Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Stellenbosch Wine Routes names Ultimate Bucket List winner

Lifelong dream of travelling to Africa comes true
Issued by Issued on behalf of Random Hat Communications Stellenbosch Experience

The Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes has turned a lifelong dream into an extraordinary reality for the winner of its Ultimate Bucket List Competition, which was launched at ITB, the world’s largest tourism convention, in Berlin in March. This ultimate holiday competition forms part of the wine route’s global wine tourism campaign,Stellenbosch Experience, to showcase the area’s diverse and unparalleled offerings to the world.

The fortunate winner is adventure-obsessed Dutchman, Tim Loonen of Tripbod – a global travel network which connects travellers with ‘local ambassadors’ aka knowledge sources from popular city destinations as well as far flung destinations across the world for authentic holiday experiences. He was one of more than 500 people, including top international travel trade, industry representatives and media, who entered for this all expenses paid, trip of a lifetime.

Entrants were invited to select their ‘ultimate bucket list’ from an enticing itinerary of experiences in and around Stellenbosch, ranging from harvesting with a winemaker, spa pampering amidst the vineyards, exploring the local markets and dining with a local celebrity chef, to game viewing in the Winelands and learning how to drive a tractor. Tim has never set foot on the African continent before and is thrilled to be experiencing a myriad of tastes, sights and delights from the country’s wine and gourmet capital during this five-day adventure in the heart of the Winelands.

His 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.

“I have never won anything before in my life – apart from a pack of waffles when I was six years old – and visiting South Africa has been on my bucket list for so long. As Tripbod's former Head of Community and now Chief Operating Officer, I am ashamed every time I have to admit that I have never actually set foot on African soil. In my line of work, I have met many locals around the world and it would be amazing to connect with the friendly folk of Stellenbosch and South Africa as well,” shares Tim, a social media fanatic who will be making his way to South Africa with his partner, courtesy of South African Airways (SAA).

“The success of our year-long Stellenbosch Experience wine tourism marketing campaign, which was initiated in conjunction with Stellenbosch 360 to showcase the region’s authentic wine tourism offerings on a global scale, hinges onjoint marketing partnerships. We are thrilled to have South African Airlines on board as our airline partner, as it enables us to deliver innovative marketing platforms, like the exciting Ultimate Bucket List Competition, for the Stellenbosch region. Nothing sells a place like the place itself and we are sure that Tim will be a passionate ambassador for Stellenbosch after this trip,” says Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, who have made additional spot prizes for a few other lucky entrants available as part of this generous competition.

SAA will also fly some of the world's most influential travel, lifestyle and food bloggers to Stellenbosch in May for the campaign’s #Stellenblog blogger initiative, which will see top international and local bloggers flocking to Stellenbosch and surrounding areas to uncover and digitally share the stories and secrets of South-Africa’s oldest and foremost wine route with the world.

Aiming to affirm Stellenbosch as a multifaceted and must-experience destination worth more than just a day trip or a wine tasting, this week-long social media initiative will see selected, high ranking bloggers immerse themselves as ‘digital ambassadors’ in a bucket-list itinerary of attractions and activities and live the ‘Stellenbosch Way of Life’ like a local in the know.

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 by using the hashtag #Stellenblog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Or follow winner Tim Loonen on Twitter (@Tloonen) for a personal account of his ultimate “bucket-list” holiday in the Winelands.