The Orange River wine region is pumping! Producing great wines. Receiving rave reviews from the media – Rapport stalwart Melvyn Minnaar for one was in awe at the youthful vigour and tangible air of excitement and vinous excellence. Who knows, perhaps industry export mouthpiece Wosa will one day come to the party and give the Orange River some recognition. In the meantime, check out the latest news from the valley or oryx, meerkats and wilderness vino.
In-depth research into wine consumption patterns among various sectors of South African society has led to a facelift for Orange River Cellars, the Upington-based winery that produces wines grown from grapes along a 350km stretch of prime Orange River vine land.
According to Koos Visser, marketing manager for Orange River Cellars, the brand is set to increase its uptake in the South African market through modernised packaging, changing the name from Oranjerivier to Orange River Cellars and by marketing the brand as a part of the adventurous and unique lifestyle associated with the Orange River.
“Through Ipsos-Markinor, market research among various sectors of the South African wine-drinking population told us that our brand needs to tap into the excitement of the outdoors which the Orange River represents,” says Visser.
“The Orange River does not have mountains, ocean breezes or century-old Cape Dutch houses, images that have led to the creation of strong South African wine brands. What we do have is something no other wine region can lay claim to: the gushing expanse of the Orange River where thousands of people arrive each year to experience white-water rafting, fish for endemic species and to view the different plants, such as the quiver tree, and spectacular wildlife. And with respect to the wine regions of the Western Cape, by wildlife I don’t mean chameleons, hummingbirds and rock-rabbits! In our area we have real wildlife: lion, leopard, oryx and wildebeest, to name but a few.”
Visser says that Orange River Wine Cellars has embarked on various marketing strategies aimed at creating an association between the region’s wines and its unique natural qualities. “Our advertising campaign depicts the wilderness of the area where our wine farms and wineries are situated, as well as the lifestyle associated with the Orange River, such as white-water rafting and enjoying the outdoors,” he says. “Promotions inviting consumers to experience these offerings are also kicking-off in major magazines and on-line. And we have given our labels a make-over.”
The bottled wines have been given a cleaner, sleeker look maintaining the curve-design inspired by the river. The bag-in-boxes are easily recognisable by the stunning photographs depicting various nature scenes from the Orange River region.
“While the image of Orange River Cellars has been irrevocably changed, our commitment to producing wines that over-deliver in terms of quality at a certain price point remains non-negotiable,” says Visser.
“Our wineries at Groblershoop, Grootdrink, Upington, Kakamas and Keimoes now have access to six full-time viticulturalists to complement our team of skilled winemakers, and this has led to marked increase in quality. Together with a new look and a new image, Orange River Cellars is ready to become a major player in the domestic wine market, while increasing its presence in various foreign countries.”