Bordeaux châteaux owners pledge hundreds of millions to rebuild Notre-Dame

Written by Neville Cooper. Posted in Wine Blog.

François Pinault, owner of Château Latour and Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury group LVMH, have pledged to donate hundreds of millions of Euros towards rebuilding Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after a major fire devastated the 850-year-old landmark yesterday evening. Pinault has stated he will donate €100 million, and Arnault €200 million to the international fundraising campaign marked for cathedral restorations, according to French news agency Agence France-Presse. The blaze began on the evening of 15th April, engulfing Notre-Dame, with the French fire service working through the night to extinguish the flames, which was finally confirmed this morning (16th April). The LVMH Group announced on its Instagram account; ‘In the wake of this national tragedy, the Arnault family and the LVMH Group pledge their support for #NotreDame. They will donate a total of 200 million euros to the fund for reconstruction of this architectural work, which is an integral part of the history of France.’ The group has also offered the support of all teams, including creative, architectural and financial, to help with the long term work of reconstruction. As owner of LVMH, Arnault owns Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem, Krug, Moët Hennsey and fashion brand Louis Vuitton. Pinault also owns Eisele Vineyard Estate in Napa Valley – previously named Araujo, Clos de Tart in Burgundy and Château Grillet in Northern Rhône. His parent company Kering also owns luxury fashion brands Gucci and Yves San Laurent. The Notre-Dame fire The cathedral took 200 years to build and has been in Paris for 850 years, surviving both World Wars. The fire burned the roof and caused the spire to collapse, but the north and south towers, and main structure have remained. The full extent of the damage is being assessed, but there were no casualties in the fire. It is believed the fire was accidental and could have started during renovation work on the cathedral. Originally posted in

SA Chardonnay Judged World’s Best

Written by Clair Macdonald. Posted in Wine Blog.

Cape Town – Groot Constantia’s 2013 Chardonnay was judged the best in the world at the recent 22nd annual Chardonnay du Monde competition. 

The runner up was the 2013 DB Reserve Chardonnay from Australia.  


The competition was held from March 11 to 14 in the Burgundy wine region of France. 

Chardonnay-du-Monde is an international wine competition held every year since 1993. 

The competition’s name means ‘Chardonnay of the world’ and as this suggests, the competition focuses specifically on Chardonnay wines. 

Beating over 800 other entrants from across the globe to be judged best overall, Groot Constantia’s 2013 Chardonnay proudly represented South Africa as one of only two Chardonnay’s from SA to feature in the top 56 and to receive a gold.

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Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from Steenberg Vineyards

Written by Neville Cooper. Posted in Wine Blog.

SteenbergSteenberg Vineyards have just released Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011 excelling once again with one of the cultivars which has built the reputation of this Constantia Wine Valley producer. Set against the Constantia mountains and facing False Bay, the reliable rainfall, mild temperatures and granite ridges ensure that this farm creates the best of South African cool climate wines.

Dornier Wine Estate

Posted in Wine Blog.

Dornier Wine Estate

We popped into Dornier the other day for a casual Sunday afternoon.  A friend works in the tasting room and so we said we would come and visit.  The drive there on Blaauwklippen road is beautiful and there are a few other noteworthy farms along the way.  I have never been to Dornier before and was quite impressed.  They have moved the wine tasting area closer to the restaurant, although I do think that it is a waste of a beautiful building on the other side of the grass.  But nonetheless, closer to the restaurant does make it more social, festive and relaxing.