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January 2009

It's a brand new year! WTN cleans up in the vineyards.

What’s inside: Win a helicopter trip #2 Go on line, complete our readers' survey and

stand a chance of winning an aerial tour of the Peninsula with three of your friends.

Easy wine #3 The wine traveller's companion for wine drinkers.

Cellar door review #4 Monika Elias took a trip to South Hill and

discovered that apples aren't the only delicious thing Elgin produces.

Mind your language #5 When you talk wine, you talk France and Roland Peens will teach you a few choice phrases to practise at your next dinner party.

WTN's top three spas #6 Recharge your batteries with a fabulous spa experience in the Winelands.

Waisting away #7 The Food Floozy discovers that liquid diets can

SAA gives wine wings

cause grievous bodily harm even if it seems like fun at the time.

Ever wondered why, when you are hurtling through the sky at about 900kms an hour, at a height of 37 000 feet and you order a little wine to go with your lunch, you get a dinky bottle of less than fabulous, way beyond its sell-by date of Matuba Chardonnay thrust into your hand? By Greg Landman hatever happened to the ads that show elegant couples dining on smoked salmon and Dom Perignon? Wake up and smell the jet fuel – this is South African Airways economy class and the method of delivery should have us all toyi-toyiing at OR Tambo in frustration. On a 14-hour SAA flight some years ago from Cape Town to Miami, I was told by the cabin steward to “take a few bottles and stuff

them around the seat so the cabin staff don’t have to be disturbed during the night”, so this kind of service in their cabins is nothing new. Egyptair has a novel method of placing a basket of ghastly warm dinkies at the top of the stairs as you enter their aircraft for us wine drinkers, but they are not one of the world’s top wine producing countries and there are other reasons I won’t go into here. On an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to New York, when I asked for some wine,

the tough looking Sabra doling out the kosher (milchik) meal, hollered across the cabin to the girl on the other side to “give this man some wine”, while pointing downwards at me. Having just survived the Negev, I hollered back: “Make it two while you are about it.” SAA arranges a highly respected annual campaign to select the wines for the forthcoming year. [Story continued on page 9]

Head South #7 Greg Landman has discovered an oasis in the

dining desert on the West Coast, but South Pole will take you in a different direction.

Bottle 11: Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2006 #11 Neil Pendock uncorks his penultimate bottle.

WIN with WTN #2


Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake [Author unknown]

Up front Monika Elias

elcome to 2009 with 53 issues of WTN under our belt, we are moving ahead to produce another jampacked dozen. We see the year ahead as one of fun, innovation and collaboration of all the many components that work together to get this paper out and read – that’s including you, the reader, for who we produce it. We might be starting the year on a lean and mean note but we sure are packing quite a punch with the content – with our anorexic page count we'll be working towards getting big, fat and bootylicious through the year. This month our theme is getting that junk out your trunk and detoxing the post festive season bod! Graham Howe takes us on his personal tour of spa experiences with some WTN suggestions of where you can go thrown in. Our Food Floozy Kate George will have you rolling around with laughter at her quest for skinny. And from these high spirits Greg Landman has some food for thought regarding the SAA wine awards. Roland Peens helps us get our heads around French

wines and regions, with a local wine comparison that we can understand. Look at our top releases for some buying guidance. Next time you pick up a copy I would like you to take a minute to really look at what you have in your hands. You are looking at craftsmen who work to deliver information you can use, wine suggestions and destinations for you to try and explore and we are offering you all of this in a lifestyle environment that you can be part of. The many hands and minds that bring you this every month should be celebrated with every word and image that you take in. Wine should be inspiring, thought provoking and fun. In a Vogue article written by editor Alexandra Shulman she wrote about beauty – obviously pertaining to the fashion industry – but also what it is as a whole and the change over the decades that define the concept, made me think beauty and wine have the same parallel. I can't put the whole article down but a sentence that really resonated with me and I want to leave you with this as we start the year with lots of enthusiasm and passion for wine, tourism and news: “Beauty, when you are in the presence of it, is a transforming influence – it exerts real power and it binds people together in their desire to experience a part of it.”

What to look out for Peter Falke Wines

Gauteng correspondent: Karen Green: Cell: 083 2974 215

Cover shot: Simon Deiner of SDR Photo Tel: 082 413 1868 Vacuum cleaner from Weavers of Fish Hoek Coner of Main and Central roads Fish Hoek, Cape Town Tel/Fax: 021 782 5135

Art director: Daniel Satchell:

Published by: The World’s Favourite Publications | Unit 21 Block B | M5 Business Park | Black River Parkway | Maitland

Sales: Helen Cooper, Jenny Walter Tel: 021 510 3316/7

Tel: 021 510 3316/7 | Fax: 021 511 7962 E-mail:

Marketing and distribution: Lara Yarrington: Production: Lucinda Bailey: Feature writers and contributors: Graham Howe, Greg Landman, Kate George, Karen Green, Lucinda Bailey, Monika Elias, Neil Pendock, Nicci Botha, Roland Peens

The views in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The editor reserves the right to amend articles. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, stored or transmitted without prior permission from the publisher.

Win a helicopter flip over the peninsula ou and three friends stand a chance of winning a bird’s eye view of Cape Town worth R10 000 courtesy of Base4 Aviation. Simply go to our website www. and complete our Readers’ Survey to go into the draw.

The prize includes: • A full peninsula flight for four pax. • The flight will depart from the V&A Waterfront, and is worth R10 000. • You will be treated to a bird’s eye view of some of Cape Town’s most breathtaking views and well known tourist attractions including Cape Point, the major beaches and Table Mountain.

to learn to fly your own helicopter, or prefer to sit back and relax and enjoy the view, Base4 will cater to your every aviation need. Tailor make your own excursion, or take advantage of some of our unique packages, including, a romantic night flight over the Mother City, whale watching, golf tours, wine tours by helicopter, hunting safaris, fly fishing flights, and much more. Gift vouchers are available for all packages. Please visit or call 021 418 4764 for more information

Base4 Aviation in Cape Town are leaders in the fields of helicopter tourism and training. They have bases all over Africa, including South Africa, Angola and Namibia. So whether you want

Win a romantic weekend away uslamere guest house and spa is the perfect getaway in the heart of the Durbanville Winelands. You could win a Weekend for two, inclusive of full buffet breakfast and a couples 30-minute hot stone massage on the Saturday morning. Simply SMS the word RUSLAMERE to 35910 (R3 per SMS) along with your full name and the area you live in.

Terms & conditions The competition closes on 31 January 2009 The judges’ decision in final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize voucher will be valid for a period of three months from when the winner is announced. 02 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

Overgaauw in Stellenbosch has introduced snacky cheese platters in the tasting room. Seating is available inside or out for those who want to linger longer. R50 a platter. Tel 021 881 3815 Email:

Rickety Bridge Paulina Reserve wines Rickety Bridge has honoured the original owner of the property back in the 1700s, Paulina de

Fifty thousand bottles a working day, 23 different wine ranges and no less than nine medals at the 2008 Veritas awards and a 40 per cent annual growth is nothing to be scoffed at. Van Loveren winery, home to the Four Cousins, has become a brand synonymous with value-for-money wines. The boys have undergone a face lift with the launch of their range of three sweet low alcohol bubbles – their tall, dark and handsome silhouettes now grace the label. For lovers of the Four Cousins range you will be in for a treat as now your favourite tipple has a fizz. These white, Rosé and red bubbles will retail for R34 and as with the four cousins should be enjoyed while fresh and young. Tel: 023 615 1505 Email:

Website: Reproduction and printing: ABC Press, Cape Town


The wine traveller’s companion for wine drinkers takes a fresh look at wine – what it’s really about.

Fizzical attraction Situated on the Annandale Road in Stellenbosch, Peter Falke Wines is a chic haven with a stylish tasting room amid scenic vineyards, gardens and rolling hills at the foot of the Helderberg. They’ve also extended their opening hours during summer, so you can enjoy the sunset as you sip away on a selection of the wines. Opening hours: 11:00 to 19:00 Tue to Sun. Tel: 021 881 3677 Email:

Overgaauw snacks the cheese Publisher: Monika Elias Editor: Nicci Botha Deputy editor: Lucinda Bailey

Villiers, by naming the best of the best of their wines after her. The Paulina Reserve Range includes the Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – smooth with delicate flavours and very quaffable (R75), Chenin Blanc 2008 – with a granadilla base and fuller mouth feel (R68) and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 – a dry red that can be enjoyed now, or kept for up to six years (R150) have been released. The tasting centre is open from Monday to Friday 08:00 to 20:00, Saturdays and public holidays 09:00 to 20:00 and on Sundays 10:00 to 17:00. Tel: 021 876 2129





Very refreshing and crisp and ideal as a medium-bodied, fruity, social wine. There is a slight hint of hops suggesting that it’s a bit green. Can be enjoyed on its own or with light meals such as fish, salads, pastas or even a fruit salad. 2008 / 13.5% alc / Tel: 023 626 3093

Everything you’d expect from a typical Sauvignon Blanc, a super quaffer with a long finish that’s well balanced and worth the price. Great on its own but if you’re looking for a food combo try it with Parma ham and melon, tuna with olives, a tomato tart, salmon, quiche or shellfish. 2008/12.5% alc/Tel: 021 794 1810

Wine and wellness tourism are attracting a generation of new-age travellers to the winelands. In search of a cure for the Bacchanalian excesses of the festive season, you can detox in style with holistic treatments with an African touch. By Graham Howe massage. The deluxe mother-to-be massage was obviously out of the question. Choices, choices. My advice would be don’t get sidetracked if you’re after a detox. The new spa menus tempt the newcomer with aromatherapy, shiatsu, reike and reflexology and more unusual treatments like the big Kahuna (a Hawaiian massage applied with bony elbows) and Ayurvada (an ancient Indian form of spiritual healing). "You'll feel a lot better afterwards" is the kind of reassurance that always arouses my suspicions. In search of a cure for a seasonal hangover, I've sampled an amazing array of treatments. I’ve had a shiatsu pressure point massage inflicted with sharp elbows and lain under nubile feet pitter-pattering up and down my spine, feeling like a pavement at rushhour. I've had my meridians balanced by reike therapists to unblock chakras (energy centres) I didn't even know existed – while waiting expectantly for the promised release of my universal life-force energy. Last but not least, a detox, like charity, starts at home. You’ll find loads of practical advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle, detox diets and natural health products at (see body and spirit), (google detox) and Beauty is only skin-deep - it's the condition of what's underneath that counts. After all my adventures on the detox trail, I’m ready for the New Year, rejuvenated, refreshed and primed to indulge in a brand new season of fabulous food and wine launches.



Asparagus, herbaceous, leafy, mineral and vegetative flavours abound on the nose of this wine, with delicate hints following through onto the palate. It is nicely structured with a short, crisp finish that will have you drinking loads. Enjoy it on its own or with a chicken Caesar salad or vegetarian pizza. CORK / 12.5% alc / 2008 / Tel: 022 492 3540

Zesty and easy to drink, but beware of the high alcohol – which is quite prominent. There’s lots of ripe fruit and a lingering fruity aftertaste. A tomato pasta, summer salads, chicken, a tomato tart or even a crème brûlée will go well with it. 2008 / 14.38% alc / Tel: 021 876 2129

Howes that: Doing the detox trail… ou can call me Buddy," said the modest masseur with a voice as soothing as his hands, washing my feet in spring water strewn with fresh flower petals. "I'll call anyone who washes my feet buddy,” I sighed. This is the way to honour those New Year’s resolutions and clean up your act. Wellness tourism is huge from Bali and Bangkok to Constantia to Walker Bay. In the Constantia Wine Valley I had hot rocks piled on my back at The Gingko Spa at Steenberg which specialises in holistic treatments inspired by the energy radiating from the sea, vineyards and mountains – based on traditional aroma, hydro and touch therapy. I discovered the trick is to not move suddenly and turn a hot stone massage into a landslide. This signature massage counteracts the hectic pace of daily life by restoring your inner balance and induces a sense of wellbeing. A quick fix. It works. I detoxed the morning after a food and wine dinner of Walker Bay wines at the Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa in Bot River. Sweating out all those nasty toxins in the steam room, I recalled a session in a sweat lodge in British Columbia run by Native Americans. After a spell in the bio-fuel relaxation room, I slipped into the world-first African Rainforest, which uses indigenous eucalyptus aromatherapy, cold mountain mist and an African tea ceremony. Further down the road at the Marine in Hermanus, I lay on a massage bed like a beached whale. I had to decide between a detoxifying seaweed wrap, African rungu (a deep-pressure massage vigorously applied with a warrior’s throwing stick) or a bamboo shoot





Wonderful aromas of allspice, thyme, passion fruit, ripe peach and apricots abound in this smooth wine. A long buttery finish and good mouth feel make it enjoyable – needs a bit longer in the bottle. Fab food options include Cape Malay prawn curry with apricots or a not-too-sweet apple crumble with cinnamon or allspice. CORK / 12% alc / 2008 / Tel: 021 865 2022




A very rich, well-balanced wine with butter flavours that follow through from the nose onto the palate. Look out for notes of nuts, boiled sweets, butterscotch, vanilla and honey on the nose. The wood is well integrated. Rich seafood dishes with creamy sauces, braaied chicken with a creamy potato bake or Brie with walnuts will make good food partners. CORK / 14% alc / 2008 / Tel: 022 448 1635

DIEU DONNE VINEYARDS FRANSCHHOEK SOUTH AFRICA ROSÉ (SAUVIGNON BLANC / CABERNET SAUVIGNON) STRAWBERRY / CHERRIES / BOILED SWEETS / CANDYFLOSS R 48 / SYNTHETIC CORK Sweeter than you expect, but still dry. Slightly oily on the palate with a pomegranate aftertaste. A beach wine that’ll work with tuna or sardines, deep-fried calamari, a rhubarb crumble or even a fruit salad. NV/12.5% alc/Tel: 021 876 2493

REGION: The area in South Africa in which the farm is located.

LA BRI FRANSCHHOEK SOUTH AFRICA SHIRAZ / VIOGNIER LEATHER / MEATY / SPICY / FLORAL / VANILLA / PRUNES / PLUMS R 80 / CORK A big winter wine, fruity and spicy upfront with white pepper and a leathery palate. It is well balanced and is drinking nicely now but will also benefit from time in the bottle. The label is eye-catching, and along with the contents a reason to enjoy. A lovely fillet or rump with béarnaise sauce, bobotie and hard cheeses will complement this wine. 2007/15% alc/Tel: 021 876 2593

STYLE: The variety of the wine.

ALLEE BLEUE FRANSCHHOEK SOUTH AFRICA CABERNET SAUVIGNON / MERLOT BLACKBERRIES / FRUIT / MEATY / PEPPERY / MUSTY / EARTHY / SPICE R 70 / CORK Displaying typical flavours of a Cab/Merlot with a smooth, long finish. To best enjoy this wine decant it an hour before drinking. An oxtail or lamb shank with a rich mash and gravy or a pizza with meat and artichokes, biltong or the leftover Christmas pudding would all make good food partners. 2005/15% alc/Tel: 021 874 1021




Fresh, fruity and breezy and not too serious. Ideal for those looking for something lighter and it will complement a green salad or fresh steamed fish. Look out for hints of lime, apples and orange peel in this drink-all-day wine. SCREW CAP / 11.5% alc / 2008 / Tel: 023 626 4178




Well-structured and full-bodied with dark fruit, cigar and smoky flavours. Lots of tannins fill this wine and the alcohol is fairly prominent – can spend some more time in the bottle. Drink it with venison, liver and onions, a pepper steak or even a great burger with a fantastic, rich sauce. CORK / 14.4% alc / 2005 / Tel: 021 876 2593

CHARACTER: The flavours found in the wine.

PRICE: Reach for your wallet. All prices, approximate, available at the cellar door. Wine Tourism News | January 2009 | 03



Cellar door review: South Hill

By Monika Elias

I took the road less travelled and was met by the spectacular views of the Elgin valley. This is big sky country and Stone Hill the hidden gem. Hill wines are very quaffable – drink now or keep for

one to two years. Elgin is fast becoming known for its

Mind your language

By Roland Peens

Being a snobby wine drinker is not always easy. But if you want to win friends and influence people at your next dinner party pepper your conversation with a few choice French words and we’re not talking about strong language.

cool climate Sauvignon Blancs which are also making

waves in the international wine arena and the winery’s four star Platter version is typical of this cool climate

area and a crisp fresh palate makes this a very easy

wine to while the afternoon away with. The Cab is soft and juicy and definitely shouts, "Drink more of me". It

could be stored for a year or two but you might struggle to keep it under wraps for that long.

Your novel tasting at the table is relaxed and

gives you a chance to sample while you’re perusing he gates are imposing, different and open and there is sense of space upon entering them, while the wrought iron South Hill posting is

embellished in the sky surrounded by natural shrubs

the menu. Our favourite out of our two course choice

was the smoky duck with a duck liver and cardamom

mousse which was a delicious accompaniment with the South Hill Cab.

The décor is stylishly simple with the walls covered

and big stones on the ground. As you drive down the

with fine art pieces. The visuals and the space that

and well-manicured lawns you’re intrigued to see what

doors that look out at the landscapes are in itself art

dirt road to the white buildings surrounded by vineyards the South Hill property has to offer.

The experience is a little different as they’ve

moved the tastings down to the restaurant, Gordon

Manual @ The Venue, where it's done at your table.

is created are not only sensory but tactile. The huge forms. As we sat eating our lunch the vistas changed

due to the drifting clouds. It was like looking at art but through nature.

South Hill is child friendly and will have them

The reason being done the winemaker isn’t always

running around in the open spaces as the big children

and general manager Sean Skibbe is dashing about

good company, who could ask for more?

at the cellar door, so we were told. Busy winemaker

tending vineyards near and far that produce the South

get to play at their table with good food, wine, art and

If you follow the road past Paul Cluver but if you’ve

Hill grapes. Not quite the pourer behind the counter

passed Thandi winery you have gone too far. South Hill

and want to stop off for lunch and a tasting, South Hill is

end of the Elgin Valley, seven and a half kilometres

experience but if you're going to travel to the Elgin area the place for friends, family and a linger longer lunch. The fare changes regularly and you can go

winery and restaurant is located at the south eastern from the N2 highway along The Valley Road.

If you looking to stay the night South Hill has

for regular menu updates and changes on their

accommodation and also offers a great venue for

Luncheons are either two courses at R150 or three

is essential.

very comprehensive website

for R180 – food only. The wine list is extensive and

includes a large choice of the local produce. The South

04 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

weddings, celebrations or private functions. Booking

Tel: 021 844 0033 Email:

t a dinner party the other night mein host was quite a serious wino and the latter part of the evening inevitably ended up with the special wines. This time one from Bordeaux. To be a serious wine lover it should be obligatory to know the famous communes (towns) of Bordeaux. After all, most of our legendary and adored wines are modelled on it. The Gironde River runs through the city dividing the important regions; those to the east are Cabernet-dominated and those to the West Merlot-based. Easy! Upstream along the river you'll find the first of the lavish chateaux and the commune of Margaux; made famous by Château Margaux. Their wines are usually rich in fruit, quite spicy with lots of savouries. De Toren’s Fusion V comes to mind. Further north is St Julien. My favourite commune, there are few wines in the world that can portray such silky refinement and balance. The Leovilles of Lascases, Barton and Poyferre are true masterpieces. Etienne le Riche makes a single cultivar Cabernet Reserve that reminds me of St Julien’s finesse and Vilafonte’s Series C shows similar class. Nearby Pauillac is perhaps the most famous town holding the three first growths of Lafite, Latour and Mouton-Rothschild. Matched with luxurious châteaux, the wines show power and richness with a touch of leafy finesse. Vergelegen’s Estate or Jordan’s Cobblers Hill both exhibit this character with similar power. The last of the important communes on the left bank is the robustly tannined St Estephe.

These wines tend to be austere when young with the most traditional feel of all Bordeaux. Buitenverwachting Christine or an old-school Vergenoegd Estate are most apt local comparisons. While Merlot in South Africa is confined to the wife’s wine-by-the-glass option at the local brassiere, on the right bank Merlot is king. Pomerol is well known for its heavily-priced wines of Le Pin and Petrus, often costing as much as a hatch-back. The offerings from Veenwouden and Quoin Rock both shadow Bordeaux. St Emilion is far larger and usually contains Cabernet Franc or small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. The now defunct Cordoba Cresendo and Morgenster Estate mimic St Emilion with their elegance, fineness and character. The other names to have in your dinner-party inventory are Sauternes, where the famous sweet wine of Yquem and Pessac Leognan’s Haut Brion reside. Boekenhoutskloof once-off Semillon (Sauternes major grape along with Sauvignon Blanc) Noble Late Harvest could fool even a Bordelais while Grangehurst’s Cabernet Merlot traditional style portrays the mineral style of Pessac. As we find our feet as to which varietals to plant where, Bordeaux remains a worthy platform for winemaking. So next time you’re entertained, whip out the Bordeaux-lingo to impress your guests. Oh, and Hornbill Garagiste Merlot 2007, ex-Hermanus 2007 is a cracker effort at South Africa’s fickle Merlot.

Wine Tourism News | January 2009 | 05


spa feature top three spas

Rouge Spa A small sanctuary in Kenilworth where, for three hours, the phone was on silent, the outside world forgotten and everything going on in the room was focused on me – absolute bliss. My chosen treatments were a vitamin masque facial, spa pedicure and full body Swedish massage (including my head – which was the pièce de résistance). The tingling delights of a good massage, purified skin and toes that are no longer embarrassing – what more could a girl want. What’s fabulous about this spa? It's close, inexpensive and incredibly good value for money. Would I go there again? I’m booking the chick flick experience as you read this, and that’s only the beginning. Rouge Spa has a few specials running at the moment be sure to check them out: • Missing the sun? Keep that summer tan and get a 10 per cent discount when you purchase a course of 10 sunbed sessions. • 20 per cent off all massages • Chick flick weeknights. Book yourself and three friends to come and enjoy a mini-mani and minipedi while watching your favourite girlie movie. Relax with your complimentary red or white wine along with yummy popcorn to complete the

06 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

treat. R155 each, Monday to Friday from 16:00. 27 Gibson Road (entrance on Ascot Road), Kenilworth Opening hours: 9:00 to 19:00 Mon to Fri, 9:00 to 18:00 Sat, 10:00 to 17:00 Sun. Tel: 021 797 9871 Email: Web:

Camelot Spa at the Le Franschhoek Hotel With pretty spectacular views of the Franshhoek mountains Camelot is true to its mantra of creating the ultimate spa experience. As you walk in the doors of this French style place of relaxation and rejuvenation you are greeted with the soft smell of vanilla and your eyes rest on a fountain laden with rose petals. As a regular spa goer I can always tell my experience is going to be good or bad by the quality of the robes and slippers. I was not disappointed. Thick, soft and fluffy with matching towelling slippers. I knew I was in for a treat. My therapy of choice was the house speciality of the Camelot Universal Signature Massage but before I was to be whisked away for an hour of bliss, my senses had to be stimulated, a pot of warm five senses tea was served in the

relaxation room while on a long cream lounger I lay. As my inner being was slipping into a comfortable state of numbness, my outer body was ready to be taken to the same place. It really had to be one of the best all technique massages I’ve ever had. The combination of the hot stones, Kahuna, Bali, reflexology and Indian head done with a firm hands and a soft touch had me drifting off in no time. This 60 minutes of bliss is R470 and is worth every cent. The spa has a whole host of specialised treatments and journeys but I am going to be back for their float room. This is an open room unlike the flotation tanks that have closed lids. For the claustrophobics this is the way to get the full effects of deep relaxation without the anxiety of closed spaces. The room is lit with candles around a mini pool and darkened, with gentle music for you to let yourself go. Opening times: Mon to Sun and public holidays 8:00 -20:00 Public Holidays 08h00am-20h00pm Tel: 021 8762735 Email:

Mangwanani Day Spa at Zevenwacht The bar has been lifted significantly on pyjama

days. For those of you not in the know, pyjama days are spent in said apparel doing all the things you find incredibly decadent. At Mangwanani you’ll be pampered beyond your wildest dreams and then some. You need to bundu bash a bit to get there, but this adds to the whole African feel. Perched atop a hill overlooking Zevenwacht with views stretching all the way to Table Mountain, Mangwanani offers a range of packages within different price ranges including full day, half day and evening spas with different themes. This is where the pyjama bit comes in, well strictly speaking it’s your robe, swimming costume and slippers, which is all you wear till home time. The morning kicks off with a breakfast of muesli and yoghurt, muffins and scones and juice or sparkling wine if you’re in the mood. The rest of the day is spent indulging in 45-minutes each of foot and hand treatments, a full body massage with hot stones, Indian head and shoulder massage (my absolute favourite), an African facial, an exfoliation rub and a Jacuzzi. This is interspersed by a decidedly healthy lunch of grilled chicken or fish, a Greek salad and some of Zevenwacht’s wines, followed by a choice of rather lavish cakes. But in my book lettuce leaves cancel out caramel. You’ll also get to taste some of the farm's cheeses. And if you’re slightly guilty about all the pampering, assuage the feeling by knowing that Mangwanani is a BEE company which facilitates job creation in the area. All the therapists are local. There’s a shuttle that will pick you up and deliver you back to Canal Walk. Take the option, because believe me after a day of total relaxation you won’t want to battle the traffic. Tel: 0860 55 00 55 Email:

Head South

Waisting away

The West Coast has never been famous for great restaurants; well, certainly not since the demise of the original legendary Ons Huisie. But South Pole is starting to make its presence felt. By Greg Landman

The Food Floozy succumbs to the angst of post Christmas kilograms and begs, “How did that case of Sauv get on my thighs?” By Kate George

n the old days you would have to make the great trek to Blouberg just to be spoiled by the cooking of Eric von Gericke. Now, however, things are buzzing at Yngve Muldal’s wonderful bistro at Sunset Beach called South Pole. Yngve was originally, if I remember correctly, at Beluga, and can now be seen in action behind the big glass windows of his spanking new kitchen. South Pole is coolly modern with a great bar where tapas versions of the cuisine can be tried every evening until about seven, when the dining room starts to cook. His style is innovative, with nods to the East, while drawing on European fundamentals. The result is exciting and tasty, always interesting, great to look at and even better to eat. Consider the kingklip Carpaccio with a hot Asian noodle broth and crispy sweet corn crouton, or the double-baked goat’s cheese soufflé and watercress purée and how about mussels with a garlic snail butter? The trio of salmon, one marinated and then grilled, one poached and the other smoked, is to die for, as we say in Sea Point. More traditional, with a twist, is the lamb with a spicy calamari and mint salad. If you can resist the banana chocolate

chip cake with chocolate meringue and banana fudge parfait you are strong indeed. The wine list concentrates on some of the excellent West Coast wines; the service is friendly and professional and there are price combinations, such as any two courses for R110, which won’t break the bank. Don’t go for the view for there isn’t one; go for the food, but get there quickly because it’s rapidly being discovered. Ocean Square (off the R27, Sunset Beach) Open daily for lunch and dinner Tel: 021 551 5752

f the gods of thinness bottled weight loss I'm adamant its key ingredients would be panic and fear. I say this now in a state of calm and tranquillity, having tried to squeeze my big toe into what used to be my fat jeans! Once on, they rendered the lower part of my body paralysed – and that’s without the buttons done up. How did I get myself here? It’s times like these that I reminisce fondly over my first year running a large catering kitchen during season. It was a time when every waking minute brought an all consuming fear. Fear over whether the Jerusalem artichokes sitting in first class on SAA would arrive in time and undamaged enough to be steamed for a special client’s ladies luncheon. I had sweaty anxiety attacks from not knowing how platters of finicky canapés were going to get to their destinations on time and in one piece. The sleep deprivation and nightmares about large scale food poisoning featuring bubbly butter chicken and 500 of Cape Town’s glitterati. Those days were seasoned with a perpetual stomachache, excessive nausea, some vomiting and staggering weight loss. I may have needed six months of therapy, SB administered intravenously, three-and-a-half weeks of solid sleep and a suntan afterwards – but my word was I thin. Basically I was floating on the warm fluffy cloud of chunky chick heaven. The devastating thing is the thrilling weight loss of the first season only happens once. By season two you know the ropes, which drivers should deliver what and if you add the chicken at the last minute, butter chicken doesn’t go off. The sense of fear and panic had abated and aching nausea is replaced with a burning hunger.

By season three I managed to swallow an entire gammon and all the accompaniments. I’ve just started operation Lose a Case of Butter (that's 15kgs in case you're wondering). The ladies in the kitchen tell me that tik is the way to go. Apparently it makes you thin as a rake but I fear it has a few pesky side effects that may not suit my lifestyle. Now something I thought would be far more suitable is a liquid diet. Unfortunately I didn’t read the small print and instead of drinking 35,75 litres of water a day I drank my body weight in crisp Sauvignon Blanc. I didn’t drop a gram. Instead I was covered in peculiar bruises and had a perpetual headache. What I did determine was the incidents and severity of my pain was indicative of my tipple of choice. The Thelema 2008 gave me a helluva headache. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with its mountainous location on the Helshoogte pass or because I drank so much of it at one go. The bruises were less, however. Perhaps because I imbibed it while sitting down and eating a delicious piece of braaied geelbek? The Constantia wines had more moderate effects, just a little purple around the ankles and a dull headache. Oak Valley, which is a solid favourite, turned out to be the most dangerous of everything I consumed – just a note – it’s great value if you order by the case. Not only was I covered in bruises and scrapes I was also involved in a few serious social faux pas and late night phone calls. So it’s back to square one and I’ve had it with fad diets. They cause too much agony and quite honestly aren’t as effective as people say. I’m going to have to do it the old-fashioned way. Eat and drink less. How boring!

Wine Tourism News | January 2009 | 07

stellenbosch What will your friends say when you show them your vineyard? It’s all about scale. You can have 200 vines, which is about one third of an acre, for so little, no one will believe. Until you show them. You can have the wine that is made from your vines. You can have the income from its sale. Or you can have a bit of each. And it’s all for less then you dreamed. There are no hidden costs and no downside at all. f you want the wine, it’s delivered to your door. If you want the financial return, it’s deposited into your bank account. This remarkable opportunity was devised by Barringtons Vines founder, Jim Drew, when he saw how much it costs to buy a whole vineyard property and counted up the management costs. He began to lease vineyards and gave others the chance to have a piece of them. You can share in the glory of the rich and famous who own these fabled properties. Up to now, if you wanted to purchase a working vineyard in South Africa you would have to pay up to and maybe over R1-million a hectare (2.2 acres). Barringtons lease blocks of vines from these great properties and arrange for you to share in these for one-, two- and three-year periods. The cost to you is no more than that of a week’s holiday. It works like this. Your vines are an integral part of a world-famous property, like De Stormhoek in Wellington or Veenwouden in Paarl or High Constantia in Constantia. Barringtons will ensure that your vineyard is strictly controlled, properly maintained and professionally managed right up to the point of delivery of the wine to your door, or should you wish to sell, to the point of pay up.

08 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

You can visit the estate and view your vines. You can bring your friends to the estate tasting room and be acknowledged as one of the owners. The company understands that not everyone wants the same thing. So they have a portfolio of great estates. These vineyards have won prizes ranging from Best Merlot, Best Cabernet Sauvignon and Best Pinotage in worldwide competitions to South African Winery of the Year. Barringtons is a leader in service delivery. The team realises you may have special needs. They can tailor your vineyard lease to suit your desires. Some people have bought a single block in a group. In other cases, a company has bought a lease to be able to have rare, classical wines (and the prized, framed vineyard photograph) in the firm’s boardroom. Imagine taking the Board to the AGM in the conference room in the wine estate. There’s no limit to the possibilities of creativity and flexiblity. One of the surprising benefits of Barringtons vineyard leasing deal is that your own vineyard and its wine’s are inside the package of possible Christmas and birthday gifts. You can give someone a surprise beyond their dreams. The actual leasing costs vary from property to property

stellenbosch SAA gives wine wings [Continued from page 1] The financial rewards for a selected wine can be considerable, with orders of 20 to 30 000 litres being common, according to one of their suppliers. At about R55 a 750ml bottle, one can understand the feeding frenzy around this competition, which, unlike other awards, results in an almost instant cash order of significant size. The same supplier says a listing on the domestic carrier has more value than a double gold and costs a whole lot less as well. This year over 900 entries were submitted for consideration by companies trying to bag an elusive share of the brass ring – a slice of the R20-million SAA spends every year on the wines served in their cabins. At R350 an entry, this could possibly be their most profitable route. The judges this

year were Dave Hughes, Duimpie Bayly, Carmen Stevens, Luvo Ntezo, Yegas Naidoo, Nomonde Khubeka, Tariro Masayiti, Thato Goimane, and Susan Wessels, all local. Flown in were Tony Devitt (Australia), Andreas Seidl (Germany) and Subhash Arora (India). The wines are initially tasted over a two-anda-half day period monitored by Deloitte and Touche. Judges are divided into two panels that score the wines in their respective categories using a 100-point system. The auditors then identify the top scoring wines in each category and they go into the third day’s tasting, when the these are tabulated once again. SAA are cagey on questions regarding the financial implications of this exercise which culminates in a glittering gala dinner and award ceremony held at the

Spier estate in Stellenbosch. The heady mix of old money and new power there was positively energising, placing us firmly in the new South Africa whether we liked it or not. So far so good, but how then to explain the drek one often encounters while aloft? Seems the problem, as I was told by someone very close to the competition, is in delivery – that very South African word with heavy implications for those in public office (and those enjoying a salary courtesy of the tax payer, i.e. you and me). The storage of the chosen wines, which are apportioned over a 12-month period, is often at fault, a case of wine being allocated to an aircraft from whatever is lying in the warehouse, no matter the age or how it has been stored. Such a pity this elaborate exercise should ultimately end up as a decision by some unqualified packer of aircraft galleys. If we are to get our act together for the sacred year of 2010, when hundreds of thousands of

prospective wine drinkers will be jetting from one centre to the other, now is the time to get the delivery process in order, or we can go on wondering why Australia sells more wine internationally than we do. Obviously, wine drinking aloft is not for sniffers and spitters, not even swirlers – just drink the damn thing and be done. Me, I’ll have a double vodka on the rocks, and save the wine experience for terra firma. At the time of going to press, SAA had not responded to questions posed to them on: • How the judges were selected? • Did the overseas judges pay their own way? • Confirmation on the entry fee? This was supplied by one of the wine companies. • Were there other sponsors? • Is the final selection made by the judges or by an SAA panel?

Wine Tourism News | January 2009 | 09

news Events & festivals: Cape Town Nederburg open saturdays 3, 10, 24, 31 January Tel: 021 862 3104 Web: Enjoy bubbly on arrival, complimentary tastings throughout the day. Visit the historic Manor House and receive discounts on wine and souvenir purchases. Mezze platters will be available along with picnic barbeque lunches. Booking is essential. Time: 10:00 to 16:00 Venue: Nederburg, Paarl

Delvera full moon and sunset hike 11, 24 January Tel: 021 884 4752 Web: Bring warm clothes, a torch and hiking shoes and a picnic if you like. Booking essential. Time: 18:30 on the 11th (full moon hike), 17:30 on the 24th (sunset hike). Venue: Dirtopia Trail Centre, Delvera Agri-tourism complex, Stellenbosch Cost: R40 adults, R20 kids under 10 years

Starry, Starry Night harvest dinners 21, 22, 28, 29 January and 4, 5 February Tel: 023 230 0680 Web: Enjoy a three-course dinner, cellar tour with the winemaker and, later, take a ride on the starlight express to experience how the grapes are picked in the cool of the night. Booking essential. Venue: The House of Krone, Twee Jonge Gezellen, Tulbagh Cost: R300

Delaire alfresco winemaker’s lunches Tel: 021 885 8160 Email:

news From now until the end of January 2009, join winemaker Chris Kelly and his team for a languid alfresco affair under the oaks, served up with awe-inspiring views of their vineyards in the sky and valleys below. The meal includes an exclusive barrel tasting and a complimentary glass of Delaire wine. Booking essential. Venue: Delaire, Helshoogte, Stellenbosch Cost: R150

Theatre: K53 For Learner Husbands 5 – 24 January Tel: 021 685 7880 Web: Comedian Stuart Taylor and director Heinrich Reisenhofer team up to create the definitive relationship crash course for the modern South African man. This hysterical step-by-step programme prepares you to survive the most perilous of driving tests: marriage. Time: 20:15 Venue: Concert Hall, Baxter Theatre, Main Road, Rondebosch Cost: R80

The Ugly Duckling and other stories 7 to 20 January Tel: 021 685 7880 Web: The Ugly Duckling, The King's New Clothes and The Princess and the Swineherd are three magical stories by the Danish weaver of dreams, Hans Christian Andersen. Filled with colourful characters, this stage adaptation sticks closely to the original fairytales. The duration of the show is 40 minutes, and it is suitable for children aged four to eight. Time: 10:30 Venue: Concert Hall, Baxter Theatre, Main Road, Rondebosch Cost: R32

Star-studded storm

Events & festivals: Gauteng Jozi’s Summer Break 1 to 11 January Tel: 011 248 6800 Email: Gold Reef City’s Theme Park has an exciting and diverse entertainment line up for the festive season. The park has everything for everyone, from history and heritage to action and adventure. Time: 9:30 to 18:00 Venue: Gold Reef City’s Theme Park, corner Data Crescent and Northern Parkway, Ormonde Cost: R110 adults, R60 kids shorter than 1.2m.

Beatlemania on Tour From 22 January Tel: 083 915 8000 Email: Beatlemania will take you on a nostalgic, romantic and time-honoured musical journey with hits such as Strawberry Fields Forever, Let It Be, She Loves Me, Can’t Buy Me Love, Ticket To Ride, Hey Jude, A Hard Day’s Night, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and many more. From the same people who brought you Queen: It’s a Kind of Magic. Venue: Nelson Mandela Theatre, Civic Theatre, Braamfontein Cost: From R750

Bridal Indaba 26 to 27 January Tel: 011 469 3825 The most memorable day in the life of most people is their wedding day. The Bridal Indaba 2008 at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways is the top bridal show in South Africa, drawing experts in their fields who will assist in making your dream come true. There will be designer fashion shows, with the latest trends and fashions in bridal attire, presented by Gauteng's top designers, Bridal Workshops that will include presentations

by Wedding specialists on issues such as: invitations, cakes, favours, marriage contracts, skin care and make up, hair styling, music, photography, flowers and décor. Venue: Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Sandton Cost: R50 a person including a fashion show

MPH Live Motor Theatre 29 January to 1 February Tel: 082 857 5276 Join Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond and Sasha Martinengo in this highoctane event with completely new stunts and live-action sequences for 2009, it features 90 minutes of awe-inspiring and gravity-defying acts that push both cars and drivers to their limits. Packed with car chases, crashes, explosions and an amazing line-up of the world’s most desirable cars, take a seat to enjoy a tyre-screeching, engine-screaming performance like no other. Venue: The Coca Cola Dome Cost: From R100

High School Musical From 31 January Tel: +27 83 915 8000 Loved by kids, teenagers and parents alike, c’mon South Africa, it’s time to bop to the top with Troy, Gabriella and the kids from East High. The home-grown version of Disney’s hugely successful High School Musical comes to Joburg under the auspices of theatre impresarios Pieter Toerien and Hazel Feldman. Venue: Teatro at Monte Casino Cost: Prices start at R100 a person

Out and about in Gauteng

he play has an unrivalled power to inspire in almost all sensitive readers a belief that it contains a secret meaning. Even those who make no attempt to search it out retain the feeling that it is there and that if it could only be found it would lead close not merely to the heart of Shakespeare’s convictions about life but close to the heart of life itself,” wrote scholar Harold Goddard. The play has been variously interpreted as Shakespeare’s riff on the creative process, an analysis of the blurring between the living and spirit world, to a more contemporary reading that it is his definitive black play that can be viewed through a post-colonial lens. And it is this perspective that acclaimed director Janice Honeyman will bring to the South African production, collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company and The Baxter Theatre that will run at the latter from January 17 to February 6. A star-studded cast, including Sir Antony Sher, John Kani, Ivan Abrahams, Jeremy Crutchley, Thami Mbongo, Omphile Molusi, Lionel Newton, Nicholas Pauling, Chuma Sopotela, Royston Stoffels, Wayne van Rooyen and Tinarie van Wyk Loots promises a provocative and original local production. The play is set on an island where Prospero (Sher) and his daughter Miranda and his two 10 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

familiars – a sprite named Ariel and a slave named Caliban (Kani) live. Caliban resents Prospero as he believes the island belongs to him. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, ended up on the island with his small daughter after his brother, Antonio, in league with the Alonso, King of Naples, usurped Prospero’s crown. On a journey home from his daughter’s wedding in Tunis, Alonso and his entourage are washed up on the island after surviving a violent storm. Caliban then plots with some of Alonso's men to murder Prospero. Woven between this apparently simple story are many complex and engaging themes. This production promises to be a highlight on the 2009 Cape Town theatre calendar and provides a showcase of some of the finest local talent. Book early to avoid disappointment. Booking has opened.

he Christmas glut is behind us and New Year’s resolutions to improve our lifestyles have been made. All may be a little chaotic and uncertain in the world but there are a few things we can take control of and our health and fitness is one of them. There is so much to do in this vibrant province and it's incredible to think that within 45 minutes drive from most suburbs is beautiful, open country ideal for the enthusiastic cyclist to explore. One of these areas is Kromdraai in the Cradle of Mankind – very near Lanseria airport and Krugersdorp, boasting beautiful scenery and dedicated cyclists’ lanes in many parts. A wonderful base to start exploring this area is Teak Place, which offers a large, secure parking area to depart from and a great restaurant to return back to – you may need a good breakfast/brunch/lunch and glass of wine to help recover from all that fresh air. If you are more of an adrenalin junkie, why not try out an invigorating canopy tour through the Ysterhout Kloof in Magaliesberg? A mere hour’s drive from most Northern suburbs of Joburg is the Sparkling Waters Hotel, the base of Magaliesberg Canopy Tours. They will take you on an amazing two-and-a-half hour ecoadventure while you are suspended 30m above the ground along long steel cables across different platforms, allowing you to admire this beautiful, ancient landscape with a real bird’s eye view. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure will set you back about R400, but is not too

If you were to assign movie characters to grapes then Semillon would be the Shrek of the Winelands. Neil Pendock savours the fat flavours of the Big Greenie. y the time the 1820 settlers arrived in the Eastern Cape, Semillon was so widely cultivated in South Africa it went under the name wyndruif (wine grape) or groendruif (green grape). Over 90 per cent of the national vineyard was planted to the Big Greenie of Sauternes and at one stage it was the most widely planted cultivar in the world. In Australia it was confused with Riesling, around the time SA boere were mixing up Riesling with Crouchen Blanc – a case of mistaken identity only corrected last year. To this day, Hunter Valley Semillon (nee Riesling) is one of the crown jewels of Aussie wine: buttercup yellow with deep and richly flavours which apparently lasts forever. Perhaps it was the oiliness of the juice that threw the pioneers and the delicate floral notes of young Semillon that has a flavour profile of green apples, lemons and limes which develop into honey and lanolin over time. Easy to grow, large yields and low acidity explain its popularity. White blends are the flavour of the minute with André van Rensburg from Vergelegen and Duncan Savage from Cape Point Vineyards, in the vanguard with mixtures of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the latter often fermented in barrels to add an extra dimension of wood flavours. For pure Semillon, Franschhoek shines with wines like Landau du Val made from 100-yearold vines and those from Rickety Bridge worth

searching for. The former is so popular it’s sold out and so goes unrated in Platter 2009 which waxes lyrical on the “inviting lanolin and candlewick textures” of the Boekenhoutskloof ’06. Whether candlewick texture is a positive or negative feature is left unexplained. French wino Michel Bettane makes the point that Semillon is the only South African variety with detectable terroir. Taste reflecting geographies such as the Helderberg and the barrel fermented Eikendal Semillon 2007 in particular – a wine so mysteriously alluring it is called Cleopatra’s Wedding Present. Egyptian connections popped up again last year when Duncan showcased his new maturation vessels: 300-litre earthenware amphorae. He embraced the pots in an attempt to “move away from linear styles to more expansive expressions” through more oxidative treatments. Bizarre fermentation vessels are the latest toys for boys in the Winelands, like concrete eggs at R30 000 a pop from Mr Nomblot. Shortly after buying his, Marc Kent won a Diner’s Club Winemaker of the Year Award with his Boekenhoutskloof Syrah. Coincidence? The idea can be tracked down to Nicolas Joly and it’s all to do with vortices and energy. To confirm the importance of shape, he notes that any dog would far rather sleep in an empty barrel than a kennel because of its lifegiving shape. “It’s important to rediscover the sense of shapes,” he maintains.


Gauteng boasts one of the best climates in the world so it makes sense to spend more time in the great outdoors and get fit and healthy at the same time. Here's a few ideas of what outdoor activities Gauteng has to offer. By Karen Green The Tempest, widely held to be one of Shakespeare’s last plays, has an enduring fascination for directors across the world who constantly seek to re-interpret this magical tale of life, freedom, magic and wonder.

Bottle 11:

Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2006

strenuous. Start the year on a high note. If you prefer to keep your feet on terra firma then a hiking trail may be more appealing. The Johannesburg Hiking Club offers two weekly hikes, on a Wednesday and Sunday, and at least one weekend hike a month, mainly in the scenic Magaliesburg area. Another popular option is the Hennops trail near Hartbeespoort Dam, offering unspoiled natural areas. It consists of two day hikes setting out from either the Krokodilberg or zebra trail and encompasses part of the Hennops River as well as the beautiful surrounding mountains. There are inviting rock pools along the way and one base camp has a swimming pool where you’re able to finish off with a well-deserved dip. For those after a less taxing option why not visit the magnificent Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort? It covers 300 hectares of landscaped gardens and natural veld. The JCI geological trial offers short walks along the Roodekrans Ridge and nature reserve portion of the garden and gives the opportunity to observe the abundant bird and wildlife living in the area. If this isn’t enough, try sandboarding on the numerous mine dumps, canoeing or kayaking on Emmerentia dam or caving in one of the 165 caves situated in the Cradle of Humankind. So with the multitude of options available, all that is left is to stop procrastinating and go out and enjoy the fresh air, feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the year ahead. For more details on visit

Wine Route & Tourism Offices: Breedekloof Tourism, Cape Town Information, Cape Town Tourism, Constantia Wine Route, CT Tourism Office in Tyger Valley, Darling Tourism, De Doorns Cellar & Hex River Tourism, Franschhoek Tourism, Green Market Info, McGregor Tourism, Olifants River Wine Route, Orange River Wine Route, Paarl Wine Route Office, Robertson Tourism, Routes Unlimited, Stellenbosch Tourism , Swartland Tourism, Tobi HB, Tulbagh Tourism, Voor Paardeberg Visitors Centre, Wellington Tourism, Wine Desk, Worcester Tourism

Accommodation: Arabella Sheraton, Bantry Suites, Bay Hotel, Cape Cadogan Chapman Peak Hotel, Commodore, Cullinan, Hout Bay Manor, Mount Nelson, Pearls of Hout Bay, Peninsula Suites, President Hotel, Radisson, Steenberg Hotel, Table Bay Hotel, V&A Hotel, Vineyard Hotel Airports: Bidvest Lounge JHB, Bidvest Lounge CT Other: That Newstand

Restaurants & Wine Bars: Caveau Wine Bar, Chappi’s Deli and Wine, Dario’s Deli Delish Restaurant /Wine Bar, Jardine Restaurant, Just Foods Deli, Lush, Manuka Café, Marc’s Mediterranean, Marika’s Restaurant, Newport Deli, Nose Bar, Oblivion Wine Bar, Olive Station, PGW Eat Kitchen, Riboville, The Oven Door, Wildekrans Wine Shop, Wine Sense, Wynhuis Stellenbosch

Gauteng: 10 Bompas, Botleggers, Carnivore, Casalinga, CWA (Cape Wine Academy), Design Quarter - Kitchen Bar, Georges on 4th, Grace Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Johnny’s, Makro, Manuka Café & Wine Bar, Miele, Morara Soweto, Picardi, Solly Kramers – Parkhurst, The Pinotage Café Wine Bar, Tops@Spar

Retail Outlets: Aroma Shop, Bottelary Hills Wine Shop, Carlucci’s – Gardens, Carolines Fine Wines, Cuvee Classiques, Fred’s Fine Wine, Giovanni’s, Hout Bay Gift Shop, Liquor Ranch, Lisa’s Little Wine Shop, Main Ingredients, Mielle, Picardi Rebel, Ristico, Southern Right Wine Shop, Spar Fine Food & Wine, Steven Rhom Liquor , The Noble Grape, Ultra Liquors, Vaughan Johnson, Vino Pronto, Wine Concepts, Wine Village

Wine Farms: Allee Bleue, Arabella, Beyerskloof, Bon Courage, Boschendal , Bramon Wines, Constantia Uitsig, Durbanville Hills, Eaglevlei, Fairview, Flagstone, Glen Carlou, Graham Beck, Grande Provence , Haute Cabriere, Hermanuspietersfontein, Hidden Valley, Janeza, Kanu Wines, Kleine Zalze, Le Grand Chasseur, Nederburg, Noble Hill, Rhebokskloof, Rickety Bridge, Rietvallei, Rooiberg, Seidelberg, Simonsvlei, Spier, Springfield, Twee Jonge Gezellen

The Talon ''Some people got it and make it pay; some people can’t even give it away,” sings Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother in the musical Gypsy. By Melinda Talon-Smit t this time of the year, with the release of the new Platter’s Wine Guide, one cannot but think she had a point. More than 6 000 wines were evaluated for this much loved (by many) much maligned (by some) indispensible guide. At Sans Pitié, my Franschhoek wine estate, we always have a ceremony during which we release our new vintage bubbly and burn all the previous year’s editions, just so we don’t get confused by all that new information. People come from all over, even Johannesburg, to take part in this quaint ritual. This year I noticed some of my guests trying to burn the current one but that kind of Fascist behaviour does not sit well with me and they were reprimanded most severely. Poppie Vermeulen, my next-door neighbour, says she is giving up reading altogether because she has been reading the obituaries for years and never sees the names there that she is looking for. We cannot apply that kind of thinking to Platter. I keep telling her she should broaden her choice of reading material but she is very stuck in her ways. The tumbrels are no longer rumbling through the streets of Franschhoek, no matter what the Madame Defarges want. Neil Pendock’s book Sour Grapes is a freewheeling, stream of consciousness, dazzling tour de force, packed with information. How does he manage to remember all those facts? A heady blend of Agatha Christie, Tina Brown, and Kitty Kelley, as filtered through the Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine, it's a page turner for all wine drinkers. A tighter edit would have tamed the fuller sections of the book, but it is, nevertheless, a must have; his legions of admirers will be enthralled. The Grill Room at the Kelvin Grove, Newlands, was the venue for a luncheon celebrating Philip Jordaan’s 25th year at Du Toitskloof Winery at Rawsonville. What a nice bunch those boys the other side of the mountain are; unassuming, down home friendly, sleek and well fed, one really feels that what you see is what you get. No preening, no arrogance, one never hears the word “I” in their conversation. They are always at pains to stress, “Die span en ons medewekers en lede,” so refreshing, I almost forgot that they make wine. This cellar has gone from strength to strength under Philip’s sure hand; if he ever wants to move to a more sophisticated – and

dangerous environment, he should just let me know. I like my winemakers to know that I always have a Plan B and that I’m not a woman intimidated by male sabre rattling; I have had sabres rattled at me on five continents and I am still here. I have never seen a sabre big enough to scare me – I am a Talon. One of the nicest people ever to grace the wine land world is Lynne Aberdeen, who, with her partner Laurille Krug, runs the much loved restaurant Olivello on the Marianne Estate. Lynne turned 60 the other day and invited 100 of her friends to feast on lamb on the spit at the side of the lake where Olivello is situated. During this fabulous day, Lynne announced she is going to fulfil her lifetime dream of going to live in France next year; it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Bon Voyage to someone who proves that you can be nice and successful. As an ex-SAA hostess, I always feel close to the national carrier. I used to fly around the bulge in our aircraft in the days when it took 24 hours to get to Athens, via Lisbon and Rome (remember them) - and the aircraft were packed. My last husband was an SAA captain and he was gorgeous – especially mile high, so I was especially touched that two of the wines of Sans Pitié, our fabulous bubbly, Brut Willis, and our flagship red, Merlot Streep, were chosen for the Premium Service to New York. The award ceremony at Spier was a knockout – nobody can bling like a black diamond – I could have killed for some of them, they were so gorgeous. I decided to go for something really simple and wore my Gavin Rajah red shantung sheath, with the famous Talon yellow diamond tiara. We stopped the traffic when our Roller broke down at Polkadraai on the way there. The locals thought that I was one of the Royals. I heard someone say, “Nay, dis Princess Di se ouma.” I had to be flown in by the NSRI helicopter, which got me double mileage on the eTV channel—so good for a girl’s ego. I didn’t arrange it—honest.

“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” [Oscar Wilde]

Wine Tourism News | January 2009 | 11

wine fun Social pics Allee Bleue Mexican meet-the-winemaker evening

World wine news Wine spend cut by UK consumers Wine drinkers in the UK are cutting their average spend on a bottle, with price now featuring as the most important factor according to a survey. A Wine Intelligence poll found the number of people willing to spend £5 to £6 on a bottle had dropped by five per cent in the past three months. A corresponding increase has been seen on those paying less than £5 a bottle. The economic crisis has been blamed.

Canadian grape growers receive financial bailout The Ontario government in Canada has quietly handed out $4-million to the Grape Growers of Ontario in a rare move to purchase wine grapes without a buyer. The one-time bailout comes after several difficult months in the industry that saw the financial ruin of a major winery co-operative, a difficult rain-filled growing season and on-going price disputes with the wineries. Only the growers without winery contracts (this year) and grapes fit for production qualified for the government cash.

UK’s best-known wine writer is officially Oz Clarke A new Wine Intelligence survey has named Oz Clarke as the most recognised wine critic in the UK. The poll included the views of more than 1 500 regular wine drinkers, 18,2 per cent who recognised Clarke, who made his name with the BBC show Food and Drink, a programme that exposed the public to the tasting notes of Clarke and his co-taster Jilly

Goolden. Clarke recently graced SA TV with his show Oz and James’s Big Wine Adventure with James May where the two men travelled across France while Oz attempted to teach James a thing or two about wine. A Wine Intelligence spokesman says, “One conclusion from this study is that broadsheet column inches alone are perhaps not as influential as they once were: the critics that regular wine drinkers find the most compelling and engaging are those embracing a range of media, communicating about wine in a broader lifestyle context.”

Marianna Joubert (Stellenbosch) and Los Gitanos

Andy Higgins (Franschhoek) and Los Gitanos Band Members

Delheim cyclists hit the road The development cycling team from Anna Foundation recently participated in their first ever cycling event held at Delheim wine farm were four of the children live.

France could outlaw free wine tastings A suggested amendment to the Public Health Bill would see a ban on free wine tastings in France, if it’s accepted. Health minister Roselyne Bachelot tabled the amendment, known as article 24 which outlaws all free alcoholic drinks with the intention of promotion – effectively banning wine tasting in the country. Events such as the en primeur barrel tastings in Bordeaux, the Vinexpo wine exhibition, due to be held next year along with all other wine tasting activities which would have to be paid for by the tasters. Sylvie Cazes, president of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux says, “Of all the current constraints against the wine industry, this is potentially the most damaging… France is the second biggest producer of wine in the world, but is alone in putting barriers up against its promotion. It is absurd.”

Hout Bay Wine of Origin launch Held at the home of Kling Wines,visitors enjoyed the fruits of the valley.

A Night of a Thousand Stars

Twenty five not out

Steenberg Vineyards celebrated the festive season with a

Philip Jordaan celebrated his 25 years at Du Toitskloof Cellar

tasting of the superb Methode Cap Classiques.

in fine style at Kelvin Grove.

Marius and Erika Smit

Cabriere Jordaan, Pierre Jordaan, Chris Geldenhuys,

Industry talk Auditing boo boo in Young Winemaker of the Year competition

Crouchen blanc is genetically different to Wiesser or

Rhine Riesling, but the term Riesling, Weisser Riesling or Rhine Riesling can now be used interchangeably.

Recipient of Dombeya Scholarship announced

Sally Tebutt, Kathi Purcell, Kim-Lee Dickson Greef

Philip Jordaan and Shawn Thomson

Mount Destin Destiny limited edition launch

Dombeya Wines in Stellenbosch has announced that 23-year-old Ntando Buthelezi is the recipient of the

inaugural Dombeya Scholarship, which provides an

opportunity for an outstanding graduate winemaker to work and study overseas. Its goal is to identify future wine industry leaders from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. This will be an annual award available to all graduate winemaking students from previously The hype surrounding the Young Winemaker of the Year competition turned into a bit of a damp squib

and left the organisers with a little egg on their faces

disadvantaged backgrounds. The approximate value of the scholarship, inclusive of airfares and salary during this period is R70 000.

when Duncan Savage from Cape Point Vineyards

La Motte winemaker heads up Shiraz Association

The reason being there was not enough stock of the

La Motte winemaker Edmund Terblanche has been

250 12-bottle cases being available locally when the

Africa. “It is an association that will focus on Shiraz

announced he would be stepping down as the victor. Isleidh 2006 to meet the competition requirements of winner was named.

Wine magazine announced, on behalf of Diners Club International and the 2008 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year competition, that the results have been declared invalid and the prize withdrawn. After

due consideration, it was decided not to appoint a replacement winner (wine stocks being cited

as an issue). In future, wineries participating in

any competition will be subject to an audit by an

independent authority to ensure that minimum stock requirements are met.

Acceptance of Cape Riesling terminology The Wine & Spirit Board has decided to permit the use of the term Cape Riesling to describe Crouchen blanc.

12 | Wine Tourism News | January 2009

elected Chairman of the Shiraz Association for South much like the well respected Pinotage Association

focuses on that varietal,” explains Edmund. “Our main purpose is to educate winemakers about what the

worldwide trends influencing Shiraz currently are.”

Conrad Amm, Fay Lamond, Kim Maxwell, Mike Duggan

Dr Petre, Carina Prins, Penny Murdoc, Patrick Labrosse

WTN January 2009  

All the latest Wine Industry and Tourism News

WTN January 2009  

All the latest Wine Industry and Tourism News