Talk of the Town

Tokara trebles its success at the 10 Year Old Wine Awards, Stellenbosch creché’s get a welcome boost and a new event academy has opened its doors. Eikestadnuus has all the developments from in and around town to keep you abreast of the latest.

Local winery makes best 10-year-old wines

Tokara viticulturist Aidan Morton and winemaker Stuart Botha.

Tokara, the acclaimed family owned Stellenbosch wine estate, has excelled as a top performing cellar at the 10 Year Old Wine Awards for the third consecutive year.

Showing its prowess as a world class producer of red and white wines of remarkable ageability and consistency, Tokara was ranked second highest performer overall with 90 points or more awarded to all five of its wines entered in the competition this year.

Tokara had the highest scoring chardonnay, white blend and joint-highest red blend with all three category winners scoring 93 on the 100-point scale.

The competition, held annually under the Winemag.co.za banner to showcase age-worthy South African wines, attracted a record of 92 entries from the 2009 vintage, hailed widely as one of the greatest vintages in recent history.

The five Tokara 2009 wines awarded 90 points or higher are the Reserve Collection Chardonnay, Directors Reserve White and Directors Reserve Red all scoring 93/100, followed by the Reserve Collection Noble Late Harvest and Reserve Collection Elgin Sauvignon Blanc, both on 90 points.

Houston, we have a … science teacher!

Shaun Keyser, a Bridge House School teacher, joined more than 580 educators from seven countries, 39 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC for hands-on learning experiences with rocket scientists, astronauts and renowned instructors at Space Center Houston’s 25th Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) from 7 to 9 February.

“Meeting many like-minded teachers from around the world was the highlight of the conference for me. Visiting the Mission Control Center for the International Space Station was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that will stay with me for a long time,” said Keyser, a teacher at Bridge House School in Franschhoek. “The conference provided me with many new ideas that I can’t wait to apply in the classroom to enrich my students.”

The non-profit science and space exploration learning centre offers teachers and students of all disciplines access to authentic learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We’re empowering teachers who are a vital part of developing the next generation of explorers,” said Daniel Newmyer, Space Center Houston vice president of education. “Space exploration learning is for everyone. We bring leading experts together to help teachers provide the latest resources and hands-on activities in the STEM-based curriculum.”

A boost for crèche safety in Stellenbosch

On Friday 22 February crèche principals from Stellenbosch and surrounds received brand new fire extinguishers and safety signage for their crèches.

The donation is part of a broader Nedbank-sponsored initiative to, among others, improve the safety of early childhood development (ECD) centres in Stellenbosch and Paarl.

The handover took place at Amazink in Kayamandi, after the principals had completed an informative and hands-on financial training session.

“The training was successful,” said Nolitha Gwele of Nolitha’s Crèche in Kayamandi. “I learnt about budgeting, managing my finances and investing.”

Training, crèche safety and nutrition are three of the focus areas of Nedbank’s Proud of my Town Fund in Stellenbosch and Paarl.

The fund focuses on specific programmes that form part of the bank’s broader Proud of my Town programme, to address critical issues identified in towns and neighbourhoods.

New event academy in Stellenbosch

A new academy, providing training in conference management and events management, was recently opened in Stellenbosch.

Event Academy Africa is the brainchild of industry experts Gwynneth Matthews and Zelda Coetzee-Burger and offers part-time event and conference management courses and master classes geared at individuals and teams looking for hands-on training in the latest conference and event management techniques and best practices.

Classes are presented in small, intimate groups by experienced industry facilitators who are experts in their field. Participants will have the opportunity to subscribe to optional add-ons such as online learning forums and one-on-one coaching. The Academy also offers training programmes for corporate teams across Africa.

“According to Statistics South Africa, the tourism sector is a major job creator, employing over 686 000 people in 2016, outnumbering utilities (118 000) and mining (444 000). People working in tourism made up 4,4% of the South African formal and informal workforces, up from 3,8% in 2015, and this continues to rise. In order to support this growth, our industry needs a competent, skilled workforce with a sound understanding of the Events Tourism Industry. It is for this reason that Event Academy Africa has been launched”, says co-founder Gwynneth Matthews.

Wine, art come together with ‘Artefactum’

An art exhibition entitled Artefactum opened as part of the Woordfees 2019 at Neethlingshof Estate in Stellenbosch on Friday evening, the first art exhibition to be held at this leading wine estate’s new art space.

The opening address of the exhibition was done by the director of the Institute for Futures Research, Dr Morné Mostert, who introduced the audience to an exhibition focusing on the personalisation of objects by various acclaimed artists as a way of defining the self through an eclectic collection of contemporary artefacts and designer articles.

He spoke on the relationship between wine and art, and explored what these art forms do for the human experience.

“The creation of both art and wine requires not only science, but also creativity,” Mostert said. “Both endeavours confront us in the present as they enable the experience of joy. Furthermore, both often aid in reflection of the past and in the examination of alternative futures.”

He said art has mirrored the exponential increase in social complexity and, just as with social dynamics, has become increasingly complex itself – in the same way as the global wine industry has become progressively more multifaceted.

“This has made art and wine both more opaque and more accessible, as the art of interpretation and enjoyment has deepened beyond the simple recognition of previous patterns through abstract visualisation in art, or simple ‘quaffability’ in wine,” he said. “One connection with Futures Thinking is that the future has similarly become more vague and less subject to artless projection and interpretation.”