Couture launches with Threshers at Taste London Festival

The biggest drinks phenomenon of the Summer has hit the UK and South Africa. COUTURE {by Stormhoek} – a limited production world exclusive rosé crafted to taste better with ice and fruit has been launched exclusively by Threshers (UK) – 6.99 (Buy 3 for 2 and get Couture for 4.66 each).

Have a look at the video of our June launch in Regents Park at Taste London 2007. We were sited in the Thresher Wine Zone where we had a fully kitted out COUTURE BAR and loads of SWAG (stripy flip flops, t-shirts, caps, lollies, etc.). The launch was a huge success and we’re doing some more consumer shows towards the end of the year!!

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What we’re up to…


We’re crazy busy right now! Hugh and Jason get back from Seattle tomorrow after their presentation at Marketsmart 2007. Apparently it all went very well – Hugh even had the audience clapping along to “the Stormhoek song”!

The rest of us are working on “Project UnderSea” – new packaging for our Stormhoek core range. We’re nearly there and we can’t wait to show it to you! It will be on shelf in June/July 2007.

We’ve also got our Couture launch – rose that tastes better over ice, and some new cartoon labels from Hugh.

The last week in May sees us at the LIWSF (London International Wine and Spirits Fair). So, we’re flat out organising & managing some innovative activity for the Fair: “The Smarter Wine Show”- a mini theatre showcasing some of the leaders of the wine industry talking about innovation in today’s changing world – on the big screen and Wine Fair Live (WFL). WFL is a live website that will be shown on a hugh concert screen in the boulevard. It includes a daily wine gossip blog, pre-recorded interviews with some notable figureheads in the industry, live events and naughty goings-on from the night before. We’ll keep you up to date as we go along!

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We’re Guest Speakers today, at Marketsmart 2007 (AMA)


Jason and Hugh are in Seattle today at the Bell Harbor International Conference Centre. They’ve been asked to speak at MarketSmart 2007 – a yearly event held by the American Marketing Association. Our topic is “Using Web 2.0 as a Tool for Decommodification” – How does “…a tiny South African winery that nobody had ever heard of” turn into the most talked-about wine brand on the web?

Other guest speakers include YouTube, Redfin & Zillow, Jones Soda & DECA Students, Digital Kitchen, and “Why Wal-Mart Works”.

As soon as i get some footage, I’ll post it! Can’t wait to see it as i’ve watched these two practise and prepare and it’s been amusing!

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Olly Smith ROCKS at Nandos!

One of my favourite wine writers in the UK is the charismatic Olly Smith He hosted the launch of Nando’s Wine Festival last night and kept us entertained with amusing stories from his past and his passionate views on what the wine industry should be – less snobby, more fun and more entertaining for consumers. Some of his top comments included, “labels need to reach out and say drink me! I’m better than the dog’s bollocks! (an English term for fantastic)”, “wine tastings should be rock festivals” and a great compliment to Stormhoek, saying “Stormhoek is like Robbie Williams with soul…brilliant and interesting”. We like this guy! Have a look at a snippet from last night.

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Stormhoek in Nando’s Wine Festival


Nando’s launched its wine festival last night, at its flagship store near Vinopolis, London Bridge. They invited Nick, Chris, Andrew, Rob and I and we invited the delightful Jo Mason, head of WOSA, as our guest. The wine festival started on the 30th April and ends on the 13th May and all you have to do is go into a restaurant, buy 2 glasses and you get the rest of the bottle free! Stormhoek is part of the new wine list, “which reflects Nando’s Portugese and African heritage, as well as being outstanding quality and fantastic value for money”. Their flagship restaurant is very impressive and reflects their vision of really upping their game, to be taken as a serious restaurant chain with the consumer at heart.

Andre Morgan from Choice FM – Winner of Hugh’s cartoon, with Chris Smith

Hugh drew a fantastic A3 cartoon for the auction and Andrew won a huge hamper of wine, olives & sauces. There are now over 140 Nandos restaurants in the UK and more around the world – Australia, USA etc.

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Tagline Feedback Requested!


We’re having an internal discussion at Stormhoek, about what the final tagline on the front label of our new “Couture Rose” should be. The main take-out is that we want to communicate in a fun, funky way that this rose tastes BEST with ice (‘cos it does!). Expressed in as few words as possible. Here’s our shortlist:

1. Magic over ice
2. So nice with ice
3. Pour over ice
4. Nice over ice
5. Happiest over ice
6. Best over Ice

Some of Hugh’s readers have recommended the following (some of my favourites so far…)

1. Accessorize with Ice
2. Ice. Drink. Repeat
3. Made for Ice
4. Best served over Ice
5. The New Ice Age
6. Twice as nice with Ice

Anybody have any ideas? All opinions and different suggestions gratefully received.

Catherine x

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Our Hope…and Our Home…


Every now and again a short video comes out with visuals and words that touch your soul… The beauty of South Africa never escapes me…

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Is Tap Water back in Fashion?!


It seems that the San Francisco Bay Area is making tap water fashionable again. For an increasing number of restaurants along the sunny coastline, bottled water has become an outcast and is being replaced by filtered tap water, or being fizzed up by a soda-fountain-style, carbonating machine.

It’s really about the profitability of bottled water for most restaurants, but for the select few, moving “back” to tap water shows a concern about the effect on the environment. In addition, the costs of bottling, transporting water, the energy spent recycling the glass, and keeping plastic out of landfills, is another reason to go back to good ol’ nature herself.

Good luck – Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards


I spotted that our good friend and Stormhoek supporter, Jamie Goode, has been shortlisted for Wine Writer of the Year in the Glenfiddich Food & Drink Awards. These awards recognise and encourage excellence in writing, publishing and broadcasting in the food and drink industry.

Well done for the shortlist nomination and i’ll keep my eye out on the 14th May to see if you scoop the award! Best of luck…

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Tomorrow’s (and Today’s) Thinking…


Great book out by Howard Gardner, “Five Minds for the Future” and covered by an article in the Times Online today.

* The article discusses Gardener’s theory, that in order to survive and be successful in the 21st century, we have to be able to think in certain cognitive ways in order to deal with the changing world and information technology and overload.

* Times UK today:”He identifies this priceless pentad as: the disciplined mind, schooled in basic subjects such as history, science and art but, crucially, a master of one profession, vocation or craft; the synthesising mind, which can make sense of disparate pieces of information (Gardner identifies this as a key trait of good managers and highlights its importance in the age of the internet); the creating mind, capable of asking new questions and finding imaginative answers; the respectful mind, which shows an appreciation of different cultures; and the ethical mind, which enables one to behave responsibly as a worker and citizen.” He goes on to state that the last two are just as important as the others, due to the evolution of the human species and the fact that culture, money, information etc. cross all borders and are live for all to see on the internet and news.

* Our school educatory system should be reading this, adapting to change and helping kids prepare for the world of today/tomorrow. I and many others believe that one part of this, finance management, should be taught at school. Not only how to manage a bank account, but what a mortgage is, bills one incurs when you move into your own home, ISAs, credit cards and so on. This should be taught in increasing levels of detail from when we are young through to 16/18 yrs of age when we leave school.

There’s so much to comment on and not enough space, so definately take the time to read the article online!

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