Entries tagged with “WOSA”.


WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Women business travelers want to ‘feel safe, comfortable, empowered, and pampered’, says an American research report. About 50 % of business travelers are women, and they control up top 85% of business travel expenditure.

*   Actress Claire Danes is in Cape Town for the filming of the fourth season of the TV series ‘Homeland’. She and her husband have been spotted eating at Harbour House in Kalk Bay, dining at The Test Kitchen, shopping at the Biscuit Mill, and walking down Kloof Street, near Yours Truly.   Cape Town is doubling up for ‘both Istanbul and Turkey‘ (sic)!

 *   Chenin Blanc was praised by Greg Sherwood of Handford Wines in London, at a tasting of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage wines, organised by Wines of South Africa (WOSA). Sherwood led the Chenin Blanc tasting, and said about the varietal:  ’Chenin is a massive and unique selling point for South Africa.  It has a variety of styles and gives you a Burgundy textural experience without having to pay Burgundian prices. The days of too much oak and batonnage are now in the past. These practices have (more…)

Franschhoek Literary Festival Michael Jordaan Whale Cottage PortfolioWe have written about the odd titles given to the Franschhoek Literary Festival 2014 workshop sessions.  One of these was the discussion about entrepreneurism, entitled ‘Business Bundu Bashers’.  The alliteration in no way reflected what the topic of discussion was about!

Michael Jordaan, former FNB CEO, newly elected Chairman of WOSA (Wines of South Africa), and Chairman of Mxit (left), was the chairman of the panel of four writers, which had one hour exactly (well less to be exact, due to the slow microphone wiring) to discuss whether in essence entrepreneurs are made or born.  Panelists were Peter Vundla (author of ‘Doing Time’), Angela Makholwa (a crime author and writing agency owner, who seemed out of place on the panel, despite her charm), Herman Mashaba (writer of ‘Black Like You‘, a play on words of his very successful African beauty product company Black Like Me), and Bertie du Plessis (writer of ‘Your Small Business Nightmare’).

Peter Vundla worked at Ogilvy & Mather for ten years many moons ago, and shared that he used to watch his white colleagues, thinking that he could run an ad agency better than they could.  He called this process of learning by observation ‘Doing Time’, the title of his book.  He went on his own, setting up HerdBuoys, our country’s first Black-owned ad agency, and they saw tough times initially, having their homes and cars repossessed, in not having any start-up capital. But nothing could break their determination to succeed. Books have been ‘the companions of my life‘, he said.  peter-vundla-doing-timeVundla said his autobiography includes (former President) Thabo Mbeki, his father, the current government, and HerdBuoys.   He proudly shared that he brought the Zara retail outlets to our country, being the local partner of the  international clothing store.  He said that he is not afraid to say what must be said, even in his book, and he attacked the Franschhoek Literary Festival for most of the attendees of the discussion session being ‘White’.  He called for a Soweto Book Fair!  Vundla said it’s lonely to write a book on your own. For him it is not about the money he can make from a book, but about how many persons read it.  The agency did well, taking on Coca Cola, General Motors, and Sprite as some of its top client brands.   Makholwa said that the sale of the (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to The New Age, which generously delivers a pack of its newspapers every day on weekdays, to the benefit of our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests, at no charge.

World of First growth wine list Unknown-5-150x150The Sour Service Award goes to the Taj Cape Town, for associating itself with The White Club owner Rene Dehn, in preparing seven months ago what appeared initially to be its exclusive Taj First Growths Wine List Exceptionelle.  Dehn has just been outed as having been fraudulent in his The White Club tastings held around the world, in London, Hong Kong, and in Switzerland, as well as locally, in having served what he said were very rare wines with old vintages, but may have been younger wines thought to have been decanted into the older bottles. The exclusive Taj wine list was described as being the most sought-after in the world, many of the 36 wines having been sourced from Dehn (at high prices no doubt). It is hand-written with detailed tasting notes, and is bound in white leather.  At the time Dehn was quoted (more…)

FLF2As the 8th Franschhoek Literary Festival draws near, it is advisable to book the writer panel sessions as soon as possible, as they get booked out well in advance.  The more well-known the writer/s on the panels, the quicker they are booked out.   In addition to an intensive programme of talks from Friday until Sunday this coming weekend (16 – 18 May), entertainment is also available in the evenings.

The Festival is noble in generating funds for the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Fund, for the following:

*  donating books to schools and creches

*  employing a librarian to work with four primary school libraries in the Franschhoek area, and part-time library assistants

*   visiting schools, reading and story-telling

*   Book Week for Young Readers, which is being held this week

*   Wine Writers prizes of R12500 each, in two categories: six to eight short pieces of 1000 words each, from a blog or column; and a long piece of 1000 – 4000 words. Winners to be selected by a panel, usually chaired by John Maytham.  Last year the prize was (more…)

Ken Forresster Wines Banner Whale Cottage PortoflioOn Tuesday last week I was lucky to be part of a small group of writers invited to attend a special tasting of 21 Ken Forrester Vineyards’ wines, in celebration of their 21st anniversary. The range of wines reflects the multi-faceted personality of owner and winemaker Ken Forrester!

We met at the tasting room, and were welcomed with a glass of Sparklehorse MCC, and oysters and salmon canapés.  It was the most beautiful day, and the tasting took place in Ken’s beautiful Cape Dutch manor house, dated 1694 on the gable, with the first vineyards having been planted in 1692. I loved the light yellow walls with a vine leaf mural all along the top part of the walls, the paintings, the vases with flowers, and the ambiance of and views from the Voorkamer.

Previously in the hospitality industry in Johannesburg, Ken and his wife Teresa moved to Stellenbosch in 1993, having bought the property with a house and a vineyard in a derelict state, Ken shared.  He and Teresa painstakinglyKen Forrester Wines Ken Whale Cottage Portfolio renovated the house, to return it to its former glory, and turned the farm around. Despite experiencing highlights as well as low lights on the property (e.g. the toughest ever year was 2002, with downy mildew a number of times), but Ken said that it was all worth while, and that they live in paradise.  They live on a farm but they are Ken Forrester Wines Exterior house Whale Cottage Portfolioalmost in town, he added.  In answering a question, Ken said that their new venture had to be in Stellenbosch.  He had previously worked for Southern Sun when Sol Kerzner was in charge, and then moved into the restaurant industry, buying a share in Gatriles in Johannesburg. His restaurant industry background reflects in the joint ownership with his brother Allan of 96 Winery Road down the road from his wine estate, and he brought Gatriles’ famous duck and cherry pie recipe with him to Stellenbosch, where it has become a favourite too.   Their property is 126 ha in size, and he has rented another property of equivalent size, which he and his team manage, to control the quality of his incoming fruit. (more…)

WOSA Michael Jordaan (LR)After appointing new CEO Siobhan Thompson, who took over the reigns from Su Birch in November last year, the Board of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has elected dynamic Dr Michael Jordaan as its Chairman. Both appointments are likely to be a breath of fresh air for the international wine marketing body.

Jordaan had a high profile job as CEO of FNB, turning the bank around in the ten year period he spent there, the bank receiving an accolade as the world’s most innovative bank at the BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards in Washington two years ago.  He left the bank late last year, to spend more time with his family on their farm Bartinney on the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, having commuted between Johannesburg and Stellenbosch for many years.  He remains an Executive Committee Member of FirstRand Banking Group. Jordaan is also Chairman of Social Media platform Mxit.  He has been named CNBC Africa Business Leader of the Year for Southern Africa. He and his wife Rose also own Bartinney wine and champagne bar on trendy Church (more…)

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…)