Friday 23 February 2018
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Behind the labels: La Motte’s Pierneef Collection

La Motte Wine Estate’s premium Pierneef Collection wines are lauded for their quality, versatility and consistency.  While plenty can be said about wines the estate’s use of artworks by SA master Jacob Hendrik Pierneef on the labels of these wines, makes for another interesting story.

Each vintage of the Pierneef Syrah Viognier and Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc feature six different linocut artworks – essentially six different labels for each vintage of the wines.

The linocuts associated with the 2015 vintage of La Motte’s Pierneef Syrah Viognier are briefly discussed below.

New Chaîne des Rôtisseurs member

Chef Nicolene Barrow received a certificate of appreciation from Allison Rutowitz, Head of the Ambassador Programme of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, after they held their year-end function at the Orangerie Restaurant.

Nicolene Barrow, executive chef of Le Lude Estate’s Orangerie Restaurant, is one of the latest members of the international gastronomic society La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Membership of this prestigious society is by invitation only.

Nicolene, who trained as a chef in Europe, plied her trade at the renowned Le Gavroche Restaurant in London before setting up the Orangerie Restaurant at Le Lude.  Here she presents French cuisine with a contemporary twist, combining “the purist, disciplined approach of the European masters with a hint of individual, modern creativity” to create dishes that look as good as they taste.

“It is not only a huge honour to be invited to become a member, the local chapter also held its year-end function at the Orangerie Restaurant”, says Nicolene “that made it an even bigger honour for me. It is always nice when one’s peers recognise your efforts.”

La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs was founded in Paris in 1950. It is based on the traditions and practices of the old French royal guild of goose roasters.

Since its rebirth, the society brings together professional and non-professional members from around the world who share in the “spirit” of the society and who appreciate and enjoy wine and fine dining. The international headquarters (Siège Mondial) remains in Paris.

The organization is represented by its 24000 members in 80 countries around the world. In South Africa there are six regional chapters (called bailliages).

Creative eating at GlenWood

GlenWood's Tasting Palette

Conjuring up a new concept in a crowded field takes some doing.  After a languid lunch at the GlenWood tasting room in early December I have to say “By Jove, I believe they’ve done it!”

GlenWood’s Fine Wine and Food Experience is indeed a fresh take on food and wine pairing.

This is how it works: On arrival, each guest is presented with tastes of six of the estate’s award-winning wines together with a ‘tasting palette’ featuring tastes of six carefully prepared matching dishes. A knowledgeable waiter/tasting room assistant is on hand to explain more about the wines and matching dishes.  Once guests have tried all six pairings they get to choose one of them for their main course along with a glass of the matching wine, or one of the others if they’ve hit upon their own favourite pairing during the tasting.

On my visit the following pairings were on offer: Sauvignon Semillon 2016 with Smoked Salmon Trout, Shiraz Vigneron’s Selection 2016 with a ‘Rugby Snack’ (You’ll have to go there yourself to find out what that is!), Chardonnay Unoaked 2017 with Ceviche, Chardonnay Grand Duc 2015 with Chicken Legs, Merlot 2016 with Chicken Caesar Salad and Syrah Grand Duc 2014 with Rump Steak.  End your meal with a taste of Noblesse Grand Duc – GlenWood’s maiden noble late harvest.

GlenWood’s wines never fail to impress and certainly live up to the estate’s mantra of Simple, Natural, Quality. While it’s their Chardonnays that tend to steal the limelight – and bucket loads of awards – I have to say that I consider their Sauvignon Blanc Semillon a revelation.  Franschhoek isn’t prime Sauvignon Blanc territory, but at GlenWood it benefits from the cooler temperatures of the Robertsvlei Valley.  The addition of Semillon – an iconic Franschhoek cultivar – results in a wine that balances frivolity and class and makes its way straight into my list of top 5 summer wines.  The Platter’s Wine Guide judges loved the 2015 vintage so much they awarded it five stars in their 2016 guide. The current (2016) vintage claimed four stars in addition to being rated 90 out of 100 points by Winemag.co.za, winning Gold at the SA Women’s Wine Awards and Double Gold at Vitis Vinefera 2017. To top it all off it’s budget-friendly too!

The Tasting Palette can be enjoyed indoors in the tasting room, or outside on the terrace.  Take my word for it though; the terrace is where you want to be on a hot summer’s day.  Shade, pond, views… need I say more?

The price of the Fine Wine and Food Experience Price including Tasting Palette, main course and glass of wine is R395 per person.  As GlenWood only seats 20 guests at a time (fantastic, as you’ll never feel crowded) booking is advised. A vegetarian alternative is offered, but booking is essential for this option.

tastingroom@glenwoodvineyards.co.za | 021 876 2044

World Class Franschhoeker

Kickboxing champion Rodney Cornelissen

There are only two people in the whole world who could stand higher on the podium than Franschhoeker Rodney Cornelissen when medals were awarded for the K1 u71kg category at the World Kickboxing Championships in November 2017.

In the October we reported that Rodney had been selected for the South African Proteas team to compete in the WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) Championships in Budapest. Well, he went; he fought; and came home with a bronze medal. Pleased as punch, Rodney smiles and says at least in the semi-finals he lost to Gielala Adam from Poland who went on to win the gold medal. Adam’s strong point? He is tall and has a long reach which found Rodney’s face before Rodney could make contact with him, “But I know how to get him next time!”

It was a wonderful experience for the SA team and the young Franschhoeker – a first time in Europe, mixing with other nationalities, fighting with opponents who have a different style and communicating about familiar things with people who speak an unfamiliar language. It was also tough to fight three rounds in short succession and being battered and bruised when going into the semi-finals. As Rodney puts it, “It means day four is a mental game.” He takes it in his stride; nerves gnaw until the first fight gets underway and he knows although it’s going to hurt, it will not kill him. After that training and discipline kick in.

Our medallist says he would not hesitate to do it all again, the physical and financial demands notwithstanding. International participation requires funding and donations for the Budapest trip via the sports club helped a lot but he had to find the balance himself. He took out a R25 000 loan at the bank and is now paying it back. He says, “You can’t expect things to fall into your lap, you must work for it.”

What’s next for Rodney? Apart from his day job and studies, he is working on a black belt grading, doing kickboxing clinics in outreach programmes and aiming to take part in the International Championships in Turkey in April. We will be watching and listening.

Nuwe SAPD stasiebevelvoerder

Franschhoek se nuwe SAPD stasiebevelvoerder, Kapt. Morne du Toit.

Franschhoek SAPD (Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens) het ‘n nuwe Stasiebevelvoerder; Kaptein Morné du Toit is sedert Desember in die groot stoel by die polisiestasie op die hoek van Hugenote- en Bergstraat. Die vakature het ontstaan toe Franschhoek se vorige stasiebevelvoerder, Kaptein Davids, na meer as twee jaar in die pos bevorder is en na Robertson verplaas is. Amptelik is die plaaslike aanstelling tydelik, totdat die provinsie die permanente aanstelling doen.

Kaptein Du Toit is ‘n oud-leerling van Franschhoek Hoërskool en met ‘n agt-en-twintig jaar lange diensrekord in die polisiediens was hierdie die ideale volgende pos om voor aansoek te doen. Toe hy destyds na skool opgeroep is vir sy twee jaar diensplig, het hy op aanbeveling van ‘n familielid, aansoek gedoen om by die polisiediens aan te sluit.  Dit was een van die beskikbare opsies en het uiteindelik na ‘n loopbaan gelei. Hy het in verskeie afdelings gedien; hy was onder andere instrukteur en was veertien jaar lank in die onluste eenheid. Hy erken hy hou daarvan om te werk waar dinge gebeur, om aktief in die voorste linies te wees.

Daar is verskeie uitdagings vir die nuwe bevelvoerder en hy sien absoluut kans daarvoor. Vakante poste is een daarvan, maar dis die provinsie se verantwoordelikheid om aanstellings te doen. Dan is daar die dwelm probleem wat verband hou met werkloosheid, armoede en diefstal. Daar is ook die uitbuiting van toeriste, veral by OTMs.

Kaptein Du Toit glo dat misdaad meer effektief bekamp kan word as die gemeenskap saam met die polisie werk en alles aanmeld. Dit help nie mense probeer hulle reputasie beskerm deur nie gevalle waar hulle slagoffers was aan te meld nie. Hoe meer inligting die polisie het, hoe beter die kans dat hulle misdaadpatrone en modus operandi kan naspeur. Om dit te kan doen moet alles aangemeld word. Die ander probleem is dat mense iets aanmeld maar nie bereid is om ‘n verklaring af te lê nie en dit laat die polisie sonder bewyse. Kaptein Du Toit sê “Die gemeenskap is die polisie se oë” en vra ook dat mense nie sosiale media moet gebruik om misdaad te probeer bekamp nie, maar liewer met hom moet kom praat. ‘n Goeie werkende verhouding tussen die gemeenskap en die polisie is van uiterste belang, dit maak die uitruil van inligting en voorkoming van misdaad meer effektief. Buurtwagte en kameras is baie waardevol.

Die nuwe bevelvoerder lewer nie kommentaar op die moontlike negatiewe beeld wat sommige mense van die SAPD het nie. Hy weet daar is uitstekende lede in die polisiemag en hy is vasberade om ‘n goeie beeld te bou. Hy spits hom veral daarop toe om kennis oor te dra en jonger polisie beamptes touwys te maak; met lang diensjare het hy en sy kollegas baie kennis en inligting om te deel.

By die huis is Kaptein Du Toit se vrou en twee dogters – een op universiteit en die ander in Graad R.

Municipality hands over title deeds

This group of Groendal residents were delighted to have received the title deeds to their homes.

On 16 January the lives of 117 families changed forever when they became home owners. Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer handed over the title deeds during a ceremony at the Stellenbosch Town hall. Many of the beneficiaries have been waiting for more than 20 years. The properties were part of municipal rental stock.

The beneficiaries, the oldest of whom is 87 years old, came from Kylemore, Cloetesville, Kayamandi and Franschhoek. The Municipality will continue to support the beneficiaries through Housing Consumer Education Programmes. For pensioners and qualifying beneficiaries indigent grants will be made available to address the costs of municipal services.

The handover of deeds is a long, tedious process and requires a lot of resources. The limited resources available to the municipality create a challenge and delay the process. For this reason the municipality has partnered with the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam initiative, assisted by the Reinet Foundation, to help speed up the process.

“In South Africa, the ownership of property is an emotional issue. That is why it is important for Stellenbosch Municipality to empower residents by giving them ownership of their homes. Owning a property gives people access to an asset which can help establish greater financial security. As Mayor, I have made the handing over of title deeds a priority. Giving people ownership of the homes they have lived in for many years, is important to eradicate the legacy left by the apartheid system,” said Mayor Van Deventer.

“This is an important programme for the Municipality because of the positive impact it has on our community. With the support of our private partners we will continue to process and hand over title deeds to beneficiaries. As Mayor, I want to remind the beneficiaries that they are now responsible for the care or their property and to ensure it grows in value they must care for it.  May the ownership of a house be the start of a new story for the beneficiaries,” she concluded.

Change starts for twenty

Franschhoek Hospitality Academy co-founders Michaela Julian and Tarryn Corlett cut the ribbon to mark the official start of the academy’s activities. The class of 2018, project ambassadors, supporters, friends and parents look on.

Franschhoek Hospitality Academy

The first class of the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy gathered on 15 January. For the 20 selected students – who were joined by donors, project ambassadors, academy founders, parents and other well-wishers – it could be the start of making their dreams come true. It was therefore appropriate, one attendee remarked, that the event took place on Martin Luther King Day as he also had a big dream.

Academy co-founder Michaela Julian in her opening remarks referred to the difficulty that local establishments have in finding qualified staff, which realisation led to the idea of founding a local hospitality training academy little more than a year ago.

Mayor: Defeat the water challenge!

As the Mayor of Stellenbosch, I would like to share information regarding the greater Stellenbosch water situation with our residents. This will help to assist with some frequently asked questions and give clarity about our water situation going forward.

Effective education is the key to country success, says visiting Rhodes professor

Prof Matthew Lester (2nd from left) with Kusasa co-founder Dave Riordan, Kusasa ELC Principal Marie-Louise Raymond and Kusasa co-founder Doug Gurr

Professor Matthew Lester, who lectures tax and corporate governance at the Rhodes Business School in Grahamstown, visited The Kusasa Project’s Early Learning Centre in Groendal on Tuesday, 21 November.

Prof Lester’s presentation, entitled “Life after The President’s Keepers” focussed on South Africa’s economic and political woes and what he sees as the solution. An early childhood development centre may seem like an unusual venue for such a presentation but Prof Lester presented a compelling argument that the economic future of our country depends on the delivery of quality education starting with the 3-8 year-old age group. According to the professor research shows that countries derive the greatest return from investment in human capital. Much of South Africa’s basic education system is however dysfunctional and needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up. As most of the skills required for scholastic success are learned before the age 10 the focus of interventions has to be on early childhood development and primary school education. As the saying goes “The rest will take care of itself.”

Wesgro water saving initiative welcomed

FLTR: Jan de Villiers (Stellenbosch Municipality Mayco Member: Infrastructure), Kobus du Plessis (Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayco Member: Local Economic Development), Paul Biscombe (Stellenbosch Municipality Acting Mayor), Judy Lain (Wesgro CMO), Reinher Behrens (FWV CEO) and Tim Roggenbach (Chairman FWV Accommodation Sector) were present at the handover of low-flow showerheads to FWV members.

Wesgro – the Western Cape’s investment and tourism promotion agency – in partnership with the Western Cape Government, CapeNature and Airbnb last year conducted a survey on how they can help guesthouses and B&Bs across the province to save water.

Their subsequent initiative to supply water-saving shower heads and mirror decals to accommodation establishments received an overwhelming response. A total of 2300 showerheads were made available free of charge to the Western Cape hospitality industry. The water-saving showerheads reduce the amount of water used per shower by up to 70% and the amount of energy consumed by 30%.

The uptake of the showerheads was greatest in Franschhoek and Vredendal. In Franschhoek 21 accommodation establishments requested 147 showerheads and mirror decals.

Judy Lain, Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer, performed the official handover of the showerheads and decals to the establishments at the Franschhoek Cellar on 13 December 2017.

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