Thought-Leaders in Food and Beverage Innovation

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2011 will definitely be known as the year of inventiveness and enterprise at Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel. Management and staff have been hard at work refining the hotel’s food and beverage sourcing and production processes. The results speak for themselves, as new frontiers in tailor-made wine, beer, cider and water solutions have been breached. The Table Bay is unquestionably a thought-leader in gastronomic innovation.

A True House Wine

When The Table Bay’s Food and Beverage (F&B) team were asked their opinion on the house wine, the general consensus was that the current offering did not live up to their expectations. The only way the F&B staff’s discerning palates would be satisfied was if they took matters into their own hands.

Partnering with Rikus Neethling of Bizoe wine fame, the team has been guided through the entire wine-making process. Neethling is a young Turk and his ideals fit that of the F&B team.

As Joep Schoof, the F&B Manager at the Table Bay Hotel, notes, “We see ourselves as the new garagiste. Small quantities of grapes, excellent wine-making ability and exceptional quality will be our hallmark. The grapes for our house white will come from the Elgin area, whilst grapes for the red, will come from the Theewaterskloof and Stellenbosch areas. The white wine will be blended on Glen Erskine Estate whilst the red wine will be produced on Croydon Estate in the Stellenbosch area.” Schoof adds, “We will have no compunction in recommending our house wine to our esteemed guests. Our pride in this project will speak for itself in the wine we deliver.”

Improving Our Cellars

In addition to creating a true house wine, F&B staff have also gone the extra mile to ensure cellar stocks truly reflect The Table Bay’s distinct personality. The Nederburg Wine Auction proved particularly fruitful for the Table Bay’s cellars this year, with 70% of the cellar’s acquisitions being brand new.

The total purchase value at the Nederburg Auction, by the Table Bay Hotel, was considerably lower than previous years but the lots that were bought are considered spot-on in terms of value. More importantly, all the additions to the current stock holding of Nederburg Auction wines should hold their value over time.

Top purchases for the Table Bay Hotel included: the L’Avenir Cabernet Sauvignon 1992, the Lanzerac Pinotage 1992, the Vriesenhof Limited Release Cabernet Franc 2003, the Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2006, the Ken Forrester FMC 2007 and the 2005 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel. Rare boutique wines from cellars such as Bizoe, Rall, Haskell, Amares and Thunderchild were also acquired.

To flaunt their comprehensive new wine line-up, The Table Bay has begun hosting Friday tastings, where guests can sample cellar offerings under the supervision of the hotel’s Sommelier, Restaurant Manager, F&B Manager and Hotel Manager.

Introducing Oscar Lager

Not stopping at wine, the F&B team are also looking at a beer specifically designed and brewed to Table Bay Hotel specifications. Branded “Oscar Lager” after the famous seal that frequented the harbour in front of the Table Bay Hotel, the beer, like Oscar, will embody a spirit of adventure.

The team involved in the beer-brewing venture wanted to offer guests a product unique to the hotel. They wanted to offer visitors to The Table Bay something which no other establishment could offer. And so, partnering with an expert, Oscar Lager will be the only beer available on draught for guests. The beer is brewed with Jack Black Beer in Woodstock, with locally sourced ingredients and water fresh from the springs of Table Mountain.

Our New Sumptuous Cider

With beer and wine up to their demanding standard, the F&B team are now working on a house cider, collaborating with William Everson, a garagiste winemaker in Grabouw, Western Cape. Everson has been experimenting with cider for a number of years. The result of his labour: Everson’s Cider. The cider has a light, dry, refreshing taste, with a distinct aroma that comes from the mix of 5 different apple varieties. This great brand of local cider is happily served and promoted at the Table Bay Hotel.

Premium Water

After tackling custom wine, beer and cider offerings, the tireless F&B team still had more on their agenda. Nothing short of creating a wholly unique Table Bay Hotel experience would satisfy them. Thus, the decision to establish the production of Table Bay Hotel Vivreau water.

The water is bottled at the Table Bay Hotel under the internationally recognised Vivreau brand. Vivreau is the leading innovator in the manufacture of environmentally positive purified drinking water systems. The water is produced via a uniquely designed mains-fed filtration process that enables the hotel to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating plastic and glass waste and the CO2 produced by transporting water from distant sources.

Going Above and Beyond

The year has also been an exceptionally busy one with the added interest of supporting the Herberg Children’s Home in Robertson. A percentage of profits from every bottle of Thunderchild wine sold goes to the charity. It is hoped that the proceeds from the wine sales will benefit the income of the home, so that it will be possible to cater optimally to the needs of every child.

To quote John Donne, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” It is on this basis that The Table Bay Hotel prides itself on its service to the community. The hotel looks forward to even greater heights being achieved in 2012.

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