Having recently enjoyed a renaissance world-wide, artisanal gin is the latest trend to hit the craft scene in Cape Town. This white spirit, which is flavoured by juniper berries, is a perfect fit with South African flora as it serves as a blank canvas for local distillers to infuse their own handcrafted blend of traditional South African flavours from indigenous fynbos and other botanicals.
Giving the city’s craft beer trend a run for its money, Cape Town’s gin scene is fast emerging, with a small but notable selection of premium gin distilleries found in and around the city. Here are some of Cape Town’s top local gin distilleries to visit:
Woodstock Gin Company
399 Albert Road, Woodstock | +27 21 821 8208
As the name implies, this small scale distillery is based in Woodstock and was founded by Simon Von Witt. With a passion for gin-making and a belief that creating the perfect gin is far more than simply infusing alcohol with juniper, Simon has developed a fynbos gin that fuses Rooibos, buchu herbs and honey bush – a combination of endemic Cape botanicals that make this gin truly unique. Tasting can be enjoyed at the distillery, but bookings are essential so be sure to call ahead to arrange a tasting session or tour
Laurenskirk Estate, Old Riversdale Road (R305), Stillbaai | +27 (0)28 754 2442
For a rewarding day trip, a visit to Inverroche Distillery is highly-recommended. Ingredients are harvested by hand from the Cape’s coastal dunes and mountainous regions, with a focus on sustainable harvesting that has little impact on the surrounding environments. The distillery produces three uniquely South African gins starting with the Classic Gin which boasts citrus flavours along with Angelica root and Cassia bark to add depth, and lastly a hint of coriander seeds and cardamom pods. Gin Verdant, their more subtly favoured product, features ingredients from all over the globe from exotic African flavours, to spices from the Middle East and the European juniper. Lastly, the Gin Amber is a complex gin balanced by coastal botanicals that produce its amber colour. Visitors can choose from a distillery tour and tasting, or a simple 15 minute sampling experience. Bookings are essential.
New Harbour Distillery
Unit 009, Masons Press, 7 Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock | +27 (0)82 550 3421
Also based in Woodstock, the New Harbour Distillery uses both modern and traditional distilling techniques to create a selection of spirits that include gin and vodka. Their specialties include Spekboom gin which is created from the leaf of the Spekboom tree and is very high in vitamin C. while their Rooibos gin provides a one-of-a-kind flavour using botanicals unique to the Cape Peninsula. Along with their distillery tour, you can also try your hand at a gin making class or book a gin tasting. Bookings are essential for all activities.
Versailles Farm, Regent Street, Wellington | +27 (0)21 864 1777
Jorgensen’s Gin uses spicy juniper berries that is harvested in Paarl from South Africa’s only juniper plantation. Exotic additions to the gin include angelica root, orris root, calamus root, coriander, liquorice root, bitter apricot kernels and African wild ginger, which all add plenty of depth, while top notes from delicate touches of naartjie and Cape lemon peels, buchu, Grains of Paradise, rose geranium and perfumed Ohandua from Kaokoveld, further enhance the gin’s flavour profile. Tastings and tours are available on request and bookings are essential.
Hope on Hopkins
Image courtesy of Crush Magazine
7 Hopkins Street, Salt River | +27 (0)21 447 1950
A boutique distillery based in Salt River, Hope on Hopkins is the Mother City’s first gin distillery and offers plenty of character. Named after the owners’ grandmothers, Maude and Mildred are the first two stills to be licensed by the City of Cape Town and are used to create a unique gin range that uses botanicals for added taste and aroma. Hope on Hopkins offers a special tour and tasting experience where Mimo, the distillery cat, will be waiting to greet you.
At Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, we aim to provide our guests with the best possible experience during their stay. If you would like assistance to arrange a Cape Town gin tour or tasting during your stay at Pepperclub, contact our concierge and we will help you plan the ultimate gin experience.
For the fourth consecutive year, Pepperclub Hotel & Spa has been named Africa’s Leading City Hotel at the 23rd annual World Travel AwardsTM regional Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony held in Zanzibar this past weekend.
A coveted title which is widely regarded as the “Oscars” of the international tourism industry, the World Travel AwardsTM recognises and rewards excellence in all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. All titles are awarded based on votes received from travellers and industry professionals.
With its prime position in the heart of Cape Town city centre, the hotel remains a favourite for many business and leisure travellers – both international and local – as they exploit its convenient, close proximity to the business district, and numerous tourism hot-spots.
Commenting on the achievement, Bruce Deneys, Director of Sales and Marketing at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa remarked: “We are delighted to have been recognised yet again, and our staff and management remain committed to delivering the highest quality experience to all guests. As we remain title holders of the title for another year, we hope we will be successful in being recognised as the World’s Leading City Hotel in the global awards ceremony that will be held later this year.
“Given the international reach of the awards, the exposure for the hotel, as well as Cape Town, is significant. Having competed against the likes of the Hyatt Regency Casablanca Hotel in Morocco and The Michaelangelo in Johannesburg, winning this award places the Cape Town tourism industry on the global map as a top, internationally acclaimed destination,” concludes Deneys.
Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, a five star hotel in the heart of Cape Town, has been nominated for four categories in the 2016 World Travel AwardsTM.
As the current title holder of Africa’s Leading City Hotel for three consecutive years and South Africa’s Leading Hotel Suite 2015 award for the hotel’s opulent penthouse, Nick Seewer, CEO of Pepperclub Hotel & Spa says the hotel is thrilled to be recognised yet again by the prestigious awards platform.
Pepperclub Hotel & Spa has been nominated for the following African titles: Africa’s Leading City Hotel, Africa’s Leading Hotel Residences, South Africa’s Leading Hotel Residences and South Africa’s Leading Hotel Suite: Penthouse Suite @ Pepperclub Hotel & Spa.
“Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart”
Do you want to catch the attention of that special someone this Valentine’s weekend? Treat them to an exclusive and romantic evening: Dinner & a Movie at the Pepperclub Hotel & Spa on Sunday, 14 February 2016
Package includes a glass of bubbly upon arrival in Paparazzi Bar & Lounge to set the mood. Guests are then invited to sit down at Sinatra’s Restaurant for a 5-course set dinner menu, inclusive of a bottle of red or white wine suited to your meal selection. The meal will be followed by the screening of About Time in our luxurious and intimate 29-seater Odeon Cinema, complete with popcorn.
Dinner: 18h30 for 19h00 | Movie starts at 21h00
R 1300 per couple
Searching for the ultimate ‘wow’ factor?
Extend your Valentine’s Day celebrations with our Love Bird’s special rate and surprise your partner with a stayover in one of our luxury Deluxe Studio Suites.
R 1900.00 per suite per night, inclusive of breakfast at Sinatra’s restaurant
Valid for Saturday 13 February and Sunday 14 February 2016 only
*Terms & Conditions apply
To make your booking or for further information, please contact us: email@example.com or 021 812 888
The revision of the amended South African visa regulations in October 2015 – which required visitors to apply for visas in person and children under 18 to produce unabridged birth certificates – has resulted in the tourism industry adopting a positive outlook for 2016.
This is according to Bruce Deneys, Director of Sales & Marketing at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa – a five star hotel based in Cape Town – who says that while Cape Town enjoyed a good festive season, the sector is hopeful that the revised regulations will aid in driving tourism numbers and revenues further over the next 12 months.
Reflecting on the 2015 / 2016 festive season, Deneys says: “Many hotels reported high occupancy levels over December and January, and knock-on effects were felt by other establishments operating in the industry, such as retailers and restaurants.”
He adds that popular tourism attractions, such as Table Mountains’ Aerial Cableway and the V&A Waterfront, reported a record season, with Robben Island experiencing a 43% increase in visitors during December 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. “The favourable exchange rate for many overseas travellers was definitely a pull factor and increased tourists’ spending power over the period.”
Deneys says that the Cape Town film industry experienced buoyant growth in 2015, which aided the tourism industry throughout the year. “We are seeing a definite increase in the number of production companies choosing Cape Town as a shooting location. Not only do they contribute to the tourism sector, but also towards revenue for the city and job creation.
In terms of the various markets visiting the hotel over festive season, Deneys says that they noticed a shift in visitors in comparison to previous years. “In the past we have predominately hosted the Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) markets, but over the last few months we have noticed a decrease in the Chinese and Indian markets, and an increase in visitors from Europe and the UK. We also saw an increase in local travellers, which is a direct result of the current weak rand and limited spending power for South Africans traveling abroad. They are instead opting to travel locally.”
Looking ahead at 2016, Deneys says that the revised visa regulations will encourage markets who were previously impacted by the amendments to reconsider South Africa. Despite the favourable exchange rate for tourists in 2015, the challenges that accompanied obtaining a visa resulted in certain markets opting to visit alternative holiday destinations. Markets such as the UK and US – for example – place high importance on family travel, therefore with the revision to the visa requirements, we expect these markets to relook at the country in 2016.”
Apart from the film industry, Deneys expects the eventing industry to boost tourism further in 2016. “The number of events taking place locally – both business and leisure – are increasing, and is extremely positive for the sector. Not only will this generate extra revenue for tourism as delegates travel across borders to attend expos and conferences, but it will also have a knock-on effect for associated businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, as well as aid in further job creation.”
He concludes: “Based on the 2015 / 2016 festive season and continued favourable exchange rates for tourists, we expect the tourism industry to pick up again in 2016, and the increased demand for accommodation in the country to continue into the year.”
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