Tracey’s Hoedown on 13 May was a sell-out success. Generous Franschhoekers and their friends took up all the seats at the fund-raising barn dance held to raise funds for the Franschhoek Theatre. This theatre will open in the renovated and re-purposed Centenary Library of Franschhoek High School and will serve as a multi-purpose venue, including movie screenings and day conferences, while also housing the school archive.
A number of Franschhoek wineries were recognised for the excellence of their wine labels at the third annual Wine Label Design Awards – sponsored by self-adhesive label supplier Rotolabel and convened by Winemag.co.za.
Wines were judged in four categories: (1) R80 a bottle or under; (2) over R80 a bottle; (3) R500 a bottle and over and (4) labels forming a series. Judging criteria included originality of concept, execution, shelf appeal and effectiveness as a piece of communication.
In the over R80 per bottle category bronze awards were bestowed on: Single wine Babylonstoren Babel 2015 (Designer: Karen Roos), Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2016 (Designer: Karen Roos) and La Bri 1045 Bottles Syrah 2013 (Design firm: Rob Taylor Design). In the Wines in a Series category a bronze ward was bestowed on Haut Espoir for their Cloudfall 2016 and Gentle Giant 2010 (Design firm: Fanakalo).
The five judges were: Christian Eedes, editor of Winemag.co.za; Rebecca Constable, product developer for wine at Woolworths; Sean Harrison, executive creative director of Whitespace Creative; Margot Janse, outgoing executive chef at Le Quartier Français Hotel; and Carla Kreuser, a creative director at The Jupiter Drawing Room.
La Bri and Haut Espoir also excelled at the 2017 10 Year Old Wine Awards. La Bri’s 2007 Chardonnay received 90 out of 100 points while Haut Espoir’s 2007 Shiraz was awarded 91 points.
What started out as friendly banter between two friends on a golf course, quickly turned into a dynamic partnership when celebrity chef Reuben Riffel bought into Franschhoek businessman Alex McCormack’s vision to produce a world-class range of handcrafted beers, bearing the name of the town – known as the country’s culinary capital.
Franschhoek’s urban edge watchers will know that in 2013 the municipality slipped through an extension of the village’s northern and eastern urban boundaries. It took in an additional 59 ha comprising a great swathe of land from the Fransche Hoek Estate boundary with La Cotte to Mooiwater. Much of it is potentially prime development land and all of it is in the Non-urban Zone (NUZ) demarcated by Franschhoek’s 2003 Urban Edge Policy. This laid out guidelines for very limited development in the NUZ to preserve its primarily agricultural use and contain urban sprawl.
Le Lude received a visit from a high-level French delegation on Friday, 13 May. Le Lude’s owners, Nic and Ferda Barrow, received the delegation.
The group of three French senators and their secretary were accompanied by the French consul in Cape Town, M. Xavier dÁrgoeuves. All three senators are members of the ‘Friendship Group France – South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland’. The head of the delegation Mme Michelle Demessine is the deputy-Chairwoman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces and a former French Minister of Tourism. The second delegate, M. Joël Guerriau, is the Secretary of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces.
The third delegate, M. Louis-Jean de Nicolaÿ, is a senator from the Lude commune in the Sarthe District. He personally requested the visit to Le Lude as he is also the owner of the Château du Lude in the world-famous Loire Valley.
Environmental authorities and hazmat technicians are still busy with cleaning up and monitoring operations at the site of the chemical spill that took place on the Franschhoek Pass on 5 September 2016. The spill was the result of a trailer carrying agricultural chemicals catching fire and going up in flames.
The latest (2015) vintage of La Motte’s acclaimed Bordeaux-style red wine, La Motte Millennium, was recognised as the Best of Show South African Red at the Spring Tasting of the Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards.
Nearly 200 international wine experts from 44 countries, comprising oenologists, winemakers, professional wine traders, sommeliers and wine journalists made the selection from almost 6 200 wines from more than 150 wine growing regions all over the word.
Stellenbosch Municipality is supporting the Stellenbosch Can Project that collects canned food for the Stellenbosch Feeding in Action Project. The project will use the cans collected to prepare meals for less fortunate people.
Each directorate in the municipality has received a wooden box and employees are encouraged to bring canned food items from home and place it in the boxes provided. Donations are collected every Friday and kept in a safe place until the end of the project when they will be handed over to the project. The project runs until the end of May 2017.
An innovative temporary shelter for refugees was on display at the Huguenot Museum during March. The shelter was the centrepiece of a travelling that opened at the museum on Human Rights Day, 21 March. Franschhoek was the exhibit’s last stop in SA, before it headed off to Canada on 28 March.
She joined the restaurant 21 years ago, she trained a team to work in it, created food for it, won awards with it and now it’s time to move on. Margot Janse, executive chef at The Tasting Room and Le Quartier Français, has left and The Tasting Room is closing down. All is not lost for the restaurant space at Le Quartier Français however, as La Colombe will be opening a new restaurant there later this year.