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February 28, 2007

A Taste of Wine Relief - The final 6 Wines

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Had a fun meeting with the guys and girls at Virtual Wine last week.

They tasted their way through 18 selected wines that form part of Wine Relief and chose Stormhoek Shiraz as one of their final six wines to feature in their live, online Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Saturday 3rd March 2007.

Wine Taster Packs of the wines are available individually from the major retailers (UK) or in mixed Wine Taster Packs from Virtual Wine £39.95 for 6 bottles (including delivery). Virtual Wine will be donating 10% of the sale price from the purchase of their Wine Relief Taster Packs to Wine Relief.

So if you fancy getting some mates around at home on Saturday night and having some fun in support of Wine Relief, please do so! Hugh will also be live in a podcast on saturday night.

Posted by Cath at 5:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2007

Hollywood comes to town

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Two of the lead actors in the road outside the slave-built Welvanpas mansion. The man with the boom is recording the sound of a departing bakkie (pick-up truck). You can probably detect that the parting was not on good terms.

Stormhoek is way out in the rural, rustic hinterland - deep in the hills, on a cul-de-sac, bump-bump dirt road traveled by few cars and the twice-a-day bus. But something really exciting is happening in sleepy hollow! Hollywood has arrived. A hundred bustling technicians, actors and producers have taken over Welvanpas, our next-door neighbour. We know a lot about this as the only road to and from Stormhoek passes through the Welvanpas front yard.

They are filming and recording everything from the picking of grapes, “Cut. Can we do that again more slowly?” to the owls in the darkened oak trees, all of which is a backdrop to a soapy story that covers seven hour-long episodes.

The story is in Dutch and Afrikaans and centres around a small wine farm in Stellenbosch in the 1990’s, showing how the owners and the workers got along day by day after Nelson Mandela set everyone free.

The series is designed for television in Holland, with the action taking place in the great house, on the front stoop (verandah), in the front yard of the mansion and elsewhere in the vineyards and cellar.

When we go to town to buy anything, we have to stop to wait while a shot is completed and it’s the same when we come back.

Shooting is set to complete on March 11.

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Stormhoek wins Wine of the Week in the Daily Mail

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Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc 2006 got a great write-up and achieved Wine of the Week (WOW) in Matthew Juke's regular wine column in the Daily Mail on Saturday.

The Sauvignon and IWC world award-winning Pinotage are both launching in Tesco in March.

Enjoy!

Posted by Cath at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2007

Exciting Interviews of the Week!

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The Stormhoek/Tesco Movie Finale has taken on an interesting twist, resulting in some extra filming in London's West End...

In the meantime, see this 1 minute phonevideo of Q&A of Jason Korman - head of Stormhoek and Hugh Macleod (from our Love Tour) by Edelman's CEO, David Brain.

While Jason was in Australia a week ago, he was also podcasted by Winecast in the USA.

Stormhoek:Global Microbrand here we come!

Posted by Cath at 5:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2007

Love, Wine and Other Four Letter Words

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Neil Pendock at wine.co.za
writes a wry piece on the multi-lingual aspects of four letter words such as Love and Wine. Just for interest sake, he mixes in a bit of profanity. Very Funn.

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February 18, 2007

Stormhoek/Tesco Love Tour - Movie Update

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The final footage of Hugh and Stomhoek’s exploits will be uploaded this evening and there will be a potentially cerebral version of the story within the next month. Check the blog for little snippets from the rushes on a regular basis (e.g. the raw unadulterated footage of Hugh on the whirligig thingy in Blackpool – a truly tear inducingly funny moment).

These are the last notes I will be writing for the moment. I really hope people have enjoyed watching Hugh’s exploits as he toured the country, it’s rare to spend time in the company of someone who is profound, funny, and totally from the heart. He has artfully fallen between the stooge and the sage on this trip, no mean feat for a first time performance in front of the camera.

Working with Catherine and Hugh has been great fun, we have run the full gamut of emotions - at times crying with laughter and at others squaring off for a full on brawl in one of the many car parks we have found ourselves in, but it’s an experience I will never forget…

Colin x

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"300" The Movie

Great time spent on Friday night at the private screening of 300, the movie, by Warner Bros. The movie is based on one of Frank Miller's adventure series and is a riveting story of one of the most under-reported and glorious battles of the Persian-Greco war. Thanks very much to Simon Dunstan from Beatwax and to Danny from Warner Brothers for a great time and also to all the bloggers - great to meet you!

My first impression of the movie after watching the trailer last week, was that it would be another violent, bloody, historic war movie. In fact, it was a cinematically beautiful movie with some incredibly emotive scenes - as Zac - film director - said afterwards (and what a genuinely nice, amusing and inspiring man), "the movie is a love story to the book" - well said. The violence and war scenes effectively communicate the story, whilst the digitized blood brings the comic aspect of the book to the movie itself. King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) represented something throughout the movie which I found very moving... the ability to always believe in oneself and the ability to, when faced in a position where everyone expects you to behave in a certain way, to do the total opposite.. In doing so, one achieves the remarkable, the memorable and the life changing.

Posted by Cath at 7:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 16, 2007

Valentine's Thoughts and a Film Premiere

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I thought i would pop a picture up of Hugh from Valentine's night...We're nearly finished editing the final movie clip (for the moment) and should have it up by sometime this afternoon.

We've got an exciting evening planned tonight. We’ve been invited by our mate Simon, from Beatwax, to attend an exclusive sneak preview screening of the film 300, the epic Spartan battle based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director Zac Snyder (Dawn of the Dead), who will be flying in directly from the film's launch in Berlin. It starts at 6:30pm in London and Hugh will be bringing some of his famous blogging compatriots along. Should be interesting!

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February 15, 2007

Directors Thanks to Musicians

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Whilst I'm busy editing the exciting antics of last night, I would like to thank the musicians involved for allowing us to use their music, incredibly generous of them as well as lending an emotional quality to the film that would not otherwise be there. I am a fan of all those involved and have listed below MySpace contact details. None of the artists are signed at the moment so if there are any A&R folk following this story then feel free to look them up...

*Big Love 2, Artist: Pablo Eskimo, Track: Bunny Boiler, www.myspace.com/pabloeskimo. * Big Love 3 Artist: Colin Kennedy Track: Untitled 1 www.myspace.com/clyderidesagain. *Big Love 4 Artist: Pablo Eskimo Track: Irony www.myspace.com pabloeskimo. * Big Love 5 Artist: Colin Kennedy Track: Untitled 1 www.myspace.com/clyderidesagain. * Big Love 7 Artist: Baillie and the Fault Track: Cross Your Fingers www.myspace.com/baillieandthefault. *Big Love 8 Artist: Pylot Track: Hollywood Kills www.myspace.com/pylotscotland

Posted by Cath at 2:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2007

Hugh picks that lucky lady...

A little twist in the tale of this unusual story of love...Keep watching tomorrow when more will be revealed...

Big love
Cath
xx

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Valentine's Secret Surprise...

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Happy Valentine's Day!!

Here we are on our last day, talking about love and tonight! Filmmaker Colin Kennedy is a busy bee trying to get up the latest footage before we make our way down to the London Eye for 7:30/8pm for the Valentine's Secret Surprise.

We'll be handing out schwag [T-shirts, boxer shorts, red sexy g-strings, caps, Valentine's card and whatnot], from around 7:30pm if anyone's in the vicinity... We'll be filming the romantic climax to this tour... with a bit of a twist at the end...

It all ends tonight. Or does it? [SFX: Evil Laugh]

Valentine's Love from all at Stormhoek!
Cath xx

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Talking to Jason Godley & Richard Mew from Tesco

Hugh tells Head of wine at Tesco, Jason Godley, and Buyer of South African, Rose, USA and Spanish wine, Richard Mew about his "Evil Plan"...

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February 13, 2007

1 More Day...

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Gosh, 1 day to go... what an amazing experience... I think the 3 of us on this Stormhoek/Tesco "Love Tour" all feel the same ...

It's been exhausting, exhilirating, funny, sad, moving and i think we are all a bit sad to leave one another and have to go back to everyday life... it's really been great talking to people about what's important to them in life...

We all see this trip as the beginning of a conversation that we can't wait to see continue and develop. We've learnt so much, rather than thinking we might only teach and we've all learnt some wonderful things from one another that have changed a lot of our internal thoughts and ideas.

Tesco and all who we met across the country have been absolutely fantastic and thanks to our friend, Edelman CEO, David Brain for the kind words:

They are hosting an admirable social experiment that is not without a little risk. Pilloried as many things, by many people, this little explosion of humanity, humour and existential angst (will Hugh get a date?) is helping to personalise their brand on a store by store basis.

We'll see you tomorrow for an exciting Valentine's Day, where Hugh will reveal the end of Chapter 1 and the "Evil part of his plan" as he likes to describe it...

Big Love and romantic sparks from all at Stormhoek!
Cath
xx

Posted by Cath at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hugh's Moment of Reckoning...

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We were lucky enough to meet Jason Godley, Head of Wine at Tesco and Richard Mew, Wine Buyer for South Africa, Rose, USA and Spain, at the Cheshunt Tesco Extra, yesterday. We had great fun discussing our travels and all the people we've met along the way and Hugh was delighted to meet the Head Honchos!

The End of Chapter 1 of what Hugh calls his "Evil Plan" begins tomorrow evening, at 8pm...After Valentine's is over, Chapter 2 begins and Hugh's Masterplan revs up 5 gears...

Watch this space... and think Global... ;0)

Big Love
Cath
xx

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February 12, 2007

Hugh's On The Up ... ;0)

NB: Only when the line on the base of the video turns red and reaches the end of the bar, press play. Otherwise it may stall in stills.

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February 11, 2007

Directors Note 2

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A quote from Colin:

Well, we near our journey's end and a lot of work has been done and much achieved. Temptation is to take the foot off the gas in a situation like this… and exactly the point where I disagree with Oscar Wilde when he said 'the only way to deal with temptation is to yield to it'.

Without an ending to our story it means nothing, and the challenge is to secure something worthwhile that supports what we have done so far and subverts our audiences expectations. So whatever you're expecting to happen I hope will not be the case. (Although I will admit that things are not looking good for Hugh's evil plan being fruitful, although that may change with tonight's edit.)

This has been the toughest job I've ever done by far, and that is almost definitely the reason for it being one of the most satisfying. There is of course far more on tape than on the internet, and by that I mean not only a ridiculous shooting ratio but also a lot of fantastic moments that are far from the cutting room floor, merely waiting for a little time and consideration that I can't give them right now, from the road. But I will, that I promise you.

I have my fingers crossed for Hugh, such a generous, thoughtful and big hearted man deserves a good outcome from this. But he's just evil enough to be pulling the wool over my eyes and no doubt already has what he wants… …I wonder.

Big Love – welcome to the beautiful nightmare
Colin x

Posted by Cath at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Support Wine Relief 2007

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Jancis Robinson, MW OBE, one of the world's most respected wine journalists, weekend wine columnist for the Financial Times and creator of Wine Relief, wrote a column on Wine Relief 2007 in the FT yesterday.

She wrote a nice piece about one of our Stormhoek wines supporting Wine Relief 2007:

Stormhoek Shiraz 2004 Western Cape at just £4.49 is another good wine – fragrant, extremely fruity and easy – and has the distinction of having been made by the company that has pioneered blogging as a wine marketing tool. It was Stormhoek that published online just before Christmas a 40 per cent discount voucher at Thresher, the country’s dominant chain of off-licences. (This was far from crippling for the company, which already prices their lines as though everyone will take advantage of their three-for-two offer, and resulted in a dramatic increase in sales.)
Wine Relief was born in 1999. For the past eight years they have spearheaded a biennial fundraising campaign that has seen most of the major wine retailers donate a proportion of the retail price of a selection of wines to Comic Relief. So far £2 million has been raised. This admirable sum is the equivalent, for example, of giving 4,000 African street children shelter, food, healthcare, skills and the training they need to get a good job and escape poverty, or 700,000 hot meals at an old people’s lunch club. While all the big high street names get involved, Tesco has a special part to play in the proceedings. Thirty-six wines and around 16 of their own branded wines are taking part in the campaign for 2007. “Tesco carries an invisible halo in the Comic Relief offices because it has raised so much money for the charity,” says Jancis.

Ten per cent of the retail price of the chosen Wine Relief wines, which should be clearly signalled on the shelf, goes directly to Comic Relief. Many of the retailers have already started their Wine Relief promotions, most of them culminating on Red Nose Day, Friday March 16, although the big two, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, concentrate their efforts on three weeks from the end of February.

Posted by Cath at 4:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CHANGE THE WORLD OR GO HOME.

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At Stormhoek, we're all big believers of "Change the World or Go Home".

The Blue Monster, one of Hugh's brainy ideas, has made it on to T-shirts for a Tech conference. Cool... If you want to download the original Blue Monster to print on your own T-shirt, go to this link.

Microsoft's James O'Neill explains his take on it::

If you look at Microsoft's Values you find "Taking on big challenges and seeing them through.". The PC - the Windows PC - has changed the world. So now what. Stop ? Or find ways to change the world again ? If we're not prepared to do that what are we doing here ? So Change the world or go home is part mission statement, part call to arms,

Hugh's take on The Blue Monster:

"I chose the Monster image simply because I always thought there is something wonderfully demonic about wanting to change the world. It can be a force for the good, of course, if used wisely. It's certainly a very loaded part of the human condition, but I suppose that's what makes it compelling.

The headline works on a lot of different levels:

Microsoft telling its potential customers to change the world or go home.
Microsoft telling its employees to change the world or go home.
Microsoft employees telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.
Everybody else telling Microsoft to change the world or go home.
Everyone else telling their colleagues to change the world or go home.
And so forth.

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A favourite cartoon of mine :0)

"Big Love",

Cath
xx

Posted by Cath at 3:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Filming, Marketing and Products

Four days to go..

We were chatting at breakfast this morning about people and how important it is to communicate and engage with them. One of the best things about this trip has been the many wonderful people we have met, who were only too delighted to talk to us about love and special memories...

A great moment for us, was speaking to one of the Tesco duty managers, who told us that Stormhoek "Big Love" Rose bottles are selling like hotcakes and that she had set up an extra fixture for the wine on the gondola end near the fresh foods aisle - it looked fab! Thing is, we want our product to move and sell and we want people to have fun in the whole process, from the Tesco staff having a giggle at the outer cases, to the customers having a giggle at the labels and enjoying the wine. Whilst this was only one store, it was still great to hear considering the wine has only been on shelf a week.

We don't feel this will end on Valentine's Day...In fact we think the beginning starts at the end (if you get my drift)... We've absolutely loved making these films and we have the most amazing filmmaker who has been working flat out every day. We don't know what we'd do without him! - Colin Kennedy

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Good ol' Hugh has also enjoyed seeing the Hughtrain working in action. As he says "real products in real stores, as opposed to just online & theoretical".

We're off to more stores now.

The search continues...

Cath
x

Posted by Cath at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2007

NEW LABEL VOTE

So far, the voting results for the cartoon to be on our next funky label is this one:

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It's got 51% of the votes

Don't forget to keep voting - look on the right hand side of the blog!

Big Love,
Cath
x

Posted by Cath at 7:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Seeing things

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One of the world’s favourite white wines is made from the red grapes of Pinot Grigio

We squeeze grapes to get the juice out.
For white wines, we throw the skins away. For red, we ferment the skins and juice all mashed up together.
With red grapes, like Pinot Grigio, we have to squeeze softly. Otherwise we’ll end up with rose or red wine.
The colour and a lot of the flavour is in the skins and a lot of the flesh just below.
When you make a white wine like Pinot Grigio from red grapes the colour contains a hint of gold.
White skinned varieties like Sauvignon Blanc give you wine with a touch of green.
Most champagnes are made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red grapes). That’s why a glass of champagne has an aura of sunset.
Celebrate the colour of Pinot Grigio and Gewurztraminer and champagne.
If you see colour, you know there’s flavour.

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Number 2 Wine Blog in the World!

WOW!

We're delighted - according to this chap, we're the second best wine blog in the world! Not bad for a bunch of people who just love having fun, love wine, love meeting and speaking to people and well, love blogging as well!

Thanks to all our supporters and friends out there!

Big Love,
Jason, Graham, Hugh, Cath, Nick and everyone at Stormhoek!
xx

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Back in South Africa, the Baboons Roam...

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Whilst all the action is happening with "The Stormhoek/Tesco Love Tour" in the UK, we have an amusing rendition of Gorillas in the Mist, in our vineyards...

An hour before Sunrise, back in the Cape, I heard a rustle ouside... Twas a troop of baboons in our Mountainside Chenin Blanc vineyard, munching on sweet grapes for breakfast... When i realised they were eating grapes in our highest block, I headed up the mountain to sneak a view. Unfortunately, the "lookout" spotted me and the group (ma and pa and many teenagers and baboonettes) melted away into the mountain fynbos.

All I had to show for their presence was a flattened vine where a 70kg baboon (pa) had been reclining and munching bunches.

Not a bad start to a sunny Saturday morning... nothing like a little excitement on both sides of the world! ;0)

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Hugh's Plan Takes a Knock!

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THE GRANDE FINALE...

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Yesterday we had another radio interview - this time with Dream 100, for the area surrounding the Chichester store on Monday - 17 interviews so far and more to go! The regional press have been great and we have more coming to see us in store on Monday and Tuesday. The Grande Finale takes place in the New Malden Tesco Extra, on Wednesday the 14th February, where Hugh & Co will unveil what Hugh calls his "Secret Evil Plan" - a super-unique, romantic event that Tesco will never forget!

Posted by Cath at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

South Africa, Pride and Thanks

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Newbury Tesco Extra where we met Simon and Rob. Rob is from Namibia and fought in the Angolan war, protecting South Africa. He’s been over here for ten years and has been watching Stormhoek develop. I was very moved by our conversation as he spoke about how the country has changed sinced Mandela's release in 1994 and how proud he is that people like Stormhoek and Hugh & Co are supporting South Africa via “global microbranding”.

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We all agreed that there's no place quite like Africa or South Africa...it's a country that once you visit it, your soul remains behind when you leave...

[UPDATE:] Rob just sent us this very kind mesage:

Hugh, Colin and Cath,

Very much enjoyed meeting you three at Newbury Tesco. Not the best of venues for a first time meet n chat but I guess we could have done worse than the discounted CD/DVD gondola!

I especially enjoyed initially bumping into this trio as Hugh was pushing a trolley through the store with Cath sat in it (and a very tasty ex Durbanite she is too), while Hugh monologued to camera. It was a sight to behold.

For me as an expat Namibian/SAFFER, it is essential that S Africa continues to reach out and reclaim its rightful place within the global community.

The struggle to escape the siege mentality derived of the cultural and economic isolation years during apartheid must continue still. Everyone in South Africa was affected and still are suffering. Innovation was repressed as a result. Secret deals with America and UK were made however we still had to ask relatives in UK to send us videos of Match of the Day!!

But now S Africa has a new breed to lead the way forward. Innovators like Mark Shuttleworth, musicians like David Kramer and Johnny Clegg with businesses like Nando's and Stormhoek together with ordinary people at Jo'burg like Champers who is completely engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, will see S Africa re-emerge from the years of economic, social and cultural repression. Their determination and dedication will succeed and pull the country and immediate regions to success.

Thanks to people like this business card cartoonist called Hugh Mcleod, more and more South African products will get to be stocked in stores worldwide and will, (not perhaps or maybe) take up more prominent positions on the supermarket gondolas.

SA export revenues will help fund research into AIDS, pay for AIDS prevention programmes, build water wells for the drought stricken areas, build schools to educate the children and create better funded social programmes for all communinities in S Africa.

I tip my hat to you Hugh. May I call you the next time Newbury fete has a supermarket trolley race?!

Kind regards

Robert

Thanks, Rob!

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Romantic Evenings

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Went to a super little place on Thursday night in Bibury (Cotswolds) - The Catherine Wheel.

Inside the 15th century Catherine Wheel, we found many exposed, original ship's timber beams, prints and photographs of Old Bibury and blazing log fires in the winter. The food was great – I had Irish stew, Hugh had a kind of meatballs dish, called Faggots and Colin had Bibury Trout.

I loved this picture of an old Landy. Our travelling “Love Unit” is a Landrover, so I thought it rather appropriate I take this snap!

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Valentine's Goodies

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Tesco has loads of great gifts for Valentine's Day!

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My favourite is the “Heartstopper” (97p) as we call it…a great bottle stopper and a great partner for Big Love Rosé.

x

Posted by Cath at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CHICK ONSLAUGHT!

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On Thursday afternoon we met Sarah Hyatt who is a make-up and style consultant for Virgin. She gave Hugh a couple of styling tips: lose the shirt, trim the tummy, polish your shoes, get rid of the hanky, get a new belt, keep the jeans, keep the trendy glasses (the glasses were bought in a boutique shop in Chicago 15 years ago!). Trinny and Suzannah, where are you!

The remainder of the time spent in-store resulted in Hugh’s fragile ego being stripped bit by bit... Pretty blonde, Steph Carey said, “why would anyone want to go to Cape Town with you? The only thing cool about you is your jeans, but I’ll give you money if anyone goes!”. Poor Hugh felt like he had been punched in the gut and limped away like a bull mastiff, tail between his legs.

We drove through thick snow to Cirencester, in the Cotswolds, where one couldn’t really feel any more romantic… Our final destination of the day was the Cirencester Tesco Extra. With wine display in full form and Hugh standing at the entrance signing cartoons, in walked Zoe – a local girl from Cirencester. Fifteen minutes later, he had her phone number, email address, and she had proposed!

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Zoe's on the left!

Posted by Cath at 8:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 9, 2007

Soul Connections and all that…

Some people just “get you”…Some people just don’t… is it a spiritual thing, or is it just an understanding of someone? Maybe it’s something completely different… Anyway, I think it's a spiritual thing and I’m a bit of a romantic. I believe in the whole soul connection, someone “getting you” thing…

Travelling with Hugh Macleod has reinforced my belief in that… In fact, he’s just shown me a cartoon he drew in Jan this year before we’d even met! Cool chap…

His cartoons are also quite unique and one of the things that make Stormhoek love him most!

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Hugh
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Posted by Cath at 9:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hugh's cunning plan goes public...

The plot thickens...

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February 8, 2007

Hugh's Confession

Hugh's got a terrible confession to make...

He'll tell you later.....

Posted by Cath at 1:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Love on a Fairground Attraction

We went to Blackpool (a well known seaside resort on the northwest coast of England and a favourite holiday destination for the gay community) on Sunday and it was absolutely freezing! All three of us had never been there so it was a rather "interesting" experience, to say the least...I reckon it's better in Summer...

We took Hugh for ice cream and candyfloss and went for a walk on the famous Blackpool pier. No girls around though, so he braved a "wild ride" all on his own :0)

Watch the movie clip... poor bloke flying around like a hamster at high speed in a wheel ;0)

After fun on the pier, we went to the Blackpool Tesco Extra store where we met the most wonderful girl, Louis, at the back of the store. She's gay and had the most wonderful story to tell us and reinforced the fact that really, at the end of the day, all we want and need is good old fashioned love with a little bit of passion sprinkled on the top! :)

Funny Love,
Cath

x

Posted by Cath at 1:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

1 Week Gone, Still No Love! from Cath

Today is Day 7 of the Love Tour...It's snowing today - a nice addition to the romance in the air... We've just visited the Gatwick Tesco Extra which has the best display of Big Love so far.

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We were mobbed by 10 members of the Emirates (United Arab Emirates) cabin crew who [A.] thought Colin our filmmaker was "very cute" and [B.} decided that they needed to tell us why Loverboy Hugh still hasn't found a date...

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Recommendations for Hugh included shaving off his 'goatie' and hitting the gym to lose the tummy! (he didn't look to impressed ha ha... ;0).

Colin and I have decided we might just call on the services of Trinny & Suzannah to help Hugh with a total makeover...

We've only got 7 days to go to find the perfect woman to accompany Hugh on an all expenses paid, romantic trip of a lifetime to Cape Town... dinner under the stars on the beach, getting lost in the vineyards and all that... Can he find her in Tesco....?

Next blog post I write, you'll see Hugh flying around on a fairground attraction in Blackpool. I hope you laugh as much as I did.

Big Love!

Cath x x

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February 7, 2007

day one: inverness

Our first day of shooting last week, in Inverness. We were just warming up...

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February 6, 2007

hello from cath

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[Dan and James for Tesco's, standing with Hugh, in Stockport [Manchester] yesterday. That's James wearing the boxer shots, over his uniform.Manchester boys rock!]

Hi… I’m the new girl… Catherine… or Tinks or Firefly as I like to be called - spreading fairydust magic and energy and all that… but that’s a dreamy story for another day!

I’ve just joined Stormhoek working on their strategic communications (we hate the word PR), NPD, online marketing stuff, (Hugh is the King of this area – aren’t we lucky!!) and well, a bit of retail solutions. Talk about multi-tasking!! ;0)

As our filmmaker, Colin Kennedy describes us - “mad as a bunch of spiders nailed to a Catherine Wheel”!

Right – to the important stuff! I’m on this Stormhoek/Tesco Love Tour with Hugh MacLeod (you all know him I’m sure, but I am learning more about him everyday on this tour and he’s actually one of the nicest guys out… and girls out there.. you aren’t going to find a smarter guy with a heart as big as his!!) and Colin Kennedy our film maker (a rather cute Glaswegian who is extremely talented at what he does, has a great sense of humour but also an unbelievably romantic side). And Tesco have just been fantastic!

We’re having a great time and well, read on below and check out the super pics we’ll post as well as the daily films we’re making. If anyone wants to meet up with us, have a look at our daily schedule and please give me a call 07809 583948 and we’ll either hook up with you at a Tesco Extra or for a drink in the evening!

Speak later, Big Love xx

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February 5, 2007

tesco road trip, day three

Greetings from sunny York etc.

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February 4, 2007

Note from Mr Important!

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Colin Kennedy: Director’s note

We have been hammering across the country for the last 3 days: in search of love, GB’s most romantic and enough content to cut together a film that will satisfy a number of demands from the corporate to the entertaining. We have had fraught moments (I thought I’d lost the rushes this morning and nearly threw up with panic), the odd barney as we vie for our places in the production and each try to get what we need - there are several agendas at work here – we want to make a film, we want to make everyone happy and the process of achieving these two things requires a lot of work and very little sleep.

After the initial depressing day of finding my feet, coming to terms with the fact that uploads I make on a daily basis will have to be severely inferior to what I want (only so many hours in the day and editing takes place during the night when I’m not at my best) and realising the degree of sleep depravation that will be endured on this trip everything seems to be finding a rhythm now. The fear of the unknown is beginning to subside and the job in hand is becoming more refined by the moment.

I’ll endeavour to make the uploads as interesting as possible, but some days they will just be little excerpts of rushes, so bear with me. If there are any gung ho aspiring filmmakers who want to cut together a version of Big Love from the limited footage I upload them please feel free and we’ll post your results on stormhoek.com

Big Love – welcome to the beautiful nightmare x
--

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tesco road trip, day two

Colin just posted our first film efforts from yesterday. Edinburgh and Newcastle. Rock on.

[He's still tweaking Day One- Inverness and Edinbugh etc. Expect to see that up shortly etc.]

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More Stormhoeky Fun

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I must confess that the first time Hugh suggested putting cartoons on labels, I was a bit unenthusiastic. You know, us uptight wine guys have issues with making wine anything other than hard to understand and difficult to pronounce. Let's face it. a cartoon on our self-important, award winning wine, would border on blasphemy.

However, after about 50 million emails from folks all over the globe saying "Why don't you put cartoons on labels", I got over it and now it seems like my best idea ever ;-)

Our first cartoon label, "Big Love" for Valentines Day is just hitting the Tesco shelves (only at the Tesco Extra mega-stores) and Hugh, Colin and our newest superstar, Catherine are touring around the UK, (they started at Inverness, and are working their way south) they are giving a lucky few, incredibly rare and valuable signed limited edition lithos., and Colin is filming folks on their views of what love means to them. Oh, and I can't forget to mention that Hugh is on a quest to find the ideal Valentine, for himself.

In the last 72 hours Hugh and Co., have had about 10 radio interviews, several newspaper articles and it seems that The UK's most influential blogger is being transformed into the Blogger O' Love".

Meanwhile, we are so taken by my brilliant idea to put toons on labels that we asked our buddy, Johnny A., to whip us up a little widget which you can see to the right, which lets you vote on your favorite toon for the next label. We will be adding and deleting labels over time, and the favorites will make their way to a store near you.

Here is the toon I voted for:

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SWAG YOUR HEART OUT

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We also set up a Stormhoek swag page, (which you can also navigate to from the button on the right) which features "Big Love" hats, g-strings, t-shirts and Boxers, etc Just think how fun Valentines could be after a few bottles of Big Love rose', you can parade around with your S.O., in your very own Big Love boxers, g-string and hats.. playing the air guitar and singing Achy-Breaky Heart. Whoa... what could be sexier? Certainly a guaranty of lots of hot Stormhoeky action on Valentines!!!

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There is tons more happening, but we'll write about that in the next day or two.


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February 1, 2007

Global warming is real

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Many Pinotage vineyards are planted as bushvines. Winemakers feel that the variety gives richer juice when the vines grow in this absolutely natural way.

Stormhoek’s absurdly early 2007 harvest is a demonstration to the world that temperatures are on the increase.
Is anyone listening? Mr. Bush, you can abandon your doubts. It’s true. We’re picking grapes 2 weeks earlier this year. It’s the earliest that anyone can remember, at least anyone under 50. I don’t count, as others feel that older people always think that things were better in the past.

We started picking Stormhoek Pinotage 2007 on the 30th of January and finished on the 31st. Some things to note. The vines are grown as bush vines (not trellised on wire supported by poles), just like rose bushes. They are near to the ground, so the pickers have to be supple.
Bush vines always produce a balanced crop of grapes. That means that the proportion between the number of branches and leaves (green stuff) can support the number of bunches of grapes, while still remaining healthy.
And you won’t see any irrigation lines.
So though the climate is dry and hot, the vine sends its roots down into the clay-rich soil and its moisture load.
If you want to make great Pinotage, these are some of the things you have to be aware of.
More to come as the fermentation starts.

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