SA scoops World Wine Awards

first_imgSouth African red and white wines have taken top honours at the prestigious Decanter 2009 Wine Awards. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Melina JostKaapzicht sales and marketing manager +27 21 906 1620• Schalk Joubert Beaumont media and marketing +27 83 300 9187 RELATED ARTICLES • SA wine brings comic relief• Wine-tasting in the township • Wine on the wild side • Black, female, and making great wine• SA wine a US presidential hitJanine Erasmus South Africa wines have trounced all international competition in both the red and white single varietal categories at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards, held in London under the auspices of Decanter magazine.While the results are released to the trade earlier in the year, the rest of the world has to wait for the traditional September award issue to find out which are the wines to seek out.Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2006 was named the world’s top red single varietal over £10 (R122), while Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 took the trophy for the best single white varietal over £10.South African wines scooped 11 regional trophies and 23 gold medals. Local wines also came home with 130 silver medals, 246 bronze medals, and 131 commended certificates.Home-grownSouth Africa’s own home-grown Pinotage grape variety has come into its own in recent years. The grape was created in 1925 by the chemist Abraham Izak Perold, also first professor of Viticulture and later Dean of Agriculture at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape. Perold bred a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, both varieties of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine.Cinsault is known as Hermitage in South Africa, hence the blending of the names of the two parents to form Pinotage.The first Pinotage wine was made in 1941 by CT de Waal, a lecturer at the Elsenburg Agricultural College in the Stellenbosch district.However, it was only in 1959 that a Pinotage from winemaker Pieter Krige “PK” Morkel of Bellevue estate won the first of many awards for the variety. Morkel’s wine took the coveted General Smuts trophy for the best young wine at that year’s Cape Young Wine Show (now known as the South African Young Wine Show).Bellevue estate, still run by the Morkel family, continues to produce award-winning wines, among them the famous Pinotage.Farmers subsequently stampeded to plant Pinotage vines, but even so the variety never quite took off until 1991 when Kanonkop’s Pinotage earned winemaker Beyers Truter the Winemaker of the Year award at the International Wine and Spirit competition in the UK. Truter was the first South African to achieve this.Making historyFittingly, Kaapzicht’s award for the Steytler Pinotage 2006 award comes 50 years after that first Cape Wine Show coup.Kaapzicht estate lies between Stellenbosch and Kuils River and since 1946 has been in the capable hands of the Steytler family.Kaapzicht’s reds are no strangers to international recognition. In 2004, at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, the estate’s Steytler Vision 2001 became the first Cape Blend (a 40% Pinotage blend) to win the title of overall world’s best red blend.Grapes from those same vines have now been used to produce the 2009 Decanter winner. Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage 2006 lay for two years in new French oak barrels before going to the bottle.“Pinotage is a very versatile red wine variety,” commented cellarmaster Danie Steytler, “and the Kaapzicht Steytler Pinotage from those vineyards is a shining example of the serious, well-oaked, full-bodied style to be enjoyed with food, especially venison, red meat and traditional South African dishes and cheeses.”Decanter judges agreed, commending it for its “voluptuous, heady nose with very precise black fruits, plums, mocha and tar. Full-bodied and opulent in the mouth, ripe and supple fine-grained tannins with plenty of spice to enliven the finish”.Made from the oldest vinesThe winning white single varietal Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 is a Chenin Blanc made, as the vineyard claims, only from fruit harvested from the oldest vines.The winery is located in Bot River in the Western Cape’s Overberg region. For the past few years Beaumont has concentrated solely on producing Chenin Blanc, having discontinued its Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.The results speak for themselves. Named after the matriarch of the Beaumont clan, Hope Marguerite Beaumont, the winning wine, was glowingly described by Decanter judges as having a “stylish spicy floral character, supple orchard fruits, white almond and grass. Soft and broad on the palate, lifted citrus fruits with some glycerol and honey at the end”.“Our Chenin really illustrates the diversity of the grape as well as its strong roots in the Beaumont soils,” commented winemaker Sebastian Beaumont.Hope Marguerite is matured in 400l French oak barrels using only natural yeasts.“We allow the grape to express itself in very hands-off wine-making – this has been the essence of the Hope Marguerite,” Beaumont added.Leading wine magazineDecanter magazine, the UK’s leading wine magazine, is sold in 92 countries and for the past six years has presented the prestigious World Wine Awards. A record 10 285 entries from 2 240 producers poured into the Decanter offices for the 2009 event, more than for any other wine event.Wines compete according to region and in eight price brackets, ranging from less than £4.99 (R61) to over £40 (R487). Once the initial rating has been given, the gold medal-winning wines are re-tasted for confirmation, and then go forward to the regional taste-off.The regional winners then compete for an array of international trophies, which are judged in two sections for each wine style, under £10 and over £10.The judging panel is chaired by veteran British wine consultant and journalist Steven Spurrier, who is assisted by a number of regional chairs. This year the South African section was chaired by the respected John May, a senior wine master in the UK.South African regional trophy winners:Beaumont Wines Hope Marguerite 2008 – South African White Single Varietal over £10 TrophyBouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak, Pinot Noir 2008 – South African Pinot Noir over £10 TrophyCederberg Private Cellar Five Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 – South African Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10 TrophyCederberg Private Cellar Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc 2008 – South African Sauvignon Blanc under £10 TrophyKaapzicht Estate Steytler Pinotage 2006 – South African Red Single Varietal over £10 TrophyPaul Cluver Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2008 – South African Sweet over £10 TrophyPerdeberg Rex Equus Shiraz 2007 – South African Red Rhone Varietal over £10 TrophyPongracz Desiderius 2001 – South African Sparkling over £10 TrophyRustenberg Chardonnay 2007 – South African Chardonnay over £10 TrophySchalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht Hat Trick 2006 – South African Red Blend over £10 TrophySwartland Winery Indalo Shiraz Nature’s Way 2006 – South African Red Rhone Varietal under £10 TrophyQueries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Stick ’Em Up, I’ve Got a Caulk Gun!

first_imgOne political concept that has been heartily affirmed during the past 18 months is that no policy is off limits in the world of political gamesmanship, even if the policy seems to be as economically practical and ecologically justifiable as a program for green jobs, energy conservation research, or the cap-and-trade bill.Recently, for example, the director of policy for the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, Phil Kerpen, produced an opinion piece for Fox News Forum that warns against “the cap-and-trade effort to restructure the global economy” and the use of stimulus funds for “left-wing political activities.”“Green jobs programs like the ones in the stimulus bill serve a political purpose but not an economic one,” Kerpen writes in a September 2 post. “Most green jobs consist of hiring low-wage workers with caulking guns to weatherize buildings. We are trading away high-wage, high-value manufacturing jobs for these green caulking jobs. Any time you spend billions of dollars you will create some jobs, but the key question is, what the cost is when you divert resources from higher-value activities?”Is a job worth its weight in political baggage?Kerpen’s comment might be of interest to carpenters and construction-industry laborers who are out of work because of the housing downturn. For those folks, the distinction between “high-value manufacturing jobs” and low-wage “green caulking jobs” likely will be of less concern than paying the rent and putting food on the table. As one of our GBA editors put it, “With the housing sector so slow, won’t [stimulus-funded green jobs] return out-of-work carpenters and laborers to the job force? Won’t the guys who used to hump plywood just start squeezing a caulk gun?”It’s also not clear that creating these “low-wage” jobs is an economic failure of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as Kerpen suggests. Further along in his Fox News Forum piece, for example, he notes that the Davis-Bacon Act – which requires that prevailing wages be paid for federally funded construction and retrofit projects – actually force “above-market” wages to be paid for ARRA-funded green projects. Kerpen makes this point while emphasizing his larger concern: the political consequences of such spending, without careful oversight, could easily take a turn to the left.“Those green jobs are union jobs, so they are a giveaway to organized labor as well as environmental groups,” Kerpen explains. “Union bosses got provisions added into the stimulus bill applying federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements in an unusually broad way. Guidance from the Department of Labor said: As a result of specific language in the ARRA, all requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act apply to construction projects that receive ARRA funds, with an added provision that ‘projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the federal government as a result of the ARRA must also comply.’ These requirements will force above-market wages to be paid, fleecing taxpayers while paying union dues that can be funneled back into political activities.”While Davis-Bacon, signed into law in 1931, doesn’t require workers to pay union dues, it has indeed historically been viewed as union-friendly legislation, in no small part because many union apprenticeship programs are at the forefront in training workers for jobs in the trades.Reckoning economic prosperity with ecological realityThe workers wielding caulk guns are, of course, capable of evaluating the politics of Davis-Bacon and stimulus-funded green jobs, if they care to do so, although political considerations may not weigh all that heavily on the minds of many low-wage workers making above-market wages. (For those who do worry about the progressive agenda, Americans for Prosperity has crafted a one-page graphic, titled “The ‘Green Jobs’ Radical Network” – click here for a PDF – intended to illustrate the connections among green-jobs organizations in the left-wing cabal.)A broader issue raised by Kerpen’s comments is whether stimulus-funded green jobs serve an important purpose beyond putting money in workers’ pockets and helping the economic recovery: Do the benefits of improved energy efficiency in homes outweigh the political dangers of a left-wing power grab and, possibly, mediocre returns on the ARRA investment?That, of course, gets to the ecological heart of the matter. As recent GBA and New York Times blogs on the subject note, retrofits are perhaps the most expedient way to reduce energy usage in both residential and commercial properties. The Times cites data compiled by the Clinton Climate Initiative, which explains on its “Building Retrofit” Web page that “more than one-third of energy is consumed in buildings worldwide, accounting for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In cities, buildings can account for up to 80% of CO2 emissions. The built environment is therefore a critical part of the climate change problem – and solution. Most existing buildings were not designed for energy efficiency, but by retrofitting with up-to-date products, technologies and systems, a typical building can realize significant energy savings.”Will stimulus-funded expansion of, say, the Weatherization Assistance Program, actually lower CO2 emissions while boosting employment? Given the expectedly slow and cautious rollout of many stimulus-funded initiatives – especially the green-jobs goldmine in expanded weatherization programs – it’s still way too early tell. But ecologically at least, it seems a step in the right direction.Make it here, use it hereAnother step in that direction – though some distance from caulking our way to green living – would be developing a robust domestic market for those “high-value manufacturing jobs” that also happen to be in green industries. On September 15 in the Times, op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman, who has long advocated for advances in U.S. energy independence, wrote about his visit to the headquarters of Applied Materials, which makes the machines that produce microchips for computers, but also makes machines that make solar panels for residential and commercial applications.What struck Friedman most about Applied Materials’ panel production was not so much its divergence from chipmaking but the fact that all of the major factories equipped with the company’s panel-making machines are on foreign soil, close to the markets where demand for the product is greatest: Germany (which has five plants), China (four), and Spain, India, Italy, Taiwan, and Abu Dhabi (one each).“The reason that all these other countries are building solar-panel industries today,” Friedman says, “is because most of their governments have put in place the three prerequisites for growing a renewable energy industry: 1) any business or homeowner can generate solar energy; 2) if they decide to do so, the power utility has to connect them to the grid; and 3) the utility has to buy the power for a predictable period at a price that is a no-brainer good deal for the family or business putting the solar panels on their rooftop.” (The latter prerequisite is familiar to GBA readers as a system of “feed-in” tariffs.)A missed opportunityFriedman goes on to criticize a lack of regulatory certainty in the U.S. that he says would, far more extensively than existing subsidy programs, encourage homeowners, commercial property owners, and businesses to invest in PV installations. Of course, if you like relying on imported petroleum or are politically predisposed to dislike green initiatives, he says, stick with what you’ve got.“If you read some of the anti-green commentary today, you’ll often see sneering references to ‘green jobs.’ The phrase is usually in quotation marks as if it is some kind of liberal fantasy or closet welfare program (and as if coal, oil and nuclear don’t get all kinds of subsidies). Nonsense. In 2008, more silicon was consumed globally making solar panels than microchips,” Friedman notes, citing data supplied by Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter.“We are seeing the industrialization of the solar business,” Splinter told Friedman. “In the last 12 months, it has brought us $1.3 billion in revenues. It is hard to build a billion-dollar business.”Would folks like Kerpen regard growth of solar-panel production in the U.S. with the same suspicion he regards weatherization jobs? It might be a good while before we find out, considering the pace of domestic manufacturing growth in that sector.But it is a huge mistake to dismiss Kerpen’s potential influence when he demonizes green-jobs programs of any sort. A lot of people take the trouble to research issues, analyze them, and articulate their concerns about government policy – be it the bailout, the stimulus bill, health care legislation, or any other important initiative – with substantive discussion. But far too many others take in every political rant and screed on the Internet and cable TV, and then swallow them whole.last_img read more

Amid NBA Finals and lawsuit, Kawhi Leonard remains unfazed

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It’s nothing new to me,” Leonard said. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess All that would overload some people. Leonard, however, isn’t like most people. He’s unfazed.“I think it just comes naturally,” Leonard said. “All NBA players, there’s so much distractions from you playing in high school to college to now becoming a pro, it’s probably just pretty much second-nature at this point.” ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP MOST READ Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals? PLAY LIST 01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and teammate Fred VanVleet (23) celebrate a point against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)OAKLAND, Calif. — Toronto star Kawhi Leonard has more than a few things on his mind these days.He’ll be a free agent in a few weeks and will decide where he wants to play next season. He’s apparently headed to federal court to solve a disagreement with Nike. He’s clearly dealing with something that isn’t right in his lower body, though he and the team continue to insist that he’s fine.ADVERTISEMENT The Raptors are here largely because of Leonard. Even though six bad minutes that became an 18-0 Golden State run to start the second half of Game 2 — “the quarter from hell,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse called it — ultimately cost Toronto its chance at a 2-0 series lead and retaining home-court advantage, there’s still no obvious sense of uneasiness from the Eastern Conference champions.“It’s going to be even harder on the road,” Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said. “But we’re capable and we know what we bring to the table.”The Raptors have already rallied from 2-1 series deficits twice in these playoffs — against Philadelphia in the second round and against Milwaukee in the East finals. No team in the current 16-team postseason format, which the NBA went to in 1984, has overcome three of those in the same season.“We want to be the first to four,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. “Every game is an urgent game.”Learning to deal with noise from the outside world is a skill that the Raptors have proudly gotten fairly adept at this season — amid the constant din surrounding the trade that brought Leonard to Toronto and whether the team could possibly find a way to entice him to sign and stick around past this season.The last thing the Raptors are worried about is a court case.“A lot of times I don’t know about much of the noise until somebody asks me a question about it, a lot of times,” Nurse said Tuesday before his team practiced at Oracle Arena. “To me, it’s like part of the job. Like most people, I love listening to all the shows and the podcasts and whatever. And I haven’t listened to a one since the playoffs started. I miss it.”The free agency stuff with Leonard, that’ll all get worked out one way or another starting June 30.The noise of concern for Toronto is what’s going to be coming from the fans at Oracle on Wednesday night. Much in the same way that the Toronto crowd fueled the Raptors in Game 1, the same can be expected in the Bay Area for Game 3 — particularly since it’ll be either the second-to-last, or next-to-last, time the Warriors call this building home.As with off-court noise, Leonard won’t be bothered. Or listening. Leonard is famously, almost mythically, quiet. He tends to give short answers during news conferences. He’s not a social-media guy. So it was an odd look on Monday when he — his attorneys, anyway — filed a federal lawsuit in Southern California against Nike over the rights to his distinctive “klaw” logo, one Leonard says he drew himself in either 2011 or 2012.He rarely makes news. To make news like that, during an off day for the NBA Finals, with the series shifting to California, was eye-raising.“It happened a long time ago,” Leonard said of the disagreement between he and Nike — and the lawsuit shows that the battle over the logo has indeed gone on for some time, then ramped up to get to this point. “You guys are just finding out. It’s not a big worry of mine. … I’ve known about it.”In other words, he’s played through that particular portion of off-court drama throughout these playoffs.Obviously, he’s handled it just fine.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Here we go: Just like old times, Federer vs. Nadal in France And, oh, there’s the NBA Finals.Game 3 of a tied series, Leonard and the Toronto Raptors taking on the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, the biggest game yet this season, is happening Wednesday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more