Sailing with Lorna’s Grog

Lorna Hughes and hubby Dave taking a stroll through the vineyards.

Wine lady Lorna Hughes gives us some news:

IN the earliest days of the settlement at the Cape, tall-masted sailing vessels entering Table Bay either sailing to or from the spice purveyors in the East would be spotted from the heights of Signal hill. Signallers would semaphore the message of the vessel’s impending arrival to the Castle below.

Then the signal cannons would sound, reverberating across the Cape Flats and alerting local farmers to stock their wagons with produce. The oxen would be spanned in before trundling their way to the settlement to assist in restocking the vessels after their long sea voyage.

Fast forward a few hundred years and there won’t be anyone waving flags from Signal Hill, nor will there be any ox-wagons, but ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ as in days of yore ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ there will be Stellenbosch wines stocked aboard the Seven Seas Mariner when the luxury cruise liner departs Cape Town on December 4, 2010!

“I am absolutely thrilled (for fuck’s sake Lorna, not the T word – Editor),that my Bristle White Viognier 2009 and 2007 Bristle Red blend will be departing South African shores in such fine style,” Lorna Hughes, the proprietor of Stonehill wines said. The consignment of this Devon Valley boutique operation was sourced by, beverage marketer and cruise industry specialist, Deborah Golden. “Deborah, knows the wines well and believes they’d be a good fit with the clientele of the Seven Seas Mariner,” Hughes said.

In an unusual confluence of events, South African wine authority Christine Rudman will be one of the guests to disembark in the shadow of Table Mountain! Rudman, the former principal of the Cape Wine Academy for a number of years, was aboard the cruise presenting lectures to guests on the topic of South African wine. Fellow lecturers on the cruise included Liz Eglington, pioneer of organic farming and owner of the first certified organic olive and chilli farm in South Africa, world-renowned oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau as well as the president of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Mark Conroy.

“It’s a great opportunity for guests to gain a bit of knowledge about the place they will soon be visiting. For me to share my experience of South African wines and give them just a little taste of what’s to come is a real treat,” said Rudman.

The Regent Seven Seas Mariner will have completed a 25 night cruise from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Cape Town via Mumbai, Goa and Cochin in India as well as the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion. Catering to just 700 guests, the vessel is one of the most luxurious cruise liners afloat and boasts a staff to guest ratio of 1.6 to 1.

The vessel departs Cape Town on Saturday, December 4 en route to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil via Walvis Bay and St Helena Island.

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