On 21 September business and tourism people met at The Brewery in Hermanus to network and share information. It was attended by about 100 people.

The Small Business Institute also attended and Director Winda Austin-Loeve talked about the role of the SBI as the Big Voice for Small Business , with the aim of positively influencing the environment for Small Businesses in South Africa and to support Local Champions like Business Chambers to revive Local Economics. They have monthly Zoom meetings with Chamber representatives from all over South Africa where we participate.

Carolyn Martin from Creation Wines shared their success story on becoming the 4th best Vineyard in the world. Attendees enjoyed the wine tasting of Creation’s superb wines afterwards.

In her presentation she said:

“When the results of the World’s Best Vineyards (WBV) ratings were announced at a special live event in Rioja, in Spain in July, we were there waiting in anticipation and then when the countdown reached five we were worried. We had heard of all the fabulous places before us, and thought this was a truly David and Goliath situation, had they forgotten us? 

Creation Wines situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, in one of the most biodiverse wine regions in the world – the Hemel-en-Aarde, which aptly translates to the place of Heaven and Earth, near our coastal town of Hermanus, in Western Cape, South Africa had, for the fourth year, been placed among the world’s top 50 vineyards! 

and this year we joined a prestigious line-up of the top five: Catena Wines, Argentina; Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, Spain; VIK, Chile; Creation Wines, South Africa and Château Smith Haut Lafitte from France. 

This is the third time that Creation has been listed as the number one estate in South Africa and on the African continent. 

This is what Andrew Reed, Managing Director Wine and Exhibitions at William Reed, had to say: “The World’s Best Vineyards continues to highlight wine tourism destinations around the globe/ and with an impressive list of new entries this year, it’s more important than ever. We’ve found that local and international tourists are looking for experiences that offer a range of activities and our host Rioja truly fits the bill with stunning scenery, delicious food and of course, amazing wines.”

Having visited personally in July, we have some serious competition to South Africa in Spain now!

The World’s Best Vineyards is an annual listing that highlights the best winery destinations and experiences in the world. The prestigious list spans five continents and is created after the nominations of some 500 wine, travel and wine tourism experts have been counted and collated. Voters are asked to nominate the overall experiences they consider to be the best in the world and that they personally would recommend.

We were excited that Creation, represented South Africa, at the international Sustainable Wine Tourism Roundtable. This, is one of several invitations, over the past four years that has allowed us the opportunity to talk with passion and knowledge about the South African fine wine industry.

The positive impact this listing has had on our estate and our fine wine industry, cannot be underestimated. 

Creation’s commitment to a sustainable wine and tourism industry/ has been well documented, and being given a world stage such as this provides further impetus and inspiration to our team.  

So what does it take to get an award like this?

  • You have to make world-class wines like our Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, that’s a given
  • You have to have a place of sheer natural beauty that will take guests breath away and although people may not buy sustainability, they will not buy from spoiled environments, or unhappy people
  • You have to have a modern approach to farming, winemaking and hospitality. It is this, that has turned Creation into an unmissable destination
  • Gastronomes can delight in seasonal, locally sourced, healthy food/ including the tasting menu or à la carte, the menu is a joyful sensorial experience
  • Guests are encouraged to explore our fynbos gardens with art and, make the most of the hiking and cycling safaris highlighting our fynbos
  • We champion sustainability projects and are members of the integrated production of wine. This means that consumers can trace everything we do from the vineyards to the table/ in every bottle of wine. We are WWF South African Conservation Champions, 70% of our energy is produced by SA’s greatest natural asset the sun – we have 200 solar panels on our roofs. 
  • I believe one of the key factors of sustainable wine tourism is our focus on our people. We recruit people from our immediate surrounds and offer them opportunities to advance their skills. Our team graduate through our sommelier, international wine education Trust and chef training. Which now consist of 20 sommeliers, 17 WSET graduates, 8 chefs, 4 viticulturists and 4 winemakers.
  • We take care of our viticulture and our people
  • We work with scientists to understand nature better.
  • Plant and soil scientists work with us on climate change and plant health. Extending this plant health ethos, Creation is a source of virus-free material used to sustain South African vineyards. 
  • Neurologists help us understand how the senses are pathways to the brain.
  • Working with Scientists helps us educate all facets of our team from viticulture to our cellar and tasting room. 
  • Our training includes leadership and communication courses and lectures on mental health.
  • The result is an extremely high retention rate and a coherent and supportive team.
  • Guests remark on the warmth and caring attitude of our tasting room team. I believe this reflects on the investment we make in our people.
  • saying this we also have a fine wine mission to broaden horizons and create a world view: We are therefore looking at a global wine visa to assist in building cultural diversity and inclusion to secure the future of fine wine and the role South Africa plays in this.
  • We think of our guests as informal ambassadors for Creation, with many guests returning to explore our seasonal menus. This word of mouth is key to building our reputation. To build the concept of sustainability is to internalise it at every level. 
  • our purpose is to produce fine wine especially our Chardonnay and Pinot noir and pair it with equally fine food. Every dawn brings a new challenge, and at Creation Innovation is a way of life. This is how we solve our problems/ to be sustainable.

“So many elements need to be brought into harmony to create and enhance our visitor experience. We want to preserve our natural heritage for generations to come and this must be at the very core of not only the fine wines we produce, but the fine people we must grow.”

10% of World Tourism is now wine tourism. This win is a great opportunity for our town and region… The World’s Best Vineyards has been syndicated to the press and had 900 million views in the last year. People are coming to stay in our region as they want to visit, they have seen CNN and ENCa and decided to come to Hermanus for a few days. I am constantly getting feedback from guests in the Tasting Room. Just this last Sunday a 4-day stay and …another weekend stay…and “we saw you on ENCa” “we saw you on CNN on the news in Paris talking about the sustainability of South African Wine” All the wins in our town and region are wins for all of us! This award for Creation is not just for our team, it’s for all of us in Hermanus. It’s for our region, the Western Cape and South Africa.

Guests have high expectations so we all have to deliver…”

17 new Chamber members received their membership certificates: 17 New members of the Hermanus Business Chamber received their certificates last night. They were (in alphabetical order): All Visa Solutions – Michelle McHeath,

Brain Exchange Solutions – Mary Ovenstone,

Cape Coastal Homes – Antoinette Lotter,

Creation Wines – Carolyn & JC Martin,

DelTu Industrial Psychologist – Henk Delen,

Folke & Goode Brewery & Distillery – Peter & Karen Dickens,

Fridays Art Walk – Liz Coates, Charmaine de Jong & Harold Botha,

Ginjaninja Marketing – Denis & Samantha Hog-Brandjes,

House to Home Movers – Anita Spratt,

Mad Foods Hermanus – Dion van Loggerenberg & Tracy Lee Savage,

Overstrand Aesthetics – Sarel Swanepoel,

Overstrand Whale Research UP – Dr Els Vermeulen,

School of Tourism and Hospitality Lecturer UJ- Prof.Jayne Rogerson,

Tanko’s Wendy Houses – Nkosinathe Joja,

Vermont Lofts Accommodation – Peter & Katrin Corna,

Wapipa Construction – Tembile Dywili,

Western Region Group – Emile Espin.

Although the whole event took place during load shedding, everybody enjoyed it and The Brewery provided the necessary back-ups. The food was great and ample, and the networking and mingling contributed towards a great event. Business and Tourism structures are working together to boost the local economy in a most enjoyable way. Anybody who wants to join the Chamber, can contact Alta Pretorius at 0735383685 or info@hermanuschamber.com. The current membership fee is only R350 for businesses or tourism enterprises with 5 or less employees, and R700 if larger.

A most enjoyable networking event, and it was clear that the business sector and tourism sector need to interact. The load shedding could not dampen the spirits. A big thank you to The Brewery Hemel en Aarde restaurant who bent over backwards to provide for enough space for 100 people and set a section aside for the private event. Their food was superb and the Beer and wine as well. Everything was well organised and food was served efficiently even through load shedding. Well done Brian, Frandi and staff. Marc, you can be proud of your team. Of course the attendees loved the wine tasting from Creation Wines, and they also found the talk by the Small Business Institute’s Director Winda Austin-Loeve very informative. She came all the way from Centurion to address the Chamber. We liaise with the SBI frequently in Zoom meetings. Carolyn’s presentation and video were very well received and we appreciate the uplifting work they are doing with the Pebbles community education project. Congratulations again on all the recent international awards Creation Wines have achieved. We are proud of all our members and invite more businesses to join. Just contact Alta at 0735383685. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.

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