Eleven years ago, Cuvée was founded on a vision. That vision was to introduce people to exotic lands and unfamiliar cultures while experiencing the highest standards and celebrating life to its fullest. Today that vision is a reality, and the recent Cuvée Gala in South Africa was a testament to Cuvée’s commitment to creating authentic experiences which celebrate the world’s diversity and beauty.
Larry Mueller, Founder and CEO, came up with the idea of the Gala to “move people out of their comfort zones, and get them into activities they might not think of doing on their own”. Guests at the South Africa Gala were personally invited to participate in one-of-a-kind Cuvée curated experiences in both Cape Town and Singita’s Private Game Reserve. Every experience was curated to touch people’s minds and hearts, and establish an abiding connection to the country, its people, and its environment.
For example, Gala guests experienced a private visit to Robben Island with a personal guide who was a fellow inmate during Nelson Mandela’s incarceration. It was moving to share those intimate spaces where Mandela turned the fortunes of his life, and those of his entire nation, for the better.
Another Cuvée curated excursion took guests by private helicopters to the magnificent Winelands of the Cape Penninsula and Stellenbosch. Exclusive wine tastings in Franschoek included the Delaire Graff Estate and Gala guests experienced an exclusive lunch at the award-winning Overture Restaraunt.
The Cape Town Gala highlights included special experiences curated by Cuvée for guests to enjoy, such as:
- A private guided hike to the top of Table Mountain
- Exploration of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
- Admiration of Franschhoek Motor Museum‘s collection of over 220 vehicles
- A tour of Cape Point Coast via WWII side cars
- A private Shark cage diving experience at Seal Island
While exploring Cape Town guests enjoyed the luxurious amenities of the new Silo Hotel, reserved for the exclusive use of Cuvée guests during their stay. The iconic Silo Hotel towers over the V&A Waterfront with impressive modern, industrial architecture, and is quickly being recognized as one of South Africa’s top hotels. The Silo opened in March 2017 and is included on Condé Nast Traveller’s 2017 Hot List. In Cape Town, guests also enjoyed extraordinary dining experiences at the finest restaurants in town, such as Savoy Cabbage, the Pot Luck Club and La Colombe.
After a private chartered jet delivered them from Cape Town to the Sabi Sand, Cuveé guests checked into the singular Singita Lodges: Ebony and Boulders. The private use of the lodges included daily game drives with professional trackers in the “Big Cat Country” of Singita’s Private Reserve and the experiences were truly unforgettable.
The special experiences Gala Guests enjoyed at Singita included:
- Trail biking through rugged landscapes with a guide
- Nourishing spa treatments for beauty and relaxation
- A guided bush walk to track animals through the wilderness on foot
- Cheese & Wine Sundowners
- Daily High Tea at Singita Lodge
Another goal of the Gala was to bring people together. As Larry says, “Connections are an important component of what happens at these Galas; connections with friends and family, but also with others who are like-minded in their desire to celebrate life and do it with passion. The people are the most important ingredient.”
More than once, people have come together at a Gala and made lifetime connections. “We have many examples of families that didn’t know each other, and who are now very close friends,” Susan Farrugia, co-founder and Cuveé’s Chief of Staff, adds. “one couple at the Gala became engaged right in front of us and we all had tears of happiness in our eyes. We also had a 60th birthday to celebrate together. They were touching moments.”
Larry calls the cultivation of such moments The Art of Discovery. “The Art of Discovery is when you are discovering something for the first time with people who are important to you. That is what we at Cuvée really care about. You really connect when you’re discovering something for the first time together,” he says. “Like when you’re on a safari and a lion walks just feet in front of you and sits and stares and roars. Or when you’re climbing out of the shark tank and sharing your experience with the others before they go down.”
“Every moment, you’re creating memories together, whether you’re climbing Table Mountain, or visiting African school children and interacting with them in the classroom. Even if you have large communities of friends and associates back home, when you go through these experiences together, the connection is real and authentic.”
“Ultimately at the Gala we create ‘life-stories’,” Larry concludes. “Cuvée curates the memories you’ll want to talk about for the rest of your life. You’ll discover things that are really important to you. The Gala is something that stays with you. It is truly a once-in a lifetime experience.”
Schedule some discovery time for yourself in South Africa. Click here to learn more.