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21 Jan 2014

For three generations, the Distelleria Bottega has made some of Italy’s finest and most sought-after wines and spirits. Situated in the heartland of Prosecco country at Bibano di Godega, a mere 45km from Venice, the company is housed in a traditional 19th century farmstead which nevertheless boasts state-of-the-art technology, producing benchmark examples of the traditional drinks of the region – Prosecco, sparkling wine and grappa. 

Eight years ago, Franco Vignazia realised South Africa was a growing market for top-quality Italian Prosecco, sparkling  wines and spirits, and began importing them into the country. Joined three years later by his daughter Giuliana, they now offer the full range of exclusive Bottega products to discerning South African consumers. This range includes Prosecco, other sparkling wines, pure grappa, fruit-based grappa and smooth creamy grappa-based liqueurs.

The Bottega Prosecco range encompasses the Sparkling Prosecco Brut and the premium Prosecco Gold.

Both made from the Glera grape, often referred to as the Prosecco grape, they have been twice-fermented in stainless steel tanks to give their characteristic bubbles and hints of yeast, flowers and soft summer fruit. The Prosecco Gold is also known as the Vino dei Poeti – the wine of the poets – and it evokes the joy, purity and passion of men of letters and culture around the world. These elegant and enticing wines are rivalling the finest Champagnes in many markets, offering pure fruit expression, balanced acidity and alcohol and plenty of bubbles which dance on the edge of your tongue.

In addition to the classic Proseccos, Bottega also produces other sparkling wines. The Bottega Diamond, with its distinctive packaging, is made from 100% Pinot Noir and spends a full year on the lees to produce a richly-fruity sparkling wine. The Sparkling Rosé Brut is an intriguing combination of Pinot Noir and a grape variety indigenous to the region, called Raboso. This combination creates a sparkling wine of real character and charm, unlike anything else to be found in SA. A spicy blend of redcurrants, golden delicious apples and raspberries, it is a delightful match for summer foods. The final wine, the Vino del Amore or ‘Wine of Love’ is Bottega’s version of a classic Moscato d’Asti, with its low alcohol, pleasing frothy spritz on the tongue and the delicate, fragrant aromatics of rose petals, Turkish Delight and perfumed spice. A perfect partner for desserts or simply for sipping with the one you love.

The Bottega label was traditionally associated with the family’s distillery so it comes as no surprise to find an exciting array of fruit spirits, liqueurs and grappas also sporting the Bottega name. The range of Grappas includes the premium Grappa Vendemmia Tardiva which is aged in oak barrels to produce a smooth and spicy spirit, the perfect end to every meal.

The Alexander Bianca grappa is made in the traditional style from Pinot Noir, Glera and other grape skins to produce a soft and fragrant grappa, ideal with almond biscotti and expresso, whilst the Alexander di Moscato is fruity and perfumed, reflecting its origins in Moscato grapes. 

Using these premium grappas as a base, Bottega has created a range of infused spirits, redolent of the fresh fruits, spices and flavours of Italy. The Limoncino uses only the finest lemons from Sicily, whilst the Mirtillo is flavoured with blueberries picked from the foothills of the Alpine mountains. The classic Sambuca is made with the pungent and aromatic star anise flavours making it the perfect partner for coffee and the other fruit liqueur spirits, including peach, pineapple and cinnamon, offer plenty of opportunities for inventive food matches and cocktail ideas. 

The final range in the Bottega stable mixes the heady Grappa with decadent cream and other flavourings to produce a luxury product which is a veritable dessert in a glass! The Bottega Grappa Nero adds dark chocolate for a rich, smooth and strong accompaniment, whilst the Grappa Gianduia combines milk chocolate with a touch of hazelnuts. The White Chocolate Grappa – the Fior di Latte – offers spiced vanilla notes, whilst the Latte Macchiato Bottega mixes milky chocolate, luxurious cream and roasted coffee beans into a symphony of flavours for your mouth.

Offering the full gamut of wines, spirits, flavours, textures and styles, the Bottega products are versatile additions to every bar, whether at home or in a restaurant environment. They can form the basis of a myriad of innovative cocktail recipes, will combine with all sorts of foods and cuisine or can be sipped and savoured, slowly and contemplatively with good friends or in tranquil solitude. Enjoy the ‘Tastes of Italy’ right here in South Africa with Bottega Wines and Spirits.

Bottega Wine and Spirits are represented in South Africa by Profumi d’Italia. For further product information, contact Marketing and Operations Director, Giuliana Abrahamse via (+27) (21) 5544831 or email to [email protected] 

The Stellenbosch Wine Experience
20 Jan 2014

South Africa’s first and foremost wine destination, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, has embarked on a dynamic wine tourism marketing initiative – the Stellenbosch Wine Experience – in collaboration with Stellenbosch 360. The initiative, which covers the greater Stellenbosch region and the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, aims to position Stellenbosch as the leading wine tourism destination in Africa, and amongst the top in the world.  

“Stellenbosch is one of the most significant landmarks of the Cape and although it has a well established tourism and wine legacy, being the oldest town and wine route in the country, there is a great need for closer partnership between the wine and tourism industries supported by a dynamic marketing programme and campaign,” said Ken Forrester, Chairman of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes. 

The initiative is spearheaded by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, founder of Destinate, a specialised destination and marketing agency launched in 2013 after a successful ten-year stint as the CEO of Cape Town Tourism. Under her leadership, Cape Town Tourism won critical acclaim as a Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) and was formally recognised by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for its ‘world best practice tourism organisational model and innovative initiatives in destination marketing’.

“The potential of wine tourism in South Africa is significant, but then a far greater and more aligned effort should be made on a local, regional, national and international level to promote wine tourism. This will hold great benefit for both the tourism and wine sectors and add to South Africa’s overall appeal as a destination,” said Du Toit-Helmbold.

Although the initiative will benefit the region and the wine and tourism sectors at large, a limited number of wine and tourism-marketing partners are being identified as marketing partners to ensure direct involvement by the private sector.

“Stellenbosch 360 is committed to working with Stellenbosch Wine Routes and the wine and tourism sectors to position Stellenbosch as one of the top wine tourism regions in the world,” said Annemarie Ferns, CEO of Stellenbosch 360.

“The Stellenbosch Wine Experience campaign will not only grow the wine tourism sector, but will benefit the region at large. We will be able to make a much bigger impact through this joint venture using our limited resources available for destination marketing more effectively,” she added.

The programme and campaign kicks off at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival on 24 January 2014 with the launch of a new interactive wine tourism focused mini-website and blog called StellenBlog. The region and participating marketing partners will then be represented at ITB, Berlin in March for the international launch of the Stellenbosch Wine Experience to the world's top travel trade and media followed by the Tourism Indaba in May.

Other elements include a themed annual communication plan to enhance the regional offering and events; an enhanced digital presence across all social media networks and an innovative wine tourism blogger campaign with top international and national travel, lifestyle and food bloggers between April and September.

Growing domestic tourism and improving visitor numbers over winter are important objectives. Domestic travellers, families and wine lovers from South Africa, in particular Gauteng, will be targeted with an appealing events calendar and complementing wine tourism packages.

“More and more visitors to our wineries want to engage in wine tourism activities at or near the site where the wine is produced. Visitors typically learn the history of the winery, see how the wine is made, and then taste the wines; often complemented by a fine meal in one of our award-winning restaurants. More and more wineries offer accommodation, meeting facilities and activities. Wine remains the ‘hero’, but a lot of focus is placed on the experiences that complement the wine and provide wineries and establishments with additional sources of income,” explains Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

For the Stellenbosch Wine Routes it all started back in the summer of 69 when the famous fearless visionary trio – the late Frans Malan, beloved patriarch of Simonsig Estate, the late Neil Joubert of Spier and the inimitable Spatz Sperling of Delheim – started speaking to authorities to entice visitors to the wine farms in the Stellenbosch region.

The Stellenbosch Wine Route was founded officially in 1971 and this pioneering initiative has changed the face of wine tourism in South Africa. Spawning a host of similar regional wine routes of which there are 18 today, the Stellenbosch Wine Routes remain the biggest and most visited of them all.

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes now boast 152 wineries as members, offering a myriad of unique attractions and leisure invitations ranging from modern to time-honoured, traditional cellars, a spectacular array of restaurants, a vibrant coffee culture and world-renowned hotels and guest houses, all fringing or filtered through the historic oak-lined town of Stellenbosch.

For more information on the Stellenbosch Wine Experience contact Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at [email protected] or phone 083 225 5955.

Children in the Wilderness Benefit
19 Jan 2014

A conservation and youth programme, Children in the Wilderness (CITW), was the main beneficiary of the first Amazing Thailand Golf Day held at the Zwartkop Country Club in mid-December 2013.

An amount of R6 500.00 was raised through the raffle of a grand prize which was an eight-day trip for two to Thailand. Among the 120 golfers who played were His Excellency Ambassador of Thailand Mr Voradet Viravakin and leading South African travel trade representatives.

The first Amazing Thailand Golf Day was organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which is in South Africa represented by Lesley Simpson Communications. The company’s Managing Director, Lesley Simpson, handed over the funds raised to CITW’s Chairman, Russel Friedman and Regional Project Director, Dr Sue Snyman.

Children in the Wilderness is a non-profit organisation supported by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris. This environmental and life-skills educational programme, which works with rural children in Africa, focuses on the next generation of decision-makers to inspire them to care of their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future.

Photo: Presentation of the funds raised during the Amazing Thailand Golf Day to Children in the Wilderness (CITW) in December 2013. From left: Lesley Simpson (Lesley Simpson Communications & Tourism Authority Thailand SA), Dr Sue Snyman (Regional Project Director, CITW), Russel Friedman (Chairman, CITW) and Olga Carr (Lesley Simpson Communications & Tourism Authority Thailand SA).

Elephant Spotted in Knysna Forest
17 Jan 2014

Elephant spotted in Knysna Forest

An elephant was recently photographed by a trap camera, placed in the Knysna forest, by the Landmark Foundation, set-up for leopard research. The Foundation’s exciting leopard research involves determining the leopard population status in the Garden Route.

The footage includes photographs of an elephant whose tusks, trunk and legs are visible but unfortunately the forehead shape as well as sex organs and ear-notch patterns are not visible, for identification purposes. 

SANParks’ scientists have, in recent years, moved away from relying on photographic techniques for population status determination, due to potential disturbances to the elephants. The focus of studies now focuses on non-invasive hormone studies using dung, to determine the reproductive potential of these elusive elephants. However, opportunistic photographs, such as these recent photographs taken by the Landmark Foundation’s camera trap, are always a very welcome addition to SANParks’ elephant research database, existing since 1987.

Date: 09 January 2014

Issued by: South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Enquiries: Nandi Mgwadlamba
Tel: 044 302 5633 cell: 078 702 9663 or email: [email protected]


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