Raising a glass to the KLINK awards

Friday, 2 November, 2012
Shante Hutton
Set on a rooftop at De Waterkant centre overlooking Cape Town’s bustling city centre, the KLINK Wine Tourism awards had everyone buzzing.
Delicious canapés and glass of bubbly were served to the expectant guests who were made up of media professionals, winery PR agents and even wine-makers themselves, all eager to hear how they had faired.
What made it such a special occasion was that it was the first consumer-driven, interactive wine tourism awards.

The nominees for each category were chosen by the consumers and then shortlisted by a panel that included Cathy Martson, Graham Howe and of course Monika Elias the brains and beauty behind the Wine Tourism Handbook. The chosen entries where then subjected to the world of social media, gaining their votes from the public and using the platforms of Twitter and Facebook to drive publicity and feedback. Every winner was then chosen purely based on consumer votes making it an honest victory that could properly gage how well each participant was successfully impacting tourism.

Where KLINK awards further succeeded was in recognizing that wineries cannot rely solely on their wine alone. There must be an experience. The wineries honored were those at the top of their field who offered something more than just a beautiful setting but also knowledge, personality, history and a package that could appeal to a range of consumers from the Wine boffins, to families and through to those devoted to food.

The winners in each category were as follows:
•    The ‘Crowd Pleaser’ Award for Best Wine Route Event: Durbanville Wine Valley’s Seasons of Sauvignon
•    The ‘Happy Times’ Award for Most Memorable Wine Route: Franschhoek Wine Valley
•    The ‘Wild Card’ Award for Most Unusual Attraction on a Wine Route: Cape Heritage Museum at Solms-Delta
•    The ‘Family Day Out’ Award for Best Child-Friendly Venue on a Wine Farm: Blaauwklippen Vineyards
•    The ‘Connoisseur’ Award for Best Cellar Tasting Experience: Fairview
•    The ‘Warm Family Welcome’ Award for Best Cellar Door Experience: Delheim
•    The 'Tread Gently’ Award for Most Green Wine Farm: Villiera
•    The ‘Delicious Deli’ Award for Best Deli on a Wine Farm: Fairview Deli
•    The ‘Comfort Zone’ Award for Best Bistro or Café on a Wine Farm: Harvest at Laborie
•    The ‘Beyond Expectations’ Award for Great Food and Excellent Value: Haute Cabrière
•    The 'Gourmand’ Award for Best Gourmet Restaurant at the Cellar Door: Pierneef á La Motte
•    The 'The ‘Yin and Yang’ Award for Best Food and Wine Pairing on a Wine Farm: Creation canapé platter pairing
•    The ‘Percale’ Award for Best Accommodation on a Wine Route: Majeka House 
•    The ‘Country Comfort’ Award for Boutique Accommodation on a Wine Estate: Doolhof Grand Dédale     

This is definitely a venture that should be implemented each year with more of SA’s diverse tourist destinations getting involved. It brought wineries and tourism establishments in South Africa together and brought about a flurry of social media marketing that was reliant on the public’s interaction and appraisal thus making it personal to consumers. We need to keep the Cape Winelands alive and we need to be enticing and committed to show-casing the best of what we have.

Monika Elias handed out each award
Monika Elias handed out each award

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