Monday, September 7, 2009

Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky

Article from the Business Day Weekender edition.

BERNARD GUTMAN has a talk and a tot with the maker of SA’s first single-grain whisky
Published: 2009/09/05 07:23:05 AM

THE island of Islay is just off the west coast of Scotland. It is home to 3500 people and eight malt whisky distilleries, including the Bowmore distillery, legendary for its smoky, peated whiskies.

Bowmore is also where Andy Watts, master distiller at Distell, spent time learning about whisky.

At the James Sedgwick distillery in Wellington, surrounded by barrels of slowly maturing whisky, with the rain pelting down in true Scottish style, Watts shares some of his thoughts about Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, SA’s first single-grain whisky.

“We think this product showcases the excellent raw materials available to us. Our grains were used in many Scotch whiskies up to the mid-1980s, so if you are lucky enough to enjoy a good single-grain or blended Scotch 24 years and older, chances are you are having grain grown in SA.”

Click on link for more

Monday, August 24, 2009

US urged to boycott Scottish products after Lockerbie bomber's release

US urged to boycott Scottish products after Lockerbie bomber's release American efforts to mount a boycott of British goods and services are gathering pace over the controversial decision to repatriate Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi.

US urged to boycott Scottish products after Lockerbie bomber's release drinkers are being urged to switch to US, Canadian or Irish whiskeys.

US citizens are being urged to stop buying items ranging from Scotch whisky to kilts and petrol sold at BP-owned outlets as well as to cancel planned holidays in Britain to register their protest.

Websites are being used by protest groups to whip up support for the boycott, and drinkers are being urged to switch to US, Canadian or Irish whiskeys and switch their holidays to Ireland.

British companies with considerable US business are taking a relaxed view about the likely effect on their business, while appreciating the strength of feeling behind the protests.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) – with £370m worth of export business to the US annually – has been closely monitoring the developments, but feels any action or impact on sales is likely to be short-lived.

However, in some quarters it is felt that the boycott could have a longer life, particularly if British companies benefit from increased trade with Libya.

Campbell Evans, SWA director, said: "We have been faced with other boycotts in the past and found they haven't lasted. We appreciate what lies behind this action. In the heat of the moment it is understandable."

Scotch is the most visible and high-profile element in Scotland's near £3bn a year of exports to the US but tourism is an important contribution to the economy. US tourists are estimated to account for around 14pc of foreign visitors to Scotland and are regarded as the biggest contributors to a £1bn-a-year business.

Diageo, the world's biggest drinks company with 40pc of its operating profits generated in the US, is monitoring developments and so far has not seen any fall off in business. Johnnie Walker is its biggest whisky brand, but rum and tequila brands are more important to it in the market.

The websites make no distinction between the role of the Scottish or British governments in the repatriation decision. "Don't travel to Scotland or do business there (or in the UK in general) and don't buy any British or Scottish products," tells US citizens.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More misery

Reading this and the other similar stories, I wonder when it will end and what the long term impact the job cuts will have on the industry. If the Japanese distillery owners are clever, they can pickup some great talent. Made in Japan, by Scotsmen?

"Whisky producer Whyte & Mackay has confirmed plans to cut dozens of jobs at sites across Scotland.
Up to 85 posts will be lost, with another 15 overseas sales staff facing the axe. A month-long consultation and review of operations is under way.
Whyte and Mackay has plants in the west of Scotland, Highlands and Grangemouth, but no site is facing closure. The firm blamed the economic downturn.
The GMB union said the move was "bitterly disappointing".
The cuts come just weeks after drinks giant Diageo said it was cutting 900 whisky jobs.
Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya bought Whyte & Mackay in a £595m ($1.2bn) deal in May 2007, posting pre-tax profits of £25.6m for the 18 months to the end of March last year.

The firm currently employs 574 people across its seven sites in Scotland, including its Glasgow city centre headquarters, the Invergordon Distillery and its bottling factory in Grangemouth.
It is understood the job losses could include 30 in Invergordon, two at Dalmore and two on Jura."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Press Release - Glenglassaugh Distillery - New Spirit

Glenglassaugh Distillery, Portsoy.

Innovative ‘New Spirit’ release from Glenglassaugh.
‘Single Mash’ is world first for Portsoy distillery.

The Glenglassaugh Distillery Company announces the release of their first entirely new product since re-opening the distillery in December 2008.
A Limited Release of 8,160 individually numbered 50cl bottles of new make spirit are available under the title “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™”.
As Managing Director Stuart Nickerson explains:
“8,160 bottles is the entire output from a single mash. We felt it was an interesting concept to turn normal practice on its head and, for the new spirit, release a single mash rather than a single cask. We’re excited by the result and we think this is a world first, offering the connoisseur and enthusiast a different insight into distilling practice and flavour development.”
As required by EU legislation, the product is described as a Spirit Drink and, in deference to the law applying to Scotch Whisky, does not carry the Glenglassaugh name in the branding. Instead, the “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the restrictions applying to the new make spirit that, after three years, can carry the distillery’s name and the descriptor ‘whisky’.
“We believe “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™” offers something new to the market,” says Nickerson “and we are delighted to release this expression in acknowledgement of the interest aroused by Glenglassaugh’s re-opening.”
“The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name™” will be available internationally from leading specialists at a RRP of £30 for a Limited Release of 8,160 50 cl bottles at 50% abv.
For further information, please contact:
Mhairi McDonald 01261 842367 or

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Clear spirits are calling

I just had a chat with the owner of a distillery in Scotland. He tells me that they have started selling new make spirit - at 50% ABV. For those who have not experienced new make and don't know what it is, one way to describe it is whisky before it can be called whisky. It is the spirit before it is aged. As whisky has to be aged for at least 3 years in oak to be called whisky, if the spirit is not aged in oak for at least 3 years, then you can't call it whisky.

They are also starting to market spirit that has been aged for 6 months in Californian Red wine casks.

These products are not whiskies, but are interesting to use in tastings and could be quite fun to use in cocktails.

And on their own - I will wait for my sample bottle to arrive and let you know.

Press Release - Bunnahabhain 25 year old

Islay’s Bunnahabhain 25 year old, in the space of just two weeks, has augmented its already impressive list of accolades. It has just claimed gold and best in class at the International Wine and Spirit Competition for the second successive year, along with gold at the International Spirits Challenge. Both events, acknowledged globally as leading competitive forums for spirits, were held in July in London.
At the same time the 12 year took gold at the International Wine and Spirits Competition and silver at the International Spirits Challenge whilst the 18 year old received silver medals at both these prestigious competitions.
According to Bunnahabhain spokesperson, Brian Glass, these latest wins indicate an appreciation for Bunnahabhain’s subtle peat flavour and fruity, floral characteristics. “Whereas Islay is renowned for producing whiskies with pronounced peaty and maritime characteristics, Bunnahabhain single malts show a gentler profile that is clearly very attractive to whisky lovers the world over.”
Produced on the southern Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland, Bunnahabhain is able to express a more subtle character thanks to the use of unpeated malted barley, as well as the pure spring water that flows freely underground away from the peaty moorlands.

Bunnahabhain takes its name from the Scottish Gaelic word for “mouth of the river”. Founded in 1881 at the remote north-eastern tip of Islay, close to the Margadale River, its single malts are made by master distiller Ian MacMillan, who has over 30 years’ experience.
The 12-year old offers a wonderfully fresh and aromatic experience, its palate opening with notes of fruit and nuts that lead onto a malty sweetness to end in a rich, lingering finish. It is distinguished from the 18-year old, with its fragrant nose of honeyed nuts, subtle sea-induced salty tang and wafts of toffee and leather balanced by sweet oak spice and sherry on the palate. The 25-year old announces itself with a sweet aroma of caramel and flavours of berries and cream, balanced by roasted nuts and malt, ending in a tantalising dry finish.

The Bunnahabhain 12 year old retails for about R460, the 18 year for R710 and the 25 year old for R1 800 per 750ml bottle. For more information please visit

Notes to the editor
Bunnahabhain belongs to the portfolio of Burn Stewart Distillers, integrated Scotch whisky producer and brand owner with a portfolio of leading whisky brands, including Black Bottle. Burn Stewart is owned by CL WorldBrands, the UK-based global drinks group with distribution networks in Europe, the US and Far East. Distell is in a joint venture with the company that also involves distributing a selection of its whiskies in sub-Saharan Africa.

DATE 29 July 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Black Bottle, the only whisky that contains all the renowned single malts from Islay, has been awarded gold at the prestigious 2009 International Spirits Challenge held in London recently.
Judged by experts from 12 countries across the globe, the entries are tasted blind and reviewed by some of the best palates in the world.
A firm favourite in Scotland, Black Bottle celebrates its 130th anniversary this year.
Black Bottle was launched less than two years ago in South Africa and has already carved a niche for itself amongst local whisky connoisseurs, who savour its distinctively full-bodied, smoky character, says spokesperson, Brian Glass.
“Black Bottle is a true reflection of the diversity of Islay, and is a blend of all the whiskies produced across this famous island in the Southern Hebrides. The expert craft of combining only the finest single malts from Islay with mainland malt and grain whiskies has resulted in one of the smoothest, most balanced Scotch whiskies that has developed an international cult following.
“It’s the skilfully crafted bold and smoky flavours that set Black Bottle apart.”
Islay, lying off the west coast of Scotland, is known the world over for its distinctive and award-winning whiskies. These whiskies are largely influenced by the fertile soils, extensive peat bogs, soft, peaty water and sea breezes, unique to this island, that combine to produce highly expressive malt whiskies. The distilleries in the south of the island - Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig - produce the most peaty and medicinal flavoured whiskies in Scotland whilst those along the west coast –Bowmore, Bruichladdich – and in the north east Caol Ila - have a lighter profile. The distillery on the furthest north-eastern tip of the island, Bunnahabhain, produces the gentlest of tastes with a relatively light peat character.
Black Bottle was developed in 1879 for his personal use by Gordon Graham, a tea merchant from Aberdeenshire. His self-styled creation proved so popular amongst his friends and customers that he gave up the tea business to focus exclusively on whisky.
Today, the whisky’s recipe traditions are maintained by master blender Ian MacMillan, a whisky industry veteran of more than 30 years.
The whisky takes its name from its early packaging. Initially sold in ceramic bottles, it later appeared in a black bottle, shaped to resemble a potstill. However, a glass shortage in 1914 brought on by World War I forced the company to look for another glass supplier, and ever since then the blend has been packaged in its distinctive trademark dark green bottle.
It retails for about R180 a 750ml bottle.
Notes to the editor
Black Bottle belongs to the portfolio of Burn Stewart Distillers, an integrated Scotch whisky producer and brand owner with a portfolio of leading brands, including Bunnahabhain. Burn Stewart is owned by CL WorldBrands, the UK-based global drinks group with distribution networks in Europe, the US and the Far East. Distell is in a joint venture with the company that also involves distributing a selection of its whiskies in sub-Saharan Africa.

DATE 28 July 2009


The growing thirst for specialist whisky in South Africa has prompted the creation of the first local single grain whisky and the establishment of a new sub-category to acknowledge its origin.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, crafted by master distiller Andy Watts at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, is being classified as a Cape Mountain Whisky and is made from the finest quality South African grain.

This distinctive whisky is double-matured in specially selected oak casks. After the initial three years’ maturation period, it is released from the wood and then once again re-vatted into oak casks for a further two years’ maturation to continue the extraction of flavours.

Watts says that with the growing accent on connoisseurship for South African consumers and their interest in provenance, he was inspired to create a whisky made exclusively from South African grain. “There is an increasing understanding of the impact of origin on a range of beverages and that includes spirits. Our grain, which is locally grown, provides the ideal source for the whisky which is complemented by the sweet notes of the oak in which it is aged, resulting in an intriguing profile.”

He says that the whisky shows an exceptional interaction between spirit and wood to produce a mix of toffee, floral and vanilla aromas and flavours with a hint of spice softened by sweet undertones. The result is a warm and extended mouthfeel with an exceptionally smooth finish.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky takes its name from the Bain’s Kloof Pass, opened in 1853 and which is a national monument. According to Watts the pass “harmonises seamlessly with its natural surroundings.

“At its base the road cuts into the mountain slopes and winds its way through pine forests and fynbos where many protea species grow on the higher mountain slopes. The whisky pays tribute not only to one of the most picturesque and magnificent passes in South Africa but also honours Andrew Geddes Bain, the creative mind behind its construction.”

The leopards on the crest represent the Cape Mountain leopards which have lived in and roamed the area of Bain’s Kloof Pass for hundreds of years. Regal and agile, these reclusive predators keep to the steep, inaccessible slopes of the rugged mountains. Today, the numbers of these endangered cats have been dramatically reduced but rare sightings are reported from time to time.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is available in a distinctive, square 750ml bottle (with or without an attractive gift tin) and is expected to retail for about R153.

DATE 27 July 2009

ISSUED BY De Kock Communications (DKC)

ON BEHALF OF Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

ENQUIRIES Andy Watts, master distiller, Bain’s Cape

Mountain Whisky (021) 873 1161

Kathryn Henshilwood, brand manager

(021) 809 7000

Linda Christensen, DKC (021) 422 2690

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tough times ahead for whisky industry

Independent whisky producer Burn Stewart Distillers is warning of tough times ahead for the industry due to a widespread de-stocking across the global supply chain.

The company, producers of Scottish Leader, Black Bottle, Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Deanston and Ledaig whiskies, reported double digit growth for 2008 this week and strong sales in both home and overseas markets.

Fraser Thornton, managing director, is adamant consumer demand remains high for Scotch but predicts the next 18 months will be "extremely difficult" for the industry due to the lack of working capital in the supply chain.

He expects whisky sales will drop significantly as importers, wholesalers and licensed distributors struggle to fund new stock purchases.

Thornton said: "From what we have seen globally, consumer demand hasn't dropped at all, but the availability of stock is certainly becoming an issue.

"We have seen evidence all the way through the distribution chain - from the importer, retailer and wholesalers - of a systematic destocking to protect their own cash positions, which is essentially a banking issue.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Whisky Live Festival South Africa

Quick news:

Cape Town: Wednesday, 4th November to 6th November 2009 from 6pm-10pm at the Cape Town Convention Centre

Johannesburg: Wednesday, 11th November to Saturday, 14th November 2009 from 6pm-10pm at the Sandton Convention Centre.

More info closer to the time.

See you there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Diageo announces restructuring plans in Scotland

1 July 2009

Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, today announces proposals for significant restructuring of its Scottish business.

The planned restructuring follows a major review looking at how Diageo can best ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations in Scotland in the current economic conditions.

The resulting plans – backed by a £100 million investment – will mean an overall reduction of up to 500 jobs in Scotland. The closure of Diageo sites in Kilmarnock and at Port Dundas in Glasgow will lead to the loss of up to 900 jobs over the next two years while around 400 new jobs will be created through the expansion of a packaging plant in Fife. A new coopering centre will be created in Clackmannanshire. There would be no compulsory redundancies at impacted sites for 12 months.

These plans – for implementation over the next two years – will be an important part of securing the long-term competitiveness of Diageo’s Scottish business and, by retaining all existing production activities in Scotland, underpin the company’s continuing commitment to Scotland.

The detailed outcome of the review proposes the following:

· Consolidation of packaging operations from three sites to two. This would result in the closure of the Kilmarnock Packaging Plant in Ayrshire over a two-year period with the loss of approximately 700 jobs by the end of 2011. To maintain its competitiveness Diageo would concentrate investment on two locations in Glasgow and Fife. The Kilmarnock plant faces infrastructure limitations and Diageo believes that investing in the two other sites will ensure a sustainable future for its Scottish packaging operations.

· An £86 million investment to expand the Leven Packaging Plant in Fife. This would include the construction – subject to planning approval - of a new packaging hall to open in mid-2011 and the creation of approximately 400 new jobs. The company hopes that a number of these jobs would be taken by employees transferring from Kilmarnock.

· The Shieldhall Packaging Plant in Glasgow would receive a further £3 million investment on top of the £15 million invested in the plant over recent years. This investment, along with some changes in working practices, would result in the loss of 30 jobs at the site.

· The closure of Port Dundas Distillery in Glasgow and the adjacent Dundashill Cooperage. These plans would result in a loss of up to 140 jobs although it is hoped that some employees would relocate to a new cooperage in Central Scotland. Diageo believes its long-term grain whisky requirements can be best met through continued expansion of the Cameronbridge Distillery in Fife. Cameronbridge has already received £40 million investment in the last two years. In addition, a £65 million investment announced last year – believed to be the largest ever by a private company outwith the utilities industry – will create a bioenergy facility that will ensure Cameronbridge meets the highest environmental standards.

· Relocation of approximately 80 office-based employees from Dundas House in Glasgow to another location in Central Scotland over the next two years.

· A new £9 million cooperage to be built at Diageo’s existing site at Cambus near Alloa by summer 2011. Diageo’s nearby Carsebridge Cooperage would be closed. The relocation of around 40 roles from Carsebridge Cooperage to Cambus, together with some roles relocating from Dundashill Cooperage, would bring the total number of jobs at the new Cambus Cooperage to about 70.

· Operations currently undertaken at the Hurlford consolidation warehouse in Ayrshire will be contracted to third party logistics company, Malcolm Group. The 64 despatch warehouse jobs at Hurlford will be transferred under TUPE regulations and Diageo will exit the site in early 2010. This proposal supports a more cost effective and efficient way of working for the whole logistics network. The 36 remaining Diageo jobs at Hurlford would be relocated to other sites.

· Haulage of distillery co-products will be contracted to third party transport company, McPherson Ltd. The 16 associated jobs based in Speyside will be transferred under TUPE regulations. This proposal is aimed at achieving more flexible and cost effective handling of co-products movement.

Having communicated its plans, Diageo will now engage in formal consultation with employees.

Bryan Donaghey, Managing Director of Diageo Scotland, said: “These decisions have been extremely difficult to take. We have only reached them after an exhaustive review of all the possible alternatives. I am sorry for the impact this announcement will have on our employees and their families in Kilmarnock and Glasgow and the difficulty this will cause in Kilmarnock where we are a major employer.

“We believe the plans announced today will help secure the sustainability of our business in Scotland. As Scotland’s largest manufacturing exporter, 85% of our output from Scotland is exported to over 180 markets worldwide. We therefore need to be competitive in a global context and the restructuring announced today is a key part of this.

“Our plans and the associated £100 million investment reflect the strength of Diageo’s continued commitment to Scotland. With these changes, Diageo would still employ nearly 4,000 people across the country.

“We will do everything we can to support our employees through this difficult time. We will also work closely with local political and community leaders in Kilmarnock so that together we can seek to address the impact this announcement will have on the town.”

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another whisky evening.

Yesterday evening a mate of mine brought me a lovely gift, a bottle of whisky that is not available in South Africa - The Bunnahabhain "DARACH ÙR". Naturally we had to sample the product and what better place than at the Bascule. We also enjoyed some of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Highland Park, at 60% ABV, a Nikka Straight From the Barrel 51% ABV and my favourite Irish, the Bushmills Black Bush, in a vintage bottle.

Pity about the soccer....


The Bunnahabhain Distillery has released its first ever global travel retail exclusive - the Bunnahabhain Darach Ùr Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Darach Ùr means "New Oak" in Scots Gaelic. That's the new oak barrels used to mature this perfectly balanced mix of Bunnahabhain single malts aged up to 20 years. The guarded formula is from Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan. It's a first in over a hundred and twenty-five years of tradition at Bunnahabhain. The new oak barrels are from a family-run cooperage in Bardstown, Kentucky and this is the first time they have been used for maturing single malt Scotch whisky. The first, small batch of this exclusive Bunnahabhain Single Malt, un-chillfiltered, natural in colour and of a higher strength (46.3% vol), retains the fresh sweetness of the oak from barrel to bottle. The liquid is contained within a litre pack in green glassware with a bespoke pearlised gift tube.

Lovely spicy sweet oak aromas, heather blossom and hints of pine move into a taste of a wonderful balance of sweet vanilla oak with dried fruits and creamy nutty toffee. Smooth and creamy with citrus flavours and a hint of cinnamon.

Katherine Crisp, Brand Manager for Bunnahabhain commented "we are delighted to be able to offer up this exciting new addition to the Bunnahabhain family, exclusively to Duty Free. Raise a dram and join us in celebration of the excitement of the new".

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

TOT MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Proposed bylaws flatten the froth on beer. By Bernard Gutman.

Enjoying a drink with friends late into the evening is a part of
South African culture. In Cape Town, the summer sun’s journey
down past the horizon takes forever; people leave the beaches
at dusk; the bars and restaurants in Camps Bay come alive
when the sun sets and talk in the township taverns carries on
way past midnight.
In past years, summer was the time the liquor industry
celebrated the froth on the beer, the bubbles rising in
Champagne and the high-spirited party people pushing sales.
But now, with beer sales down 30 per cent, job cuts rising and
the general state of the economy, did we need more misery?
Clearly not, but that is what the proposed liquor trading bylaw
will inflict on everyone involved in the liquor industry.

What the bylaw says is that on-consumption venues in
residential areas will be able to serve alcohol only between
11h00 and 21h00; on-consumption outlets in general business
or central business district areas will be allowed to serve
alcohol until 02h00; and establishments in mixed business
and residential areas will be able to trade until 23h00. There
are strict penalties for non-compliance with the liquor law.
The aim of the National Liquor Act and related local and
national regulations is to reduce socio-economic ills arising
from the abuse of alcohol. This is commendable. But the new
regulations will not achieve this. Proper policing of the existing
laws are sufficient to reduce the ills arising from alcohol abuse.
Visible policing and zero tolerance to traffic offences reduced
the road deaths over the year-end holidays by 40 per cent. Zero
tolerance and visible, efficient policing of reasonable existing
laws works – it worked in New York and it works in Sea Point.

A part of the Liquor Act that applies countrywide is that liquor
distributors can sell larger quantities of liquor only to licensed
retailers, including shebeens. Licensing shebeens and taverns
is necessary. If a business wishes to sell alcohol, it should expect
and welcome proper regulation and licensing.

We are a society that wishes to protect its citizens from unscrupulous operators
while doing all things necessary to support licensed operators.
A licence facilitates good business practice and brings informal
business into the mainstream economy. That part of the Liquor
Act makes sense. The new regulations don’t.
Back to the local regulations; if society is suffering because
of alcohol abuse, forcing a nightclub to stop serving drinks
at 02h00 will not solve this problem. An underground, illegal
drinking culture may emerge. Proper policing of licensed
outlets, with continual zero tolerance for drink driving offences
is the answer.

Wouldn’t it better for society if nightclubs and
bars that sell liquor to 15-year-old children at all times of the
night were shut down, rather than forcing owners of law-abiding
venues, with strict admission policies, to close early?
City attorney, Louis Herbert, deals with liquor law matters on
behalf of several entertainment establishments. He said that
“the regulations don’t take into account the legitimate needs of
the tourism and entertainment industry. The idea of licences is
to control business, not to prevent it from taking place. There is
a clear need for a 04h00 licence and the proposed regulations
do not adequately cater for this need. This is short-sighted and
will have to be addressed”.

Shebeen and tavern owners – who operate in residential
areas – will have to stop serving alcohol at 21h00. Five-star
guesthouses and B&Bs in residential areas will have to do the
same. The people who drafted the proposed regulations could
not have properly applied their minds. Imagine visitors from
Europe staying at the ultra exclusive Ellerman House in Bantry
Bay being told that they cannot have a glass of wine with their
dinner. Imagine a patron of a township tavern, just returned
after a day’s work and two hours on public transport, being
told he cannot have a beer after 21h00. The proposals are not
workable, not reasonable and harmful to the industry.
We spoke with nightclub and bar owners, managers
and service staff, who gave their views on the proposals on
condition of anonymity. They said that more harm would be
caused by restricting sales to 02h00 as this would encourage
binge drinking. They much prefer customers to take their time
and drink responsibly.

Guesthouse owners are stunned at the lack of insight from the lawmakers.
Job losses in the tourism and hospitality industry would be inevitable if the regulations are adopted.

Bottle store and boutique wine store owners would like
to extend trading hours where necessary. They would like to
determine for themselves when to shut their doors. They point
out that they would not have extended hours of trading unless
there was a demand, as they would not incur overtime and other
staff costs unless opening later than usual was commercially
viable. Vaughn Johnson, who has had more experience than
most in dealing with extended trading hours, said that in
communities where alcohol abuse is rife, the communities
themselves should be able to define reasonable trading hours.
The communities are the ones most affected, so the decision
should be in their hands.

South Africa is the tourist hub of Africa and Cape Town is
the centre of that hub. To restrict the sale of alcohol under
the regulations proposed is bad for the economy. A number of
people and industries will suffer.

It is time to send the lawmakers back to begin the process again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sad news from the Grande Roche Hotel

Dear Friends, Industry Colleagues and Guests

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of our friend and colleague, Frank Zlomke, on Sunday evening, 22nd February, after a lengthy illness.

This great man will be sorely missed by all at, and connected with, the Grande Roche Hotel. After 17 years, he not only made his mark on the hotel, but all over the world.

Frank, one of the most loved and respected chefs in the world, will be remembered for his calm approach to life and his dedication to his family and his work.

Our sincerest condolences go to his wife, Fahema, and two sons Azar and Keanu. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, during this difficult time.

Garnet Basson

Cigar lovers have fond memories of the meals Frank prepared over many years when the Cigar Club gathered at Bosmans for dinners.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Class from Caveau

HQ restaurant, the latest offering from the Caveau team, had their launch party last night. Fantastic wines, sirloin and chips; Music from Rene & Kayembe; hordes of people who want and enjoy some of the best food, wines and vibe in Cape Town.

HQ is another winner.


Headquarters Restaurant, Cape Town

December 2008
Cape Town

Since Cape Town has an abundance of restaurants famous for their meat, another one shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. Yet the team behind Caveau, Cape Town’s popular wine bar and restaurant, are doing just that through their new restaurant, with a focus exclusively on steak. Headquarters is situated on Heritage Square in the city centre, and is loosely based on the famous Parisian restaurant, Le Relais de L’Entrecote, in its homage to meat.

Most noticeable about Headquarters is the straightforward menu concept: it offers a fixed menu of a salad followed by sirloin and chips. Dessert will be an option, but other than how customers would like their steaks cooked, there aren’t many more decisions to make. Which allows guests to focus their attention on the serious wine list. Instead of being crowded with selections, the concise list introduces guests to a changing array of local wines they would rarely get to sample elsewhere. A sizeable bar area opens onto the Heritage Square courtyard, and offers a cocktail list and comfortable lounge seating.

The single-minded restaurant concept is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the numerous restaurants that offer overextended menus and little focus. Headquarters’ focus on one dish will ensure excellence in every meal. Owners Brendon Crew, Jean Muller and Marc Langlois are confident that customers will be repeatedly drawn by the high quality of naturally reared beef, sourced from Eastern Cape. The stimulating wine list and a casual-chic, brasserie-like atmosphere will only add to the experience. And having built Caveau into the success it is today, there is no better team to introduce this new concept to Cape Town.

Headquarters will be the sister restaurant to Caveau, which opened in an historical building in the city centre in 2003. The combination of unassuming hosts serving quality cuisine in an unpretentious atmosphere proved an instant winner. Still as popular today, they have found significant acclaim, including a coveted place on the Condé Nast U.S. list of “35 Coolest International Night Spots.” In January 2007, they opened a second restaurant, Caveau at The Mill, in another area of Cape Town.

Headquarters Restaurant
Open Mon – Sat, Kitchen serving 11h30 – 22h30; bar open late.
Heritage Square
Shortmarket Street, Cape Town
(t) + 27 21 424 6373
(f) +27 21 424 6374