Goodbyes are never easy. No matter the circumstances. Yet perhaps after an atypical year like 2020, farewells are even harder to bear, as social gatherings and celebrations have been replaced with social distancing and virtual experiences. Yet, regardless of the circumstances, there’s no way the Vriesenhof community could sidestep the departure of their viticultural cornerstone, Nicky Claasens. After 13 years of dedicated and award-winning winemaking, Vriesenhof Winemaker Nicky Claasens and his wife Bettina will be emigrating to Germany to establish new roots. On the news of this move, writer Emile Joubert expressed:                 “Nicky was definitely being touted as a leader among the newer generation of winemakers. Technically sound, he understood his vineyards and the impact of Vriesenhof's geography on the final product. Throw in sharp, understated wit and an opinionated stance on all matters wine, and he is definitely leaving a hole in the South African wine world.”

“Think of chocolate coated espresso coffee beans with candied cherries and butterscotch. Does this sound delicious? It is indeed. There’s so much to love about the Barista Pinotage. Have a taste and see for yourself.” These are the words of winemaker legend, Bertus Fourie, who earned himself a place in SA’s wine hall of fame and the nickname ‘Starbucks’ for his creation of the now iconic Coffee Style Pinotage in South Africa.

Although working in the wine industry was not a first choice for Marshall Arendorff (38), cellar controller and wine blender at Drostdy Hof, one could say the industry found him!

Whilst studying towards a BCom Financial Management degree at Stellenbosch University, he decided during his first year to rather find a job and complete his studies later on. However, things didn’t really pan out as he first hoped.

Foursome adds milestones to winery’s 75th anniversary year

Bring on the sunshine with the latest wines from Stellenbosch Hills. The addition of two new white wines - ambassadors of Harvest 2020 - marks a milestone for the winery celebrating its 75th year.

But its latest list of wines to stock up for the warmer days doesn’t stop here. In fact, the launch of Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2020 and Stellenbosch Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020 brings to four the number of current white wines available. They join the showstopping Sense of Place Anna Christina MCC 2018 and 1707 Reserve White 2019 as the wines to have, right now.

Suffering from lockdown blues and chomping at the bit to explore your ‘neighbourhood’? Franschhoek’s Mystery Weekends – an all-inclusive winelands weekend getaway – is guaranteed to curb any lockdown cabin fever. Now that leisure travel has resumed this is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a weekend of surprise, relaxation and pure indulgence, with the added attraction that your entire weekend is taken care of without you having to book for anything.

WORLD-CLASS GIN LAUNCHES WITH TWO GOLD MEDALS

Born of the sea, Clifton Gin is an iconic new addition to the luxury spirits sector. The vision for this ocean-inspired signature set of gins, founded by South African born Silvana Bottega, was the sheer refreshing burst of the Atlantic Ocean and the soft golden sand of the Cape’s most exclusive beach, Clifton.