CELEBRATE PINOT NOIR WITH BOUCHARD FINLAYSON HEMEL-EN-AARDE PINOT NOIR CELEBRATION (24 & 25 JANUARY 2020)
Bouchard Finlayson will once again join its neighbouring wine estates in the Hemel-en-Aarde to present the 7th annual Pinot Noir Celebration, taking place on 24 and 25 January 2020.
The Hemel-en-Aarde represents the unique combination of soil and climate that exists in only a handful of places where the exact balance provides the perfect expression of the elusive Pinot Noir grape, but it is the relaxing and festive atmosphere that sets the Pinot Noir Celebration apart from other wine festivals.
During the festival weekend epicures and wine enthusiasts may explore the Hemel-en-Aarde area and celebrate its most famous varietal with a range of wine tastings, wine safaris and culinary highlights. Guests will find themselves unwinding in picturesque wine country, whilst being informed and inspired by its passionate winemakers.
Highlights include ‘Among Pinot Friends, La Paulée de Hemel-en-Aarde’, an exclusive tasting event of older vintages Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir, carefully selected International Pinot Noir and selections from private cellars.
On the Saturday, ‘The Great Pinot Appeal’ will take guests on a journey through the three Hemel-en-Aarde appellations, touring through the vineyards and tasting the most recent vintage Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noirs in their respective wards. This will include tastings of Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship Galpin Peak Pinot Noir. The 2018 vintage exhibits generous texture, moderately rich yet supple. Showing intriguing perfumed dark cherry and wild berry, with espresso infused cinnamon spice adding to the appeal, the wine is deftly balanced, portraying elegance with tannins forming neatly on a lengthy finish.
Late afternoon ‘Many Pinots, One Love’ will see winemakers pouring their best while pondering over a day of great tastes, followed by the ‘Pick of the Pinots’ charity auction with one of a kind lots.
Wrapping up the weekend, acclaimed chef Jason Lilley from Cape Town’s Jason’s Bakery will take the reigns at the all-inclusive Grand Finale Dinner Event to showcase some of the best Hemel-en-Aarde produce available. Guests will be treated to ‘Live’ Food stations and Wine bars, a delectable dessert spread and entertaining local live acts, amongst many other delicious treats.
Tickets are available for the 2-day event (R2995pp), or the ‘Taste of Hemel-en-Aarde’ @ Pinot Noir Celebration Grand Finale Dinner Event (R795pp) only. For bookings and more event information, visit: https://www.pinotnoircelebration.com/
MHONDORO SAFARI LODGE & VILLA WINS A PLATINUM DINERS CLUB WINELIST AWARD FOR THE 3d CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has won a coveted Diners Club Platinum Winelist Award for the third consecutive year. The luxurious 5-star safari lodge was the only Diners Club Winelist Award winner in Limpopo province this year. 205 Restaurants from around the country submitted wine lists for judging by a select panel led by the publisher of the Platter’s by Diners Club Wine Guide, Jean-Pierre Rossouw.
Located in Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg, Mhondoro has been widely recognised for its unique culinary offering that focuses on a healthy food concept, complemented by an award-winning wine list. It distinguishes itself from other safari lodges with the style and quality of fresh, home-grown and beautifully plated food, presented in an exciting, modern African style.
General Manager Ronel Breytenbach curates the wine list, which is updated every six months with the assistance of Winewise.‘We are proud of our wine list which provides the opportunity for our local and international guests to get a taste of the top quality and exciting variety of wines that are produced in our country. We like to support the smaller boutique wineries and showcase some rarer wines such as the Sadie Paladius and Sadie Columella. Our wine list also features popular favourites, including Meerlust Rubicon and Chocolate Block, but we’re particularly proud to include some of South Africa’s unique blends and lesser-known varietals, such as the Oldenburg Granache Noir, Trizanne Signature Wines Semillon and Stark-Conde Three Pines red blend.
Photo Caption: The Mhondoro Food and Beverage Team
From left to right: Isaac Monageng (Food & Beverage Manager), General Manager Ronel Breytenbach, Eddy Khosa (Head Butler & Wine Steward), General Manager Fritz Breytenbach and Tintswalo Ndobe (Head Chef)
Tintswalo Atlantic will re-open for business on 1 October 2019. Cape Town’s iconic boutique hotel on Chapman’s Peak Drive has been closed since February, when a kitchen fire destroyed the main section of the lodge. Uniquely situated within the Table Mountain National Park, the lodge is environmentally conscious and has a light carbon footprint. The public areas, along with some of the guest suites were completely rebuilt in just six months.
Coinciding with the re-launch, Tintswalo Atlantic is taking a new marketing approach to focus on resident guests only. In addition, more accessible room rates have been introduced to invite guests to immerse themselves in the full Tintswalo hospitality experience. Room rates include bed and breakfast and start at R6500 per room per night (low season 1 May to 31 August); R9600 (high season), R11500 (peak season 15 December to 15 January).
Says CEO, Lisa Goosen: ‘With tragedy comes opportunity and after the fire the re-launch has provided us with the prospect of fine tuning our product offering. Tintswalo Atlantic is synonymous with luxury, privacy and seclusion. This is what we will highlight as our service promise. We’d like to present guests with a bespoke and exclusive, private lodge experience, complete with the warm South African hospitality and personal service our brand is known for. Family owned and managed, Tintswalo Atlantic is a magical, emotive place. The sensation of love, gratitude and peace is what we’d like for our guests to experience when they stay with us. It is a Tintswalo tradition for every guest to be invited to make a wish before they leave this special place, by casting a pebble into the ocean and taking this special moment away with you.’
Non-resident guests will be accommodated once a week only at the Tintswalo Atlantic Where else in the World Wednesday Lunch, where a limited number of casual diners are welcome by prior reservation and subject to availability. Due to its limited availability and exclusivity, the WWW Lunch is destined to be one of the most sought-after lunch experiences in Cape Town. Moving away from traditional fine dining, Tintswalo diners may expect wholesome and fresh, seasonal cuisine. Honest and uncomplicated seaside fare is served in a relaxed environment, complemented by an award-winning wine list. The 3-course lunch is offered at R960 per person. Resident guests will have the option of booking for lunch and dinner daily.
A maximum of 24 resident guests are accommodated at Tintswalo Atlantic in 10 Islands Suites and a 2-bedroom Villa. Suites are individually designed and decorated and named after some of the world’s favourite islands, from Robben Island, Madagascar and Zanzibar, to Java, Corsica and Sicily. The public areas have been freshly decorated in the signature blue and turquoise shades by the owners, mother and daughter team Gaye Corbett and Lisa Goosen. All suites have a lounge area with a wood burning fireplace, and a tea and coffee station with an espresso machine, as well as a private deck overlooking the ocean and the pebbled beach below. Spacious en-suite bathrooms also have sea views and walk-in showers, his-and-hers basins and huge Victorian baths with a selection of fragrant soaps and pampering bath products. Also included in the rate is complimentary wi-fi and extravagant full breakfasts, as well as the signature Sundowner Cocktail of the Day with a selection of canapés. Room service, in-room massages, transfers and a range of sightseeing excursions are available too.
Tintswalo Atlantic is lauded as one of Cape Town’s best sunset spots. A temperature-controlled plunge pool with a sundeck and loungers overlook the Atlantic Ocean where guests may daydream, soak up the sun or toast the sunset when the sun dips into the horizon. In the other public areas of the hotel, stylish and inviting lounge areas have idyllic sea views and are set around cosy fireplaces. At mealtimes guests are seated on the sprawling wooden deck to enjoy the fresh sea breeze at the shoreline, while in cooler weather the elegant dining room with its open kitchen enables diners to enjoy an interactive dining experience.
Widely known as one of Cape Town’s most romantic hotels, Tintswalo Atlantic is a popular venue for exclusive-use weddings, as well as engagements, honeymoons, anniversaries and babymoons. Wedding and function packages are available, while it also caters for both corporate clients and families, with services tailormade for any occasion.
A short scenic drive from the Cape Town CBD, Tintswalo Atlantic boasts a breathtaking location and is within easy reach of the Constantia winelands, Cape Point and the other attractions of the Mother City. Surrounded by fragrant fynbos and overlooking the stormy seas and cerulean blue of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the ultimate destination for a romantic break or to celebrate a special occasion. Tintswalo Atlantic is a sanctuary for those wanting to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with nature.
BOUCHARD FINLAYSON HONOURED INTERNATIONAL PINOT NOIR DAY AT THE TWELVE APOSTLES HOTEL & SPA (18 AUGUST 2019)
On International Pinot Noir Day (Sunday 18 August 2019), Bouchard Finlayson’s Pinot Pioneer, Peter Finlayson paid tribute to the Pinot Noir varietal with a tasting of Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship Galpin Peak vintages, held at the winery’s sister property, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.
The world’s most ‘hedonistic but temperamental’ grape was celebrated around the globe on International Pinot Noir Day, in particular within the regions where it is cultivated; reaching from Burgundy (France), Oregon and California (USA) and New Zealand’s Central Otago, to South Africa’s Elgin and Walker Bay.
Pinot Noir remains the Bouchard Finlayson flagship wine. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley terroir presents ideal conditions for the production of Pinot Noir with cool Atlantic Ocean moderating temperatures coupled with dense, heavy clay soils. Based on the age-old winemaking techniques from Burgundy in France, Bouchard Finlayson continues with high density planting, resulting in a greater amount of vines per hectare, growing smaller berries that produce excellent tannin structure in Bouchard Finlayson’s Pinots.
Bouchard Finlayson’s 2016 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir won a Gold Medal in the International Wine Challenge in 2018, and received the coveted trophies as South Africa’s Best Red Wine and South Africa’s Best Pinot Noir.
CapeNature’s Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo saw a Cape mountain zebra capture and translocation operation on Friday, 2 August 2019. This joint conservation in action initiative by Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and CapeNature forms part of the Cape mountain zebra Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP), which aims to improve the resilience and growth of this iconic Western Cape subspecies by spreading the metapopulation to appropriate habitat within the province.
The Cape mountain zebra conservation story is a ray of light in a time when we are facing overwhelming biodiversity loss, described by some conservation experts as “the sixth mass extinction”. The population of these zebras, once reduced to around 60 individuals, now stands at about 5000. The zebras, previously classified as Critically Endangered, are no longer considered threatened thanks to public and private conservation efforts. But active management is needed to keep numbers stable.
One of the main threats to the long term survival of Cape mountain zebras is inbreeding. There are three genetic lineages of these endemic zebras Gamkaberg, Kammanassie and Cradock – and all of these have low genetic diversity. The Cradock lineage is the most numerous and widespread, but the Gamkaberg and Kammanassie lineages occur only on the nature reserves bearing those names.
Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, near Calitzdorp in the Little Karoo, effectively holds one-third of the gene pool of this important subspecies. In 1974, the already small population of zebra on Gamkaberg was reduced to only six animals, when seven were poached by a local farmer. This resulted in a genetic bottleneck, and the current Gamkaberg population of 30 or so animals is severely inbred. Previously, experts were of the opinion that, the Gamkaberg lineage should be kept pure. However, scientists now believe that in order to ensure the long term survival of the zebras, mixing of genetic lineages must be considered for restoration of genetic diversity.
In May this year, a novel opportunity arose to implement this recommendation and take bold steps towards safeguarding these zebras in the long term. Gamkaberg Reserve Manager, Tom Barry, was alerted to the fact that a herd of eland had broken out of the reserve, and six zebras had been quick to follow suit. Five of these animals were all part of the same breeding herd, so they were quickly captured and returned to the reserve to continue to help the small population grow. But the sixth animal was a lone male which, from the reserve’s zebra register, was known to be a bachelor. The decision was taken to capture this animal and, after the obligatory African Horse Sickness quarantine period, move him and his precious genes to a new location.
The chosen location for the stallion was Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Sanbona, at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountains, is the ideal mixing bowl for Cape mountain zebra genes. At 58,000 ha, it is already home to more than 50 of these zebra. Twenty-eight of these were brought to Sanbona from CapeNature’s De Hoop Nature Reserve in 2016. The Sanbona animals are a mix of two of the three Cape Mountain Zebra lineages: Cradock and Kammanassie.
Paul H. Vorster, General Manager: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve adds: “Conservation and sustainability are the cornerstones of our operations and it is a privilege for Sanbona to provide sanctuary to several endangered species. We are pleased with the ongoing success of our Cape mountain zebra project, and as custodians of this rare subspecies we look forward to working with CapeNature to incorporate the new stallion into the reserve.”
David and Tanja Jacobs have been appointed as the General Management couple at Tintswalo Lapalala in the Waterberg. The most recent edition to the Tintswalo portfolio, the family-friendly, luxury tented lodge accommodates only 20 guests and is situated in a pristine Big 5-wilderness reserve. The couple was promoted to their GM position from their previous posting at sister property Tintswalo Safari Lodge, where David was a senior ranger and Tanja the camp manager.
David Jacobs (33) started his career with two years in hospitality service in the UK, and on his return to South Africa qualified as a trail and tracking guide. An avid birder, he comes with extensive experience gained as ranger at various Big 5 game reserves in KwaZulu Natal, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The career path of Tanja Jacobs (31) started as part of an emergency response team, followed by the corporate arena where she worked as a buyer and running logistics, before she moved to the bush with her husband David. She has completed a qualification in Game Lodge Management at the Wildlife Campus and is currently studying towards qualifying as a wine sommelier.
The winners of the 2019 Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award have been announced as a highlight of the annual Hermanus FynArts Festival. The Tollman family, owners of Bouchard Finlayson, has long been great supporters of the arts in South Africa and sponsored this national competition for the sixth consecutive year, with a first prize of R20 000, second prize of R10 000, and 2 merit prizes of R5 000 each.
Neeske Alexander walked away with the 1st prize, followed by Karen Grove in 2nd place and Natasha Brown and Terrence Howahowa each receiving a Merit prize.
The theme this year was ‘Harmony’ and artists were invited to submit their work in a tondo (round) format with a maximum 60cms diameter to be displayed on a wine barrel head. A total of 53 works by 46 artists were selected as finalists from 227 works submitted by 179 artists.
An exciting variety of media was entered this year, including the winner’s watercolour and Karen Grove’s two works of reverse acrylic on perspex. The two Merit winners respectively entered a work of oil on glass, and the other, a tapestry and weaving piece. Terrence Howahowa, along with three other finalists, are residents of Zwelihle township in Hermanus where they form part of the Living Tapestry Project.
The winning works, as well as those by the finalists are for sale and currently on display in the Bouchard Finlayson wine cellar as the ‘Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition’.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has introduced a Family Getaway Experience at Gondwana Family Lodge which is available during the upcoming school holidays and throughout the rest of the year (valid until 20 December 2019). Sanbona is situated close to Montagu in the heart of the Little Karoo, a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town along Route 62 and offers an authentic safari experience for the whole family in a malaria-free area.
The Family Getaway Experience provides the perfect opportunity to disconnect from a busy city lifestyle and enjoy quality time together. It is open to families with children of all ages and includes the Sanbona Kids on Safari programme, with exciting activities such as an evening scorpion hunt and storytelling inspired by African folk tales around the fire with a marshmallow braai. A family picnic is included in addition to twice daily game drives, and for children under four years who may not be accommodated on the game drives, complimentary child minding is offered in the kiddies play area during game drive hours, allowing parents with young children some quality time together. Guided wilderness walks are also on offer for adults and children older than 16 years to explore some of the vast reserve, which is home to the Big 5.
Gondwana Family Lodge recently had a total face lift to the 12 suites, as well as the main lodge dining and lounge areas. Offering a family-safari in style, each suite comes with a comfortable sleeper couch to accommodate one child, whilst inter-leading rooms are available for larger families. There is a kids’ TV lounge, as well as safe indoor and outdoor play areas with a child-friendly swimming pool. Delicious, wholesome farm-style cuisine is offered, including child-friendly options.
The Sanbona Kids on Safari programme has been designed to stimulate and inspire the eco warriors of the future. Families are invited to enjoy the wonder that nature has to offer with exciting educational and recreational wildlife experiences to guarantee an unforgettable safari experience, even for the little ones. Welcome Packs include the Sanbona Activity Book filled with interactive activities to teach children in a fun way about the wildlife at Sanbona. The skull garden and interpretive trail take children of all ages through the gardens to learn about important plants and animals on the reserve. Other activities include arts and crafts, puzzles, board games, educational children’s books, documentary DVD’s on various conservation topics and animals, as well as entertaining animation movies.
The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and its associated terroir has consistently proven itself as one of the Cape’s most treasured Chardonnay locations. It is therefore fitting that Bouchard Finlayson takes the lead in showcasing it’s delicious vintages as part of International Chardonnay Day on 23 May 2019.
The Chardonnay grape variety originated in Burgundy (France), but today is grown in most wine regions throughout the world. Chardonnay first became popular in the 1980’s and is now seeing a resurgence in the international consumer market where the new world Chardonnays are generally known for their buttery oak flavours.
In the words of Bouchard Finlayson founder, Peter Finlayson, Chardonnay is ‘the most malleable of all white grapes; it is the easiest to be good at but the most difficult of wines to make really great.’ Celebrated on the world stage year on year, the range of Chardonnays produced by Bouchard Finlayson has raked in a bouquet of awards presented to its three labels that include flagship Missionvale; popular Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat; and the unique, unwooded San Barrique Chardonnay.
Regarded as one of the finest Chardonnays, Bouchard Finlayson’s Missionvale Chardonnay is produced from grapes harvested exclusively from the Estate. The name Missionvale stems from the mission hospital established on the domain property in the early 19th century. The 2016 vintage has been lauded globally, bringing home a Gold Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2018, and scoring 92 points from James Suckling and 93 points from Tim Atkin MW in his South Africa Special Report 2018. With eleven months in the best French oak barrels, this is a ‘commanding wine with solid backbone and a lengthy, lingering palate.’ Flavours of pear and melon enhanced by peachy taste sips offer a lively and long-lasting mouth feel. Best wood maturation has complimented to offer complexity and structure, which will grow and embolden this wine over the next five years. Expect nutty flavoured integration as the aging process evolves. Soft cheese, fish pâté, Bouillabaisse or fish all work splendidly with this vintage, as well as chicken or sushi dishes. (Bouchard Finlayson 2016 Missionvale Chardonnay R276 per bottle from the Estate)
Bouchard Finlayson’s Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat Chardonnay is crafted from grapes grown in the Elandskloof Valley behind Villiersdorp, 80km from Hermanus. Bouchard Finlayson has been linked directly to this vineyard for close to 26 years, which at 700m above sea level, benefits from cool autumn temperatures. The essence of capturing complexity drives the flavour profile of the 2017 vintage. Structured with many layered flavour components arising from combinations of the best French Oak, yeast, lees contact and finest fruit, which all reward the palate with a kaleidoscope of tastes. This pleasing palate adventure offers hints of litchi, white peach, kiwi fruit, strawberry smoothie and golden tangerine combining to generate a memorable taste experience. Aging potential is excellent. Winemaker Chris Albrecht quips: ‘Treat seriously and sip slowly, this is not just another glass of wine!’ The 2017 vintage scored 93 points in Tim Atkin MW‘s 2018 South Africa Special Report. A great companion to white meat and rich seafood such as lobster bisque. Other perfect pairing suggestions include soft cheese and mushroom risotto. (Bouchard Finlayson Crocodile’s Lair/Kaaimansgat Chardonnay R174 per bottle from the Estate)
Achieving the character associated with the best Chardonnay wines, usually happens through maturing in French Oak barrels. Without employing any magic recipe, the Sans Barrique lives up to its name (unwooded) in arriving through well monitored basic wine making. A pure expression from two locations – the Bouchard Finlayson Estate and the exceptional Elandskloof vineyards, grapes are fermented in stainless steel tank under ideal temperature control that has led to the arrival of a well-structured, crisp, white Chardonnay, after three weeks from harvest. A host of perfumed reminders relating to apple, gooseberry, guava and sweet melon tease the taste senses while the organic compliment of lees tones adds complexity and assists with aging potential. This is a shell fish delight which is happily enjoyed with sushi, summer salads and all fruits of the sea. (Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique Unwooded Chardonnay R162 per bottle from the Estate)