Monthly Archives: August 2011
Posted on August 31, 2011 by Admin
Val de Vie is thrilled that Pink Pigeon is one of the sponsors of our upcoming Pink Polo Event. This Vanilla Spiced Mauritian Rum is named after the rare and endangered species of bird found only on the magnificent jewel island of Mauritius. It is the first pure premium spiced rum from the island to be blended with “Black Gold”, which is the finest hand-pollinated and hand-picked natural vanilla from the islands of Madagascar and Reunion. Although complex in flavour, Pink Pigeon is delicious to drink and distilled five times with the purest of spirit.
Here is a recipe for their signature cocktail, the Pink Pigeon Mojito:
1 ½ shots of Pink Pigeon Premium rum
½ shot of Giffard vanilla syrup or sugar if you don’t have
10 Fresh mint leaves
4 wedges of lime
1 shot of Cranberry Juice
First focus on muddling the lime wedges, mint leaves and sugar in the glass of service. Then add in your Pink Pigeon rum, top half the glass with crushed ice and stir with a spoon to mix and chill. Top up the glass with crushed ice and finish of by adding the cranberry juice.
Posted on August 31, 2011 by Admin
'It's always tremendously exciting boarding a plane en-route to discovering unknown territories. When you have the prospect of travelling the world and meeting interesting new people - while simultaneously indulging in one of your greatest passions - “fortunate” and “privileged” are the first two words that spring to mind. I am in the fortunate position of having a job and a passion that are one and the same thing - a great privilege, which not many people have the pleasure of.
My first stop was Zurich, where I met up with Gerald and Thomas, our distributors for Europe; classy people, “wine-merchants to the stars”, and all-round wheeler-dealers! (They can sell oil to an Arab!)
The wine show we did on the Friday was something of an eye-opener. These people shoot straight: They will tell you exactly what they think of your wine … and, while I appreciate honesty, some people don’t. I mean, one person told the presenter that his wine reminded him “of a steak in Britain. It sounds lovely, and is presented to perfection, but tastes like something that's stuck to a horse’s hoof!”
The Swiss countryside is absolutely stunning, especially if you take an Alpine drive in a 1984 Pininfarina Spider. (You could have injected me with Hepatitis, and I would still be laughing!)
The visit to Einsiedeln to see the only Black Madonna in the world was alone worth the bad airline food. The biggest monastery in the world is plated in gold, and quite a sight for sore eyes!
The food-and-wine pairing we did on the Saturday night was really interesting, and went very well. The wines matched the food perfectly. (My apologies, the food matched the wine perfectly.) The party went on long into the night, and when the “hangover-meets-jetlag” effect kicks in, you feel an orphan who was kicked off Santa’s lap...
Italy was my next stop, and privileged as I am, I had another great food and wine experience. My first stop-over was in Verona, where we visited a culinary market. Those of you who know anything about Italians know that they are really passionate about women, food, wine, cars and football - in that order!
I stayed with a friend of mine who works at a winery in Soave, about 25km east of Verona. This was where I had the best food and wine experience of my life! They truly love food, and wine, and they don’t just pair meagre finger food, they cook meals! What a pleasure!!! They create a true understanding of “terroir” and sense of area.
The one wine we tasted was called “Bradisismo”, sismo referring to seismic or volcanic activity. You can actually see the bulges in the earth as it expanded and contracted, creating a bowl-effect in the hills. Fascinating!
After this educational experience, I headed back to Milan - my final stop before heading to the South of France. Beaumes-de-Venise was to be home for the next four days, when I would travel around with my great old mate Philip van Schalkwyk - professional rugby player and family man - to visit some of the most famous vineyards in the world.
The nice thing about travelling Europe is how close everything is together. Within 15km of Beaumes-de-Venise you have Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, Lirac, and Gigondas; my favourite wine area in the world - especially as we at Val de Vie specialise in the same varietals as they do.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is stunning, and well-etched into the history of France. It roughly translates as: “The new home of the Pope”, as he was kicked out of the Vatican in the 1200’s, fled to France, and set up a nice castle for himself. After the Second World War, retreating Germans saw this beautiful castle, and decided to use it for target practice, just for good measure!
The vines and soil in the South are unique, with river-rocks covering about 60% of the area under vine. (Shame, the poor tractor-drivers must have rhino hide behinds) One picks up this minerality in almost all the wines there, which makes this wine area distinctively different from the rest of the world. The people are distinctive too, and really interesting as well. If you manage to find someone who speaks a little English, their reply is almost always the same. “Pffftt, it is possible … maybe ... I don’t know.” Got to love it!
Helsinki followed, and what a rude awakening that was! Don’t get me wrong; it is a beautiful city with some great people. The architecture is similar to that of a hollowed-out brick, and in summer, the sun never sets - so for someone with mild insomnia - it was not ideal!
There, I met with Heiki, our sub-distributor in Finland for a few glasses of wine, and one of the craziest meetings of my life - with the Editor of Champagne Magazine, the only media authority in the world on Champagne. As the meeting started, he opened up a bottle of Armand de Brignac, the world’s best Champagne for 2010. Gorgeous! After that, he opened a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Rare, rated the best Champagne in the world for 2011. We had about €1100 worth of bubbly at a morning meeting. I feel envy coming my way…
Next stop was Berlin, where we did a tasting in the largest wine shop in Germany. It is massive! And the reception the wine got: even bigger!!!
Berlin is, of course, a city with history. Walking the streets, one gets the feeling that there is still some shame amongst the people for what happened there in the past. Everything seems a bit subdued. The ancient buildings are stunning, and the Holocaust museum is somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster.
Once again, I had the privilege of dining at the finest restaurant, having elegant Burgundy, some mind-blowing German Riesling … and more of the Armand de Brignac.
We headed down to Zurich again before flying back to S.A. It’s funny how the human mind works. There is always a connection between time, place, people and music. When I hear our local boys, AKing, I always have fond memories of an Alpine trip in the train, looking out of the window and thinking about the people back home. Mumford & Sons takes me back to Italy and France, and the most surreal week of my life. I distinctly remember Bob Seger and Matchbox 20 as my German and Finnish counterparts.
It's ironic that I never ever have my IPod on shuffle, but as we started our decent back into Cape Town, Johnny Clegg found its way to the top of the list. What an amazing feeling to be back in Africa, accompanied by the most fitting of songs to welcome you!
Travelling is great; it enriches body and mind, makes you think a little differently, and makes you see the world from a different perspective. But even though this may all be true, South Africa will always be my home. Always!'
Posted on August 26, 2011 by Iza de Lange
This is for all the early lovebirds a breakfast wedding! We all know that breakfast is the most important (and my personal favourite) meal of the day – so why not have a breakfast wedding? Morning wedding receptions offer a refreshing change of pace and they're quickly becoming a popular choice for brides.To top it off, a breakfast wedding allows the newlyweds to finish their day early with plenty of time to start their honeymoon.
In terms of catering, you could opt for a plated breakfast but a buffet would be the best bet, as guests can decide what they would like to eat. Serve a range of delicious breakfast treats, from the traditional English breakfast to waffles, pancakes, muffins, croissants, orange-scented scones and walnut banana bread.
You can still have a wedding cake, simply serve a lighter cake such as carrot, lemon or cheesecake, rather than a heavy chocolate-covered cake. Another option is to serve a cake topped with fresh fruit.
As for music, you can still have a DJ and a dancefloor. It'll be midday by the time the ceremony and brunch are wrapped up, a perfectly acceptable time to get celebrating!
Be creative, fresh and different.
Posted on August 26, 2011 by Admin
Varety is the Venue & Coordination Personal Assistant at Val de Vie Events. Petite and stylish, Varety loves all the finer things in life... from Laboutin heels and labels to the looking chic in black and dreaming of Paris. As she says, "I am so at home at val de Vie and I love the creative and pretty things that we work with every day." Varety admits that anything sweet makes her day - especially swirls of candy!
Posted on August 25, 2011 by Admin
The latest issue of Private Edition includes an insightful look at how executives are finding balance in their lifestyles. With its superb lifestyle offering, it's no surprise that Val de Vie was featured in the article.
Click here to view an extract of the article.
Posted on August 24, 2011 by Admin
The Val de Vie Team was delighted to be invited by BMW to the BMW Polo Series that recently took place at the Indanda Club in Sandton on 22nd August 2010.
With a fresh theme of tones of green and gold, it was a glamorous event that included a fashion show featuring the work of 10 fashion designers. Guests were also treated to a three course meal before viewing the exciting polo match between South Africa and Australia. The Australian team secured two points against the South African team with a final score of 9–7 to Australia.
Posted on August 24, 2011 by Admin
Today we'd like to introduce Nadia, our Events Account Executive. We love that sheis so hardworking and goal orientated, yet still retains her easy going personality and sense of fun.
Before getting to work, Nadia starts each day with a coffee. The things that make her day? Seeing her friends, the colour turquoise, the sound of the first raindrops falling or indulging in some chocolate.
Nadia is celebrating her own wedding in November, so she is currently planning all the details for her big day. For her it's the most natural thing to do - as she quotes, "love and marriage… goes together like a horse and carriage!"
Posted on August 24, 2011 by Admin
We love Wine Times' recent article about Val de Vie's passion for Rhone-style wines. It showcases the talent of our winemaker, Harold Versfeld, and how successful he has been in creating exceptional wines from Mediterranean varieties such as Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. As the article puts it, he is a true "Rhone Ranger" and that he has "conquered these lesser know grape varieties and turned them into magnificient wines." Bravo!
Click here to read the full article.
Image courtesy of Wine Times
Posted on August 23, 2011 by Admin
Simone is the Managing Director of Val de Vie Events and we all admire this exceptionally talented lady. She's an absolute marvel at coordinating events and relishes every opportunity that comes her way. As she puts it, "joy = contentment = my career, what I truly love!"
Simone lists several things that make her day. The first is waking up to her adorable three-year-old daughter, Indya-Sage, who usually asks if she can watch Barbie. In her free time, Simone loves to savour ginger and fresh sushi with her hubby at Sevruga at the V&A Waterfront. She also loves the little things that make life special, whether it's the weather in spring, admiring pretty hearts and butterflies or simply enjoying the sound of birds flying high in the sky.
Simone has an excellent eye for design and loves the current trend for bespoke items that are customised to be unique and edgy. Her top colours for 2012 are tangerine and crisp yellow. In her own words, "they're fresh, inspiring, a bit crazy and super daring!"
Posted on August 22, 2011 by Admin
Here are some more photos from the recent shoot of Queenspark's spring men's collection, which was shot at Val de Vie. Click here to view more photos from the shoot, which captured the sense of style and elegance of the Queenspark brand.
Posted on August 22, 2011 by Iza de Lange
This blueish tone of light green is extremely close to my heart.
I easily get lost in this peaceful yet bright colour. It creates the illusion of being on a tropical island... I can hear the seagulls calling, feel the warm sand between my toes, taste the tropical fruit cocktail, smell the ocean and the sunscreen I had to put on for protections from the blazing sun.
It’s a colour much loved by celebrities and you’ll see it being used in decor, fashion and weddings. It looks absolutely gorgeous combined with neutrals, black, white, and brown.
- Iza, Val de Vie Events & Venue assistant
Posted on August 18, 2011 by Admin
We're thrilled that Val de Vie was the location for the shoot of Queenspark's spring men's collection. The estate's elegance ambience beautifully complements the effortless style of the Queenspark brand, as these photos show.
Visit Queenspark's website to view their clothing range.
Posted on August 18, 2011 by tehri
As the start to the new polo season is on the horizon, we are getting ready for what should be the best, most exciting polo season Val De Vie has see yet. With the growing numbers of people wanting to become members of the Val de Vie polo club every week, and our stables at full capacity, we are all very excited and can’t wait for the season to start in October.
I thought I would share a little information about what we, the Polo Club and Stable personal have been up to all winter. With the end of Polo Season at the beginning of 2011, the polo ponies have all had a well, long deserved rest. They have had the opportunity to re charge their batteries, relax, get as fat as possible and as furry as possible. The grooms and Polo Team have been keeping a close eye on them, making sure they get sufficient feed, love and attention.
The horses have been kept to a very structured schedule, being creatures of habit, they do not adjust to drastic changes very well. So we have to make sure that they get their feed at specific times in the morning and afternoon. Horses mainly get two meals a day . With drastic cases with horses either being drastically under weight, or at times of excess pressure and hard work, they can get up to 4 meals a day. The stomach structure is such that they need to have sufficient grazing all day long. Without this grazing, the stomach acids can cause serious damage which can lead to serious medical complications and stomach alsers. With the lack of grazing down at the sand paddock, we supplement the horses grazing with a product called oat hay.
We have also had a few more livery clients joining us over these past months, I would like to welcome them. Karen Lewis who has just recently purchased her new Polo Pony Angel. Stacey and Kaylee, they came to us from Franschoek with their three beautiful warm blood mares, Star Bucks, Dallas and Moet. Stacey is also a qualified Equine Physiotherapist, so if you are interested in having her look at your horse please feel free to contact me for more information. Tessa Moxon who also moved from Franschoek with her Polo Ponies and young warm blood mare that she will be training as a dressage horse. The Anderson Family, Anuchka, Albert and Sharron and their lovely ponies Trixi and Leo. Anuchka has represented South Africa in Show Jumping up in Johannesberg. Candice Starke who will be with us at the end of the month with her two very talented show jumpers Just London and Chase. Candice was competing in the 1.45m show jumping classes last year. We are very excited to have such top quality horses and riders at our yard. I am sure that the Val De Vie flag will be flying high at many of the big horse shows locally and nationwide in the months to come.
I would also like to welcome Erin and Marilyn Young. Erin has recently joined us from another stable yard in Cape Town, she is leasing a lovely pony from the Anderson Family, Leo. Erin is a very talented and gutsy rider and we can t wait for her to start competing and going to shows on her lovely pony.
The Polo Ponies have also just received their second African Horse Sickness Vaccination. We vaccinate the horses once a year during the “off season” . The purpose of this vaccination is to strengthen the horses immunity against this deadly viral disease which kills thousands of horses around South Africa every year. The vaccination consists of 2 injections 3 weeks apart. There are two types of AHS ( African Horse Sickness) that the horses can contract, Dunkop and Dikkop. I have inserted some additional information with regards to AHS below.
WHAT IS AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS?
African horse sickness (AHS) is a highly infectious non-contagious, vector born viral disease affecting all species of Equidae. It is classified as an Orbivirus of the Reoviridae family of which there are 9 serotypes. All serotypes (1-9) are distributed throughout South Africa, although there is a variation in their temporal distribution. It is endemic to (occurs naturally on) the African continent, and is characterised by respiratory and circulatory damage, accompanied by fever and loss of appetite.
Host and Vector
Animals affected are, all breeds of horses (mortality rate of 70-90%), mules and donkeys. Wild life Equine species (Zebras) are resistant to the disease. The vector host, Culicoides midge, spreads AHS virus.
How do horses contract the disease?
AHS does not spread directly from one horse to another, but is transmitted by the Culicoides midge, which becomes infected when feeding on other infected equidae. It occurs mostly in the warm, rainy season when midges are plentiful, and disappears after frost, when the midges die. Most animals become infected in the period associated with sunset and sunrise, when the midges are most active.
The disease manifests in three ways, namely the lung form, the heart form and the mixed form. The lung (dunkop) form is characterised in the following manner:
• very high fever (up to 41 degrees).
• difficulty in breathing, with mouth open and head hanging down.
• frothy discharge may pour from the nose.
• sudden onset of death.
• very high death rate (90%).
The heart (dikkop) form is characterised in the following manner:
• fever, followed by swelling of the head and eyes.
• in severe cases, the entire head swells (“dikkop”).
• loss of ability to swallow and possible colic symptoms may occur.
• terminal signs include bleeding (of pinpoint size) in the membranes of the mouth and eyes.
• Slower onset of death, occurring 4 to 8 days after the fever has started.
• Lower death rate (50%).
The Polo Ponies will start exercising in September so they can lose their winter “fat layer” and get into shape for Polo Season that starts in October. I am sure many of the Polo Players will also be exercising to rid themselves of the excess “winter warmth layers” that have accumulated over the past couple of months. The horses exercise program will consist mainly of walking for the first couple of days around the track located around the stick n ball field and then we will gradually increase the exercise speed and distance as the weeks go by, so the Ponies will be sleek, fit galloping machines come polo season. As for the Polo Players, we have the gym and Mieke! There are many exciting events, tournaments and family days planned so be sure to keep a close eye on the Events calendar. Polo lessons and educational chukkas with Kevin Rixon will also start in October.
Posted on August 17, 2011 by Simone de Wet
After my travels to Jozi for the day and landing at OR Tambo with a ground temperature of 2C, it was hard to see the “EGOLI” (City of Gold). Instead, what I did see was thunder and lighting which inspired me to design this mood board.
Grey is so the new black and white! Paler shades of grey are light and fresh, with perhaps a bit more interest than plain white. If you want to create a moodier feel, then choose gun-metal grey instead of black. It looks less harsh and never fails to convey a sophisticated ambience.
With so many shades and so many choices, grey is a beautiful colour that suits many different looks, whether modern, vintage or glam. It has a certain old school charm too, making it a real favourite!
Enough said - grey is grey is GREAT!
Simone, Val de Vie Coordination
Posted on August 17, 2011 by Admin
We're delighted that Val de Vie's flagship wine, the Seventeen Eighty Three, was recently featured on South African Wine. Forming part of Val de Vie's signature premium black label range, this Southern Rhône-style wine is a red blend that combines hints of dark fruits, perfume, and warm spices. It's a superb vintage and can be ordered on our website.
Posted on August 16, 2011 by Admin
This mood board was created out of pure excitement about our upcoming Pink Polo Event!
BlackBerry, Edith Venter and the Val de Vie Team are getting ready for this must-attend occasion on 15 October 2011
We invite you to come and celebrate with us in style and enjoy being pampered with a gift bag and bubbly as well as a sumptuous High Tea menu.
Kobus Dippenaar will be showcasing a custom designed fashion range for the occasion. Be sure to book your ticket before 10 October 2011.
Tickets are cost R350 in aid of breast cancer.
Posted on August 15, 2011 by Admin
A host of celebrities such as Heinz Winckler, Dieter Voight and Jo-anne Strauss recently attended the spectacular STOP Fashion show at Val de Vie. Held in support of the fight against human trafficking, the event included a dazzling fashion show and dinner at the estate. As these photos show, it was a fabulous night that helped to bring attention to a very worthy cause.
Posted on August 15, 2011 by Admin
BlackBerry and Val de Vie are very excited about the upcoming Pink Polo event on 15 October 2011, held in aid of breast cancer. This exceptional event includes a captivating polo match, a Kobus Dippenaar fashion show and a host of decadent treats for all who attend.
Posted on August 12, 2011 by Admin
Iza is our Val de Vie Events Assistant and we really treasure her as part of our team. Pure hearted and full of energy, there are many things that she loves about life: hearts, colours, the beauty of Spring and fresh flowers, and anything feminine and chic. Always ready to spring to action and lend a hand, Iza's jokes that her ears prick up when she hears the sound of her BBM alert!
Food is definitely one of her joys in life, which is why she really savours the taste of chocolate (as well as a hearty Spur breakfast!).
Posted on August 11, 2011 by Admin
Less is more and more is tangerine! Spotting the latest trends on the New York catwalks is as much fun as creating a quirky moodboard that screams over-the-top fabulousness.
We love these fresh, bold shades of orange, escpecially when they're used as accents to a pure, clean look. This theme could work well for a variety of events, but with such intense colours at play, some restaint is necessary. Create a menu design with a simple but playful edge. You could also add a dress code called "Pure Simplicity", allowing guests to opt for a sophisticated, subtle style that complements the tangerine colour scheme, rather than overwhelms it.
With the smell of oranges and blossoms in the air, your event is guaranteed to be nothing less than a fabulous garden festival!
Posted on August 8, 2011 by Admin
Michael and Lienka celebrated their special day at Val de Vie, and we are so delighted to have been part of this joyful and beautfiul occasion.
To view more photos, visit the talented June Joubert's website.
Posted on August 4, 2011 by Admin
BlackBerry and Val de Vie invite you to our Pink Polo event on 15 October 2011, held in aid of breast cancer. The exceptional event includes a captivating polo match, a Kobus Dippenaar fashion show and a host of decadent treats for all who attend.
Tickets cost R350.00 and can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 011 783 5887.
Click here to download the full invitation.