Michel Roux

Saturday, 15 September 2012

How fairly does SAT promotes Wine Tourism?

Below is a letter from a reader regarding his concerns about Vindaba, South Africa’s first specialist wine tourism exhibition, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from September 25-27. Also see Vindaba’s response below.

Reader’s letter:

Dear Editor, Can your publication obtain some clarification from SAT and Vindaba organisers, as I have been unsuccessful, as an individual buyer at Vindaba, in getting the right answers.

Vindaba has been well perceived and received by the industry, so much so that many wine routes, tourism offices, individual businesses and sponsors have signed up. At the first de-brief held in Paarl in March, I asked how smaller and lesser known wine routes and tourism attractions could be assured that the more famous routes such as Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Robertson would not be given priority.

The answer was that all routes would be asked to submit itineraries and all routes would be treated equally, and that priority would be given to individual businesses taking part and buying space at Vindaba, of which I am one.

Three weeks prior to the event, alarm bells have started to ring as none of the businesses and properties featured in the Paarl/Wellington Vindaba tour have received any enquiries or confirmed bookings.

On investigation, I was told that two German journalists would be travelling to Paarl and Wellington and, although very grateful, my question, still unanswered, is: thirty-four buyers and media have been registered as being hosted for the event; only six pre- and post-Vindaba tours are taking place, so if two are allocated to Paarl/Wellington, what has happened to the balance and to the fair treatment among routes? What happened to priorities given to properties that are taking part in the event and paying for it?

At this stage I have only received vague answers blaming teething problems. My view is that there is more to it and would like your publication to assist Paarl and Wellington suppliers to find out the truth. Maybe SAT and Vindaba organisers would prefer to answer my question publicly than privately.

Angelo Casu- Grand Dédale Country House

Vindaba’s Response
Vindaba has previously sent the following facts directly to Mr Casu and now welcomes the opportunity to share them more broadly.

As a point of clarity: Grand Dédale is not an ‘individual buyer’ at Vindaba, and does not feature on our exhibitors’ list. Nonetheless Mr Casu’s establishment was recommended as a part of the Paarl/Wellington itinerary by the managers of those wine routes, and will consequently host three international leisure journalists and two international buyers over the course of Vindaba.

South African Tourism is a presenting partner of Vindaba and, in that capacity, is hosting 32 international leisure media at the event, as well as on pre- and post-show tours. In partnership with SAA, Vindaba itself will be hosting a further five buyers. The South African Wine Routes Forum designed and submitted nine itineraries that represented all 17 wine routes. In addition all Vindaba exhibitors who had signed up by then (31 May) were automatically included in the itineraries. These itineraries were presented unchanged to our guests, who then made their choices based on their preferences and needs.

The fact that only six of the nine itineraries submitted (Franschhoek, Bot River/Elgin, West Coast, Stellenbosch, Paarl/Wellington and Breedekloof) will be activated over Vindaba is a consequence of the choices made by the media groupings themselves. It is worth noting that at least two of these itineraries can be designated “lesser known”. Vindaba can absolutely assert that every effort was made to be inclusive and fair.

In conclusion, we would also like to remind Mr Casu that the South African Wine Routes Forum is an executive member of the Vindaba committee and has been integral to the design and organisation of the event. Vindaba is a non-profit, non-commercial platform that adheres to the principle of open opportunity. We acknowledge and celebrate South Africa’s wine travel product as being a diverse and wide-ranging offering and will continue over future events to expose that diversity to important wine travel markets.

Susannah Holz - Project Manager of Vindaba.

Have you experienced a similar issue or do you think Vindaba adequately represents all wine routes? Let us know by posting your comment below.

Tourism Update

Just a clarification
Angelo Casu
12 Sep 2012
Although Grand Dédale Country House does not feature on the exhibitors list, is an active member and committee member of Wellington Tourism, which, together with Wellington Wine Route, are paying exhibitors at Vindaba. My queries are intended to get some clarifications on behalf of our members who are actually participating in the costs of the stand. Angelo Casu

Admition of faults?
14 Sep 2012
Interesting to read snippets of an email circulated by the organiser: This has always been an imperfect scenario: nine itineraries, guests given free choice by SAT, and only about 34 media means we will invariably have an uneven spread; Please note I formally requested that SAT redistribute the Franschhoek group, to spread them better amongst the routes, but they were unwilling to do that; Please let me know how I can help with any other hiccups, queries,disgruntled members. Maybe SAT should also answer some questions to why certain routes have not been considered at all!!!! Does Franschhoek needs more advertising and exposure!!!!! I am also a disgruntled member, but will I hear the same excuses given to Grand Dédale Country House, who I understand, is paying contribution to his stand, but he is not seen as an exhibitors. Therefore, if we are contributing to the expense of our Route stand but we are not seen as exhibitors, what are we classified as???? Looking forward to hearing some answers

Friday, 7 September 2012

Grand Dédale to partner with AfriAsia

AfriAsia and Beyond are delighted to announce they will be representing Grand Dédale Country House in the UK & Ireland.

Located close to Wellington with sweeping views of the valley as well as the Groenberg, Limietberge and Hawekwa mountains, AfriAsia are looking forward to working with this exclusive brand of elegant country house living; the former Doolhof Manor House and private residence of the owners of Doolhof Wine Estate.


‘Doolhof’ or ‘maze’ was the name given by the early 18th century settlers to the area surrounding the quaint town of Wellington in the Western Cape – a reference to the fact that its many rolling hills and valleys allowed only one way in and one way out.

Today, Grand Dédale Country House nestles snugly in the centre of this picturesque labyrinth of mountain ranges, vineyards and forests allowing guests the delicious opportunity to cocoon themselves away from the rest of the world, and to do so in utter luxury and comfort.

At the heart of the Doolhof Wine Estate, the sensitively restored Manor House continues its tradition of Cape Dutch hospitality by welcoming a whole new generation of guests looking to get away from it all.

The white gabled exterior of the Manor House retains its classic early Cape Dutch appearance, while the interior, by contrast, is a wonderfully eclectic mix of modern design elements punctuated by European and Asian antiques, grand statement pieces and small oddities.

A colour palette of cool white, with blue and muted green accents creates an elegant ambience, while inviting sofas encourage guests to linger awhile over an interesting book or to gaze out of the window at breathtaking mountain or vineyard views.

This attention to comfort and elegance continues in the three ‘Elegant Living’ suites. Each one boasts its own distinct feel but all three share a luxurious sense of space and an attention to the finer details in life, such as extra length king size beds complete with percale cotton linen, i-Pod docking stations and under-floor heating.

An architectural spiral staircase leads one to the three ‘Loft Living’ rooms, each facing a different mountain range and beautifully appointed under the Manor House’s sweet smelling thatch. A stay in one of these attic rooms has an added storybook feel to it, complete with fine furnishings, romantic Victorian bathtubs and walk-in cupboards.

The quaint Old Wine House – a freestanding thatched stone cottage – dates from 1707, and is an ideal hideaway for honeymoon couples or those guests craving that extra bit of privacy. A fully equipped kitchen, private patio and minibar complete the experience.

Delicious ‘Cap Classique’ continental breakfast buffets, light lunches, homemade high tea treats, sundowner canapés and three-course candlelit silver service dinners – dining at Grand Dédale is definitely an elegant affair.

Resident Chef, Daniel de Villiers, has a deep love for the Wellington area, and it shows in his menu, which is largely inspired by locally sourced produce, such as his current favourite ingredient: authentic buffalo mozzarella from Wellington’s own Buffalo Ridge; one of only two farms in the southern hemisphere producing mozzarella from original Italian buffalo.

It features strongly on the menu, as does classic Cape seafood and game, all artfully paired with the estate’s own wines.

For those guests keen to savour the serenity of Grand Dédale, the cool salt water pool encourages lazy morning dips after a treatment in the poolside spa, while comfy chairs on the terrace allow for quiet contemplation of the estate’s gracious old oak trees, horse paddocks and orange orchards.

For the more active, the estate offers 380 hectares of vineyards and indigenous fynbos to explore, either on the back of a mountain bike or on foot; while other activities such as hot air ballooning, quad biking and canyoning are available close by.

Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Wellington is a quirky destination that is often overlooked by tourists, but which promises a host of interesting attractions, from the organic farms that supply Grand Dédale’s kitchens to nature and game reserves, wine estates and even its own brandy route.

Situated just outside this historic town, Grand Dédale is perfectly placed to offer visitors not only a base from which to explore the region, but also one to return to and forget the world for a while.

For rates, contracts, training and general enquiries kindly contact us on:

For more information please visit:


UK Sales & Marketing Office:
AfriAsia & Beyond
7 Braid Drive, "Fairways", Cardross G82 5QD
Office: +44 (0) 1389 849001 Fax: +44 (0) 1389 849002