Wednesday 19 December 2018
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Môreson’s Reabow 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year

Clayton Reabow is the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year

The winners of the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year awards were announced at a black-tie gala dinner at La Residence Hotel at the end of November. Franschhoek’s Clayton Reabow (Môreson) and Rudger van Wyk (Stark-Condé Wines, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch) claimed the top honours, respectively.

The awards are presented to the winemakers who produce a wine that the judging panel considers the best in a specified class. The categories for 2018 were Chardonnay single varietal wines for Winemaker of the Year and Red Wines of any varietal or blend for Young Winemaker of the Year.

The judges for the 2018 awards were: Michael O’Connell (International judge), Carrie Adams, Debi Van Flymen, Michael Crossley, Nomonde Kubheka and Ntsiki Biyela.

This year’s Diners Club Winemaker of the Year (Chardonnay category), Clayton Reabow, impressed the judges with his Môreson 2017 Mercator Chardonnay. Clayton was a finalist in the 2017 Winemaker awards (Pinotage category) and the winner of the 2009 Young Winemaker of the Year award. The 2018 Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year, Rudger van Wyk, received his award (Red Wines category) for the Stark-Condé 2016 Stellenbosch Syrah.

The winning Winemaker receives R50 000 while the Young Winemaker receives R25 000.  Both winemakers also receive two return air tickets on Delta Airlines to any US wine producing region.

Reabow grew up in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. He completed a BSc Agriculture: Viticulture and Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2004. In between working some local vintages, he travelled to other wine producing areas such as Bordeaux in France and the Mosel Valley in Germany to broaden his horizons. On returning to South Africa, he applied for the winemaking position at Môreson in 2007 and has never looked back. In 2011 Clayton completed a Postgraduate Master’s degree in Wine Business Management, Cum Laude, at the UCT Graduate School of Business.

Standard Bank Celebrates 100 Years In Franschhoek!

The original Standard Bank Building that once stood on the site of the current one.

The Standard Bank of South Africa’s opening a branch in Franschhoek on 13 November 1918 was the result of a misunderstanding and the first few decades may have been difficult, but on the centenary of the opening clients and staff were glad that it all worked out well in the end.

Bridgehouse School Grade 3 Pupils Learn About Leopards

The Cape Leopard Trust recently took 24 Grade 3 learners from Bridge House School on an educational hike in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.

The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) is a conservation organisation founded in 2004. Its focus is scientific research and environmental education offering experiential learning programmes in the Boland and the Cederberg.

On a fine and rather warm day in October, the Cape Leopard Trust environmental education team took a group of 24 grade 3 learners from Bridge House School for an educational hike in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve in the mountains above Franschhoek.

Franschhoek Theatre Open for Business

On the evening of 6 November guests gathered at the new Franschhoek Theatre in the Franschhoek High School grounds. The team in charge of the project had invited donors to the project for a celebration. Also in attendance were the principal of the school, Mr Cilliers, and the school’s governing body.

After more than two years of planning, authorisations, design, building and renovation, the Centenary Library building was ready for its new life. The guests who had come to celebrate were enchanted by the grey and blue interior, the re-laid old parquet floor and new carpeted seating tiers, the spruced up shutters and the brand new amenities. The project team thanked the donors who had so generously supported the fund-raising initiatives which enabled them to realise a Franschhoek community dream. Mr Denver Adonis, the chairman of the school governing body also thanked everyone involved and pointed out that the school did not have the means to renovate and save the building. He added that the benefit to the school, both financially and culturally would be most valuable.

Will Development Bring ‘Bonne Santé’ For Land Claimants?

The proposed site plan of the Bonne Sante development

The environmental authorisation application for a mixed-use development on erf 1692 has again publicly exposed rifts in the Franschhoek Claimants’ Trust (FCT) that owns the property and has given permission to Surrey Holmes Developments (Pty) Ltd to subdivide and develop the site.

According to a submission by the Franschhoek Concerned Claimants Group (FCCG) contained in the environmental authorisation application and signed by former Stellenbosch speaker Gordon Pheiffer, Erf 1692 – located at the eastern end of Reservoir Street above the Franschhoek Tennis Club – was given to Franschhoek land claimants by Stellenbosch Municipality. Three hectares of the original 5 ha site was subsequently sold to the developers of the Fransche Hoek Estate for R1.2 million.

Turn Your Black Friday Blue At Allée Bleue This Year!

De Wet Hugo, who is in charge of the “blue Friday” at Allée Bleue on 23 November.

“Every wine producer has a few hundred boxes of wine of various price points and styles lying around in the cellar, and when an opportunity like Black Friday comes around it’s the perfect chance to clear out some of the old stock to get the cellar ready for the 2019 harvest or just sell out on overruns of certain wines, in one go,” says De Wet Hugo, GM of wine at Franschhoek Estate Allée Bleue.

Friday, 23 November, from 10h00-16h00 will be a hive of activity at this family-owned farm as keen wine buyers will be directed to the Black Friday sales area to order, pay and collect their purchases there and then.

The wines selected include Methode Cap Classique’s, whites, reds, blends and even some multi-award winning wines with discounts of 50% and more per bottle.  “This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on quality wines for the summer and we look forward to sharing more than 10 000 bottles with the public at once-in-a-lifetime prices,” comments de Wet.

Wines are only available in 6-bottle boxes and payments have to be made on the day.  No tastings will be offered as the wine has been kept in optimum conditions in the cellar throughout.  Cash and credit cards only.

“It’s definitely first-come first-served and obviously only whilst stocks last, so it’s best to arrive early!  Make a day of it and book a picnic afterwards or have breakfast in the Bistro from 08h00 before you hit the sale,” suggests de Wet.

Franschhoeker rooting for hydroponics

Hydroponically grown lettuce at the Cultura Fresh farm

There’s a farm near Klapmuts that has the capacity to grow 1 500 000 heads of Iceberg lettuce annually. It’s not Old Macdonald’s farm, it’s Franschhoeker Dr Herbert Henrich and partners’ Cultura Fresh farm.

The company was established in 2015 when Dr Henrich became aware of the possibility of doing hydroponic farming locally. He acquired the professional skill he needed from two gentlemen who are experts in hydroponics and marketing and went on to find a 7.5 hectare farm in Klapmuts. Work started in 2016.

Atkin Plaudits For La Bri Trio

International wine writer and British Master of Wine (MW) Tim Atkin’s 2018 SA Special Report made happy reading for the team at La Bri. Three of their wines cracked the 90 out of 100 points mark. Illustrating the versatility of the team the acclaimed wines include a white, a red and a Méthode Cap Classique.

La Bri’s MCC, Sauvage La Bri 2012, was awarded 91 points by Atkin. This follows on last year when their maiden bubbly, the Sauvage La Bri 2011, was also awarded 91 points by Atkin and cements La Bri as a producer of fine MCCs.

Stellenbosch First African Local Authority to Map Heritage

Heritage resources such as the Franschhoek Town Hall have been mapped and a plan for their conservation is being drafted.

Stellenbosch Municipality is far advance in a project to identify, classify and digitally map its rich and diverse heritage resources. The municipality contracted with the Cape Winelands Professional Practices in Association (Pty) Ltd in 2015 to execute this heritage project – the first of its kind in Africa and one of only five worldwide.

The value of heritage resources has been highlighted repeatedly since 2009, when the Cape Winelands was placed on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage Sites. Heritage resources are also major contributing factors to the local economy.

Leeu Estates Named SA’s Leading Wine Country Hotel by World Travel Awards

Leeu Estates is located between the Franschhoek River and Dassenberg.

For the second year running, World Travel Awards has named Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s flagship property in Franschhoek, as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. The award was announced at the lack-tie gala that celebrated all the African winners in Durban, on 6 October 2018.

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