The Rust en Vrede restaurant has been named international best restaurant for 2010 at the Best of Wine Tourism awards. (Image: Rust en Vrede) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kobie LochnerRust en Vrede marketing+27 21 881-3588RELATED ARTICLES • Wine alliance to challenge EU • Wine on the wild side • Wine tasting in the township • SA wine a US presidential hitJanine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Rust en Vrede restaurant, located on the wine estate of the same name in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, has scooped the prize for international best restaurant at the annual Best of Wine Tourism award ceremony.This is the first time the estate has featured on the list of international prize-winners.The awards are held under the auspices of the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) global organisation, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2009.GWC links eight major global regions, all internationally renowned for their outstanding wines, from both hemispheres, thus bringing the so-called old and new worlds of wine together.The organisation has set up business and travel networks, has held symposia, and promotes knowledge sharing among its members, working for the benefit of all.Cape Town and the Cape winelands – along with Bordeaux (France), Florence (Italy), Mainz (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), Bilbao-Rioja (Spain) and the San Francisco-Napa Valley region – is a GWC partner.From 2010 Christchurch in New Zealand will join the elite group as the third representative from the southern hemisphere.The ceremony to name the winners for 2010 was held at the Chateau Giscours, a 14th-century winery in Bordeaux, in early November. The world’s top experts from wine-growing regions in Europe, North America, Latin America, South Africa and New Zealand were in attendance. Besides Rust en Vrede, another seven international awards were given to the best of the 56 regional entries.La Sosta del Gusto at the Castello del Trebbio in Florence also took honours in the restaurant section.Other category winners were Algodon Wine Estates in Mendoza for best accommodation; Quinta do Seixo in Porto for best architecture; the Clos Pegase in San Francisco-Napa Valley for art and culture; the Bodegas Muga in Bilbao for most innovative experiences; Wiengut Hemmes in Bingen-Kempten, Germany, for sustainable practices; and Château Pape Clément in Bordeaux for best wine tourism services.High standards praisedOther regional South African winners that went forward to compete against international rivals in their categories included Vergelegen for arts and culture; Cloof of Darling for sustainable practices; Robertson Wine Valley for most innovative experience; Waterford for best wine tourism services; the Devon Valley Hotel for accommodation; and Grande Provence Estate for architecture.Deputy mayor of the Winelands district municipality Clarence Johnson expressed his satisfaction with the consistently high standard of local entries, despite the recent global financial crisis. Jonhson is also the current GWC president.“These winners demonstrated a capacity to face down the credit crisis by offering better value, enhancing the quality of their experiences, innovatively focusing on local highlights in the natural environment, in cuisine, arts, crafts and culture and by paying extra attention to detail,” he said.Johnson was convinced that this was a good sign for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The month-long football extravaganza kicks off in Johannesburg in just less than seven months.“Financially hard-pressed international and local visitors can be confident of money well spent in the Winelands,” said Johnson, “whether at the top end or at more affordably priced levels. This is critical if we are to advance our international popularity and reputation.”A number of local hopefuls received commendations from the GWC judging panel. Among them were Greatest Cape Wine Tours, the KWV wine- and brandy-producing company, and the Almenkerk, Seidelberg, Delheim and Rustenberg estates.Historical settingIn recent years Rust en Vrede’s restaurant has garnered as much praise as the wines have, under the watchful eye of Chef David Biggs, a former member of South Africa’s national culinary team. With the wine cellar now relocated underground in another first for a privately owned South African estate, the restaurant is situated on the premises of the old cellar, which is a national monument.Nestled in the tranquil Stellenbosch wine-making region, Rust en Vrede was established in 1694 by then Cape governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Development of the estate only started in 1780 with the building of a house, and later the cellar in 1785 and manor house in 1790.The 55ha Rust en Vrede estate is currently owned by the Engelbrecht family, experienced grape growers since the early 18th century. The estate produces 20 000 cases of wine a year. Of this, around 65% is destined to end up on overseas shelves. Rust en Vrede exports to over 30 countries.At the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize celebration dinner in Oslo, where former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk were honoured, the wines on the tables were Rust en Vrede. The estate has since notched up a number of other milestones, including an export achievement award from then-president Mandela in 1994. In 2000 it became the first South African estate to make it onto US magazine Wine Spectator’s list of the top 100 wines of the world.Since the Engelbrecht family took over 32 years ago the estate has produced only red wines, specialising in Merlot, Cabernet and Shiraz. All wines are made from hand-selected grapes, picked at the optimum time of the season.
Every cinematographer knows the quest for smooth footage. Let’s take a look at two of the primary options for stabilizing footage during production.Both the Steadicam and Gimbal (like the Movi or the Ronin) will eliminate the shake from your camera shots. They do so in very different ways, and at different costs. So, let’s take a look at the differences between them and how best to use each type of stabilizer.The Steadicam was invented in 1975 to free the 35mm film camera from a dolly or a tripod. It quickly won an Oscar for technical innovation, and it still shows up on film sets 45 years later. It’s a mechanical solution, and because it relies on inertia, it needs a heavy payload for smooth motion. The part that holds the camera — the sled — also holds the monitor and batteries.An operator wears a vest to distribute the weight to his or her shoulders and hips, and connects the camera sled to an Iso-elastic arm (with a series of springs) that isolate his movements from the camera.Enter the GimbalThe gimbal, first popularized by Movi in 2013, is an electronic solution. The technology appeared years before in helicopter mounts and crane arms. However, it wasn’t until digital cinema cameras under 10 pounds appeared that a handheld gimbal became viable. The camera gimbal works by measuring the camera’s position hundreds of times per second, and when it detects a movement, it engages motors to move an equal degree in the opposite direction, thereby negating the shake.Image via Movi.Like a lot of gear that relies on computers, brushless gimbals have lots of points of failure, but they also have a quick improvement curve. Gimbals get lighter, stronger, and more capable every year, whereas the Steadicam is still basically the same four decades later. So, what are the relative strengths and weaknesses of each one?Gimbals are cheaper, quicker to set up, and easier to use. You’ll notice I said, quicker and easier, not quick and easy. They still have a learning curve. It takes time and practice to become proficient with one, especially with heavier cameras. A Movi Pro or Ronin 2 will cost you around $6,500. You might also need a few other accessories, like batteries and mounts, but you’ll probably spend less than $8,000. A full Steadicam setup will set you back $45,000, but you can hire an operator with their own rig (in most cities) for $1,000/day.One thing a Steadicam compensates for — and a gimbal does not — is the up-and-down movement of walking. When walking with a gimbal, you need to bend your knees and do what’s commonly referred to as the “duck walk” — a shuffle that limits vertical bobbing. This limits just how fast you can move, while keeping the motion smooth.The Right Tool for the JobA Steadicam — despite being more expensive, taking longer to set up, and requiring more skill to operate — has advantages over the gimbal. Because the Steadicam isn’t supported entirely by the operator’s arms, the shots can be longer, and the operator can do more takes in a row before their performance starts to suffer. Famous Steadicam takes are minutes long, and a trained operator can do take after take without needing a break.Image via Steadicam.The Steadicam, being mechanical, doesn’t need batteries, and it doesn’t have electronic issues, like firmware updates. Many a gimbal shoot has ended in tears when the gimbal software crashed and couldn’t be restarted.A Hybrid FutureI should mention that hybrid systems have appeared in recent years that try to combine elements from both stabilizers — a gimbal on a Steadicam like an arm. These give you the best of both worlds, but also the worst of both worlds. They are more expensive and need much longer to set up than either system alone. But once they do work, they can deliver shots that were once thought impossible. ARRI has a system called the Trinity that can do amazing things. The price: $65,000.Both systems have different strengths and weaknesses. Thus, the more you pre-plan your shots and know what kind of motion you’re after, the better. If you want to fly a heavy camera or use long take times, you’re looking at hiring a Steadicam operator. If your camera is smaller and lighter, and you can plan to shoot for a minute or less, you can save money by renting a gimbal and learning to use it yourself — or hiring one that comes with an operator.Cover image via United Artists.Looking for more cinematography and filmmaking articles? Check these out.The History and Power of Sound Design in the Film Industry6 Slow Motion Cameras You Can AffordProduction Tips: Working With a Color Checker on Your Next ShootAdd Flavor to Your Footage by Implementing Color ScienceFilmmaking Fads and Trends: Don’t Let Them Bother You
A Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was shot dead on Saturday by unidentified assailants in Bihar’s Siwan district, police said.“A group of armed unidentified assailants shot five bullets into Minhaj Khan’s head while he was sleeping in his house in Sheikhpura village,” district police officer Sanjit Kumar said.According to the police, Khan was a popular leader among youths and he had nearly 5,000 followers on social media.He is also said to be close to former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin who is currently in prison.