The Worst Italian Restaurant in South Africa

The real-estate adage of Location, Location and Location does not apply to restaurants. Was the offering presented by Blanko, an eatery situated in the splendid environment of the Alphen Boutique Hotel on the rural outskirts of Constantia, comparable to its site I would still be drifting on an orgasmic cloud of culinary-induced ecstasy. This is, not the case.

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Backsberg Vino Varsity Shows Fresh Wine Minds

Attending this year’s Backsberg Postgraduate Vino Varsity Challenge between the MBA students from UCT and Stellenbosch could have one thinking of the 1980s pop music band China Crisis. Both teams were tasked with solving the South African wine industry’s challenge of getting shelf-space, throat-approval and face-time in premium wine markets. And as far as both the UCT Graduate School of Business and the University of Stellenbosch Business School are concerned, China is the place to go.

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Blend it and Send it

A recent visit by a delegation of MBA students from California had me thinking that our wine scene has an edge on the American industry. In one voice the Americans told me that back home  – the world’s leading wine consuming nation – red blended wines were now becoming the big thing, with producers from sea to shining sea beginning to experiment with blends.

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Wine Laws Need to Catch-up with the Times

Shortly after Nelson Mandela was inaugurated, his office had a request from within the South African wine industry. The asking was that consideration be given to a national department of wine affairs overseen by a Minister of Wine. Today just the thought of a ministry with broad statutory powers sends shivers down the spine of the local wine arena – as it would have 23 years ago.

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Press Release: Thys Louw on Sauvignon Blanc

Thys Louw has a simple answer as to why Sauvignon Blanc is South Africa’s – and one of the world’s – most popular single varietal wines. “The taste of the consumer. At the end of the day, after all that is being written, analysed and debated on the topic of wine, it all boils down to the taste of the consumer for whom wine is made,” says Thys who is cellar master and co-proprietor of Diemersdal Wine Estate in Durbanville, one of South Africa’s leading Sauvignon Blanc producers.

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Why Terroir isn’t Everything – It’s the Only Thing

Once one stops asking questions in the world of wine, you might as well admit that your time in this most wonderful of cultural, scientific and agricultural arenas is over. It is the continued search for answers pertaining to a plethora of aspects about wine that makes this such a fascinating environment to work in. Oh, allow me to correct myself, one does not work in the wine world: you live there.

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Hell Hath no Fury Like a Beardless Women

A march to the Bot River Wine Valley is set to disrupt roads leading into Hermanus this long week-end as hundreds of women plan to protest against the holding of the Barrels and Beards event. The annual event, presented last week in the Bot River, sees representatives of the local wine industry being encouraged to grow beards for the duration of the harvest, with the be-haired jowls being judged at a raucous evening of wine-tasting, dining and entertainment from the contestants.

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