Top South African wine writer Neil Pendock took a trip to Namaqualand to taste and rate the 2013 vintage whites. Happily, the wines from this region are rapidly shedding the "big volume, indifferent quality" tag that has dogged them for so long. Cool-climate whites from the Lutzville and Koekenaap vineyards close to the Atlantic coast are receiving rave reviews (Pendock gives the wines a WOW) and the new buzz is the outstanding value for money that the region's wines offer.
The London International Wine Fair kicks off on 22nd May. Stellar has had a presence at this annual trade-only wine fest for several years and our wines can be found at the Ehrmanns stand N42.
The focus of the Fair is very much on discovery: new wines and spirits, new producers, emerging countries and regions, new vintage releases, seminars, debates and masterclasses make LIWF the perfect trade event. Read more here.
A fabulous Christmas party was held at the Trawal Public Crèche, one of the community facilities supported by Stellar. Conceived and organised by Stellar's social development team, Irene Dell and Gert Loubser, and generously assisted by our Canadian partners Natural Vines, the pre-Christmas visit by Santa Claus was a joyous, fun-filled event. Special thanks to JC Meli and all at Natural Vines, Canada. Read more about it here.
Calling all Saffers living abroad this Dec 16th. Share a bottle of South African wine with your buddies and post the pics. Find out how at the wine.co.za link http://www.wine.co.za/sunshine/. Tweet and share using the tag #tastewinesunshine.
Enter our bubbly and chocolate hamper competition running during the months of December 2011 and January 2012*. Five delicious hampers each containing a case of Stellar Organics Sparkling wine and six bars of Chocolats Marionettes artisanal chocolate are on offer.
Chocolats Marionettes chocolate bars are the best of te best, handmade in Knysna using the finest ingredients. Find them at www.chocolatsmarionettes.co.za.
Entering is easy! Simply SMS the word STELLAR to 33282 and your number will be entered into the draw. Winners will be notified by 5 February via SMS.
SMSs cost R1.50 each and all proceeds of the competition will go to the community development projects of the Stellar Empowerment Trust. For more information on the Trust and the projects, visit the Fair Trade page on this site.
*Competition open only to persons currently resident in South Africa.
The 2011 Nedbank Green Wine Awards were announced at a lunch at the Mount Nelson Hotel. The competition is divided into two categories: Best Wine from Organically-Grown Gapes and Best Environmental Practices.
The food was delicious, the wines even more so and the winners, deserving. Stellar Heaven on Earth received the award for Best Natural Sweet and Best Wine Overall went to Reyneke. For a full report on the awards, read here.
WINE Magazine's annual Best Value Guide is available online and on the shelves. Live-a-Little no-added-sulphites Rosé and Semi-sweet are featured in the 2012 version. The no-sulphites Rosé is sold in the USA as Live-a-Little and in South Africa as a Woolworths own label, Woolworths Organic Diving Hawk Rosé. Read about the Best Value Awards and where to buy the 2012 guide here.
Cape Wine Europe takes place in London on 11-12 October. The former Megatasting is a showcase for the South African wine industry and Stellar will be there. Come and meet us at Table 62.
The Stellar Winery eco-fair brand promise is a guarantee to consumers that our products are made from organically-grown grapes, ethically produced and fairly traded.
The Barrel & Brew Festival is happening at the Blue Bird Garage in Muizenberg 10-11 September and Stellar wines will feature! Details of the event on www.facebook.com/bluebirdgaragefoodandgoodsmarket.
In the seven years since Stellar Winery became a fair trade producer, the number of farms supplying the winery with fair trade grapes has expanded from five to fourteen. In order to manage adherence to the standards of fair trade and social responsibility in the expanded structure, the Stellar Winery Multi-Estate, following a detailed review, is to move from the FLO Fairtrade system to Fair for Life, a Swiss-based fair trade auditor and the social and fairtrade arm of IMO (Institute for Marketecology).
Pinotage is a uniquely South African grape variety. It was cross-cultivated between Hermitage and Pinot Noir by a South African, Professor Perold, in 1925
This culitvar was not widely known and was only recognized in South Africa, but this all changed after Kanonkop's Beyers Truter was named Winemaker of the Year for his 1989 Pinotage.
After the success Pinotage had overseas, it was decided that more effort should be put into marketing this uniquely South African cultivar and so the Pinotage Association was born. The Association is dedicated to promoting and improving the Pinotage cultivar. Membership mostly consists of winemakers, growers, researchers, viticulture consultants and marketers, but is open to anyone who is interested in the production and marketing of the Pinotage grape.
Every year Pinotage is tasted from the cellars in each wine region in South Africa. The best Pinotage of each region is then presented at the Pinotage Association in Stellenbosch.
This year, Stellar's Pinotage was chosen to represent the West Coast Wine Route region. Although this is not a competition but merely a way to assess and compare the different styles and quality of Pinotage from the different regions for the new season, it is still a good indication of what lies ahead.
For more information on the Pinotage Association go to www.pinotage.co.za
The climate has been very moderate up until now, although the temperatures and humidity are high. These conditions ensure that grape dehydration is avoided and that the sugars remain low. This is a very good outlook for keeping the alcohols low as well.
The flavours of the grapes are excellent. Signs of rot and botrytis are apparent on some of the whites, but the situation is manageable.
Some of the first Chardonnay wines are almost fermented to dryness. We are currently very busy with Sauvignon Blanc from the cool-climate vineyards at Koekenaap.
The reds are going well, with the cellar receiving large quantities of Merlot and Shiraz grapes at the moment. The Pinotage from Koekenaap began arriving from the middle of March and predictions for this wine are excellent. Cabernet Sauvignon is also in.
Colombar and Muscat d’Alexandrie are the whites still out there and Shiraz and Merlot on the red side. It’s expected that the final grapes will be in by the end of the month.
Early predictions are that this will be a red wine year, with the wines being more in balance than previous vintages.
||The cellarmaster is quietly confident|
The Stellar United soccer club was established in 2007 as a response to an increase in juvenile offences in the Trawal area. It was thought that healthy recreation could be one of the ways to keep children and their parents busy and away from crime, drugs and alcohol.
Dreaming of a proper soccer field, several projects were launched to generate funds and sponsorship was sought. As a Fairtrade company, our Fairtrade clients, especially Peter Riegel Weinimport, were generous with donations and publicity for the project in their home markets.
In 2011 the dream became a reality as the soccer field was finally ready for its first game.
The opening of the new soccer field at Stellar took place on Saturday 12 February 2011. The community turned out to welcome our main sponsor, Peter Riegel and his wife Gisela of Peter Riegel Weinimport and Mayor Bok of the Matzikama municipality. Everybody enjoyed the performances of the drum majorettes, marching band and of course the main attraction, the soccer teams.
The tournament consisted of 4 teams, playing knock out rounds.
Stellar United 0 vs. Young Rebels 2
Owies Agri United 0 vs. Vaalwater 2
Final Round: Young Rebels 2 vs. Vaalwater 0
Congratulations to Young Rebels who won the trophy! They will keep it for 6 months after which the the trophy will be up for grabs in the same tournament format.
Stellar United would like to thank the following people who helped out with various important tasks that made the day so successful:
And without the following sponsors the day would not have been possible:
|Drum majorettes leading the way to the soccerfield||Berty, Peter Riegel and wife Gisi on red carpet|
|Peter Riegel and Gisi meeting Stellar United
||Up and away! Stellar United release the balloons|
Press Releases : 2010
A press release issued by Max Havelaar in Belgium speaks about how important soccer is in South Africa and how our Stellar team has benefited from the funds raised by Riegel Weinimport to build a soccer pitch in our community - follow the links to watch a 3 minute video about this and see our our Stellar United Soccer Team in action.
Press Releases : 2009