The South African wine industry gathered at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch on November 28 for the 2015 ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards ceremony.
Pictured from left to right: Gregory Czarnecki – Waterkloof Restaurant (Wine Tourism Restaurant), Maya Friederich – KWV Wine Emporium (Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences), Charl Coetzee – Babylonstoren (Accommodation and Architecture & Landscapes), Alderman Cornelius De Bruyn – Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Kevin Arnold – Waterford Estate (Wine Tourism Service and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and South Africa’s overall winner), Lauren Smith – Cavalli Wine & Stud Farm (Art & Culture).
The winners were:
South African overall winner: Waterford Estate
Category winner: Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Wine Tourism Service
Blaauwklippen Road, Helderberg, Stellenbosch, 7599
Phone: +27 21 880 5300
Fax: +27 21 880 1007
Waterford Estate is a destination wine estate, offering a variety of informative, authentic, fun and innovative tasting options. Waterford Estate’s experiences include standard wine tastings, the Waterford Estate Wine and Chocolate Experience, the Vintage Reserve Tasting of Library Collection Wines, the Waterford Estate Wine Drive and the Waterford Estate Porcupine Walking Trail. Guests are encouraged to walk through the vineyards, taste the grapes, smell the soil and really get a feel for what happens outside the bottle. As part of their Biodiversity program, they show visitors their practices in terms of sustainable agriculture, which includes a waste management plan.
Guests are exposed to a sensory experience upon driving through the front entrance gate. The Walk and Drive take guests through the citrus orchards and fynbos, to where the different vineyards are planted in the different soils. Here the respective wines are opened for the guests to taste.
Architecture & Landscapes and Accommodation
Category Winner: Babylonstoren
Klapmuts/Simondium Road, Paarl, 7670
Phone: +27 21 863 3852
Fax: +27 21 863 1727
A 240 hectare working wine and fruit farm dating back over 300 years, with an exceptionally well-preserved farm yard. A Garden of Diversity pays tribute to the gardening traditions of the Cape. Guest accommodation reflects the integrity of the original architecture of the Drakenstein Valley and its symplistic blending with landscape and climate. Guests may enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden, along the Clivia lined stream, sample wines grown on the slopes around the Simonsberg and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants where distinct flavours celebrate the seasons and the bounty of the garden.
Art & Culture
Category Winner: Cavalli Wine Stud Farm
Strand Rd (R44) Somerset West
Phone: +27 21 855 3218
Cavalli was born from a family’s love for Horses, Wine, Art and Cuisine. Cavalli aims to encourage the local arts through its platforms of public sculpture spaces and a public art gallery. Guests are surprised to find the Commercial Gallery, a hidden gem below ground. The 600 square metre art gallery has a stretched translucent ceiling backlit by LEDs, conceptualized to simulate daylight, showcasing rotating exhibitions of visiting curators, alongside a permanent exhibition of other notable works from the Cavalli Estate Private Collection.
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences
Category Winner: KWV Wine Emporium
Southern Paarl, 7646
Phone: +27 21 807 3007
Fax: +27 21 807 3119
With its world-renowned Cathedral Cellar, history, cutting-edge technology and superb wines and brandies, KWV provides a lasting memory of the friendly people and stories. Spread over 22 hectares, the KWV cellar complex in Paarl is one of the largest in the world and offers a broad portfolio of products, including sparkling wines, natural wines, fortified wines, liqueurs and brandies. The Emporium offers a wide range of experiences, including the largest selection of Food & Wine experiences in the Cape Winelands.
Wine Tourism Restaurants
Regional Winner: Waterkloof
Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West, 7129
Phone: +27 21 858 1491
Fax: +27 21 858 1293
Gorgeously appointed in a 10 metre high glass promontory flowing from the modern wine tasting lounge and gravitational cellar, the restaurant is set against a majestic backdrop of vineyards and mountains. Waterkloof is a fine dining Winelands destination, where sophisticated contemporary classics marry elegant wines for an elevated food and wine experience. Here food is art, calling for unhurried appreciation of unique culinary creations made with the finest local seasonal produce and complemented by seamless service. Chef Czarnecki draws inspiration from the restaurant’s spectacular setting.
Written by eleanor douglas