Escape the winter blues this season and head for the beautiful Paarl region in Drakenstein. Fabulous food, fine wines and warm hospitality await visitors for a perfect winter breakaway. Paarl has something special planned during the winter months to entice guests on a culinary journey that showcases the unique flavours of the region. Various restaurants and wine farms are offering tantalising food and wine pairings and special wine tastings. This is also the ideal time for wine lovers to stock up for winter with producers offering amazing wine deals and special promotions. Menu options range from traditional, country-style breakfasts, cheese and charcuterie platters, Karoo platters and gourmet burgers to sumptuous Sunday buffet lunches. Think winter warmers such as hearty soups, lamb shanks, pork belly, slow-braised beef short ribs and Cape Malay chicken curries paired with fantastic local wines. If the weather permits, visitors can still venture outside to enjoy a picnic and the beautiful scenery. Try something different and embark on a brandy journey, an artisanal chocolate pairing, enjoy a 4-course meal paired with CBC beers or attend a cooking demonstration with a renowned local chef. Explore the magic of winemaking with a wine blending experience or visit a real farmers’ market with incredible, fresh local produce. Paarl is definitely a family-friendly destination with special kids’ entertainment, activities and menus offered at many venues. Youngsters enjoy customised tastings, while the grown-ups sample some of Paarl’s award-winning wines. If you’re planning a weekend break, book the special winter packages at some of the conveniently located accommodation facilities such as the magnificent Grande Roche Hotel winter offer, which includes accommodation, 3-course dinner and breakfast or Diamant Estate. Even special celebrations are catered for with an authentic Italian feast for 14 people in the home of a genuine Venetian chef. Participants . . .
Who says living is just for the summer? With Cape Country Routes’ (CCR) activity and accommodation establishments’ entertaining must do's on popular travel routes (all within three hours’ drive from Cape Town), there is little reason to avoid filling your winter activity checklist. Ideal for the entire family and a bunch of friends, the following Cape Winelands and Route 62 recommendations, courtesy of CCR, can help beat the winter chill: Stellenbosch: Make the mid-year worth your while with a Winelands getaway that meets luxury and adventure in the middle. Boasting several decades of rich heritage, Stellenbosch has always been a favourite must-see destination. Immersed in oak tree laden streets, the historic town beams with an excitement that can't easily be overlooked. • Spa therapy, anyone? Another great Cape Winelands option to bat the mid-year slump can include a spa retreat and long overdue mini holiday at Evergreen Manor and Spa. Aside from luxury guesthouse accommodation and warm hospitality, its in-house spa’s popular beauty treatments are enough to help anyone recharge and retake on the rest of the year with renewed vigour. • Stay central: Eendracht Hotel and Apartments is nestled in the oldest part of the town, and within walking distance of more than 60 bistros, restaurants and boutique stores. The elegant hotel is the perfect hideaway from the everyday hustle and bustle while still in proximity to central Stellenbosch. With only 12 luxury en-suite rooms, the quaint hotel offers true South African hospitality and comfort. • Be a tourist in your country: Guests popping in to town on the day, or those already staying at Eendracht Hotel and Evergreen Manor can add to their stay with an outdoor Winelands excursion with Adventure Shop Activities. Adventure Shop is an owner-run tourism business specialising in adventure tours and activities, safaris and Overland travel. Located within walking distance from the CCR accommodation entities in town, . . .
There is no better cure for the winter blues than enjoying great South African red wines. And if you want to try one of the country’s best Cape Bordeaux blends, look no further than the Longridge Ekliptika. This week, this sublime red blend from cellar master Jasper Raats scored 91 points in the 2017 Cape Bordeaux Red Blend Report, which placed it amongst the top scoring wines in this category. Key findings in the report included the fact that Bordeaux blends (or Cape Clarets as preferred by Longridge cellar master Jasper Raats) have become a fundamental part of the South African fine wine scene. The wines included in the report were tasted blind by a panel chaired by Christian Eedes and scored on a 100-point scale. The 2014 Ekliptika, which is crafted from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, was matured in a combination of new and mature French oak for a period of 24 months and was described in the panel’s tasting noted as “red and black fruit, some leafiness plus plenty of attractive oak character. Juicy and fresh – great depth of fruit with relatively soft tannins.” The Ekliptika forms part of the Longridge ultra-premium range and was named after the phenomenon in which the earth, stars and moon align in their orbit with sun. According to Jasper Raats, both the name and the label illustrate the biodynamic way of farming that has become synonymous with the Longridge winemaking philosophy. According to Jasper Raats, the wine is a true reflection of its Helderberg terroir. “The Ekliptika is really true to its roots and delivers a great expression of fruit that are very terroir specific. It is great that this was picked up and acknowledged by the panel.” The same vintage also impressed highly acclaimed international wine critic Tim Atkin, who awarded it 94 points in his 2016 SA Report, while scoring 92 points in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate last month. The Ekliptika retails for about R480 and is available from the Longridge tasting . . .
(South Africa, May 2017) The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, a charity that supports rugby players who have sustained catastrophic head, neck or spinal cord injuries is proud to announce that they will be hosting the inaugural ‘Ride 4 Rugby’ mountain bike experience in Caledon in the Western Cape from 8 to 10 October 2017. This unique two day stage ride will see a number of SA's most recognisable rugby legends hitting the trails in an effort to raise funds for Rugby’s Caring Hands and is a great opportunity for cycling and rugby enthusiasts to ride alongside them. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
A maximum of 60 people will enjoy a rare treat at our intimate Mountain View venue at Franschhoek Cellars on Sunday 25 June 2017 Think wine, relaxed and comfortable seating, a fireplace and a view to die for - a perfect setting for one of South Africa’s genuine talents. Two decades of dazzling and energetic performances have been rewarded with a SAMA (South African Music Award) for this accomplished guitarist, singer and songwriter. Besides touring with Simple Minds and REM and supported the Rolling Stones, Albert Frost has recorded with the who’s who of South African talent including Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Chris Chameleon, Blues Broers and many others. He has performed with every major artist in South Africa, and with international artists like Ali Faka Toure and Finley Quaye. Book tickets here http://bit.ly/FHKAlbertFrost Seating is unreserved. Join us for lunch at The Franschhoek Cellar before the show (not included in ticket price) and then amble down to the gorgeously intimate Mountain View for the show (starts at 3pm) Call the restaurant on 021 876 2086. View the delicious menu here http://thefranschhoekcellar.co.za/our-food CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
June 16, Youth Day, marks a significant moment in South Africa’s socio-political history. Yet Youth Day 2017 is set to become significant in other ways, as the local wine industry celebrates the first ever release of Vermentino with a landmark auction, held digitally and in real time, in aid of youth development. The inaugural auction will make available a limited edition of only 1500 litres of Vermentino. These comprise the first bottles of this type of wine ever produced in the country. Vermentino is a light-skinned wine grape that makes for a medium-full-bodied wine. It is common in Italy and widely grown in Sardinia. The introduction of Vermentino into South Africa, from a Sardinian clone, is the brainchild of Ayama, the wine farm steered by Attilio and Michela Dalpiaz, an Italian couple who fell in love with the Western Cape and relocated to South Africa 14 years ago. Under their careful direction, Ayama has become a strong export brand that is much loved in Europe, Asia and the States, where it is distributed widely. While Ayama has consistently produced excellent wines, primarily Chenin and Pinotage, the Dalpiazs were not content to let it rest there. They wanted to do something that would set them apart from other wine farms in the Cape; that would connect their new homeland with the culture and traditions of Italy; and which would launch the Ayama brand to the South African market, where, as yet, it has not been widely marketed. To this end, Attilio and Michela invited Italian agronomist Augusto Fabbro to come out to South Africa in 2007 to study their terroir - Ayama lies on the lower slopes of Perdeberg Mountain - to see which variety would be best suited to their land. The climate of the Voor Paardeberg region is particularly suited to Mediterranean style wines and thus Vermentino was identified as the most likely candidate. There followed six years of import permissions, quarantine approvals and propagation before the very first Vermentino . . .
For a number of years Google has been signaling their intent to rank web sites using the https:// protocol higher than those using the http:// protocol. SEO gurus say that using HTTPS can improve the SEO rankings of your websites. Though a lightweight ranking signal at present, HTTPS will be an important ranking signal in the future. Recently the Chrome and Firefox browsers began warning users of possible 'insecure connections' whenever users filled in a form or logged into their own web site. The message in Firefox is displayed next to a lock icon with a red strike-through and says; "This connection is not secure. Logins entered here could be compromised." MyPR moved to https:// on Sunday 4 June 2017 and it appears that we are getting more traffic. We say 'appears' as the increase in traffic may just be a blip - the real proof of the pudding will be in whether that increase in traffic is sustained for the next year or so. What does it mean for the many PR Professionals who use MyPR: Most importantly - more traffic and better exposure for your articles A safer environment for you and visitors to enjoy. For those contemplating moving from the http:// protocol to the the https:// protocol we recommend that you read this article: https://blog.templatetoaster.com/redirect-http-to-https-seo-optimized/ For a quick check of your sites compliance (or not) to https:// visit: https://www.whynopadlock.com/check.php Why No Padlock will also highlight calls to other sites that may still use the http:// protocol and thus rendering your pages as 'insecure'. The generic steps to follow, if you want to redirect HTTP to HTTPS are listed below: Purchase an SSL certificate: The first requirement for HTTPS is to purchase an SSL certificate for your website. There are many types of SSL certificates available. Select one based on your business needs. Install the SSL certificate: Once purchased, the SSL certificate is to be installed on your website. . . .
Whether your dad is the hero you’ve always looked up to, a mentor or lifelong friend, the gift of having a father deserves to be celebrated. Make this Father’s Day one to remember and thank him with a retreat along Cape Country Routes’ (CCR) popular coastlines. With its year-round offerings, CCRs portfolio of top tier Western and Eastern Cape hotels, guesthouse, lodges, nature reserves and activities ensures guests memorable experiences against the backdrop of South Africa’s scenic qualities. If you’re looking to spoil dad with something ‘a little different’ than the usual Father’s Day outing, the following recommendations, courtesy of CCR, can make for a few good highlights on his calendar. Make his day with first class whale spotting along the Whale Route. With the southern right whales making their way to the south coast in June, it's the ideal time to pack those binoculars and head to the shoreline: Explore the Jewel of the Cape. De Hoop Nature Reserve, a beautiful Cape Heritage Site approximately three hours’ drive from Cape Town, promises a rewarding day with full outdoor seashore excursions. For one, you can challenge dad to join in on the Reserve’s Whale Trail, a five-day hiking trail offering spectacular views of the Reserve’s coast. Rest assured, the trail includes well-equipped accommodation for each night. Celebrating its 10th anniversary year, De Hoop Nature Reserve is making its best offerings accessible for the whole family with discounted winter accommodation rates (1 May to 27 July). Time for a Whale Route pitstop? A few hours’ road travel can be enough to work up an appetite. On your way to the southernmost tip of Africa, L’Agulhas, stop for a decadent meal at Agulhas Country Lodge. Take a ‘selfie’ with dad against the backdrop of magnificent sea views from the lodge’s deck, and enjoy different meal options including traditional country cuisine and fine dining. Add a special touch with cognac and fine Cuban cigars in front of a . . .
Cascade Country Manor, an owner-managed hotel and spa in the heart of the Paarl Winelands, is one of the latest additions to South Africa’s list of Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) certified companies. According to FTT, Africa’s leading sustainable, responsible tourism practitioner, Cascade Country Manor is now part of the continent’s growing portfolio of almost 200 FTT-accredited establishments. The Mediterranean-style 15-room villa, and one of the Cape Country Routes’ (CCR) grandeur four-star boutique hotels and spas, is in a class of its own. Surrounded by twenty-three hectares of 100-year-old olive orchards and 900 olive trees, Cascade Country Manor is set in the largest olive-producing valley in the southern hemisphere. According to Cascade Country Manor owner, Maika Goetze, who has been running the establishment for 15 years, it has been a long road to securing the hotel’s FTT-status. “Although my team had been implementing sustainable principles for years, I only really started to understand what it took to be FTT-recognised”, says Goetze. “It certainly wasn’t an overnight achievement, but rather a learning process that changed my management ‘style’. Being FTT-accredited means being absolutely certain and consistent in your implementation of best practice”. Cascade Country Manor had to match more than 200 criteria before getting the FTT ‘okay’. As a dedicated CCR member, Cascade Country Manor strives to provide travellers with memorable experiences against the backdrop of South Africa’s scenic qualities. “Now, it’s also a case of educating guests about organic procedures and how we continue to support local communities”, adds Goetze. CCR is an independent group of hotels, guesthouses and country inns that incorporates character, charm and romance in guests’ experiences. FTT-certified members include De Zeekoe Country Lodge and Montagu Country Hotel. Are you planning a ‘Fair Trade friendly’ wedding or function? CCRs FFT-accredited representatives have . . .
The 2017 National Wine Challenge winners were announced on 25 April 2017 at a gala event, where Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate in Paarl was named a Vineyard Consistency Award winner, garnering over 10 top accolades this year. In addition, Fairview took third place overall across the entire spectrum of categories and wines. Speaking of Fairview’s outstanding achievement, the CEO of The National Wine Challenge competition, Robin von Holdt comments: "We don’t grant an overall award to a vineyard as best performer. But if we did, Fairview would probably crack that this year, too. Altogether this can only be described as a stunning set of results across the board!" The National Wine Challenge is in its seventh successful year and each year the judges’ task gets more and more difficult. The selection process is thorough and rigorous as greater numbers of fine wine entries intensify pressure for the limited victory spots. Each and every wine is objectively and independently assessed with great care and professional diligence. Three Fairview wines each achieved a double acknowledgement, winning both Top 100 and Double Platinum awards. These three wines, each completely different in style, are the Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz, Fairview Extraño and Fairview La Beryl Blanc. Not only did these particular wines stand out, but Fairview also excelled in other categories of the challenge. Double Gold was awarded to the Fairview Nurok 2016, the new release Fairview Rose Quartz 2016 and Fairview Old Bushvine Cinsault 2016. The four Fairview wines that took Double Silver titles this year were: Fairview Viognier 2015, Fairview Caldera 2013, Fairview Homtini 2015 and Fairview Beacon Shiraz 2013. The limited release Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2014 is one in a range of premium Single Vineyard wines that are all beautifully different and completely crafted. The Single Vineyard range encompasses both traditional strengths and current fascinations within every bottle. Using . . .