Run! Don’t walk, it’s The Forever Purge. When a well-organized, and very well armed army of rednecks decide that they don’t want The Purge to end the chase is on … to the Mexican border. With these rightwing ‘patriots’ obsessed with purifying America ‘The Forever Purge’ American/Mexican relations are firmly thrust to the fore. What follows is a violent, tension filled chase movie interspersed with some jump scares, all the while delivering a strong anti-racism message. If you loved the previous movies in the series then this one’s for you.
Now, more than ever, the SA wine industry desperately needs meaningful insights to ensure production, packaging and marketing efforts are in line with consumer needs. The inaugural 2020 Great BIG Wine Survey – embraced by wine producers and celebrated by industry stakeholders – established a strong foundation and paved a pathway forward for future growth. The most in-depth consumer wine survey ever undertaken in South Africa will be conducted for the second time this year with Hollard Presenting Partner.
Says Andrew Douglas, founder of the Great BIG Wine Survey: “We have taken learnings from the inaugural GBWS along with input from key wine industry stakeholders to once again compile a survey targeting the South African wine-drinking public. The resultant insights and access to free research will equip South African wine producers to make more informed decisions amidst these uncertain and challenging times.”
2021 Great BIG Wine Survey Partners
Following the successes of the 2020 GBWS Hollard has extended its GBWS commitment for a further three years. Says Hollard National Business Development Manager, Andries Wiese: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with such a proactive project which aligns to our overarching company purpose of ‘securing a better future for all’, particularly for an industry which has been so deeply affected by the devastating effects of this global pandemic.”
Through the engagement with strategic research partners, it became possible to fully interrogate the 2020 GBWS dataset and provide far more focused and in-depth analysis along with much needed practical recommendations.
Leading independent consumer insights agency, KLA, has again partnered with the Great BIG Wine Survey and will be responsible for coordinating the finalisation and uploading of the 2021 GBWS as well as providing valuable insight and interpretation of results.
Global Wine Industry expert and founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS), Peter McAtamney, will return to play a major role in interpretation of the 2021 GBWS findings providing highly useful comparisons to international markets.
Feedback from Producers
Looking back on the success of the inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey which started as a “bootstrapped lockdown project” in 2020 to assist wine producers in tumultuous times, Douglas shares: “The 400-plus report downloads of last year’s survey results are a strong indicator of how useful that data was for industry. We hosted a webinar where we offered a deeper dive into results that was incredibly well-received. Our intention is that the Great BIG Wine Survey will evolve further to the ultimate benefit of the South African Wine Producer.”
During the webinar Caitlin Bauristhene from KLA took a deep dive on three key consumer insights whilst Peter McAtamney provided a global perspective alongside some of the 2020 GBWS findings.
The feedback from industry most certainly has inspired the continuation of the Great BIG Wine Survey through until 2024.
Ross Sleet, Managing Director of Rascallion Wines shared his appreciation: “For our business the most interesting data was around how consumers are responding to different marketing cues in relation to how they make purchasing decisions. So, for example, how packaging changes overtime can guide their purchase. Because of the nature of our brand, the packaging element is of extreme importance, something we will be paying a lot more attention to. Obviously, price plays a very big and very important role too, so we need to pay attention to what sort of spend and consumer group our consumer sits in. So overall, we will be looking at how we can derive better benefit from making sure that our striking packaging can be better brought to life and appeal across all income groups.”
Similarly National Sales Manager at Bonnievale, Patrick Lovell, shared what they found beneficial from the data sets: “It’s interesting to note consumer motivators for wine consumption, such as reward, ‘me’ time and escapism – these all remain key to consumption. It’s also encouraging that people did not feel that wine was only for ‘special’ people or special occasions but is gaining traction as everyday drink for all people. Content and engagement with consumers is key and in this area it is clear that social media and anything digital is here to stay in terms of marketing channels. However, the playing field has changed, and this served as a reminder not to forget the high-income consumer. An important focus must be on the younger family market, especially at cellar door by offering an experience for the entire family.”
Marinda Kruger-Classen, Vintner at Elgin Vintners offered the following feedback: “This survey gives you amazing insight into the South African wine market. As a business you can use these insights in your marketing and sales strategy to benefit your business. Congratulations on undertaking this survey which will have a positive impact on the wine industry for years to come!”.
The involvement of key industry stakeholders has been integral to the integrity, legitimacy and direction of the GBWS. VINPRO’s Manager: Wine Business, Christo Conradie says “Wine producers and brands are in the midst of tough times, and any form of relevant intelligence, concerning the marketplace and consumer needs/preferences, is going to be very helpful, as we need to be market-driven in all our endeavours – ranging from cultivar selection at production level, style, packaging to price points. In this regard the year-on-year trend following from the 2020 GBWS vs 2021 will be incredibly useful across the wine value chain, and we eagerly await in anticipation of these findings.”
To find out more about the Great BIG Wine Survey please click here.
As kulula.com takes to the skies again in September, the airline has unveiled its new mobile app, which provides travellers the quickest, easiest way to book a flight with South Africa’s first low-cost airline.
“On average, it used to take our customers 23 minutes to book a flight. Our new kulula.com app saves you time, reducing this to 10 minutes” says Avsharn Bachoo, CIO at Comair Limited. “The app provides you with every piece of information that matters, and has a simple, attractive interface to shop, book and check in for your flight.”
“We have been listening to our customers’ feedback over the past year and we’re pleased to launch this app at a time when we can really help make air travel easier and more enjoyable for our customers”, adds Bachoo.
Under the hood
Comair Limited has used the past year-and-a-half of lockdowns to transform its IT infrastructure, leapfrogging from legacy systems to state-of-the-art technology.
“The new kulula.com app has been built in the same way as Google Maps or Gmail”, says Bachoo. “In other words, the microservices sit on containers, able to scale up or down immediately, such as when there’s a rush on tickets for holiday specials. There are no more ‘waiting rooms’ or frozen pages.”
“We’ve created a Cloud-centric rather than a standalone app”, explains Bachoo. “Using Flutter and Firebase rather than Xamarin is a gamechanger due to cost and ease of use. The end product may look the same, but there’s a big difference in the back-end.” Long-term business benefits include cheaper maintenance and the ability to adapt and respond faster. The modular design of the app means that the airline group can keep plugging in other services whenever required.
In addition, their new API store brings multiple advantages to Comair Limited, allowing its business to integrate with multiple partners in the travel sector, including hotels and car-hire companies. “APIs allow businesses to easily use products and services from other organisations that would take too long to build themselves, lowering costs, and generating new revenue streams and innovations,” says Bachoo.
Over the past year, Comair Limited has partnered with Teraflow, a local data engineering and artificial intelligence firm, to modernise and re-design the group’s technology. “It has been exciting to work with Comair Limited and see its commitment to innovation” says Brett St Claire, CEO at Teraflow. “Being a responsible and proactive business meant taking the opportunity to innovate during the pandemic and emerge with a competitive advantage” continues St Clair.
Whale-watching season, in Hermanus, is in full swing and The Marine hotel is inviting locals to make the most of this special time of the year, by booking a stay at up to 25% discount on the bed and breakfast rate.
Traditionally, whale watching season falls between July and November when Southern Right whales are spotted frolicking in the beautiful bays of Hermanus. The area is favoured as the choice mating and breeding grounds for the species and presents the perfect base to experience these unforgettable sightings. This year, the pandemic forced organizers of the renowned annual Hermanus Whale Festival to cancel the event, but fortunately, one of the ‘greatest shows of the natural world’ is carrying on regardless, with whales instinctively arriving in the protected bays of the Overberg seaside town – almost daily.
At The Marine guests are encouraged to keep their ears open for the whale bell, which gets rung at the hotel whenever a whale is spotted in the bay below. The Southern Right whale is one of the largest species of whale with females between 14 and 16 meters long and males from 13 to 15 meters, and adult whales weighing between 40 and 50 tons.
The team at The Marine is passionate about whale conservation and committed to supporting the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit, which offers symbolic adoptions of the best-known Southern Right whales. The Marine has embraced this educational and conservational project with the adoption of ‘Maggie the whale’, who can be recognised by a small grey marking on her back. Maggie was the first female Southern Right whale to ever be identified in South African waters. Over the years, she has returned to Hermanus regularly, having had no less than ten calves in normal three-year calving intervals along the South African coast. New whale mothers like Maggie come quite close to shore as they need to get the calf, who can weigh over 900kg at birth, to the surface of the water for its first breath after it is born. This provides guests of The Marine with the delightful opportunity to experience what is rated as the finest land-based whale watching in the world, sometimes even from the comfort of their guest room!
Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay, The Marine is currently offering excellent savings for those needing a break and a change of scenery. As a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property it offers ideal remote-working conditions, allowing guests to combine work and pleasure to present professionals with the opportunity to enjoy world-class hospitality in a safe bubble with their loved ones.
Families with children are welcome, as well as their ‘furry friends’ who will receive 5-star treatment, complete with a special doggy menu, toys and 5-star hotel bedding provided. For those looking for even more privacy and exclusivity, The Marine also offers the option to book a dedicated wing ideal for families and multi-generational travel.
Rates start at R2 800 per room per night and include full English breakfast, as well as complimentary minibar. All room types feature free WIFI and have a desk or dedicated workspace available to cater to guests needing to work during their stay. Excellent Covid-19 safety protocols are in place.
About The Marine
The Marine, a member of The Liz McGrath Collection, is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels. The 40 elegantly appointed rooms and suites include 10 Luxury Doubles with Sea View and 10 Premier Suites, which are perfectly positioned for watching pods of dolphins and whales as they frolic in the bay below. Guests may take a refreshing dip in The Marine’s courtyard pool, or access the Tidal Pool from the cliff path outside the hotel. In addition to whale watching, beaches and nature, art, history, culture and the vibrant food and wine scene of Hermanus, the Overberg region is a must for adventure sport seekers. Activities include hiking, mountain biking and marine sports, while back at the hotel, guests can relax in the Spa or indulge in exceptional culinary delights at The Pavilion and Origins restaurants, courtesy of Executive Chef Rudi Blaauw.
Tel: +27 28 313 1000
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Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce the signing of Radisson Hotel Middelburg, as part of the Group’s ambitious expansion plan in South Africa. Set to open at the end of 2023, the hotel boosts the Group’s South African portfolio to 16 hotels in operation and under development. It also places the Group firmly on track to reach its ambition of 150 hotels in operation and under development across Africa within the next five years.
Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Development, Africa and Turkey of Radisson Hotel Group said: “As South Africa remains a key focus market for us in Africa, we are thrilled to announce our 16th hotel in the country. Following the opening of Radisson RED Johannesburg Rosebank last week, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we are continuing to expand our presence across South Africa at a rapid rate. Radisson Hotel Middelburg also marks our third Radisson branded hotel in the country, reinforcing the presence of this brand and its potential in South Africa.”
The contemporary new-build, 150-room hotel will be located within walking distance of the town’s major shopping complex, the Middelburg Mall, home to over 140 stores including all South Africa’s renowned retail brands, as well as an array of eateries and banking services. Middelburg lies just off the N4, one of South Africa’s national roads, giving the town access to many nearby towns and larger cities such as Emalahleni, Nelspruit, Pretoria and Johannesburg. The town itself is less than two hours away from Johannesburg, with the hotel just 90 minutes from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport and just over two hours drive from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit.
Daniel Trappler, Senior Director, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa of Radisson Hotel Group said: “Our entry into Middelburg is a testament to Radisson Hotel Group’s development strategy in the country, in which we’ve identified certain secondary and tertiary towns and cities that are displaying strong market dynamics, encouraging the the Group’s growth therein via conversion and new build opportunities. The Radisson Hotel Middelburg will certainly assist in uplifting the town and support its drive to boost tourism as its only internationally branded hotel.”
Currently under construction and on schedule to open concurrently with the hotel, is the large convention center, situated adjacent to the hotel. Complementing the convention center is the hotels own 2 300m2 meetings and events area, comprising of a pre-function area, banquet hall as well as eight meeting rooms and board rooms.
Conveniently located within the hotel, guests will be able to indulge in a variety of wholesome cuisine and refreshing drinks at the restaurant and bar as well as the lobby lounge and pool bar. Equipped with a fitness facility, swimming pool and pool terrace, in true Radisson style, guests will have a range of facilities on hand to provide them with the ideal work/life balance.
Middelburg is a growing town situated in the cultural heartland of the Mpumalanga Province, located north of the Gauteng Province in South Africa, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. The town is a mining and manufacturing hub for Mpumalanga, home to Columbus Stainless Steel, South Africa and the continents only producer of stainless-steel flat products. Home to a variety of major companies, most of which relate to the mining industry, Mpumalanga is the country’s primary coal mining area, estimated to produce over 80% of its coal.
Middelburg also serves as a stopover point for many transitory travellers along the N4 and N11, linking Pretoria, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Mozambique and Durban.
Conservation history has been made in the Western Cape with the registration of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve as a non-profit company, following its rezoning from agricultural to conservational use.
Sanbona is one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned nature reserves, stretching across 58 000 hectares of rich protected ecosystems within two biodiversity hotspots. This vast track of land in the Little Karoo outside Montagu will from now on be governed by a Protected Area Management Agreement. This formal proclamation of Sanbona as a Nature Reserve in partnership with CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme is set to secure its future for perpetuity.
General Manager Paul Vorster says the transition into a non-profit company is a milestone for conservation. Particularly for the protection of threatened ecosystems, the reintroduction of extirpated wildlife, and restoration of degraded habitats that preserve numerous rare species. ‘Having this large private conservation area converted into a non-profit model allows for a vehicle of collaboration with conservation bodies and community development, as an internationally accepted model for sustainability.’
Twenty years ago, an audacious dream was given life on the arid plains of the Little Karoo. More than 500 square kilometres of agricultural land was earmarked for the creation of the reserve that would attempt to conserve the heritage, ecosystems and landscapes, while creating employment opportunities in one of South Africa’s hardest hit rural centres. Risks were quantified and with a leap of faith, species that had become locally extinct hundreds of years previously, were reintroduced to explore their new home, including elephant, hippopotamus, cheetah and lion.
Although many other reserves in South Africa have successfully been transformed in previous decades from other uses, this was the first attempt in an arid Karoo environment. Numerous challenges were faced without case studies or scientific literature to inform the process. Sanbona’s dedicated conservation team has spent the last 20 years developing and refining a model that identifies outcome driven projects, with the goal of establishing resilient ecosystems, landscapes and communities. These innovative projects have fostered collaborations with international academic institutions and leading conservation organisations.
In October 2015, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve was bought by the non-profit CALEO Foundation and the reserve entered a new phase of its vision. The Foundation’s goal is to protect critically vital ecosystems, endangered wildlife and flora, so that they can prosper. The acquisition of Sanbona was perfectly suited to meet this goal and over the years it has become a role player in many ground-breaking conservation initiatives.
On behalf of future generations, CALEO Foundation decided that the best way to ensure the protection of Sanbona would be to donate and transfer it into a non-profit company (NPC), as this transfer significantly enhances the prospects of the reserve being preserved as a wilderness refuge indefinitely. The new non-profit entity of the reserve is the Sanbona Nature and Wilderness Reserve NPC. Following onto this objective, the NPC can now drive donorship into conservation funding with the added benefit of qualifying as a public benefit organisation (PBO). This comes with associated advantages, among which is the tax benefit it affords to donors, whereby donations made to Sanbona NPC may be treated as tax-deductible expenses.
Today, Sanbona serves as a major role player in the conservation realm, which is shared and intricately woven into the guest experiences at each of the three luxurious lodges, Tilney Manor, Gondwana Family Lodge and Dwyka Tented Lodge, as well as the seasonal Explorer Camp. Revenue from the hospitality business will continue to be invested in Sanbona NPC. In effect, all funds generated by tourism at Sanbona will now be injected directly into the ongoing, long term protection and identified conservation projects, as well as protected area expansion.
Tel +27 (0) 21 010 0028
Golf enthusiasts are invited to escape the winter cold and head for the Garden Route where The Plettenberg and Fancourt have put together a special offer that includes the opportunity to play no less than three of SA’s top golf courses. Valid until 10 December 2021, locals can experience the famed ‘Plett feeling’ with The Plettenberg’s Putt and Plett special from just R2515 per person sharing per night, including a round of golf at the Gary Player-designed Goose Valley Golf course, and the use of a golf cart.
The 5-star treatment continues with luxury accommodation and a complimentary room upgrade plus minibar. Full English breakfast is included daily, as well as a 3-course dinner in the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, or served in the comfort of guest suites. A rejuvenating spa treatment is included to the value of R550 per person at Fresh Wellness Spa, and a 2- varietal wine and canapé tasting with a vineyard platter to share at the award-winning Luka Vineyards nearby. The Plett Winelands is home to 18 wine farms and is fast becoming a major attraction on the Garden Route, being conducive to producing cooler-climate wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir varietals. To complete the ultimate holiday for outdoor enthusiasts, a 30% discount is offered on whale watching and dolphin encounters from Plett-based activity partners Ocean Blue Adventures, as well as visits to the trio of animal sanctuaries of Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani.
Golfers may also extend the trip to Fancourt and book the 2-night ‘Tee off in paradise’ package where each guest receives one round of golf per day on Fancourt’s Outeniqua or Montagu golf courses. Alternatively, partners who do not play golf may use a complimentary Spa voucher to the value of R635, or a dinner voucher to the value of R375.
During the winter months when other parts of the country are hauling out the winter woollies, the Garden Route remains inviting, boasting mild weather conditions and pleasant, sunny days. With more than 25 top-notch golf courses along the 250-km stretch of coastline, it is widely recognised as South Africa’s golfing mecca. It is the perfect destination for a self-drive road trip to soak in the unsurpassable scenery of the Southern Cape and the beguiling diversity of its seaside cliffs, white sandy beaches, lagoons and evergreen forests.
About The Plettenberg
The Plettenberg, part of The Liz McGrath Collection, is situated on a rocky headland in one of South Africa’s most spectacular beach towns. Tucked neatly into the Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay boasts a year-round temperate climate, pristine beaches and dense green forests, making it the ultimate South African seaside escape. The 5-star Small Luxury Hotels of the World property has direct beach access and showcase some of the most breathtaking vistas in Southern Africa, with views of the ocean, mountains and endless stretches of golden sand. The hotel features 37 beautifully appointed guest rooms, including 12 Suites and two spectacular Villas.
Guests may enjoy world-class cuisine courtesy of The Plettenberg restaurant, where deliciously fresh seafood dishes are served in a mesmerising seaside setting. The Sandbar meanwhile, is the perfect spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks, as well as tea, wine and meticulously crafted signature cocktails throughout the day. Guests may relax at one of two pools with stunning sea views, or on the Sun Lounge & Terrace, before getting pampered at the Fresh Wellness Spa, or indulging in a spot of shopping at The Collection Boutique. Whether visitors are looking for a romantic seaside escape or an action-packed family holiday, The Plettenberg is the ideal place to relax and unwind, recharge and reinvigorate.
The exclusive BOOK XVII brings the rare opportunity to savour an opulent wine, the most exceptional of South Africa’s Bordeaux-style blends. The release of its 10th vintage marks a decade of meticulous handcraftsmanship. It has been an exceptional ten years for the acclaimed BOOK XVII, with the 2019 vintage yielding the most spectacular and distinct vintage De Toren Private Cellar has produced yet.
To bid farewell to the end of a successful decade while embracing the next, the 2019 vintage is enrobed in stunning new packaging. This includes the redesign of its gift box, label, iconic key and wooden frame in which the wine is safe kept, all elevating the release to even greater heights. BOOK XVII is ever in pursuit of the exceptional; the magnificent new packaging is a sumptuous hint at the pleasure within and the rich history behind it.
Like the wine itself, the label is bespoke and crafted by hand. It features an original illustration by renowned international artist Steven Noble, created using an ancient engraving technique and inspired by the narrative of BOOK XVII. Here, the labour-intensive age-old handicraft of Noble’s artistic medium echoes BOOK XVII’s own method of its creation, and is a nod to the ancient granite soil that supports the growth of De Toren’s hand-reared organic vines.
About two thousand years ago, Pliny the Elder wrote Book XVII on The Culture of the Vine – one of the first pieces of literature dedicated solely to wine and extreme viticulture methods. On the cover of this document, a Roman Eagle. And so, a drawing of an eagle commands the new label, bold, proud and victorious. A tribute to the ancient roots and knowledge in which De Toren’s BOOK XVII is grounded.
Upon closer inspection, intricate scenes unfold within this powerful master image. Together these delicate engravings tell the story behind BOOK XVII – the story of a remarkable wine, ancient writings, unique terroir, and the specially selected vines from which the wine is crafted.
Each meticulous detail of the label is a mirror of the intense attention to detail given to every step of the winemaking process. The seamless merging of one illustration into the next is a demonstration of the synergy of technology and tradition. Altogether, they tell the powerful tale of alchemy, the masterful science and devotion to balance, the finest fruit, exceptional terroir, and passion for winemaking.
The new label will make its debut on each of the limited-edition bottles – a mere 1142 units – that comprise the 2019 vintage. With De Toren’s reputation for exquisite craftsmanship preceding the release, already a full two thirds of the 2019 vintage have been reserved by longstanding pre-bookings.
This singular wine encompasses modern viticulture, bold winemaking and masterful experimentation with Bordeaux barriques. A harmonious evolution of De Toren’s acclaimed Bordeaux-styled blends, BOOK XVII is a lush, handcrafted red blend created to showcase the winemaking excellence that has confidently emerged from a South African cellar.
Indeed, BOOK XVII has fulfilled and exceeded its purpose, standing proudly among the world’s best. Acclaimed as ‘South Africa’s Most Luxurious Wine’, it is also the highest-ever rated South African wine by the US-based Wine Enthusiast, one of the world’s most influential voices on wine.
De Toren’s Head of Marketing and Distribution, Anja Bekker says: “From pioneering cellar techniques to precision viticulture, the wines of De Toren Private Cellar are marked by devotion to quality and ensuring the truth in the vine is told. Book XVII was born from a desire to craft one of the greatest wines in the world. This wine is the heirloom of years of winemaking in De Toren’s continuous quest for perfection and one of the finest ultra-premium wines to emerge from South Africa.”
The slightly cooler vintage of 2019 brought forth a phenomenal accumulation of flavour and tannins taking this acclaimed blend further in its remarkable concentration. It is the estate’s most extracted vintage ever with significant European characteristics yielding unique expression, clarity and beautiful integration. The ultra-luxurious BOOK XVII 2019 vintage exudes sophistication and opulence. It has a sumptuous crème de-cassis, fruitcake and fig scented bouquet with a full-bodied palate and silky-smooth tannin structure. It is a symphonic celebration of subtle elegance with bold characteristics.
BOOK XVII is born out of marrying making wine by hand with modern viticulture and viniculture technology. Using infra-red aerial imaging, De Toren identifies the vines of only the highest quality. These are then hand-pruned to carry only four to six bunches of perfect balance per vine. Meticulous manicuring is applied during the ripening process, followed by the gentle hand-harvesting and destemming of each bunch by the delicate and skilled hands of the very select team of female harvesters. If Pliny the Elder were alive today and were to write his famed treatise, he’d transcribe from De Toren’s approach.
The winemaking process culminates with the elegant new label. Each bottle of BOOK XVII is individually labelled and numbered by hand. To finish, this precious wine is carefully placed into a specially handcrafted and sealed wooden display case. An iconic key ensures the safekeeping of this rare collector’s item. With an ageing potential of 40 years plus, BOOK XVII promises optimal pleasure whether savoured upon purchase or kept for future enjoyment.
The optimal temperature to serve this wine is at 15 -18 degrees centigrade.
For optimum enjoyment, decant at least one hour before consumption.
Orders may be placed with the estate during Lockdown Level 4, but will only be fulfilled once the restrictions on the sale of alcohol are lifted.
ABOUT DE TOREN
De Toren Private Cellar is a boutique winery specialising in luxurious, world-class Bordeaux-style wines and is situated on the Polkadraai Hills, overlooking the picturesque Stellenbosch in the Cape, South Africa. De Toren was one of the first-ever South African wineries to produce Bordeaux-style wines and the very first to ever make use of a gravity-fed cellar. The farm is renowned for meticulous attention to detail when it comes to nurturing its vineyards to grow the perfect berries, and for making wine through the softest and gentlest of processes.
The result of this labour of love is a range of spectacular wines, which have over the years been awarded the honorary titles of South Africa’s Best Bordeaux Blend, South Africa’s Most Luxurious Wine, and The Highest Ever Rated Wines by the reputable USA publisher, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, to name but a few.
In recent years, De Toren was ranked as one of the Top 10 Red Wine Producers in South Africa by the South African Wine Index and was once again nominated as New World Winery of the Year by the reputable USA publisher, Wine Enthusiast Magazine. These international accolades confirm De Toren as not only South Africa’s most highly rated Bordeaux-style wines, but indeed amongst the world’s finest red wines.
With winter having arrived and school holidays in full swing, locals in need of a change of scenery can now book the brand new ‘Stay In, Dine In & Work In’ special on offer at each of the three luxury hotels within The Liz McGrath Collection.
Created with the health of guests in mind during the pandemic – The Cellars-Hohenort, The Plettenberg and The Marine hotels have excellent safety protocols in place and are offering up to 60% savings for those needing a break from the ‘real world’. Ideal remote-working conditions at each of the three hotels invite guests to combine work and pleasure, presenting professionals with the opportunity to enjoy world-class hospitality in a safe bubble with their loved ones. Families with children are welcome too, as well as their furry friends who will receive 5-star treatment, complete with a special doggy menu, toys and bedding that are available too.
Rates start at R3 300 per room per night and include full English breakfast served in the comfort of guest suites, as well as complimentary minibar. All room types feature free WIFI and have a desk or dedicated workspace available, specially catering to guests needing to work during their stay. Private villa options are available at The Cellars-Hohenort and The Plettenberg, while families at The Marine may book a dedicated wing to guarantee exclusivity and privacy.
The ‘Stay in, Dine in & Work In’ offer is valid until 30 September 2021 for both The Plettenberg and The Cellars-Hohenort, whilst validity of the special offer at The Marine, extends until 31 August 2021. (Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability)
A warm welcome and ‘a world away from the ordinary’ awaits those in need of a change of scenery. The Cellars-Hohenort is situated in the historical Constantia Valley, which is known as ‘Cape Town’s Vineyard’. It boasts wide open spaces and access to the hotel’s pool decks, tennis court and extraordinary gardens, whilst being within easy driving distance of the city, beaches and all other attractions.
The Marine in Hermanus is one of South Africa’s most spectacular seaside hotels. Located on the cliff path, it overlooks Walker Bay, which this time of the year, offers some of the finest land-based whale watching in the world, often directly from the comfort of guest rooms with sea views.
Completing the elegant triumvirate, The Plettenberg, situated on a rocky headland in Plettenberg Bay, presents the ultimate Garden Route destination with a temperate climate and direct access to kilometres of pristine beaches. Dense green forests and a multitude of family-friendly attractions and activities are a short drive away.
About The Liz McGrath Collection
The Liz McGrath Collection comprises The Cellars-Hohenort, The Marine, and The Plettenberg – three iconic hotels that are proud members of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Each of the three 5-star hotels boasts a unique location, mesmerising history, splendid design, and amenities and services that are second to none. The Collection features individually designed, sophisticated interiors, the most luxurious accommodations, award-winning gardens and world-class cuisine to exemplify South African hospitality.
THE LIZ McGRATH COLLECTION
Tel: +27 (0)21 794 5535
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The Western Cape winter is a magical time to enjoy wine tastings, long walks and hearty food flavours. Vergelegen in Somerset West, named the best winery in Africa in 2019, offers multiple attractions to keep all ages entertained during the cooler months.
Here are 10 recommendations to make the most of your next visit to this much-loved, 321-year-old estate.
1. Wine tasting: The best place to try out a new blend of wine, or two, is in the elegant Wine Tasting Centre. Look out for the magnificent central table, over five metres in length, crafted from a 400-year-old yellowwood slab.
2. Family-friendly Stables Restaurant: Huge glass windows and doors let in panoramic views of the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg Mountains while keeping the cold out. A new coffee barista station is open, while winter warmers like lamb curry and garlic prawns have been added to the menu.
3. International Camellia Garden of Excellence: Vergelegen is home to one of only 39 International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the world – and the winter-flowering pink, red and white camellia blooms are on show. View a remarkable collection of about 550 camellia cultivars, sourced locally and as far afield as Europe, Japan and America.
4. Enviro tour: Explore tracts of the vast 3000-hectare estate that were previously closed to the public. Visitors can now spot rare bontebok, indigenous Nguni cattle, swathes of endangered fynbos and, if they’re lucky, eland, on a guided tour in a Vergelegen vehicle.
5. Camphors cuisine: Popular dining, with sustainability front of mind, is the hallmark of Camphors Restaurant with its hyper-seasonal interpretation of locally-sourced, globally-influenced dishes. Food lovers can select delicious dishes such as slow-cooked duck cassoulet, and enjoy a complimentary glass of Premium wine to accompany two and three course choices.
6. Wine investments: Vergelegen has released two superb red wines – the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2015 and the V 2014. The 2015 release has just scored 93 points, and was in the Top 10, in the 10th annual Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report. This complex red wine costs R390/bottle and the V, created as a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon since 2008, is the top red at Vergelegen, R1485/bottle.
7. Stride out: Burn off that cabin fever by exploring 18 spectacular gardens, including a 3,5km walkway at the new arboretum. Some 7500 trees will be planted to create a beautiful, peaceful green sanctuary.
8. Playtime: Children are well catered for with a state-of-the-art playground set amidst lawns and lush gardens. There’s also a vine maze to explore.
9. Culture and history: The beautifully restored homestead houses glorious art, furniture, porcelain and tapestries. Find out more about local history in the Interpretive Centre, while the library, a former wine cellar dating back to 1816, houses over 4500 books.
10. Cellar and vineyard experience: View vineyards, and the multiple level, gravity flow cellar with 360˚ views of the surrounding valley.
Says Vergelegen MD Wayne Coetzer, “When it’s cold or raining and you’re yearning to get out of the house, we offer warming hospitality and unspoilt nature that’s a welcome respite from the bite of winter.”
For anyone reluctant to travel due to Covid-19, Coetzer reminds Vergelegen fans that they can order the estate wine online, for home delivery. They can also reminisce over a glass of wine while listening to highlights of the popular RMB Starlight Classics, held annually on Vergelegen’s Great Lawn. This Legacy Series concert is available on YouTube here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxjmRUpggkE&list=PLdyWAM0a5cBQPPSNrb-RHeiyBYoD6XAHY)
Vergelegen is open Monday-Sunday 09h00-17h00 (last entry 16h00). Entrance R10/adults and R5/pensioners and scholars, pensioners free on Mondays. See more on www.vergelegen.co.za and follow on social media.
Bookings and orders
Wine Tasting Centre 021 8472122, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online wine shop https://vergelegen.co.za/shop-wine/.
Wine deliveries nationwide, free shipping for local orders over R1500. Enjoy 10% off all wines by logging in as a Vergelegen Reserve Loyalty Member.
Tour bookings 021 847 2122 or email@example.com.
Stables Restaurant 021 847 2156 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Camphors Restaurant Wed-Sun 12h00-14h30 |Fri-Sat 18h30-20h30, 021 847 2131 or email@example.com.