Robertson sweeps the consumers off their feet, says the results of the Klink Awards

Thursday, 14 November, 2013
Klink Awards
Cape Town, 15th November 2013: Wine tourism is fast becoming South Africa’s most lucrative sector and is why so many smart wineries are capitalising on the booming trend. Among them is The Spice Route Destination in Paarl. With its smorgasbord of artisanal chocolate, craft beer, biltong and tasting room it draws the crowds, many of whom voted for it as The 2013 Klink Wine Tourism Awards Best New Cellar Door Attraction as well as its overall “Supanova” winner.
Monika Elias, The Klink Wine Tourism Awards founder says, “In the old days everything revolved around the tasting room; today the wine industry is so much more than that – it’s the festivals, Rock Star Chefs, artisan chocolatiers and celebrity-style accommodation. Each add flavour to our already world-class Winelands making it an even more desirable destination.”

The search for The Klink Wine Tourism Awards winners began on 2nd September 2013 when it opened its online and social media voting platforms to the public. Almost 15 000 votes were cast by the 31st October deadline, almost double that from when it launched in 2012.

This is so encouraging as it suggests that more and more people are discovering the Winelands’s wealth of unusual and surprising experiences - beyond the cellar door,” says Elias.

Robertson took home 4 awards, with two going to the newly re-vamped Van Loveren Wine Estate.

The Klink Wine Tourism Awards: Categories and winners

BEYOND EXPECTATIONS: Award for Great Food and Excellent Wine
Situated between our Klink awards for casual dining-style, country cuisine and fine dining, this award is for a Winelands restaurant in the middle category that serves seriously good food and excellent wine, attracting foodies by raising the bar and presenting local garden and winelands produce with passion and contemporary culinary style.

Winner: Harvest at Laborie

COMFORT ZONE: Award for casual dining on a Wine Farm
This award goes to the best casual dining or café style venues in the Cape Winelands. The best venue combines quality fare, setting and service without all the frills of silver service. We were looking for venues that source local, artisanal farm produce and showcase good food and wine in an informal, relaxed style as well as offer value-for-money on own wines and wines served by the glass.

Winner: Long Table at Haskell

CONNOISSEUR: Award for Best Cellar Tasting Experience
This award goes to the cellar which offers the best vintage wine tasting experience. Criteria include the welcome and wine knowledge of staff, the use of the correct wine glasses, the condition of wine samples, the range of vintage wine releases available, the availability of vertical flights of flagship wines, the range of unique wines available at cellar-door only.

Winner: Waterford

COUNTRY COMFORT: Award for Accommodation on a Wine Farm
The winner of this category offers self catering accommodation on a wine farm that promises a relaxed and comfortable stay. The winning venue will capture the romance of a wine farm getaway and offer the facilities of home but the luxury of going away.

Winner: Weltevrede Ons Huisie

CROWD PLEASER: Award for Best Wine Route Event
This award goes to the most popular wine route event on the annual Winelands calendar - an event that draws repeat visitors year after year, helps to build a regional wine brand and market a specific wine route destination.

Winner: Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend

DELICIOUS DELI: Award for Best Deli on a Wine Farm

These days, cellar-door delis sell all manner of goodies: estate olives and olive oils, artisanal breads, cheeses and charcuterie, boutique chocolates and nougat, organic vegetables, farm honey, jams, pickles and picnic baskets. This award recognises the top cellar-door deli, one that tempts wine tourists with an authentic range of traditional and contemporary Wine lands produce grown on the farm or sourced locally from artisanal producers.

Winner: Fairview

FAMILY DAY OUT: Award for Best Child-Friendly Venue on a Wine Farm

This award goes to a wine farm where you can take the whole family and the kids are taken care of in a safe environment. There must be something for everyone here. The adults can relax and enjoy their wine experience - while a kids' menu, special kids' activities or a kids’ playground for all ages keeps everyone happy on a day out in the Winelands.

Winner: Van Loveren

GOURMAND: Award for Best Gourmet Restaurant at the Cellar Door

This award goes to the best of the best cellar-door restaurants in the Cape Winelands – those
gastronomic destinations with signature chefs who create cuisine on the cutting edge to attract domestic and foreign wine tourists. We were looking for restaurants which pay great attention to detail in terms of an overall cellar-door experience, have a great location, first class service, a focus on artisanal and local Winelands produce, seasonal menus, tasting menus which expertly pair food and wine, a sommelier service and a wine list which showcases older vintages, own wines and/or regional wines at the cellar door.

Winner: The Restaurant at Waterkloof

HAPPY TIMES: Award for Most Memorable Wine Route
This award goes to the most popular wine route chosen by wine tourists who cherish memories of their experience of a particular wine region because of its ambience, accessibility, scenic beauty, soul, sense of community, family tradition and heritage, warmth, friendliness, culinary offerings, etc. These criteria all go into the memory mix.

Winner: Franschhoek Wine Route

HERITAGE: Award for Most Welcoming Cellar Door Experience

This award acknowledges a family wine farm that offers the warmest country welcome. One that retains the authenticity of its Cape heritage while investing in a cellar-door experience and goes out of its way to make a visit to the cellar door a special experience - making wine tourists feel they are sharing in the special family heritage of the farm and the Winelands

Winner: Delheim

NEW: Award for the Best New Cellar Door Attractions
The winner of this category has launched a new winery or winelands experience in the last 12 months. This award is for a new wine farm offering or experience, a new wine farm, restaurant or accommodation that adds to the full South African wine tourism offering.

Winner: Spice Route

SPOIL ME: Award for Best Accommodation on a Wine Farm

This award goes to the best of the best, from exclusive five star hotels, luxury guest house, boutique style accommodation or Cape Manor House on a wine farm. Criteria include the highest standards in terms of location, style, service, quality and comfort, facilities, and add on attractions such as a restaurant, spa

Winner: Grand Dedale

TREAD GENTLY: Award for Most Green Wine Farm
The wine farm that sets the standard for green, planet-friendly farming practices in terms of sustainable viticulture and wine production, biodiversity and conservation initiatives, as well as organic or biodynamic viticulture is celebrated with this award.

Winner: Waverley Hills

WILD CARD: Award for Most Unusual Attraction on a Wine Route
Celebrating the most unusual and memorable attraction on a wine farm, this award is for a destination that offers a unique selling point attracting wine tourists to the cellar- door - from wine and river cruises to vintage motorcar and heritage museums.

Winner: Segway at Spier

YIN AND YANG: Award for Best food and wine pairing at the Cellar Door

These days cellar doors tempt wine tourists with special food and wine pairings at the cellar tasting centre - from biltong, nuts, dried fruits and wine to cheese, chocolate, and nougat and gourmet canapé tasting platters. We went looking for the best Winelands experiences in the art of food and wine pairing over the tasting counter. Note: This category excludes formal restaurant pairing menus.

Winner: Van Loveren