Cape Town, South Africa (PressExposure) April 17, 2007 -- More than 50 centuries ago the art of writing was first invented and great masters like Shakespeare, Mozart and Einstein practised this art with phenomenal success. Two authors, Elmari Swart and Izak Smit, capture the essence of South African wine and travel in their new book and so joined the ranks of writing masters with a superb performance at the Gourmand World Awards.
âGourmandâ originated from 13th century Celtic and today the Gourmand Awards are heralded as the highest accolade in food and wine publication. The concept of the competition was born from French epicurean Edouard Cointreauâs appreciation of gastronomy which enhances the quality of life as well as excellence in the art of writing.
His vision for the awards was to reward and honour those who âcook with wordsâ, to select the best from the gastronomy books produced annually and to further the knowledge of, and respect for, food and wine culture. In its 11 year history, the Gourmand Awards have highlighted international superstar publications including Hugh Johnsonâs A Life Uncorked, James Hallidayâs Australian Wine Companion, and Tom Stevensonâs The Sothebyâs Wine Encyclopaedia.
Wine connoisseurs Elmari Swart and Izak Smit shared Cointreauâs vision and his entrepreneurial spirit. Together they identified a need for greater depth in South African wine writing and formed a unique partnership to write The Essential Guide to South African Wines â Terroir and Travel. The input of more than 100 of South Africaâs premier wineries, industry specialists and researchers made this a truly remarkable effort.
The Guide addresses terroir and tourism in a revolutionary way with the new Wine Pockets system. Individual Pockets highlight a specific terroir unit along with local wine styles, providing an overview of the unique qualities of each wine-producing area. Detailed regional, as well as single-day Pocket driving-maps make The Essential Guide easy to use for local and international wine enthusiasts and even include Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates.
Released in August 2006, the publication achieved astounding media success and became an instant best seller. But the authorsâ most important achievement was yet to come â On 6 December 2006, The Essential Guide won the coveted title âBest Book on New World Wines - Englishâ at the 2006 Gourmand World Awards. The spotlight focussed on this publication again during April 2007, when the global winners competed in Beijing, China, for the title of âWorldâs Bestâ. The Essential Guide won its category to become only the third South African book heralded as âThe Worldâs Best Book on New World Winesâ. This places the authors in much esteemed international company, immediately raising the standard for South African writing and wine-making alike.
"South African wines are a success internationally and so are wine books from South Africa,â said Edouard Cointreau, CEO and Chairman of Gourmand, âWine tourism is quite developed in South Africa, while terroir is still controversial for some. This book is clearly excellent.â
The South African media agrees with Cointreau:
âAn essential accompaniment to your Winelands explorationâ â Planet Golf âThe most complete guide to the Cape Winelands everâ â Iafrica.com âA first for the Cape Wine Industryâ â Michael Fridjhon (SAâs top wine authority; wine writer and critic) âA valuable contribution to wine tourism. Very good maps. (It will) enhance the Cape winelands experience for every travellerâ â Natal Witness
About the authors:
Elmari Swart is an entrepreneur with vision, passion and ability to bring new ideas to life. In her wine career, Elmari combined professional knowledge with extensive local and international travel â to culminate in a Masters degree in Oenology, winemaking ventures in France, Australia and South Africa, as well as publishing in European wine magazines. With a flair for creative expression and an adventurous spirit she started her own publishing business and recently released her maiden vintage Syrah to a 4 star Platter rating.
Izak Smit heads a specialist business consultancy in the South African agricultural sector, focussing on the wine industry. Izakâs experience in financial management and international trade established him as a leader in the analysis and strategic alignment of new agricultural ventures within a globally competitive environment. Izak is a firm advocate of terroir wine. Motivated by âthe custodians of our trade, fine wine and the beauty of lifeâ, Elmari and Izak say they are already working on their next innovative concept. Together with specialist photographer, Jaap Scholten, their upcoming projects promise to be more remarkable success stories!
The Essential Guide - Now available from Kalahari.net