travel News Weekly,  are Heathrow (number one on the list, and offers children play areas, a quiet room, and a game zone), Zürich (with child minders), Frankfurt (with boarding passes for teddies too!), Munich (with touch screen terminals to explain how an airport works, and German TV series shown), Singapore (with a Butterfly Garden, arcade games, a four storey slide, and internet terminals), and Chicago (with an interactive educational play area).

*   The flagship MCC Villiera Monro Brut 2008 won one of 20 Bacchus Trophies at the 16th Annual Taj Classic Wine Trophy (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chef Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his Michelin 2 star Dinner restaurant in London due to an outbreak of the norovirus, which affected 24 patrons and 21 staff.  It follows the closure of his The Fat Duck restaurant five years ago for the same reason!

*   Despite making a close to R1 billion loss in the latest financial year, SAA has bid to take a share in Senegal Airlines, which is facing bankruptcy!

*   Facebook is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, and is a lucrative communication platform for tourism.  The official Australia page has attracted 5,5 million ‘Likers’, while Love Great Britain has 2 million ‘Likers’.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 2oth anniversary of our country’s democracy by means of a series of videos showcasing how the political transformation has touched people in the wine industry. A new video will be released on the WOSA website weekly, for a six week period.  ’From fifth-generation labourer to co-owner of a major farming venture, from refugee to nurseryman, from scholarship student to renowned winemaker and role model, from drug-addled  gangster to farrier, each of the intimate stories in WOSA’s The Democracy Series movingly charts a journey of progress‘, states the media release.  Each video ends with a quotation by the late Nelson Mandela. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   Bubbly Isabella Niehaus is celebrating the two year anniversary of the Palms Market at the PalmsDecor & Lifestyle Centre with a ‘Spectacular Cook-Out with Spekko Rice‘ on Saturday 15 February.   Six top foodies will have their cooking challenge (the dishes have to include Hermanuspietersfontein wine and 1 (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The BRICS nations’ Ministers of Science and Technology will meet in Cape Town on 10 and 11 February, to discuss matters of mutual interest regarding innovation, science, and technology.  Derek Hanekom, our Minister of Science and Technology, will lead the discussions.  A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed too, reports The New Age.

*   The 2014 South African showcase of more than 200 award winning wines of the International Wine & Spirit Competition takes place on Thursday at the Grande Roche in Paarl.

*   Beer sales are down in Germany, a trend which has been evident for the past seven years, and have reached the lowest level of sales in the past 25 years!  UK beer sales by contrast have increased in the past two quarters, for (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   SA Tourism is taking 60 local product suppliers on a road show through India, being one of the top 5 source countries for our tourism industry. Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro are representing our local tourism industry.  In the first eight months of last year more than 76000 tourists arrived in South Africa from India.

*   A new Fossil Trail has been launched in the Karoo National Park, a joint venture between SA National Parks and the University of the Witwatersrand. The trail demonstrates how nature formed the geology of the area.  Entrance is free.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is kickstarting its ‘From BBQ to Braai’ national tour of ten events in the USA in New Orleans, using a traditional South African barbeque to help Americans understand our country’s culture via food, wine, and music.  South African chef Hugo Uys and multi-media artist Xander Ferreira will create a cultural American/South African mix, with a ‘bottle of wine and a boerewores (sic) roll‘!  Proceeds will go to a charity.

*   Bouchard Finlayson is one of the wine estates participating in the inaugural Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration, to be held on 31 January and 1 February.   Winemaker Peter Finlayson, who brought Pinot Noir to our country, will host a talk and tasting of 30 years (more…)

Wild Peacock David Bullard Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Thursday I met writer and recent Winelands resident David Bullard, Shan Pascall from Oneiric Wines, and Sophia Hawkins of Vilafonte for lunch at Wild Peacock Food Emporium in Stellenbosch, after we had connected at the pop-up lunch by Chef Bertus Basson at Oneiric Wines last Sunday.   I met new Wild Peacock Chef Andrew Jordaan, and we were told by co-owner Andrew Baker that they supply all 2013/2014 Top 20 shortlisted Eat Out restaurants on their wholesale side, run by Sue Baker with son Ross.  Wild Peacock is synonymous with oysters, and other ‘fine delicacies’ served by our country’s leading restaurants, the wholesale operation having opened more than 20 years ago.

Andrew said that the space of their deli and The Larder restaurant had seen a number of different retail outlets previously, and none had been successful due to the lack of parking.  He and Sue had the vision for the deli, which was initially managed by their daughter Sarah, Wild Peacock Cake and cheese counter Whale Cottage Portfoliowho now focuses on the company’s artisanal cheese selection. Parking has been addressed, and from next week onwards there will be parking marshalls operating outside their door, ensuring a regular replacement of shoppers, now able to pop into the Emporium, and to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine to drink.  The deli has grown to become the 2013 Eat Out (previously run by former sister publication Eat In) Produce Awards Best Food Outlet in the South of South Africa!

Andrew created the wine section of the Emporium, and its offering has won a Diners Club Diamond Award as well as Best Small Wine List Award.  Andrew runs The Wine Worx in his day job, selling, marketing, and distributing a range of wines of 21 boutique wineries.  He is also a keen winemaker, having made a house Pinot Noir, which we enjoyed with our lunch.  We were told by the waiter Danny that Andrew uses the cellar at Fryer’s Cove on the West (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The theme song ‘Ordinary Love’ of  ’Mandela; Long Walk to Freedom’ won a Golden Globe last night for Best Original Song, written and performed by Bono and U2, reports The New Age.

*   SA Tourism USA has launched a new website, with the theme ‘What’s Your Big 5?’, highlighting the top travel experiences our country offers in addition to safaris.  The focus now is on ‘Big 5 Ambassadors’, focusing on ‘celebrities, tastemakers and travel influencers’.   The website accessibility has been improved, making it easier to search, navigate, and book the next South African holiday.  The website also provides travel itineraries by theme: Adventure and Exploration;  Culture and Heritage;  Safari and Nature;  Entertainment and Lifestyle; and Luxury and Romance.

*   Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde is delighted by two top accolades for Cape Town, being top listed by the New York Times and The Guardian.  He reacted as follows: ‘This is great news for our city’s tourism sector and excellent publicity for our destination.  These awards will no doubt help to elevate Cape Town to the top of (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A TripAdvisor TripBarometer survey has found that hotel guests expect free wifi, free parking, and free breakfast.  Items which guests are most likely to take home with them are toiletries, tea and coffee, towels, clothes hangers, and TV remote batteries. Guests are interested in learning more about the culture of the inhabitants of the town in which they are visiting, in visiting a unique icon of the town, trying new food but also wanting to eat food from their home country, as well as watching TV and movies in their home language.

*   London hotels have received the lowest ratings of hotels in 30 European destinations on the measure of recommending a hotel to others, according to a survey in the last 24 months on bookings made via Expedia, scoring even more poorly than Paris and Nice. Berlin tops the recommendation rating.

*   Grande Provence in Franschhoek is celebrating its 2014 harvest with a Harvest Festival on 22 February, starting the day with coffee and muffins, followed by a talk by the vine grower, winetasting, and then a country feast.  Cost is R450. (received via e-mail from Grande Provence)

*   It is sad to see how the death of Mr Mandela is being used by his daughter  Dr Maki Mandela and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela to market their House of Mandela wines, saying that his legacy lives on through their wines! (more…)

GWCGN Vergelegen Sharon Hosking AndreYesterday was the second time that I had the privilege to attend the Best of Wine Tourism Awards, the 2014 awards presented to the winning wine estates at Vergelegen’s Stables restaurant.  The wine estate representatives were advised to not neglect the booming Chinese tourism generally, as well as wine tourism market specifically.

Cape Town/Winelands is one of ten members of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, and within each of these geographic regions the wine estates compete for the honour to be named the best in the category.  Winners for 2014 were awarded as follows: Wine Tourism Restaurant (won by Camphors at Vergelegen), Art & Culture (Vergelegen), Accommodation (Babylonstoren), Architecture and Landscapes (Babylonstoren), Wine Tourism Services (Delaire Graff), Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices (La Motte), and Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences (Spice Route).  Vergelegen was named the overall South African winner for 2014, with two first places and four second places out of the seven awards (it did not enter the Accommodation category, not offering any).

I was lucky to sit next to Bradley Brouwer, SA Tourism Regional Manager GWCGN Vergelegen Bradley Brouwer Whale Cottage Portfoliofor Asia Pacific, who was the keynote speaker, especially as I had missed his talk, driving through from a function at Jordan Wines at that time. Bradley is very entertaining, and shared that he was first appointed to head up the Japanese SA Tourism office eight years ago. and on arriving at his hotel and offering a generous tip, the taxi driver threw the money back at him, the hotel explaining to him that is regarded as an insult to be given a tip, as the (more…)