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Franschhoek, South Africa
Friday 20 October 2017

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Rickety Bridge’s Foundation Stone Range

This experimental craft range, which winemaker Wynand Grobler particularly enjoys making, is adorned with a creative, eye-catching label reflecting Wynand’s innovative approach to the three wines. The blends are constantly evolving, being tweaked by Wynand every year. Although they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the intricate label, designed by the talented Fanakalo team, may make you wonder at what’s within. Chances are that you’ll like what you find!

Boschendal white wine best in SA

Boschendal’s Appellation Series – Elgin 2015 Chardonnay has been awarded the Best Elgin Chardonnay Trophy, Best Chardonnay Trophy and ultimately the Best White Wine of South Africa Trophy at the 2017 International Wine Challenge (IWC).  Additionally, Boschendal was awarded Gold for its Elgin Pinot Noir 2015 at the IWC and to add to these impressive awards – it was also announced that Boschendal has garnered Gold at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) for its Boschendal Elgin Sauvignon Blanc 2016 and Boschendal 1685 Shiraz 2015.

La Petite Colombe set to open soon

La Petite Colombe promises a surprise or two...

As one era ends another commences.  With The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français having closed recently La Petite Colombe will take its place from 1 August.  La Petite Colombe is a new partnership between the Leeu Collection and the proprietor chefs of La Colombe, Scot Kirton (Eat Out Chef of the Year 2015) and James Gaag.

Thumbs up for Tracey’s Hoedown

Hoedown host, Tracey Kirsten, with members of the Uncorked band.

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. 

Franschhoek wine labels shine

Haut Espoir’s Cloudfall 2016 and Gentle Giant 2010 received a bronze award at the third annual Wine Label Design Awards in the Wines in a Series category.

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.

Franschhoek about to become famous for… beer!

FLTR: Franschhoek Beer Company partners Alex McCormack, Frank Rodriguez and Reuben Riffel.

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.

La Motte Millennium – new vintage, new award

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.

Margot has left the building…

Chef Margot Janse

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.

Klein Handjies Preschool on the up and up

Klein Handjies graduation 2016

“Change the first five years and you can change anything.”

History, says Lynette Carolissen, principal of the Klein Handjies Preschool at Boschendal, may well show that the decision by Boschendal’s new owners to support this preschool was the most beneficial of all the changes and improvements that they have brought about since taking over the estate in 2012.

The school is an initiative by the Franschhoek estates Solms-Delta and Boschendal.  It moved to its new buildings on the Boschendal estate a few months ago and here its numbers have been augmented by children from the Boschendal community.

Lynette has been a nursery school teacher for most of her life but, she says, the Klein Handjies Preschool, which currently has 51 children aged from three months to five years, is far and away the best she has ever been involved with. She says there are six main reasons for this.

These are:

·         It is set in a clean, calm, beautiful farm environment well away from the big towns and cities which can have negative, harmful influences on young children.

·         It has sufficient staff (seven in all) and this means that great attention can be paid to the individual.

·         It has spacious and adequate floor areas in beautifully refurbished cottages, the quality of which is appreciated not only by the children but by the parents and staff.

·         It is well equipped with books, art materials, educational toys (which are regularly changed and updated), stationery, a playground with its own vegetable garden (maintained by the older children) and a jungle gym.

·         It feeds its children throughout the day with breakfasts, morning teas, lunches and afternoon snacks.  What is more, the food is healthy and nutritious, most of it emanating from Boschendal’s farms and much of it also prepared in Boschendal’s Werf Restaurant.

·         Most importantly, it makes full use of Preschool for Africa’s Play with a Purpose Programme.  The Play with a Purpose systems and educational kits were introduced in 1991, were developed in South Africa and are widely considered to be ground-breaking in child development initiatives. The programme is based on a neuro-scientific framework and behaviour-based theories originally developed by Professor James Heckman, who won a Nobel Prize for his work in this field. He was able to show that the economic return on investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) was up to 17 times greater than the same investment in high school education. Prof Heckman’s findings have validated the Play With A Purpose approach, showing that the human brain develops and learns more in the first five years of the child’s existence than at any later stage.  If, therefore, children are exposed to interesting, stimulating activities at this stage their chances of coping with later educational demands, even under very difficult conditions such as overcrowding, will be much improved.

“Play With A Purpose programmes were introduced to Gauteng some 25 years ago by Robin Wieland, who still heads up the Preschool for Africa programme, but Klein Handjies is the first school in the Western Cape to buy into their educative methods.  This exciting change has come about because Preschool for Africa is represented in the Western Cape by Colleen Harvett, a very experienced nursery school owner and principal who, when not running her own school, devotes most of her spare time to promoting Play With A Purpose programmes in the Western Cape – and it was she who talked to Boschendal CEO Rob Lundie, who, she says, very quickly grasped the value and the concepts of Play With A Purpose.

“What makes the Play With A Purpose programme so revolutionary,” says Harvett, “is that previously too little thought was given in farm schools of this kind to stimulating and developing the minds of our youngest children.  If the preschool was comfortable and the children were looked after and kept amused that was often thought sufficient.  It is only quite recently that it has been understood that these initial years of a child’s life are crucial to its later ability to learn and adapt.”

In 2017 Klein Handjies will more than double its current intake and former farm cottages on the school site are being renovated to make this possible.

“This means,” says Harvett, “that it will in time be able to take on pupils up to Grades 1 and 2 – and later possibly they will be able to go even further.  It is likely that this school will set new standards for farm education in the Boland and will find many imitators.”

www.boschendal.com | 021 870 4200 (Rob Lundie)

Leeu Estates on Travel + Leisure’s It List 2017

Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates features on Travel + Leisure’s prestigious ‘It List 2017’.  Leeu Estates and the other award-winning properties will appear in the March issue of Travel + Leisure and can also be found on TravelandLeisure.com.

Every year Travel + Leisure editors and contributors vet the most exciting debuts around the globe to create this highly selective list, which encompasses openings and major renovations from the previous year. This year, only 44 properties were included on the It List and Leeu Estates is thrilled to be one of the chosen few.

“It is a great honour to have Leeu Estates included on this prestigious list, in such good company. Analjit Singh, founder of Leeu Collection, along with the team, has brought to life the beauty and warmth of this property.  We look forward to further growth in 2017 and invite everyone to experience the magic of Leeu Estates and the entire Franschhoek region,” said Carrie Wicks, CEO of Leeu Collection.

www.leeucollection.com

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