Kanonkop and Rijk’s set to make history in 20th anniversary

Absa top 10 Pinotage competition

The two top producers in the history of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition are both vying for a record 11th win in this premier wine competition which has been an integral part of the South African wine industry scene since 1997. Kanonkop Estate from Stellenbosch and Tulbagh’s Rijk's Private Cellar both saw two of their Pinotage wines making the list of 20 finalist wines from which this year’s Absa Top 10 winners will be chosen for the awards ceremony on August 26.


Wine tanks to Lutzville Cape Diamond Vineyards

During the first quarter of 2016, Target Rigging transported 12 oversized tanks measuring 19m long by 5,3m diameter from GVTec in Wellington to Lutzville Cape Diamond Vineyards. These tanks have a volume of 400,000 litres each and accordingly, were the largest tanks ever transported on Western Cape roads for the wine industry.


A world of wine awaits at the Good Food and Wine Show

Wine lovers can look forward to uncorking new tasting experiences as they discover the degustation area at the Good Food and Wine Show taking place from Friday, 27 May to Sunday, 29 May 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

A celebration for the senses

A top note in this food and wine fest will be the experiential Wine Wall where visitors can see, smell and sip some of the best wines from both South Africa and abroad.

The Wine Theatre

Designed to turn enthusiasts into connoisseurs, the Wine Theatre will see some of the country’s celebrated sommeliers - like Tuning the Vine’s Ewan Mackenzie and the Taj Hotel Resorts and Palaces’ Pearl Oliver - spilling their wine and food pairing secrets.

Mackenzie (aka the Wine Thief) is the winner of several Sommelier of the Year South Africa awards. In his current career, he utilises his decade-long experience not only to source but to produce fine wines for both local and international markets. In addition he’s the curator of Cape Town’s monthly wine event, ‘Tuning the Vine’ which takes people on a wine and food pairing tour of the inner city.

Beverage manager and head sommelier at Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Oliver is passionate about a burgeoning wine culture. She has served as MasterChef South Africa’s sommelier judge and as a wine panel judge for WineLands magazine, Ultra Liquor Best Value Awards competition, Garagiste and the SA Top 12 Shiraz challenge. She is also the chairperson of the WellsFaber Best Value sommelier wine panel.

At the theatre, you’ll be able to meet the makers of your favourite wines - like Frans Smit of Spier and Pieter Walser of BLANKbottle, as well as treat your taste buds to a grappa tasting with George Dalla Cia. What’s more, the Vineyard Hotel will be doing food and wine flavour profiling in their own special way. The South African Sommeliers Association will also be on hand to guide guests through the world of wine. Be sure to have four wine tasting vouchers to qualify for entry to each session. 

A barrelful of exhibitors

In addition to sampling wines from an array of exhibitors from well-known wine farms to small cellars, visitors to the show can get to grips with the latest gadgets. Calorie-conscious connoisseurs can see Slim Lady Wines’ new sparkling variety, while those preferring their wine with a difference can try Ice Tropez’s sparkling wine cocktail which features a blend of rosé, white peach and carbonated water

You can also catch the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards in which eight wine farms will be participating.

Additional areas for exploration

Don’t miss out on the other six areas at the show, including Lifestyle, Wellness, Beer and Alcohol, Market and Street Food, Baking and Gourmet. Each will offer visitors opportunities to interact with exhibitors, uncover the latest trends and take part in entertaining and informative hands-on experiences.


Idiom unveils its new mountain-top Helderberg winelands destination

A Sensory Experience

Toasting ten vintages of award-winning Idiom wines, the Bottega family is embarking on a new sensory adventure with the unveiling of an inspiring venue located at the top of their mountain vineyards on the outskirts of Somerset West near Sir Lowry’s Pass.

The new Idiom Restaurant & Wine Tasting Centre flaunts unique, panoramic views of the majestic Helderberg basin and the full expanse of the Cape Peninsula, from Table Mountain to Cape Point, with False Bay glistening in the foreground.

Cementing the family’s decade of Idiom wine excellence, this new attraction invites the visitor to experience the true home of Idiom wines, where majestic granite mountains, rolling hills covered in fynbos, the proximity of the cool Atlantic Ocean and windswept, low-yielding vineyards all combine to define the terroir. All the grapes used in the Idiom range are grown on this unique property.

The building, masterfully designed by architect Thomas Leach in close partnership with Idiom owner Alberto Bottega and his son, Roberto, mirrors South Africa’s unique positioning in the world of wine; a composition of New World modernism on a base of Old World support.

“It fuses Old World, classically-styled Roman arches and stone porticos with a New World timber pavilion and concrete wine tasting cube to impart a contemporary yet timeless feel,” explains Thomas.

Roberto expresses his vision: “The concept at Idiom was to achieve a dialogue between the modern and traditional, bringing together our family’s South African and Italian heritage. The arched porticos and stone viewing tower offer subtle reminders of our Italian heritage while

the concrete, glass and timber structure reflect our South African roots. The fusion of styles means that the building constantly surprises and looks different from every angle.”

The dramatic structure bears witness to the character of Idiom Wines and brings multiple aspects of the terroir into the space. It is a modern metaphor that salutes the outdoors with 360 degree views and the various natural aspects of the rolling vineyards and mountains blend into the space like art or a great wine.

The self-supporting arches, made from local stone quarried on the farm, and the signature solid wooden posts and beams, which have been masterfully cut from selected alien Eucalyptus Cladycalyx (Bluegum) trees, preserve a harmony with nature and the immediate environment. The building co-exists within the natural fynbos biosphere, with a consistent colour palette that reflects the mountain setting with rich, earthy tones of stone and wood.

The combination of grey concrete slabs and granite rocks, showcase the positive synergy arising from the technical precision of man and the warm hand of nature in the structure built by Giuricich Construction, a firm of local builders also originally hailing from the North-Eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, where Alberto Bottega spent his childhood years before coming to South Africa.

The venue, which opens its doors in June 2016, will offer fusion dishes of South African and Italian cuisine with a modern twist, all tuned to pair with the extensive Idiom wine offering.

Guests will be able to embark on virtual degustation tours of the great wine regions of the world, all cleverly expressed in a Cape Idiom, while taking in the arresting architecture and views. The exclusive 60-seater dining space is linked to Idiom’s concrete wine tasting ‘cube’ where wine lovers can sample and purchase the flagship Idiom blends, the signature Idiom Italian varietal wines and apply for an allocation of the Limited Release Idiom 900 Series. A luxury goods space featuring Idiom’s rare wine-inspired perfumes, exotic leather handbags and other must-have accessories will also be incorporated into the space.

The restaurant will offer a seasonal a la carte menu and one of the features will be the multi-course degustation menus which will available only by prior booking. Walk-in wine tasters will be able to choose from the lighter canapé and wine pairing selections. For larger tasting groups, a booking is also recommended.

The venue also has a more casual, terraced outdoor seating area perfect for family-friendly weekend gatherings. A Deli menu featuring prosciutto platters, salumi and other charcuterie as well as gourmet pizzas, pastas and salads will soon be added to the offering.

In the warmer summer months, guests will be able to order a picnic basket from the Deli to enjoy under the thatch-covered ‘lapas’ on the pine-covered ‘koppie’ adjoining the venue, where an unspoilt backdrop of indigenous fynbos, rolling vineyards and ocean vistas will have an immediate calming effect for those needing to escape the rigours of city life.

The Deli section is expected to open this spring along with an Italian Wine Experience area that will showcase the family’ imported Italian wine project in addition to their locally produced Idiom Collection of wines and will be aimed at increasing the local public’s awareness of Italian varieties and wines.

A setting that saturates all senses

For ardent explorers and those seeking hidden gems in the Helderberg winelands, Da Capo Vineyards, the home of Idiom Wines, located in the southernmost part of the Stellenbosch wine region, near Sir Lowry’s Pass, offers dramatic height and vistas.

The vineyards were first laid down by the Bottega Family in 1999. The slopes vary in height from 200 to 350 metres above sea level and have aspects which face north, west and south. This results in several micro-terroirs and well drained lean soils which add intensity, complexity and character to the wines. The soils contain decomposed granite, which is relatively shallow and stony in patches, with a clay base.

The 150 hectare Da Capo Vineyards property now has 40 hectares under vine and includes a selection of Italian varietals, including Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Primitivo that reflect the Bottega Family heritage. Current plantings total 17 different grape varietals. Recent additions of Spanish varietals make Idiom a unique venue and opportunity to compare the Cape versions of the grand wines of France, Italy and Spain in a single location.

Ten years of memorable experiences

Alberto Bottega, patriarch of the Bottega Family Wine Portfolio, recalls some of the more memorable moments of the last ten years.

“When we first started, we didn’t know too many people in the industry and were looking for a consultant to guide us. We were hoping that a certain world famous winemaker would give us a hand. Initially he was not that keen, but a tasting of our maiden release of Sangiovese gave him goosebumps and since then he’s always been available.

A year or two later, a client made a beeline for us at a wine show in Johannesburg to tell us how a tasting of our Idiom Viognier had caused him to have ‘a near religious experience’ which left us without words, and we have heard many ‘wow’s when customers experience our explosive Zinfandel for the first time.

Numerous comments like these and international and top local awards such Decanter UK’s Regional Trophy for our Idiom Bordeaux Blend as well as a recent Top 5 SA ranking for our Idiom Cape Blend from the Pinotage Association have made it impossible not to provide a tasting venue for our clients which mirrors both the quality of the wines and the beauty of the local terroir.”

A 5 star team to head up idiom wines’ new venue

The GM;

Idiom has at its helm a 5 star team who have joined from various luxury properties.

Hamish Hofmeyr, working closely with the owner Alberto Bottega, son Roberto and daughter Silvana, leads the new venue as General Manager after an eight year stint as GM of The Marine in Hermanus, where he managed two restaurants and the Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel.

“In a way, the opportunity to work at Idiom was a chance to be part of a dynamic new team and return to my passion for nature at this idyllic setting, where we aspire to coax and challenge the senses and provide guests with a 5 star experience in the Winelands”, shares Hamish.

The chef

Irwin de Vries joined Idiom from 5 star properties with fine dining pedigree in Morukuru’s AtholPlace in Johannesburg and Sir Richard Branson’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Reserve.

He was selected to work closely with Silvana to realise a clear vision for the Idiom sensory and visual dining experience they wish to create with each plate.

“My passion for deconstructing the elements of scent and flavour in wine for guests not only sparked the development of a wine perfume and inspired me to pursue studies in perfume, but it also helped to cement my choice in the chef who would be taking forward my vision of the sensory and visual experience that personifies the expressive nature of Idiom,” explains Silvana.

Irwin is a culinary artist who uses the plate as his canvas and has been tasked with creating food that in true Idiom style is creatively expressive; pairs well with wine, and equally challenges the senses. 

The Idiom Wine Tasting Centre

  • Open from 10am to 5pm daily.
  • The Idiom Restaurant
  • Open from 10am to 5pm (Wednesday to Sunday)

Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase of rare, individual wines

Taste rare, individually crafted wines with creative flair and great diversityat the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase to be held in Cape Town on Thursday, 18 August and Johannesburg on Wednesday, 24 August 2016.

This public tasting gives wine enthusiasts the opportunity to taste these unique collectors’ wines crafted exclusively in small volumes for the 2016 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction by the Guild’s 47 members.

In addition to tasting this year’s CWG auction line-up that will go under the hammer in Stellenbosch on Saturday, 1 October, the Showcase is a great interactive platform to engage with the winemakers.

In addition to the sought after 2016 auction wines, the members of the Guild will also be presenting some of their acclaimed flagship offerings sold under their own labels. Individuality, creativity and expression of place set the CWG auction wines apart from the winemakers’ more readily available ranges. 

Showcase-goers will have the opportunity of contributing towards the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust by bidding on rare signed bottles from previous Guild auctions during the Silent Auction. Founded in 1999, the Development Trust seeks to transform the wine industry by educating, training and empowering young talent through initiatives such as the Protégé Programme, a highly acclaimed mentorship scheme for upcoming winemakers and viticulturists.

  • Cape Town Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cape Town International Convention Centre – Ballroom East (First Floor)

18:00 – 21:00

R250 per person, includes a Spiegelau tasting glass

Tickets can be purchased via


  • Johannesburg Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Atrium, Nedbank Sandton, 135 Rivonia Road

18:00 – 21:00

R250 per person, includes a Spiegelau tasting glass

Tickets can be purchased via

The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction will take place on Saturday, 1 October 2016 from 09h00 at Spier Conference Centre in the Stellenbosch Winelands. The auction is open to the public. To find out more and to purchase tickets for the VIP lounge on Auction Day, visit:, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Tel: +27 (0)21 852 0408.

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