Weather forecast for Franschhoek – “Magic of Bubbles” Festival

Long term forecast for Franschhoek, Western Cape (South Africa) –

Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique & Champagne Festival ®

Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique & Champagne Festival ®

 2 – 4 December 2011

Only 5 days left! Buy your ticket now! The Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival will be welcoming visitors from around the country over the weekend of 2 to 4 December to this annual social calendar highlight. Sponsored by Investec Specialist Bank.

Taste some of France’s best Champagnes alongside the finest Cap Classiques to emerge from the wine cellars of South Africa. Renowned wineries participating in this popular festival include Boschendal, Colmant, Dieu Donne, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, La Motte, Morena, Môreson, Pierre Jourdan, Simonsig, Steenberg, Rickety Bridge and Villiera. Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Billecart Salmon, Tribaut and Veuve Clicquot.

Visitors to the festival will be treated to gastronomic delights. Some of the participating restaurants include Haute Cabriere, Le Quartier Français, Bread & Wine, La Motte Farm Shop, Roca, Wild Peacock Products, Le Franschhoek and for those with a sweet tooth, Huguenot Fine Chocolates.

The theme for this year’s festival is black and white, with the emphasis on Hats and Fascinators, and a prize will be awarded to the best dressed couple. A best dressed couple will be selected every day of the festival.

An R180.00 per person entrance fee allows you access to the festival. You’ll also receive a complimentary tasting glass and booklet of tasting coupons. Additional tasting coupons will be available for purchase. Children under 18 years of age will be allowed free entry to the festival.

Tickets can be purchased through, but hurry as tickets are limited. Once the marquee is full no further patrons will be admitted.

For any enquiries please contact:

 Darielle Robertson – Events Manager: Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourist Association

Tel: 021 876 2861



Dinner with Graham Beck’s Pieter Ferreira at Reuben’s in the Cape – International Wine Review

Dinner with Graham Beck's Pieter Ferreira at Reuben's in the Cape – International Wine Review.

Food Wine Design Fair – This weekend……. in Jozi

Live in Jozi and a fan of the deliciously beautiful things in life?

Then you need to prioritize a visit to the second annual Food Wine Design Fair, taking place on the rooftop of the Hyde Park Shopping Centre from 25-27 November.

Here you will sample top local produce, taste brilliant boutique wines and brews, and find furniture and decorative pieces as well as fashion items and jewellery from hom…e-grown designers – this year the _ line-up includes the likes of Taste of Karoo, Bar Bar Black Sheep, &Union, Graham Beck, Grande Provence, Missibaba, Koop, Mingo Lamberti, Goet and Tinsel (just to name a few).

We are particularly looking forward to seeing at the Graham Beck Wines stand for a good few glasses of our delicious bubblies.

For more information on the fair visit

Rural women to celebrate success in the Langeberg

Posted by – 08:00, 23rd November, 2011

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Rural women to celebrate success in the Langeberg

The Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre outside Robertson saw 19 rural women receiving certificates after recently completing a training programme for tasting room assistants.

This piloted training programme, which is hoped to become an annual course, is a joint venture between Robertson Wine Valley, the Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre and the Cape Winelands District Municipality.

This modular programme was developed by the Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre after the need to skill tasting room personnel in the area was identified by the Robertson Wine Valley and the District Municipality had come on board with a sponsorship.

“Through this programme we not only wish to eradicate the backlog of skills and knowledge in the local industry by training existing and part-time personnel,” says Elizma Spangenberg, Manager Robertson Wine Valley. “We also wish to create a pool of candidates from which future positions can be filled, to curb costs and time spent on training new recruits, to create job opportunities and to build a positive image of the local wine and tourism industry.”

The course, which includes theoretical and practical components, was specifically developed for local unemployed, seasonal or temporarily employed women, preferably from a previously disadvantaged background and younger than 35. It covers modules ranging from technical wine knowledge, communication, basic finance management and introductory computer skills to more personal development aspects such as emotional intelligence, personal leadership and self-development.

This programme is part of a long-standing empowerment culture in the Langeberg municipal area, not only through the key role of the Skills Centre as a training facility, but also through private and public-private partnerships. Recent years have seen a range of diverse upliftment projects in Robertson, Montagu, Ashton, Bonnievale and McGregor.

As guest speaker, Elna Boesak, accomplished South African journalist, community activist and skills developer, paid tribute to their success during the Certificate Ceremony which was held at the Graham & Rhona Beck Skills Centre.

Results of the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards

22 November 2011 by Eat Out Magazine

On Sunday 20 November, the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards, South Africa’s prestigious restaurant awards, announced the winners for 2011. The gala ceremony was held at The Rotunda at The Bay Hotel in Cape Town where guests sampled gourmet creations from award-winning chefs. The 20 exceptional nominees were judged on stringent criteria, recommendations from Eat Out’s national panel of professional restaurant reviewers as well as their very vocal online audience of 75 000 users, were taken into account by Judge and Eat Out Editor Abigail Donnelly.

Restaurants are judged on food, service and ambience and other aspects that make or break the eating out experience. This year’s awards also boasted a host of new categories, making it the most extensive culinary award in the country. 2011’s long awaited winners are:

Chef of the Year Luke Dale-Roberts

Restaurant of the Year The Greenhouse

Top 10 Restaurants 1. The Greenhouse 2. The Test Kitchen 3. The Tasting Room 4. The Roundhouse 5. Overture 6. Terroir 7. DW Eleven-13 8. Jordan Restaurant 9. Nobu 10. La Colombe

Service Excellence Award The Roundhouse

Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award (in association with Paarl Media) Garth Stroebel

Best Asian restaurant (new category) Kitima

Best Italian restaurant (new category) 95 Keerom

 Best Steakhouse (new category) The Local Grill in Boksburg, Parktown North and Sandton

 Best Country-style restaurant (new category) The Table at De Meye

Best Bistro (new category) Bizerca Bistro

Boschendal Style Award (new category) Makaron

Woolworths Taste Bursary Zahir Isaacs

City Press VIP Sunday Breakfast Award Salvation Café

 Donnelly said: “The winners this year have shown astonishing talent in world class establishments.” Nick Thorogood, Managing Director at Food Network EMEA: “All of the award winners and nominated restaurants tonight should be very proud of their achievements. We’re pleased to be involved in these awards and supporting local industries, as they really showcase the very best of South Africa’s culinary delights. This is particularly important to us as we aim to produce more local content throughout 2012.” Carmen Bennett, DStv Brand Manager: Marketing and Sales: “We are proud to be associated with the Eat Out Awards and we would like to congratulate everyone who participated in making this a mementos occasion.”

To find out more, visit

It’s time for the Swartland Revolution II

Posted by Helena Sheridan

The time has come. Soon I will be on my way to Riebeek Kasteel and set-up will commence. Then the wait will be almost over as we prepare to welcome you to the Swartland once again! We are ecstatic and blown away by the fact that we have gone from 150 guests at our first event to selling out over 250 tickets this year. We thank you for your support and promise you that we will not leave you wanting…

As you start to pack your bags and prep your livers, here are a few things we would like you to consider:
The times on Webtickets were a bit deurmekaar. Registration starts at 4pm on the famous stoep at the Royal Hotel. Please allow yourself enough time (to sit in the stop & go road works at the Riebeek turn off just outside Malmesbury; to dig into your goodie bag, packed with even more surprises than last year and to unwind & have a drink on the longest stoep south of the Limpopo river) before Quality First, our first tasting at 6pm. See the full programme here if you haven’t learned it off by heart yet.

Dinner will take place at a secret new location called Bazaar. Last year the wind was icy, so bring a warm jacket that you can stand close to the fire with. ‘Die Baardskeerdersbos Orkes’ will entertain us with some lekker tunes, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to eat meat like never before.

In support of No-regret-Fridays and Arrive-Alive-don’t-drink-and-drive we have arranged for some local taxis to be at the BBQ venue to take you home once you have had enough great Swartland wines. Or if you are staying in Riebeek Kasteel, just walk it will make you feel very European… We have also made sure the local bar 6 Degrees will be fully stocked and open into the early hours of Saturday morning.

Also remember that we will once again auction off some hard to come by items during lunch on Saturday. These items are:
We will have a twitter feed up – for instant feedback and to see what you are thinking, so bring your fast typing fingers, make sure you follow us and remember the hashtag #SR2011

Please note: if you booked for friends, please send this on to them so they are in the know. If you sold your ticket to one of those desperate snoozers please let us know of the name change for registration…

I will see you in Riebeek on 11.11.11 –


Helena Sheridan
PR and publicity – The Swartland Revolution
+27 (0)83 558 6594
+27 (0)21 461 9875

Nothing but the Brut: Graham Beck Wines releases zero-dosage sparkling wine

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related links: Graham Beck Wines

It’s a given among the knowledgeable that even the driest of sparkling wines contains an amount of sugar, however miniscule. In its latest release – Brut Zero, Graham Beck Wines dispenses with the practice of dosage, the topping up of champenoise or Méthode Cap Classique with a sugar-infused blend.

A self-confessed ‘fanatic’ of zero dosage champenoise, Pieter Ferreira, Cellar Master at Graham Beck Wines Robertson, jumped at the chance to create such a wine when the vintage provided grapes of the requisite flavour profile and superior quality.

“Making this style of sparkling wine is a challenge and a risk: there is no margin for error in a zero dosage wine,” Pieter said. “That’s why there are so few of them. It’s an avant-garde style.”

The purpose of dosage in a Méthode Cap Classique is to replace the small amount of wine lost during disgorgement – the forceful expending of yeast cells from the top of the bottle. It’s the sugar content in dosage that determines the category of the wine; zero dosage wines being the driest possible.

Without the addition of sugar, which can be used to balance a blend, the wine is laid bare. The effervescence magnifies the pure and natural flavour – and along with it, any possible faults. For Pieter, the grapes provided by vintage 2005 showed great promise for a no-dosage style; an instinct confirmed when he tasted the wine after secondary fermentation.

The wine was left to lie on the lees, or expended yeast, for six years before it was disgorged, at which point it was topped up only with the cuvee. The resulting wine is a purist’s delight: bone dry, ultra crisp and rich in natural flavour, “more its mineral characters than fruitiness” Pieter says – a feature highly prized by wine enthusiasts.

As a bonus, brut zero, or zero dosage wine is lower in calories than its sugar-imbued counterparts; presenting a great alternative for slimmers and those who enjoy lighter style wines.

Graham Beck’s Brut Zero is a perfect accompaniment to salty, flavoursome foods: sushi and crustacean dishes in particular. It joins the ranks of the very few zero dosage wines – these having been virtually non-existent a decade or so ago; a category growing in popularity among chefs, sommeliers and food enthusiasts.

“It’s hard to believe that a no-dosage wine could present so beautifully,” Pieter says. “I hope to see it encourage interest in this more natural style.”

• The classification of wines made in champenoise style – those that undergo a second fermentation after bottling – is determined by the amount of sugar included in the dosage. The classifications are:
• Doux: 50g plus of residual sugar per litre. Very sweet and very rare
• Demi-Sec: 35-50g of residual sugar per litre. These can be lovely with desserts
• Sec: 18-35g of sugar per litre
• Extra-Sec, or Extra Dry: 12-20 grams of sugar per litre
• Brut: 0-15 grams of sugar per litre
• Extra Brut: 0-6 grams of sugar per litre
• Brut Zero or Zero Dosage: 0-3 grams of sugar per litre
• Zero-dosage wines have existed for more than 100 years, the first being released at a time when champagnes were made almost exclusively with very high levels of dosage. The first brut wine to enjoy commercial success was released by Madame Louis Pommery in 1874; though brut zero only appeared in the 19th century.