Monday, October 10, 2011

Southern Sun Stakes its Claim in Wine Accolades

Southern Sun Stakes its Claim in Wine Accolades

Friday, Oct 07 2011

Southern Sun has staked its claim in the ranks of the finest wine lists in South Africa, proving its commitment to providing Southern African consumers with a diverse and balanced selection of choice wine sourced from the finest wine regions the country and the world.

This follows the recent announcement of the prestigious 2011 Diners Club International Winelist Awards, in which Southern Sun scooped two Diamond and 13 Platinum awards.

In a surprise announcement VIN MMX at Sandton Sun won the ultimate honor for any restaurant in South Africa – the Diner’s Club ‘Best Wine List’ award for 2011 – a phenomenal achievement for a restaurant that has been operational for just 18 months.

The Diner’s Club awards are the second significant recognition of Southern Sun in two months, with Wine Spectator America last month recognizing VIN MMX as having ‘one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world’.

Aspiring to put Southern Sun hotel restaurants and bars on the map is Group Sommelier and wine-industry stalwart, Miguel Chan.

“Our aim is to ensure that our bars and restaurants are recognized as ‘THE’ establishments at which you will find the very best wines in SA, and the Diners Club International Wine List Awards are just the start.”

Southern Sun first motivated entry into the Awards in 2010, entering 95% of the group’s key bars and restaurants for placement.

“We were surprised when we returned with a number of Silver, Gold and Diamond awards.

Not only did this highlight our strengths, it gave us an idea as to the areas in need of improvement,” says Chan. “A year later, we are proud to have seen our restaurants improve upon their 2010 placements and further entrench Southern Sun’s growing status as parent company to some of the finest fine dining establishments in South Africa.

” The 2011 Diners Club International Winelist Awards saw Bernouillis at Southern Sun OR Tambo Airport, Punchinello’s at Southern Sun Montecasino , Southern Sun Cape Sun, BICE at Southern Sun Hyde Park and SAN at Sandton Sun all receive Platinum Award status, having been escalated from Gold status last year.

Oasis at Southern Sun Pretoria and Southern Newlands both received Platinum awards, having moved up from Silver in 2010.

The Intercontinental at OR Tambo Airport and Intercontinental Sandton Towers, as well as Medeo Restaurant at Palazzo Montecasino and Mondovino at SunSquare Montecasino retained the Platinum status awarded to them in 2010.

The hotly contested SA Best Wine Steward Award, a stand-alone category recognising emerging young talent in wine service, was awarded to Brilliant Mathelumusa of SunSquare Montecasino .

Making their mark in Durban, Elements Café at the Beverly Hills Hotel also joined the ranks of the best of the best in SA – with the Sugar Club earning Diamond and Elements Café scooping a Platinum award. The jewel in Southern Sun’s wine crown is undoubtedly VIN MMX at Sandton Sun which, under the leadership of Executive Chef Garth Shnier has received recognition across culinary circles.

The receipt of Diamond status, as well as the prestigious Diner’s Club SA National Best Wine Lists of 2011 Award, plus the recognition by Wine Spectator America, the most widely read and influential international wine publication, places this exclusive fine dining establishment in the ranks of the very finest wine lists in South Africa and the world.

“This is the first time in the 30 year history of the Wine Spectator Awards that a Johannesburg-based restaurant has received recognition and for a first time recipient to win the “Award of Excellence” is certainly a phenomenal achievement,” says Graham Wood, Managing Director of Southern Sun.

Wine Spectator''s Restaurant Wine List Awards recognise restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. “These awards are a proud moment in our history as they validate our commitment providing the very best service and dining options for our patrons,” Wood. He adds, “We believe that our position within these prestigious winelist awards will continue to grow from strength to strength as we embark on other innovative and highly sustainable initiatives.

We’re proud of what our Southern Sun bars and restaurants offer as quality dining establishments, and especially of our status as the provider of some of the finest wine lists in the world.”