Mindfulness of our breath is a foundation practice, reconnecting our senses of Taste, Smell, Touch, Sight and Sound. We are all so grateful that we can take a breath and share this year’s journey with you!
Great Wine Capitals is a network of major global cities sharing a critical economic and cultural asset: their internationally renowned wine regions. This year, the Creation team was thrilled to win in two of the seven Western Cape categories: Best in Wine Tourism Restaurants and in Arts and Culture. Asked what these prestigious awards mean to Creation, I emphasised that they speak of our dedication and aspiration to excel and deliver a unique, innovative and educative tourism experience. As a team, we actively engage with and listen to all our stakeholders, including our valued clients and our community. We are delighted to share the recognition of these world-class experiences with them.
This year, the World’s Best Vineyards awarded Creation top-ranking vineyard in South Africa and number 1 in Africa. We were placed number 38 in the world ranking. When we look at the world’s top vineyards across the wine regions of North and South America, Europe and Australasia, we are honoured to be among the top 50 for the third time. This is recognition that South African vineyards hold their place among the best in the world of fine wine.
Creation is proud to have three wines in the 5-star line-up of the 2023 edition of Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide. These are the Creation Art of Pinot Noir 2021, the Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay 2021, and the Creation Viognier, Roussanne 2021. Another four of our wines, including the Creation Art of Chardonnay 2021, the Creation Reserve Chardonnay 2021, the Creation Reserve Syrah 2020, and the Creation Syrah, Grenache 2021 scored 94 points and are classified as ‘highly recommended’.
We are pleased to have three flagship wines scoring 95 and more in the Tim Atkin MW South Africa 2022 Special Report. The 2021 Creation Glenn’s Chardonnay is rated 96, the 2021 Creation Art of Chardonnay 95 and the 2021 Creation Art of Pinot Noir 96. These three top achievers are among Tim’s Wines of the Year. No less that nine Creation wines scored 91+ points.
Three of our wines also excelled in the ‘Discover South Africa’, Hemel-en-Aarde virtual tasting hosted by Oz Clarke. Oz rated the 2020 Glenn’s Chardonnay 96 points, saying: “Outstanding wine. They don’t make much of it, but every bottle should be treasured. I put it down as ‘shyness at a dance, yet you’re the handsomest in the room’”. The 2021 Art of Pinot Noir was rated 96 points and described as “fascinating, thrilling, absorbing . . .” Oz found the 2021 Art of Chardonnay (95 points) “ripe and round yet beautifully balanced”.
Cape Wine 2022 was a true celebration of the energy of South African wines. We hosted international wine specialists from around the world and were delighted with their positive feedback. The good news is that these agents, sommeliers and the press continue to report the good tidings to you wherever you are in the world. A big thank you to WOSA for putting on a fantastic show. We value your effort and contribution to the South African Wine Industry. Building relationships with our stakeholders ignites our fire at Creation!
Congratulations to our Culinary Team! At Creation, every plate tells a story, and Chef Eleanor Niehaus was honoured to receive a ‘One Plate’ rating for Excellent Cuisine in the 2023 JHP Gourmet Guide™. It is gratifying to be in the company of 36 highly-rated South African restaurants. Our restaurant is an innovation hub where families and friends meet to celebrate each other, map future destinations and reflect on milestones achieved. World-class wines, creative cuisine and magnificent scenery combine to indulge the senses and inspire the soul.
As pioneers in wine and food pairing, Creation has gained a worldwide reputation for our creative and ever-evolving pairing menus. ‘What grows together goes together’ is the motto. This translates into inventive menus comprising only the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients from selected local suppliers. At present more than 80% come from neighbours in the Overberg region, hence going a long way towards reducing our carbon footprint.
Healthy eating options matter to our valued guests, and we want the Creation experience to be a feel-good one. With the well-being of our clients in mind, our innovative chefs cater for a wide range of tastes and most dietary requirements.
Wine evokes memories of sharing, loving, and caring, but, as I have learned, true wellbeing is more than a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is about embracing sustainability. And that needs to be shared with and by all our stakeholders. A healthy team is a happy and motivated team. It may sound like a cliché except that here, at Creation, the point has been thoroughly proven: an intensified focus on our team members’ physical and mental well-being has led to virtually zero absenteeism and increased productivity. Attention to nutrition, exercise, emotional and social well-being all contribute to a safer, more inclusive workplace. At Creation, we work with medical doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and occupational therapists.
Creation is also committed to participating in (and supporting) leading scientific and academic initiatives in our industry. These include ClimaVin, a global climate change project spearheaded by Stellenbosch University. We are also working with Stellenbosch University on the VitaGLOBAL project which involves the local development of Viti-viniculture and oenology. Another ongoing venture is the Vititec GEN-Z project, involving experimental plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to establish clones and rootstocks best suited to mitigate climate change. We work with the Stellenbosch University Business School to solve marketing problems. We furthermore collaborate with Stellenbosch University and the Swiss Federal School of Changins, discussing the benefits of exchange programmes with relevant government officials.
I was privileged to attend the Areni Global Future of Fine Wine Conference this year. I had to answer some questions, which triggered the following thought process. What is fine wine? To me, the spirit of fine wine is in its culture and provenance; it’s about character and personality. There is globally a growing awareness of the need for sustainability. This is due to resource scarcity, climate change impact and social inequality. The future of fine wine is about consumers venturing to the place where it is grown to discover the ‘terroir’, which includes the people who make and grow it.
Creation was awarded a Certificate of Excellence as a WWF Conservation Champion this year. We live and work in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. I want visitors to feel the beauty of nature, and see the wonder of the region’s biodiversity. I want them to enjoy the incredible local produce, and the exquisite wines, particularly our Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. At Creation, our passion is to preserve our precious natural environment for generations to come through sound and regenerative practices. This commitment is symbiotic, encompassing the Creation team, our community and our clients.
Here at Creation innovation is a way of life. We celebrate our cultural diversity and the innovation this brings to our team and our guests. We see the combined cultural wealth of our team as an essential part of our prosperity. It will be our pleasure to share the best memories over the festive season with all of you, whether far or near, and we hope everyone will have a chance to enjoy a bottle of Creation wine.
Thank you for sharing in our sensory awakening this year! We look forward to 2023, a year of energy for Creation!