Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stellenbosch to be ‘uncovered’ through international blogger campaign - #Stellenblog connects influential bloggers to the heart of the Winelands

Issued by Random Hat Communications on behalf of Stellenbosch Experience
 Helderberg Ernie Els wines

The pioneering Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes amplified its innovation in connecting with more travellers from across the globe with the launch of an experiential #Stellenblog Blogger Campaign, which will see some of the most influential international and national bloggers uncovering and digitally sharing the secrets and stories of South’s Africa’s oldest and foremost wine region during May.

This sharp and edgy week-long social media initiative, which kicks off on the fifth of May, aims to affirm Stellenbosch as a multifaceted and must-experience destination worth more than just a day trip or a wine tasting. It forms part of the region’s year-long Stellenbosch Experience marketing campaign, initiated in conjunction with Stellenbosch 360, to showcase the region’s authentic wine tourism offerings on a global scale.

#Stellenblog, which is hosted in association with iAmbassador – renowned for successful blogging campaigns like #Blogville in Emilia Romagna, Italy – will see high-ranking international travel and leisure bloggers joining top South African lifestyle and travel bloggers in a ‘connected’ villa on a working wine farm in the Winelands. 

As ‘digital ambassadors’ they will immerse themselves in a bucket-list itinerary of sights, sounds and tastes of Stellenbosch and the broader Cape and live the ‘Stellenbosch Way of Life’ like a local, hosted by locals in the know, for one week.

The underlying theme of this campaign is ‘discovery’ and the bloggers will be ‘let loose’ in Stellenbosch and surrounding areas to get up close and personal with the region and its people, uncovering and sharing secrets and stories along the way.

The top international bloggers for the #Stellenblog campaign was selected for the quality of their content, ideal target audiences and social media reach. The bloggers who will be making Stellenbosch their ‘home’ represent the wine route’s core international markets: the USA, UK, Germany and the Netherlands and enjoy an extensive following in the online travel, lifestyle, food and leisure sphere.

The international bloggers include the award-winning Matt Long of the luxury adventure travel site, Landlopers (; Niamh Shields ( who was recently recognised by The Times magazines as the most influential food blogger in the UK; Norman Röhlig of I-REF (, one of the most reputable lifestyle websites in Berlin, Germany, and Keith Jenkins of the opulent Velvet Escape travel blog (

They will be joined in the historic villa by ‘local Stellenbosch host-blogger’ Ilse van der Merwe aka The Food Fox ( whilst the sixth spot in the house has been left open for now as the search is on for the #Stellenblog South Africa Top Lifestyle Blogger. The campaign is also supported by the popular South African lifestyle and wedding blog, The Pretty Blog (, a showcase of local talent, designers, beautiful spaces and unique getaways.

“The itinerary of discovery planned for #Stellenblog is complex and full of surprises, for the bloggers to peel away the layers of Stellenbosch and share their first hand experiences with the world. It will also aid in collecting authentic content for the region to use on our own web platforms and for promotional activities,” explains Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

This week-long digital exploration kicks off with a Tweet-Up with various local bloggers, online influencers and the hosted international guests in the oak-lined streets of Stellies before moving on to the ‘secret location’ of the #Stellenblog villa for an evening of mystery and magic joined by local personalities, celebrities and key personalities.

The #Stellenblog campaign is supported by South African Tourism and is aligned with its #MeetSouthAfrica and Indaba 2014 programmes, which will see a number of top international bloggers visit South Africa. The international bloggers, who will be flown courtesy of South African Airways, will be using the #Stellenbloghashtag on social media platforms throughout their journey.

Sensory engagements will include those with key Stellenbosch Experience partners such as the Adventure Shop, Cellar Door Collection Passport, Dornier, Delheim Estate, Evergreen Manor, Fleur du Cap, The House of JC Le Roux, Kleine Zalze, Majeka House, Middelvlei Estate, Oldenburg Vineyards, Spier, Stellenbosch Vineyards, Tokara Restaurant, Van Ryn’s Distillery & Brandy Cellar and Warwick Estate.

For more information on the Stellenbosch Experience and #Stellenblog campaigns visit StellenBlog at or contact Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at or phone 083 225 5955. 

You too can follow and be part of the digital journey using the hashtag #Stellenblog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram