Monthly Archives: August 2012
Tell’s Premium Cider has launched South Africa’s first commercially available, authentic pear cider.
The ballsy brand from Stellen Fine Wines first entered the market with a premium, off-dry apple cider earlier this year, eliciting such a positive response that a follow-up product was a natural progression.
“We’re always looking for new ways to tantalise our consumers,” says Rudolph du Toit, national marketing manager for the company. “We saw potential in the market for a pear cider and we’re sure this crisp, refreshing, off-dry thirst-quencher will be as successful as our apple cider.”
A proudly South African product, Tell’s Pear Cider is made predominantly from Bartlett pears grown in the Western Cape, but the recipe includes Forelle, Packham’s Triumph, and three other locally grown pear varietals, each contributing to its unique, delicious flavour.
Tell’s is named for William Tell, the expert marksman of Swiss legend who shot an apple off his son’s head with a crossbow, to save them both from execution at the hands of an Austrian tyrant they had refused to bow to.
“We admire the brave, stick-it-to-the-man spirit of William Tell, and like him, we’re standing up for what we believe in,” says Du Toit. “Of course we’re proud of our artfully crafted, refreshing cider, but we’re as proud that we’re breaking with convention and packaging our premium products in lighter, more planet-conscious bottles, resulting in a significantly lower carbon footprint.”
As far as is known, Tell’s is the first and only cider range in South Africa to be marketed in a bottle made of Polyethylene Terephthalate (better known by the acronym PET). With 10ml more cider than regular South African cider bottles, the Tell’s 340ml pack is still 34% lighter than those of its competitors.
The PET bottle, which has a six-month shelf life, is also shatter-proof, making it ideal for occasions where glass restrictions apply, such as concerts, festivals and live events.
Like Tell’s apple cider, the new pear cider, also 6% ABV, is available in a 340 ml bottle with a twist-off cap, and will likely retail for between R163 and R173 for a case of 24 bottles, or between R6.80 and R7.20 per a single unit.
The winners of the Paarl Santam Shiraz/Chenin Challenge were characterised by wines of richness and elegance, with a heightened balance between fruit ripeness and acidity. Perdeberg entered three wines into the Challenge and they all won -
Top 10 Chenin Blanc
* Perdeberg Chenin Blanc Reserve 2011
*Perdeberg Chenin Blanc 2012 (second of the Top 3 Chenin winners)
Top 10 Shiraz
*Perdeberg Shiraz Reserve 2010
Ice cream colours are all the rage this spring and so are Clos Malverne’s Ice Cream & Wine Pairings. This family-run wine estate nestled in the heart of the picturesque Devon Valley outside Stellenbosch, has given its oh-so-cool signature pairings a vibrant spring twist with new ice cream and wine combinations to enliven hibernating palates.
For just R55, you can indulge in a happy rainbow of four unique homemade ice creams cleverly paired with a matching estate wine, whilst soaking up the valley’s omnipresent views from Clos Malverne’s tasting lounge and wraparound balcony.
“The easiest way to embrace spring is with a scoop of ice cream or a glass of wine. At Clos Malverne you get both in one go for on-the-spot exuberance,” shares Clos Malverne chef Nadia Louw Smith, who teamed up with winemaker Suzanne Coetzee to create this perfect spring indulgence.
Clos Malverne’s Spring Ice Cream & Wine Pairings to add a burst of sunshine to your palate include Snow Pea, Mint & Lime ice cream matched with the estate’s Sauvignon Blanc – ranked amongst the country’s finest at the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition in 2011. The mint enhances the grassiness of the wine while the lime brings out the freshness of the Sauvignon Blanc. The snow pea also complements the freshness of this wine while it adds a sweet note. It is the perfect sweet and sour combo and the creaminess of the ice cream complements the creamy texture of the wine exceptionally well.
Chef Nadia pairs her Gooseberry & Macadamia nut ice cream with the lightly wooded Clos Malverne Chardonnay. The nuts bring out the woodiness of the wine, whilst the gooseberry elevates its fruitiness.
The estate’s popular coffee-style pinotage, Le Café, is matched with a scoop of Carrot Cake ice cream. The cinnamon and walnuts bring out the roasted coffee bean and mocha flavours, whilst the carrot highlights the smoky undertones and slight sweetness of the wine.
Ending your taste experience on cloud nine, the Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve and Lavender & Honey ice cream is a heavenly combination that melts into a wonderful rich, velvety mouthfeel with every sip and spoonful. The honey highlights the dark rich fruit of the wine while the creaminess of the ice cream and the lavender nuances allow the flavours of the wine to linger a little longer.
The Clos Malverne Ice Cream & Wine Pairings – the kind of indulgence that makes you smile and want to do a twirl – are available from 1 September until the end of November. These pairings are served from Tuesdays till Saturdays between 10h00 and 16h00. Pre-bookings are essential.
For more information or to book, contact Clos Malverne Estate at Tel: (+27)21 865 2022 or visit www.closmalverne.co.za.
OBiKWA has once again kicked up a storm in the world of best value wines by being the only contender to walk off with two Best Value awards in the red wine category of the 2013 Best Value Wine Guide for wines priced under R80 a bottle.
This is the third consecutive year that OBiKWA wines have won Best Value awards in this handy pocket book published by Ramsay Media of quaffable, pocket friendly wines.
The latest OBiKWA winners in the Best Value stakes are the Shiraz 2011 scoring 3½ stars followed by the Merlot 2011 with 3 stars for their exceptional value in terms of quality versus price at around R29 per bottle. Also listed in this nifty Best Value guide is the OBiKWA Sauvignon Blanc 2012, a delicious summer sip.
The OBiKWA wines are featured amongst 41 award winners and 549 out of a total of 1114 entries that made the cut for the 2013 Guide this year. The wines were selected by a panel of judges led by chairperson, Christine Rudman.
With so many best value awards you know that OBiKWA is not just a quality cultivar wine with an exuberant sense of adventure, but it is also friendly on your pocket. The 2012 OBiKWA wines have all had a refreshing make-over, so watch out for the bright yellow ostrich with brand new plume feathers at supermarkets and liquor outlets country-wide.
For more information on the wide range of OBiKWA wines visit www.obikwa.com and join the OBiKWA tribe on Facebook.
Some believe that the preparation before hand, the gathering around an open fire and the wonderful aroma of succulent meat on the coals is the essence of why we South Africans love this tradition so much. It’s a shared passion across many languages, cultures and regions and there’s no better way of celebrating our country’s rich heritage and culture on Heritage Day, 24 September, than with a barbeque, braai or chisa nyama. So head this public holiday to Durbanville Hills Wines and join them for a braai, live music and award-winning wines.
Find a seat at one of the informal communal tables under the olive trees or bring your own picnic blanket and tuck into a delicious selection of burgers fresh from the braai, all prepared by The Eatery and paired with a Durbanville Hills’ wine. Choose between the beef, caramelised onion and Dijon mustard burger served with the Durbanville Hills Bastion, chicken, spring onion, chilli and ginger burger with Durbanville Hills Chardonnay, the mushroom, thyme, smoked paprika and garlic butter paired with Durbanville Hills Pinotage or the lamb, fresh mint and roasted garlic burger with Durbanville Hills Merlot.
Date: Public holiday, Monday, 24 September
Time: 10:30 until 15.00
Cost: R50 per person and includes a choice of burger and a glass of Durbanville Hills wine
Bookings essential and need to be made with Simone Brown on 021 558 1300 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seven sightings of possibly up to three young leopards have been made on Plaisir de Merle in Simondium since the installation of a motion-detecting camera on 21 June this year.
“As far back as 1992 foresters and other contractors on the farm claimed to have actually seen leopard. We had the spoor identified, so we knew they were out there, but we are so excited to have this finally verified on camera,” said Freddie le Roux, farm manager at Plaisir de Merle.
There was another surprise when a honey badger also bustled onto the scene one night. “We have always joked about the ‘zoo’ on the farm,” said Freddie, ‘’and now, we have the proof!
”The presence of leopard and other wildlife is an affirmation of the success of our efforts over more than 22 years to reinstate the original vegetation in the areas surrounding the vineyards so as to promote a habitat conducive to greater biodiversity.”
Other fauna known to be on the farm include the caracul or Cape lynx, jackal, mongoose, buck (duiker and grysbok), bat-eared jackal, raptors such as fish eagles and falcons, and other birds such as guinea fowl and pheasants, as well as reptiles such as snakes and lizards. The two rivers flowing through the property also harbour indigenous fish species.
“We roped in the help of the Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project for advice on where to place the cameras and how to download the photographs,” said Freddy.
According to a report from Jeannie Hayward and Anita Meyer of the Cape Leopard Trust (CLT), it seems likely that these pictures are of three different sub-adult leopards.
“Two of these seem to be unknown cats, although we still need to rigorously compare these photos with all of the Boland leopards identified thus far. One of the leopards is certainly the same individual as was photographed before on Tokara (in May 2012).
“It is uncertain at this stage which are male and which are female – leopards can be sexed by the presence or absence of external testes at the base of the tail, but unfortunately in all of the photos the tail is obscuring this distinguishing feature.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the photos obtained on Plaisir de Merle, especially considering that Simonsberg is isolated from the rest of the Jonkershoek mountains by vineyards, urban settlement and the Helshoogte Pass.
“Cape leopards are solitary and highly territorial animals and have extensive home ranges. In the Cederberg, males usually have territories ranging from 200 to 1000 km² in size, and female territories range between 75 to 200 km².
“Due to its isolation and the relative lack of rocky slopes – which is the preferred habitat of Cape leopards – we do not expect Simonsberg to be exclusively utilised by a permanent resident leopard for an extended period of time. Rather we expect its slopes to be occasionally utilised by adults who have larger territories stretching into the Jonkershoek mountains, and younger leopards looking to establish a territory.
“We surmise that at present there must be some kind of territorial dispute going on – it is very uncharacteristic for more than two individuals to share the same space, and so finding three individuals in such a short space of time is very unusual.
“These photographs are a very important contribution to our knowledge. We have very little information on how extensively leopards are using inselbergs like Simonsberg, and only time will tell what is happening with regards to leopard movement on the slopes of Simonsberg.
“The CLT will soon be launching a PhD study looking specifically at the habitat use and movements of leopards in a fragmented, human-modified environment, and data from Simonsberg will be invaluable.”
In 2005 Plaisir de Merle was one of the first farms to have been awarded membership of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI), in recognition of its efforts to re-establish the natural habitat on large areas of the 974 ha farm, of which almost 400 hectares are planted to vines.
The BWI is a pioneering partnership between the local wine industry and the conservation sector, aimed at minimising any further loss to the highly threatened Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK), the smallest but also the richest plant kingdom on earth. The wine industry plays a vital role in conservation efforts, as some 90 percent of local wine production occurs within the CFK.
To become a member of the BWI, producers must start by implementing the BWI’s biodiversity guidelines, commit to not developing vineyards on a portion of natural vegetation on their farms and secure an IPW certificate for their farm and cellars.
Efforts to rehabilitate fynbos at Plaisir de Merle began more than 22 years ago through the ongoing removal of invasive alien vegetation, mainly hakea. About 12 years ago, this programme was extended to also include other aliens such as black wattle and pine trees. Much has already been spent on rehabilitating the land, funded from the income derived from a large commercial pine plantation on the farm.
Where the trees have been harvested, fynbos has been re-established, with many wild olive trees also making their appearance. Other indigenous plants and trees are being planted, such as the Cape, Henkel and Breede River yellowwoods , Acacia, fever trees, red and white alders, Cape beech, Cape ash, Cape holly, wild peach, wild olive, white stinkwood, white pear, etc.
The final section of the former forest has practically been rehabilitated to fynbos. In other sections where trees were removed, an experimental planting of indigenous buchu, known for its natural oils and its medicinal uses, has also been established.
The fynbos high up on the Simonsberg abounds in protea species, while indigenous trees and thicket cover the ravines that form natural corridors which, together with the rivers, provide a habitat conducive to the extensive wildlife that ranges there.
And the appearance of the leopards has given Plaisir de Merle another seal of approval!
Wellington Wine Tourism Route has finally put the WOW (Wine of Origin Wellington) in their wines, after being declared as separate wine district from Paarl in March this year.
Wellington will have a proper independence celebration on 21 September with a gala event at Kleinevalleij, Wellington. A big announcement that will affect Wellington Wine Tourism in a very positive way will also be made on the evening. This celebration will boast a wide range of local wines and cuisine, as well as top-class entertainment.
Well-known wine expert and master of ceremonies, Neil Pendock, will be accompanied by reputed international guest speakers, Tersina Siehn from Hong Kong and Jorge Monteiro (head of ViniPortugal) from Portugal alongside delegates from Cape Wine and Vindaba, will join in the evening’s festivities.
For more information, contact Trudy Oosthuizen on tel 021 864 2479, email email@example.com or visit www.wellington.co.za. Become a friend of our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter at @wellwineroute for all the latest news and events.
The Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, a Three Cities Group property, has won a category in the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards 2012, to be presented on October 13.
This will be the second year that the hotel has won an award in the World Luxury Hotel Awards which annually recognise exceptional hotels for world-class facilities and service.
“The Le Franschhoek team is thrilled to be recognised at the World Luxury Hotel Awards for the second time, especially within the sphere of luxury and service excellence,” says Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa General Manager Eben Lassen who will travel to Malaysia to collect the accolade.
In addition to this ultimate achievement in the hotel industry, Le Franschhoek has been chosen for New York’s The Daily Meal – “101 Best Hotel Restaurants in the World” list. Le Franschhoek is one of two South African hotels who have made their debut on this outstanding internationally acclaimed list. The newly launched 101 Best Hotel Restaurants list is set to appear annually and pays homage to hotels that have set the benchmark for their industry.
Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa has reaped an impressive collection of local and international awards since its opening in 2006 including Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List (2006), Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 New Hotels (2006), Conde Nast Top 25 African Hotels (2008), the Conde Nast Traveleler Best Hotel in Africa (2010) and Conde Nast Traveler Gold List (2011).
Located in the world famous Cape Winelands, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa has become one of the most exclusive getaways in its class. A variety of 63 stylish rooms and sumptuous villas offers panoramic views of the Franschhoek vineyards. Capturing the essence of five star luxury, Le Franschhoek represents the most romantic of Cape Wineland retreat-style resorts, with wellness and the good life at its core.
The hotel retains its country retreat charm with thatched roofs etched against a blue sky, and granite mountains draped with lush fynbos, while décor is a fabulous fusion of contemporary Euro-classicism and modernist Cape sensibilities.
Leisure facilities include an award-winning Camelot Spa, tennis and a large, sparkling pool while, offering a gastronomic feast, the hotel’s two restaurants include the elegant Dish Restaurant and the outdoor Le Verger, a restaurant set within an orchard.
Constantia Glen, the magnificently appointed boutique wine estate known for exceptional cool climate Sauvignon Blanc, has launched a brand new Sauvignon Blanc in an easy drinking style ideal for summer.
Available exclusively at the Constantia Glen tasting room, the new Constantia Saddle Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is the alter ego of the blushing Constantia Saddle Rosé 2012 now in its second vintage.
“In contrast to our flagship Sauvignon Blanc known for its superb ageing ability, our new wine is an easy drinking, soft summer sip everyone will enjoy,” says winemaker Justin van Wyk, who has crafted this new style of Sauvignon Blanc to offer visitors to the tasting room more variety.
“This wine has a soft entry, but the integrated minerality adds vibrancy to a palate that is quite full and rich with citrus and white peach flavours. The 13% portion of Sémillon adds weighty texture and suppleness to the wine. There is an underlying citrus perfume that carries through beautifully onto the palate,” adds Justin, who recommends enjoying this refreshing wine on a hot summer’s day.
Crisp and fresh with a rich, juicy palate, the new 2012 vintage of the sumptuous Constantia Saddle Rosé is a gorgeous wine filled with a hint of strawberries, salmon hues, aromas of red summer fruits and strong citrus notes that expose the freshness and minerality so often associated with fruit from the cool-climate vineyards.
The 2012 Saddle Sauvignon Blanc and Saddle Rosé are available exclusively for tasting and purchase at the Constantia Glen tasting room.
One of the jewels of the Constantia Wine Valley, Constantia Glen is open daily from 10h00 till 17h00 on week days and from 10h00 till 16h00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main road. Call 021-795 5639, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.constantiaglen.com or www.facebook.com/ConstantiaGlen for further information. The GPS co-ordinates are S 34º 0’39.6” E 18º 24’30.6”.
In true French style it is worth celebrating Franschhoek Uncorked at Plaisir de Merle on Saturday and Sunday, September 1 and 2. There you can enjoy a selection of sweet and savoury crêpes, Plaisir de Merle’s fine wines and live music.
Taste Plaisir de Merle’s internationally acclaimed wines and grab the opportunity to purchase a few bottles to take home and enjoy. Wines will be on sale at special prices.
Pancakes are a steal at R30 served with a glass of Plaisir de Merle wine. The choice of pancakes includes Savoury Mince; Spinach, Feta and Mushroom; Apple; Orange or Cinnamon fillings.
Make Plaisir de Merle your first stop of the day and enjoy a pancake for breakfast or lunch – or make it your last stop on your way home!
The tasting centre, situated next to the magnificent Cape Dutch manor house, will also be open for wine sales, where you can relax in the comfy tasting room which dates back to 1823.
Buy and take home a loaf of real, home-baked farm bread made in the old-fashioned way with flour ground by the original historic water mill, which is still in working order and is now situated just outside the entrance to the wine cellar.
Plaisir de Merle has a true French pedigree and a long winemaking tradition dating back over 300 years when the Huguenot family Marais sailed from Le Plessis Marly in France and settled on the farm which was granted to them in 1693. It is one of the largest wine farms in the Cape with one of the most stunning settings.
You won’t regret it – Plaisir de Merle always impresses!
Hot on the heels of their last award De Krans Wine Cellar has been recognised as one of the top fortified wines for two of its ports, at a an awards ceremony hosted by the South African Wine Index (SAWI). These were awarded to their Cape Tawny Port and Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2008.
The SAWI is a multi vintage wine rating, deducted from the combined preferences of a diverse group of wine judges from an assortment of wine competitions, providing a condensed result point. Other considerations include quality consistency while a nominal point is awarded for additional accolades. Further judging takes place according to wine maturation categories.
‘We are thrilled by this latest recognition, which further establishes us as one of the front runners within the port industry in South Africa,” says winemaker, Boets Nel.
Die Krans Wine Cellar is situated along the upper reaches of the picturesque Gamka River Valley near Calitzdorp, in the heart of the Little Karoo. The present owners and cellar masters are brothers Boets and Stroebel Nel. For more information on the farm and other wines in their range feel free to visit their website on www.dekrans.co.za or contact Helet or Bessie at the farm on 044 213 3314.
CRUZ CANDY and CRUZ CARAMEL VODKA INFUSIONS add sophisticated flavour to leading clubs
CRUZ CANDY and CRUZ CARAMEL, newly launched decadently delicious vodka infusions, have emerged overnight as the hottest brands in the top premium night clubs in South Africa.
CRUZ CANDY and CRUZ CARAMEL flavour-infused vodkas are hand-crafted in small batches through a unique double infusion method, using natural ingredients and charcoal filtered triple distilled premium vodka, culminating in the ultimate drink.
CRUZ CANDY, the rich pink candy-coloured recreation of Candy Floss, in a bottle, is a vodka of exceptional quality with a delicately smooth finish that enhances the captivating and delicious candy floss aroma and flavour. The after-taste of lingering candy, confirms just how delectable this drink is. It can be served as a shooter, with Sprite, Sprite Zero, Tonic water or Soda water.
CRUZ CARAMEL is as fabulous and cool as its cousin, CANDY. The pure decadent caramel taste and dense texture make this drink distinct. The first-sip flavours of vanilla, toffee and chocolate meld into caramel, finishing off with the desired sweet taste. Caramelised sugar naturally colours the drink a rich shade of caramel. It can be served as a shooter or infused with one’s favourite mixer or energy drink.
CRUZ CANDY and CRUZ CARAMEL are available at premium clubs nationally and all leading liquor stores including Makro, Ultra, Pick ‘n Pay Liquors, Tops at Spar and Picardi, retailing between R199 and R219 per 750ml bottle (30% alc by vol).