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)
Jock Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park has introduced a new Winter Wellness package, which includes a complimentary African scalp massage treatment, as well as a relaxing Pilgrims Dream Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage (per adult). The package is designed to provide guests with an unforgettable sensory experience in the bush, using Africa’s earthly oils which are encapsulated in soothing Healing Earth spa products.
Jock Safari Lodge was revamped recently to retain the timeless style and elegance of a classic safari lodge. Paying homage to its rich history and heritage, the lodge boasts the addition of modern comforts and conveniences expected by today’s discerning traveller. At the main lodge, twelve secluded thatched suites offer privacy and uninterrupted views of the riverbed. Each suite boats an extensive private deck, an outdoor Victorian bath and shower, as well as a plunge pool and an enclosed sala (day bed) for daydreaming and sleep-outs. Within the same concession, the private camp, Fitzpatrick’s at Jock caters for families and children, as well as small groups of up to six guests travelling together.
The Winter Wellness package also includes two daily game drives, wilderness walks, all meals, a selection of house beverages, as well as a high tea at R8 064 per person sharing per night including a 10% Long Stay discount. Valid for direct bookings only and a minimum stay of 3 nights are required: Tel +27 (0) 13 010 0019 or email@example.com. T&C’s apply.
In the hidden Hemel-en-Aarde Valley at the Southern tip of Africa lies Bouchard Finlayson, a winery that combines the best of the old ways and classic French winemaking techniques, with the creativity and innovation of the new world. A family-owned boutique vineyard where Heaven meets Earth, inspired by genuine passion and shaped by a global family. Nurtured by a dedicated team who handcrafts wines to perfection, constantly in pursuit of excellence, Bouchard Finlayson is an estate synonymous with world-class premium international wines.
Bouchard Finlayson has released the latest vintages of three of its most popular white wines.
Showstopper Bouchard Finlayson Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2017 has its origins in numerous vineyard parcels, picked at various stages of ripening, to contribute to a sleek and complex wine that is destined to become a collector’s vintage. An undercurrent of spice and flint notes add complexity to the fruit bowl of flavours, including fig, lemon zest and passion fruit, all integrating on a long finish to pair beautifully with fish dishes, crustaceans, sushi, vegetarian cuisine and cheese. (R174 per bottle)
The unique Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer 2018 is widely celebrated as a wine for all seasons. Bouchard Finlayson founder and creator of the Blanc de Mer label, Peter Finlayson is quoted as saying: ‘Standing at the front of the winery one enjoys a classic view of the southern oceans, prompting the title ‘White of the Sea’ (Blanc de Mer). The palate is perfect and positively gregarious! A genuine people pleaser totally at home amongst relaxed company’. At 65% of the content in the 2018 vintage, the Riesling grape offers a solid frame to this unique white blend. This noble white wine variety is an unusual contribution to a Cape white blend, to establish a singular personality to the wine. A 16% Viognier and 18% Chardonnay component further enhances its exclusivity profile, resulting in a fountain of flowery aromas with a taste characterised by hints of quince, apricots and almonds – fresh and vibrant with a convincing strength and quality finish. (R110 per bottle)
Lauded year on year as part of its stellar range of Chardonnays, Bouchard Finlayson’s Crocodiles Lair/Kaaimansgat 2017 is a wine to be treated seriously and sipped slowly. The 2018 vintage is a great companion to white meat and rich seafood such as lobster bisque, as well as soft cheese and mushroom risotto. Structured with many layered flavour components arising from combinations of best French Oak, yeast, lees contact and finest fruit, it rewards the palate with a kaleidoscope of tastes. Hints of litchi, white peach, kiwi fruit, strawberry smoothie and golden tangerine combine to generate a memorable taste experience. (R174 per bottle)
The new releases are now available for sale at the cellar door and leading wine merchants.
Tintswalo Lapalala in the Waterberg has joined forces with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in a conservation project to monitor and protect the last free-roaming pack of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in South Africa.
Groups of four guests have the unique opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience to join rangers on a conservation journey to track and collar wild dog during a 3-night stay at the newly launched family lodge. The cost of R99 500 for four people covers the costs of the veterinarian and the rangers and includes the sponsorship of the monitoring collar, as well as luxury accommodation and full board for four people for three nights.
Wild dog is South Africa’s most efficient predators, but also its most endangered large carnivore. It is estimated that there are only between 3000 and 5000 individuals left in sub-Saharan Africa. This large pack of about 19 wild dogs, which has been recorded moving through farms, towns and various reserves as far north as Botswana, usually spend most of their time outside of protected areas which makes them susceptible to human conflict.
In support of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project, Tintswalo Lapalala has sponsored a GPS satellite collar to the value of R30 000 that enables researchers to monitor the movement of the pack and to keep them safe. Valuable data is being collected and scientists are able to pass information onto farmers to protect livestock that may be vulnerable to wild dog hunts, simultaneously protecting and ensuring the sustainability of this free-range pack of ‘painted wolves’.
Says Alistair Leuner, Tintswalo Regional Manager Safari Product: ‘Nature conservation and sustainability are major pillars of the Tintswalo product. We invite our guests to join our efforts to help ensure the freedom and sustainability of the Waterberg dogs as a free-roaming pack. Our regular safari guests may be lucky to spot the wild dogs during game drives within the 44 500 hectare reserve, but this project extends to a whole different level of personal involvement as a unique and enriching experience. We are thrilled to provide a select few guests with the opportunity to make their mark and contribute in such a meaningful way to the conservation of the wild dog species.’