Cape Winemakers Guild enters 2014 with new Chairman

For immediate release

Andries Burger, award winning winemaker of Paul Cluver Estate Wines, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Taking over the reins from Jeff Grier of Villiera Wines, Andries who served as Vice Chairman during 2012, embraces his new portfolio with great vision that will see the Guild expand its role in furthering transformation and setting new benchmarks for South African winemaking.

“I see my role as chairman as an extension of the goal of the Cape Winemakers Guild, to guide the Guild in its quest to further knowledge and expertise in ensuring that South African wines are rated amongst the best in the world. It is also important that we continue to strive for improvement in our industry and that we, through projects such as the Guild’s Protégé Programme, nurture and create leaders for the future,” says Andries, who has been making wines at Paul Cluver since the 1997 harvest and joined the Guild in 2010.

Andries considers his selection as a member of the Guild amongst his most significant career highlights. Other major achievements include his 2011 Riesling Noble Late Harvest named white wine of the year in the 2013 Platter’s South African Wine Guide; his 2012 Gewurztraminer winning the Decanter Trophy for the best dry aromatic varietal in the world; his 2009 Chardonnay winning the Trophy for the best Chardonnay at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show for two consecutive years as well as winning the Trophy for the best white wine of the show. The same wine was also voted best Chardonnay and best white wine of the Five Nations Wine Challenge.

Andries will be supported on the Guild’s Management Committee by new Vice Chairman Miles Mossop of Tokara, whilst David Finlayson of Edgebaston serves another year as Treasurer. Louis Nel of Louis Wines is the Guild’s official Cellarmaster for 2014 with David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg Private Cellar responsible for the Guild’s technical workshops and marketing.

The Cape Winemakers Guild comprises 45 of South Africa’s most respected winemakers with the single minded vision to elevate the standing of the South African wine industry through their on-going commitment to transformation and the production of world-class, quality wines.

For more information on the Guild, visit: http://www.capewinemakersguild.com, email info@capewinemakersguild.com or call Tel: +27 +21-852 0408.
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Issued by: GC Communications Contact: Gudrun Clark
Tel: +27 +21-462 0520 Email: gudrun@gc-com.co.za

On behalf of: Cape Winemakers Guild Contact: Kate Jonker
Tel: +27 +21-852 0408 E-mail: kate@capewinemakersguild.com

Graham Beck Harvest News II

Harvest Officially kicks off
After lots of anticipation the day has come for the Har-vest 2014 to start in Robert-son. Harvest started today 17th January. This is on av-erage a week later than nor-mal but certainly not the latest we ever started for harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for bubbly. The latest we have ever started, quite weirdly late was in
1997—interestingly another cold and wet winter.—when we only started harvest on 3 February. We started on a young block of Pinot Noir.
We wish Pieter Fouche and his vineyard teams all the best and success for a good 2014 harvest!!! More about the parade …. Wait

Biodiversity Hotspot – our own Game Reserve
To start 2014, we thought it would be fitting to once again touch upon what we consider the most important element of The Game Reserve Wine Range…besides the wine, that is!
The Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve is located in one of the world’s most remarkable ecological hot-spots, also known as a biodiversity hot-spot, The Cape Floral Kingdom. To get a better idea of why this area holds so much appeal, a greater understanding of what defines a biodiversity hot-spot is essential.
This, the smallest of the six Floral Kingdoms in the world, is an extraordinary component of our planet that is home to not only some of the rarest species in the world, but so many. With over 8,500 different plant species, this hotspot deserves to be highlighted and cherished, as well as nurtured and protected.
We can be immensely proud that this natural wonder is located quite literally in our back-yard! And it’s precisely this unique haven of biodiversity which makes our Private Na-ture Reserve and, by association, our The Game Reserve range of wines, so incredibly special.

Spotlight on Georgina Wilkinson – One of our interns
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She grew up in Zambia and went to the American Inter-national School before I went to boarding school at The Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape at age 10.
After matriculating, she went to the University of Stellen-bosch where she studied BScAgric Viticulture and Oenolo-gy. As part of her studies (the new curriculum) she complet-ed a 6-month internship at Eikendal Wine Estate in Stel-lenbosch in 2013. Her family has a farm in Scherpenheuwel not far from Robertson where they grow grapes and olive trees. They also produce their own olive oil called Rio-Largo.She will be with Graham Beck Wines for her second harvest.The things that bothers Georgy: “Spiders and small, enclosed spaces !”
What makes Georgy happy: “Being apart of a successful, dynamic team as well as entertaining friends and family with a delicious hearty meal.”

The hero of the Floral Kingdom
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One of the most fascinat-ing flora found in the Graham Beck Private Na-ture Reserve, we’re thrilled to introduce the beautiful Brianhuntleya intrusa, (a genus of flowering succulent perennial plants in the Aizoaceae family that are native to the semi-arid regions of South Africa’s Western Cape) named after one of South Africa’s own botanical heroes—Brian Huntley.
The distribution range of the plant is from Worcester to Robertson and McGregor and, although it is a range-restricted species, it is locally abundant and occurs in at least 20 locations within these habitats. What makes the discovery of Brianhuntleya intrusa on our property so special is, not only that the plants are indeed classified as a threatened species (with the population trend decreasing), but that they have been reported to thrive most successfully around the Breede River which runs through The Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve.
On the reserve you’ll spot the delightful pink flowers (which open during the day from early winter to spring) peeking out.

Sharing our passion for the planet
We’ve got some really excit-ing news to share as the year draws to a close! Graham Beck Wines and the Wilder-ness Foundation have formed a partnership that will not only benefit our conservation efforts at The Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve, but will also give us the op-portunity to have a hand in raising funds to support the conservation of Africa’s wilderness and wildlife on a far bigger scale.
The Wilderness Foundation shares our passion of spreading a richer, more dynamic aware-ness of wildlife, wilderness, conservation and nurturing a more responsible society. As a project-driven foundation, they manage a number of initiatives involving ecosystem restoration, biodiversity networking and wildlife conservation, including the Forever Wild protection initiatives that aim to raise public awareness of a number of endangered and threatened species in Africa.
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The Game Reserve wine range is our way of reaching out to the public and grabbing their attention regarding the fascinating animals and plants that are nurtured on our reserve. These wines truly are a unique celebration of the amazing natural diversity we encounter within the Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve.
We hope that this awareness engenders the kind of curiosity and passion for conserva-tion that can stimulate a burgeoning trend for buying, farming and acting responsibly with regards to our planet.

Hosting on the Zambezi Queen
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It was a real privilege to have done the Graham Beck Wines food and wine pairing weekend onboard the Zambezi Queen just before Xmas — gosh isn’t she is beautiful! There can be few natural wonders as synonymous with Africa’s raw wilderness as the great Chobe River. These waters divide Namibia’s Caprivi Strip from Botswana’s Chobe National Park, and its exotic banks boast one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent. Teeming with life, home to the largest populace of elephants in the world – currently estimated at roughly 120 000. Along with the elephants, lions, huge groups of buffalo, waterbuck, eland, sable and giraffe. In the river itself plenty of hippo and crocodiles, and keep your binoculars at the ready for spotting a rich selection of bird life. You could even experience the thrill of it all from your own private suite aboard the Zambezi Queen. It is all about pampering, indulgence and superior comfort and such a professional team onboard to make the ex-perience even more special.
We had the honour of having Mr & Mrs Thabo Mbeki onboard. A true unique experience and they are a wonderful couple and so interested. Fabulous feedback from them. “Pieter Ferreira our cellarmaster was what we needed; understated, sense of humour and a true teacher. I guess that we shall all henceforth be pretentious about wines in general through the Graham Beck experience. I shall also be visiting The Graham Beck Training institution just for deeper knowledge”The Zambezi Queen’s Captain Wayne Nel and manager Vicky Nel are great supporters of Graham Beck Wines. Thank you for the opportunity!