Thursday, July 14, 2011



As the National Tourism Sector Strategy works towards positioning South Africa as one of the world’s top 20 travel destinations by 2020, key stakeholders in wine and tourism are uniting to present the country’s first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba.

With the backing of national and provincial government, Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism when it is held in Cape Town in September next year, targeting the local and international travel trade, as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media. Wine tourism has been identified as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market by the Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

Vindaba, which marks a new spirit of collaboration amongst tourism bodies, is intended as a launching pad to position South Africa on the world map of wine tourism. Forming part of a long-term strategy to boost wine tourism, the initiative represents a partnership between Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and SA Tourism, as well as the Wine Routes, Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Routes Unlimited and the Department of Finance, Tourism and Economic Development of the Western Cape.

SA Tourism’s global manager for events, Sugen Pillay, says wine tourism is an important part of South Africa’s leisure offering to travellers and that the wine industry should be supported by the tourism industry. “South Africa offers a diverse and exciting range of tourism experiences. The Winelands bring a further degree of competitiveness to our industry. At the same time, local and international tourism can help to augment the revenue streams of the wine sector.”

The organisers plan to turn Vindaba into a world-class event that will assume the status of a leading wine exhibition amongst the international wine and travel fraternities. It will also offer specialist seminars, focus on gastro-tourism and provide tailor-made wine tours for the international and domestic travel business fraternity.

Although conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously with Cape Wine 2012 at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Cape Wine, hosted biennially by WOSA, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa’s wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers and sommeliers in important export markets. It also attracts wine, travel and lifestyle media.

Cape Wine is considered the most successful international wine trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, and has been held every alternate year since 2000 with the exception of last year, given South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Next year’s Cape Wine will be the first in four years and will thus provide an important opportunity for the industry to update its markets on new developments. It is expected that some 320 wineries will exhibit.

“There is a natural synergy between Cape Wine and Vindaba,” says WOSA CEO Su Birch, who has been one of the prime drivers to establish a coherent strategy to promote wine tourism that involves decision makers from the wider tourism sector. “As far as we know, this is the first initiative of its kind anywhere in the wine-producing world in which the wine and tourism sectors are jointly presenting a wine and wine tourism event.

“Not only will the two exhibitions feature many of the same producers but there are other common links. South Africa has been steadily building a domestic and global awareness for the range and excellence of its wines and is now considered a significant wine-producing country. With provenance playing such a strategic role in wine marketing, it makes sense to advance wine-related tourism, so wine lovers are actively encouraged to visit the source of the products they enjoy.”

Birch believes wine tourism, which began in 1971 with the launching of the first wine route in Stellenbosch, also has the potential to create more jobs. The wine industry in its entirety currently provides employment for 275 000 people.

In another world first, both events will be staged as eco-friendly exhibitions, making use exclusively of recycled and recyclable materials. South Africa is already recognised as a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production. Now it plans to establish a similar reputation for wine tourism by marketing Vindaba as a “green” initiative.

Van Schalkwyk has identified South Africa’s wine tourism as central to marketing the country as an attractive long-haul destination. Speaking at a tourism stakeholder workshop in April, he said: “Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa’s tourism product as it helps improve the country’s competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.”

Although Australia has a highly developed wine tourism industry, many of its wine regions are located far apart, unlike South Africa where production is concentrated mostly in the Western Cape.

Van Schalkwyk said travel and tourism’s contribution to global GDP was expected to grow this year, despite the fragile world economy, and was projected to reach $5 990bn, while providing 258 million jobs.

The South African wine industry has an estimated annual turnover of R22bn, with exports contributing R7bn and wine tourism, a further R5bn.

Van Schalkwyk highlighted that with emerging countries becoming more popular travel destinations than their developed counterparts, South Africa was well placed to promote its tourism offerings. At the same time, the country could capitalise on the world’s steadily growing emergent middle class.

In Africa alone, the middle class has grown to around 300 million people, according to the African Development Bank.

DATE JULY 14, 2011
TESSA DE KOCK/MARLISE POTGIETER, DKC (021) 422 2690, 082 579 2358

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ross Gower Elgin Rhine Riesling 2009 85 Points

Ross Gower Elgin Rhine Riesling 2009 85 Points

Clear, day bright, straw with slight green reflections, medium concentration, medium viscosity, no gas or sediment.

Clean, medium intensity, green lemon, green pineapples, some floral white rose petal, pebbles minerality such as quartz and clay note, no wood, layered complexity and good varietal typicity.

Dry with medium plus to high acidity, medium alcohol, no tannins, new flavors of zesty lime, orange zest, pithy, honeyed mid palate, medium length and medium complexity.

Good Riesling definition, some Germanic feel, more akin to Baden leaning towards Alsace style in profile, need time for some of the raciness to get together and merge, will be better from 22014 until 2019+

For more details and how to purchase this wine email

Mouton Cadet Bordeaux AOP 2008 79+ Points

Mouton Cadet Bordeaux AOP 2008 79+ Points

Clear, bright cherry red with slight ruby core medium concentration, medium viscosity, no gas or sediment.

Clean, medium intensity with notes of cassis, bell pepper, currants and red berry medley, earthy pebbly note, lightly oaked, good complexity.

Dry with medium plus acidity, medium plus tannin, medium alcohol, new flavors of delicately ripe plums, cassis and currant, slight spicy core derived from oak, medium bodied, medium length and medium complexity, now until 2017.

Looking at the price of around 8 Euros, there are far better value and quality Cape Bordeaux Style blends, out there that I will recommend the world to seek out, there are a lot of 79+ Points South African red out there at a fraction of this price!

Rietvallei Special Select Robertson Shiraz 2008 84 Points

Rietvallei Special Select Robertson Shiraz 2008 84 Points

Clear, day bright, cherry red with slight brown rim, medium concentration and medium plus viscosity, no gas or sediment.

Clean, medium plus intensity, oaky, dusty cedary oak, cassis, ripe red fruits, earthy core, perhaps a combination of French and American oak.

Dry with some residual sugar, medium plus acidity, high alcohol, medium plus tannin, new spicy flavors of black pepper, cinnamon and cloves, fresh, more Syrah than Shiraz, good elegance and well made, for now until 2017




For immediate release


More than two decades of first-class judging has seen the Veritas Awards become the country’s most prominent competition for market ready wines and brandies with awards coveted by all cellar masters. The closing date for entries for this year’s competition is 10 August. Late entries will be accepted until 18 August at an increased fee.

Veritas is presented by the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) and has become known for its high standard of integrity and professionalism. Therefore this competition gives a credible snapshot of the champions of the wine industry. According to Frans Smit, cellar master of the award-winning Spier winery on the outskirts of Stellenbosch the intensity and rigorousness of the judging process is indeed remarkable. “The result is that the competition carries great weight and authority amongst local as well as international consumers. The wine consumer knows without a doubt that a bottle bearing the Veritas award label will be of significant quality,” he says.

As brandy made its debut in this authoritative competition last year, the country’s brandy masters can now also contend for the coveted double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals. Van Ryn’s won two double gold and two gold awards during last year’s competition: “Veritas plays a significant role in creating awareness regarding the large variety of quality products – including brandy – available in South Africa,” says Simon Dicks, Van Ryn’s communications officer. “The reputation of the Veritas award label on a bottle of wine definitely influences the thought process and buyer’s behaviour of the consumer and for this we are grateful.”

It is expected that more than 1700 wines and brandies will once again take part in this year’s competition. The strict judging process takes place from 5-8 September at the Nederburg Auction Complex where participating wines and brandies will be tasted by panels of specialist judges. Curious wine enthusiasts will, however, have to wait until 8 October for the winners to be announced at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

The latest Veritas entry form and catalogue are available from as well as from the offices of the SANWSA. Contact Elsabé Ferreira for more information at tel 021 807 3104, fax 021 863 2079 or email


Issued by Marlene Truter Communications
t 021 426 5247

On behalf of Veritas Awards
t 021 807 3104

Friday, July 1, 2011

Shiraz The Great Rhone Grape Saturday 2nd July 2011 - The Palazzo Montecasino

Shiraz The Great Rhone Grape Saturday 2nd July 2011 - The Palazzo Montecasino Hotel

With the onset of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, there is no better time to discover and enjoy the great,juicy full bodied Shiraz that thrives in the warmth of the Cape Winelands.

Shiraz \ Syrah, are the perfect antithesis of sunshine in a glass.

Shiraz have a bright future in South África, perfectly suited for enjoyment during our crisp winters night.

Join us for ano evening of fun and discovery at The Palazzo Montecasino to understand why South African Shiraz are world class.

The Line up will be selected from prime vineyards across the Cape with an emphasis on site and specificity.

The wines will be paired with an exclusive 4 course menu prepared by our Executive Chef Arnold Stuurman and his culinary team.

The evening will start at 1845 with a tutored tasting of 6 wines presented by Sommelier Miguel Chan.

R 250 PP