Yorkshire’s Finest Putting Oemf into South African Wine Education

 

Successful WSET Level 2 graduates celebrate receiving their certificates and pins. L to R from back: Zola Williams, Angelo van Dyk, Barry Scholfield. Middle rows: Herman Jordaan, Harry Ravelomanantsoa, Chantelle Swanepoel, Celeste Munge, Esme Groenwald. Front rows: Richard Barnett, Grant Michels, Sune Eksteen (WSET Lecturer), Jude Mullins AIWS (International Business Development Director for WSET), Cathy Marston AIWS (WSET lecturer), Isobel Odendaal.

?+¦-+?+¡Personally, I’d like to learn a lot more about wine. But the few wine courses I have attended here and in Burgundy have ended in tears, harassment, pain and expulsion and that was before the tasting side of the programme started.

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PR for Tulbagh

Tulbagh Wine Cellar's new team, Hugo Lambrechts (viticulturist) and Naud+¬ Bruwer (production manager), examine bunches of grapes from the different regions, which this year will be harvested and fermented separately.
Tulbagh Wine Cellar's new team, Hugo Lambrechts (viticulturist) and Naud+¬ Bruwer (production manager), examine bunches of grapes from the different regions, which this year will be harvested and fermented separately.

I have decided to give the Tulbagh wine region a punt. Beautiful area, great wines and any place that has survived an earthquake has a story to tell. So, thanks to ML Communications for a lekker release.

Tulbagh Winery has this year appointed a new production manager and a fulltime viticulturist, namely Naud+¬ Bruwer and Hugo Lambrechts, with a new strategy for the cellar in mind. There are seven distinctly different wine growing areas on which their members farm and they intend to vinify each area’s wines separately, with an emphasis on creating top quality wines.

The seven areas are Tulbagh, Halfmanshof, Riebeek, Porterville, Piketberg, Dwarskersbos and Berg River. Each cultivar from every region will be harvested separately, individually fermented and the final product will be kept in separate tanks for evaluation. Previously all cultivars from the same region were harvested together and the best wine was not necessarily bottled, but sold in bulk.

This new production team was created in order to professionally coordinate with the wine farmer-members for picking grapes at the correct ripeness and selecting the best cultivar from each region. Production manager, Naud+¬ Bruwer, was a winemaker at the Boland Cellar until the end of last year and had a hand in many of that cellar’s international and domestic awards over the past few years. Hugo Lambrechts, previously winemaker at Porterville Cellar, is now the fulltime viticulturist.

“With the 2010 harvest and the new team, quality is being refined and the first step is to prepare the regional wines individually. Each wine out of every region will then be carefully tasted to select the best of the tanks for blending in Tulbagh Winery’s bottled range,” Naud+¬ explained.

Besides Naud+¬ Bruwer and Hugo Lambrechts, the wines are also tasted by two other Tulbagh Winery winemakers, Johnny King and Jurgen Gouws, as well as two independent wine-producing experts. The final tank selection is thus not left to just one person.

“Each region has its own terroir, differ quite considerably and each offers something different. At Dwarskersbos, for instance, there are vineyards which are a mere 800m from the sea, while in other areas there are different soil types against mountain slopes, some of which face in various directions and so are affected differently by wind and sun.” said Hugo.

“It looks as though the shiraz is going to provide an outstanding harvest. This variety was least affected by downy mildew this year and even when fermentation was first started you could already pick up the lovely ripe aromas and deep red colour. Uneven ripening of the sauvignon blanc crop, on the other hand, made the decision about when to pick difficult ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ even within the same vineyard. The wines, none the less, show lovely tropical fruit, asparagus, citrus and fig aromas, while tropical fruit is predominant in the chenin blanc wines. We will, however, only be able to evaluate the wines in finer detail come April,” said Naud+¬

Windmeul’s Winning Way

Windmeul Vat waterSM

Windmeul Cellar in the past three months totally rose to the fore with an array of wine awards, as a top performer at the 2009 Veritas Awards with two double gold medals and one gold medal, an Absa Top 10 Pinotage winner, five gold medals at Michelangelo International Wine Awards, two Diamond trophies at the Winemaker’s Choice Awards, four stars at WINE magazine’s Shiraz Challenge, the favourite wine of the consumers’ tasting at the Paarl Shiraz Challenge and the Chardonnay Champion of the Paarl region at the SA Young Wine Show.
It really is an exceptional achievement for one wine cellar to receive so many top accolades in such a short time. In addition, the Windmeul Pinotage Reserve 2008 this year was the only wine that received both an Absa Top 10 Pinotage Trophy and Double Gold Veritas Award, and it also was the only Pinotage that received a Diamond Trophy at the 2009 Winemakers’ Choice Awards.
With the recession that still lingers, the creative team at Windmeul Cellar decided to open a monthly farm market at this historic wine cellar’s wine centre on the northern slopes of Paarl Mountain. The opening takes place on Saturday 7 November and coincides with the 2009 Windmeul Waterblommetjie Festival and the potjiekos competition with waterblommetjies as the theme. Fresh products including meat, jam, olive, olive oil, cheese, vegetables, freshly baked bread, honey and eggs can be purchased directly from the supplier, whilst the Windmeul range of wines is available in the tasting venue.
A total of 25 teams will participate in the potjieskos competition and the judging is done by a panel of experts, with special prizes being awarded to the best dishes. Music, airplane flour bombs, a wine tent and cash bar will create the atmosphere.
This is a renewal of the cellar’s history. The mill to which Windmeul owes its name was erected between 1884 and 1890 in the open area to the West Coast to receive enough wind, and today this cool area is utilized as a prime wine growing terrain. Some of the first grapes were planted by the French Huguenots. The windmill then was the centre of the economic activity in that area, but after a devastating storm in the early nineties and the economic recession after the Boer War, the windmill ceased production. Today Windmeul Cellar keeps it alive.
For more information on the opening of the Windmeul Farm Market and the Windmeul Waterblommetjie Festival, and to enter for the potjiekos competition, call 021 869 8100, e-mail suretha@windmeul.com or visit www.windmeulwinery.co.za.

Veritas Results

Frans Smit, show me the money!
Frans Smit, show me the money!

Spier Wines reigned supreme at the 2009 Veritas Awards last Saturday. The well-known Stellenbosch winery clinched five double gold and half a dozen gold medals at the annual gala-awards dinner, sponsored by Agri-Expo, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Other top achievers in the double gold and gold rankings were Nederburg Wines (2 double gold, 5 gold), Fleur du Cap (2 double gold, 2 gold), Boplaas (2 double gold, 3 gold), Ernie Els Wines (2 double gold, 1 gold) and Windmeul Cellar (2 double gold, 1 gold).

Anura, Cape Point Vineyards, Diemersfontein and Guardian Peak also shone with two double gold medals each.

Of the total 1 728 entries,, 40 (2%) won double gold, 109 (6%) gold, 444 (25%) silver and 676 (39%) bronze medals.

THE WINNING WINES

Spier Wines continued their Veritas triumph of recent years with double gold medals for their 2007 Private Collection Chardonnay, Private Collection Pinotage and Private Collection Shiraz. Their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and 2007 True to Terroir The Hutton Cabernet Sauvignon wines under the Woolworths label also achieved double gold status.
Gold medals for the 2006 Spier Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Spier Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Lesebo Pinotage, 2007 Woolworths True to Terroir Koffie Klip Merlot, 2008 Spier Private Collection Chardonnay and 2008 Woolworths True to Terroir The Abacus Chardonnay completed their sterling performance.

Nederburg winemakers took yet another a bow on the Veritas podium, winning double gold for the 2007 Nederburg S+¬millon Noble Late Harvest Private Bin and 2007 Nederburg Private Bin R181 Merlot. The 2007 Nederburg Private Bin R121 Shiraz, 2008 Nederburg Private Bin D252 Sauvignon Blanc/S+¬millon, 2008 Nederburg Eminence Private Bin, 2008 Nederburg Winemasters Reserve Noble Late Harvest and 2009 Nederburg Private Bin D234 Sauvignon Blanc garnered gold medals.

Double gold honours went to Fleur du Cap for their 2006 Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot and 2007 Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon. Their 2007 Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest and 2007 Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot won gold medals.

Boplaas reaffirmed their position as the country’s Port masters with double gold for their Boplaas Cape Tawny (non-vintage) and 2006 Boplaas Cape Vintage plus gold for Boplaas Cape Tawny Vintners Reserve (non-vintage) and their 2004 Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve. The 1997 Boplaas Cape Tawny Reserve Port clinched a gold award in the Museum Class.

Ernie Els Wines proved their mettle with double gold for the, 2005 Ernie Els Limited Release and 2007 Engelbrecht Els Proprietors Blend as well as gold for the, 2007 Ernie Els Cirrus Syrah.

Windmeul Cellar flew the Paarl region’s flag at Veritas with double gold for the, Windmeul Cape Blend and Windmeul Pinotage Reserve plus gold for Windmeul Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ all 2008 vintage.

Red blends lead in the double gold medal stakes with six awards, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon (5), Merlot (5), Sauvignon Blanc (5), Pinotage (4), Muscadel (3), Chardonnay (2), Shiraz (2), Port (2), Chenin Blanc (1), S+¬millon (1), Noble Late Harvest (1), M+¬thode Cap Classique (1). The Museum Class yielded two double gold awards for Noble Late Harvest (1) and Dessert wine (1).

The highest number of gold medals were awarded to Merlot (13), followed by Cabernet
Sauvignon (11), Chardonnay (10), Red Blends (9), Muscadel (9), Chenin Blanc (8), Shiraz (8), Sauvignon Blanc (8), Pinotage (7), White Blends (5), Dessert Wine (4), M+¬thode Cap Classique (3), Colombar (2), Noble Late Harvest (2), Port (2), Viognier (1), Natural Sweet (1), Ros+¬ (1), Malbec (1) and Other Cultivars (1). Three gold medals were awarded to a White Wine, a Red Wine and a Port entered in the Museum Class.

After almost two decades the distinctive Veritas emblem of excellence that adorn the winning wines has become synonymous with top quality wines.

The full results are available online at, www.veritas.co.za

TASTE VERITAS WINNERS COUNTRYWIDE

Wine lovers have the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the cream of the 2009 Veritas crop at the annual public tastings in three cities across the country during October and November this year with special tastings of selected wines in Port Elizabeth and Knysna.

The Cape Town tasting takes place at the VOC Centre (Southern Sun Cape Sun, Strand Street) on 21 October 2009 from 17:00 until 20:00. Tickets cost R120. Gauteng wine connoisseurs can join in the fun at the Bill Gallagher Room at the Sandton Convention Centre on 27 October from 17:00 until 20:00 where tickets cost R130. Durbanites should reserve their places at the Function Room, Deloittes Head Office in Umhlanga for a tasting on 5 November from 17:00 until 20:00. Tickets cost R100. A limited number of tickets are available in advance at Computicket outlets nationwide or online at www.computicket.com

A selection of the Veritas champs will also be available for tasting in Port Elizabeth (Squires Legendary Grill on 10 November) and Knysna (Kilzers Kitchen on 11 and 12 November). Bookings are to be made at the venues. Visit www.veritas.co.za for further information.

,A selection of the Veritas wines will also be available at From the Earth at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 16 to 18 October 2009.

This year’s wine tastings are supported by the professional services firm, Deloitte, who shares Veritas’ quest for excellence in South African Wine.

For the latest Veritas news, as well as interesting interviews with the organisers, international judges and top achievers, visit the new Veritas online press office at www.winenews.co.za.

For further information contact Elsab+¬ Ferreira at tel (021) 807 3104, email information@veritas.co.za or visit www.veritas.co.za

Veritas Press Release

Some may envy a wine judge’s job ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ constantly travelling to glamorous destinations to sample the world’s finest and most sought after wines. However, after a marathon tasting such as this year’s Veritas Awards, even the most seasoned tasters admit their chosen vocation has its fair share of challenges!
This year a whopping total of 1 728 wines were put through the wringer for the 19th annual Veritas Awards, held at the Nederburg Auction Complex in Paarl from 31 August to 4 September. This prestigious event rewards the country’s finest wines with the coveted Veritas double gold, gold, silver and bronze medals ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ revered indications to the wine lover (layman and connoisseur alike) of their stellar status.
Each year the competition invites a delegation of international experts to assist the local panel members in identifying the Veritas winners. These foreign fundis, all from diverse wine orientated backgrounds, not only add to the credibility of the results, they also bring with them a wealth of experience in wine assessment and the intensely specialized field of identifying global wine market trends and tendencies. This year the overseas component consisted of four highly respected tasters, hailing from Sweden, Germany, Australia and the UK.
For Sweden’s Anders Barr+¬n judging on the Veritas panel proved to be a rewarding and stimulating experience. “This is my first time in the winelands of South Africa and I’ve had a great time meeting people and discovering exciting new wines,” he comments. Barr+¬n is the wine purchaser for all South African wine for Systembolaget, the Swedish alcohol retail monopoly, which has SA as its largest category. At this year’s Veritas Awards Sauvignon Blanc accounted for the most entries (201) and Barr+¬n commented on the wide variety of styles on offer: “The best examples showed elegance, freshness, good concentration and a tendency towards cooler climate minerality”. Although he enjoyed the younger vintages most Barr+¬n believes there is potential for longevity in some well made SA Sauvignon Blancs. Chardonnay also displayed well, with “good balance and versatility, ranging in style from citrusy and restrained to more full bodied and creamy”.
A seasoned adjudicator and familiar face at the Veritas Awards, Lynne Sheriff is a South African wine consultant, lecturer and wine judge living in London. As both a Cape Wine Master and Master of Wine, Sheriff has more than 30 years of experience in the wine industry. On the whole she was impressed with the Sauvignon Blanc line-up, lauding the complexity of the wines on offer. “I tasted a broad spectrum of characteristics, from the grassy and herbaceous to the more tropical. Some of the 2008 entries stood out, proving that some producers from certain regions are making structured Sauvignon Blancs with the ability to age,” she says. She cautioned producers to watch out for overtly herbaceous styles which are not popular with the global market.

When it came to the reds, lead buyer of South African wines for Germany’s WIV Wein International AG, Thomas L?+¦???+¦?+¦???+æber, was enthusiastic about the Pinotage single varietal entries as well as the Pinotage blends on show. “The so-called ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëCape Blend’, or Pinotage based red blend, creates a wonderful opportunity for South Africa to present something completely unique to the world,” comments L?+¦???+¦?+¦???+æber. “I was really surprised at how well it works as a blending component and also impressed by the single varietal examples, which ranged from ripe and structured to fresh and fruity,” he explains. “Pinotage is an extremely versatile variety, easily adapted to the entry level wine drinker as well as the connoisseur,” maintains L?+¦???+¦?+¦???+æber. The Bordeaux blends also produced a few stunners, exhibiting “excellent typicity and good balance”. Currently European consumers are looking for fruity, easier drinking reds with lower alcohols he maintains.
Also part of the international contingent was Australia’s most senior wine judge, Ian McKenzie who is well known for his role in developing two of his country’s most celebrated wine brands, Seppelt Salinger (sparkling wine) and Penfolds Yattarna (Chardonnay). This is McKenzie’s third year in succession as a Veritas judge and he was impressed with the general progression of styles and improvement in quality in the Shiraz category. “The first time I judged on Veritas the wines were very full bodied and occasionally over-ripe, but there appears to be a greater balance and elegance amongst them now,” he remarks. It was McKenzie’s first time judging the sparkling wine category and a few definitely found his favour. “A number of the Cap Classique style wines can hold their own in any company,” he believes.

Open Letter to Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group

Kiwi's love what?
Kiwi's love what?

SIR
As someone keenly following the progress of the South African wine industry, especially its foray into international markets, I wish to bring this communication to your attention.
The news release (see below) covers the category of South African Sauvignon Blanc, and states that one of its brands is making headway into the New Zealand market. However, nowhere in the media release is any reference made to evidence of an increase in popularity of this wine in any Antipodean region. This is, of course, unless the words “well received” can be interpreted as evidence of such success, although no figures or quotes are provided to back up this claim.
It is a pity that this kind of mindless communication is accepted by an Interest Group which represents arguably South Africa’s most exciting white wine category.
Yours faithfully
Darien Morgan
,,,,,?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
KIWIS SHOW TASTE FOR DURBANVILLE HILLS
New Zealand, regarded by many as the source of the world’s most exciting Sauvignon blancs, is developing a thirst for Sauvignons from Durbanville Hills, says the brand’s marketing manager Jackie Olivier., “New Zealanders are in the enviable position of having access to some of the most iconic Sauvignons, so it is particularly flattering for us that Durbanville Hills is being so well received in this market. At the same time, we are experiencing growth with this varietal in Australia, also well-populated with Sauvignon enthusiasts.”
Olivier said the six Durbanville Hills gold medals won on the 2009 Michelangelo International Wine Awards would in all likelihood act as a further incentive for Australasians to buy wines from the range, recognised for their cool-climate fruit intensity, readily discernible expression of terroir and capacity to age with grace.
She added that the Canadian, Swedish and Dutch markets, where the brand was showing good growth, would also welcome the news.
Three of the winery’s six golds were for Sauvignons: the 2008 Rhinofields Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Rhinofields Inner Valley Sauvignon Blanc and the single-vineyard 2008 Biesjes Craal Sauvignon Blanc.

Vine Time to Plant at Meerendal

M350-074

Meerendal Wine Estate in the Durbanville Wine Valley celebrated the 350 years of South African wine by planting a historic vineyard today. It is 350 years since Jan van Riebeeck made the first wine at the Cape on 2nd February 1659. Meerendal was founded in 1702 and was one of the first wine farms in the Tygerberg that would become Durbanville later. Meerendal was also one of the first 14 farms to be granted Wine Estate status in 1973 when the Wine of Origin Legislation was introduced. A special site with virgin soil was selected for this new vineyard. It lies next to the Pinotage Heritage Block vineyard and the soil has a soft, loamy texture with some clay. Three hundred and fifty vines have been planted to pay homage to the 350 years of SA Wine. The vines that have been planted have a unique origin. Meerendal was one of the first farms to plant Pinotage in the early 1950’s. One vineyard that was planted in 1955 has remained intact and these bush vines produce the grapes for the single vineyard wine called the Heritage Block Pinotage. It was decided to use this vineyard as the source of material for the 350 vineyard as the vines came from the original stock of Prof Perold, the father of Pinotage that was supplied to the wine farmers then. In this way Meerendal is continuing the historic link with the origin of Pinotage and ensuring that the original planting material here is preserved for the future. In June 2008 cuttings from these bush vines were taken to Cape Vines Nursery that grafted them on to Paulsen root stock, ready for planting this year. The guests that attended included representatives of the famous Pinotage farms of the 1950’s ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ Bellevue, Kanonkop and Uiterwyk ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ wine writers, Cape Wine Masters, the Pinotage Association, other industry leaders, all the winemakers of the Durbanville Wine Valley, the present owners and staff of Meerendal, children of the Starke family that previously owned Meerendal for 75 years and invited guests. The guests could select their vines from the table that was set up in the new vineyard and proceed to the holes that were prepared. After the planting ceremony each guest signed a special scroll that will be displayed in the tasting room at Meerendal. The first wine will be made in 2012 and the few barrels made from the 350 vines will be kept separately and bottled as a reserve wine. Meerendal is proud to continue its commitment to the South African wine industry through this project and to the rich heritage of Pinotage that this estate has since the first release of a bottled Meerendal Pinotage in 1969.

Women, wine and whingers

Ntsiki in untraditional wine-making garb.
Ntsiki in untraditional wine-making garb.

The subject of a Woman Winemaker Competition provides annual amusement in wine circles. Just as soon as the competition is announced, certain commentators berate the fact that such a competition exists. Sexist and chauvinist are two of the labels plastered to the event, implying that there is no need to distinguish between a winemaker who has a set of hooters and one with brass balls.
The moaners, usually hairy-armpitted dykes, ugly housewife bloggers or over-critical queens, never tend to look at competitions like SA Businesswomen of the Year or the International Woman Winemaker of the Year. No, because it is held in our backyard it is deemed irrelevant and divisive.
“Get a life!” one wants so say. The Woman Winemaker Competition is little more than a bit of much needed marketing for those involved in the industry. It does a sterling job in drawing attention to the fact that the wine industry is – more than any other agricultural pursuit in South Africa – frequented by an array of sassy women, including quite a few babes.
The competition also draws attention to the respective entrants’ enduring passion for wine, something that always needs punting.
Take this year’s winner, Ntsiki Biyela from Stellekaya.
From clay hut in Ulundi without running water to top-notch Stellenbosch winemaker. I would like to see another wine industry that can deliver someone with this pedigree.

Okay, now to Nicolette’s media release:
,
Ntsiki Biyela form Stellekaya in Stellenbosch was crowned SA Woman Winemaker of the Year in Somerset West at the Lord Charles Hotel last week., Ntsiki beat 64 wine entries, from 28 woman winemakers across South Africa in this year’s competition, which is sponsored by Landbouweekblad, the country’s leading agriculture and agri-business publication., The competition took place for the sixth time this year.
Nontsikelelo, or Ntsiki as she is fondly known, was born and raised in Kwa-Zulu Natal., She matriculated from Mahlabathini High School in 1996 where she excelled in science., She had high hopes to study engineering, but had no money to study full time., Not detoured and determined to save money to pay for her studies, she started off working as a domestic worker., Coincidently her uncle introduced her to winemaker Jabulani Ntshangase, and he assisted Ntsiki to apply for a SAA scholarship, and she was chosen as one of ten black students to pursue a bursary program to study winemaking at Stellenbosch.,
In 2003 Ntsiki graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, specialising in Viticulture and Oenology, at the University of Stellenbosch., Ntsiki started working at Stellekaya in 2004, and also boasts a vintage in Bordeaux, as well as extensive travels abroad for wine promotions., She is fluent in Zulu, English, Afrikaans and Xhosa, and is determined to spread the magic of wine enjoyment across cultures and language barriers.,
Ntsiki wowed the judges with her 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon., When asked when she knew winemaking was her career of choice, she said: “I grew up in Zululand, so wine was not exactly part of my culture., Studying at Stellenbosch, and being exposed to wine regularly, I could not help falling in love with wine and the winemaking process., It all started to make sense to me when I did some practical work, including tastings at Delheim., I then just knew that I was hooked., Although a technical career, winemaking has an artistic side., I could never become bored of it, every vintage is different.”
Besides making the wine at Stellekaya, Ntsiki is also responsible for selecting individual vineyards and growers in Stellenbosch and ensures that each grower crops and hand picks the grapes to her exact standards.,
“Being involved from the beginning, and selecting the perfect grapes for a particular wine, deciding on oak treatment, and all the other elements to ensure we create a product worthy of the Stellekaya brand, forces me to think of every wine that I make as one of my children and it is my job to raise and guide that child, before I can let it go out to conquer the world.
“As one of the first black woman winemakers in South Africa, I want to be remembered for my wines and not me as a person, but I do not mind being a role model for other people., I want to communicate that with hard work and determination you can achieve anything.”
According to Marilyn Cooper, head of the Cape Wine Academy and president of the judging panel, Ntsiki sparkled., “Not only did she impress us with her well made Cabernet Sauvignon, but she is confident and passionate about the wine industry, eager to share her knowledge and passion with others., She’s not only an inspiration for future woman winemakers, but anyone who is considering winemaking as a career.”

Power to Kumala

A delighted Bruce Jack
A delighted Bruce Jack

Kumala, the biggest-selling South African wine brand, has been ranked the 15th most powerful wine brand in the world and is the only South African wine or spirits brand to be ranked on The Power 100 for 2009. Now in its fourth year, The Power 100 index highlights the key issues and trends in the international spirits and wine industry. It also identifies which brands are increasing their equity using a unique measure defined by measuring brand score and volume data.
The Power 100 researches nearly 10 000 brands in the wine and spirits sectors to derive a list of the 100 most powerful of these brands in the world. Power is defined by a brand’s ability to generate value for its owner. Value is classified as by a series of hard measures (share of market, brand growth, price positioning and market scope) as well as soft measures (brand awareness, relevancy, heritage and perception). A panel of eight leading experts in the drinks industry independently ranked each brand out of 10 on these measures. The scores given by each panel member where then aggregated and averaged to reach a score for each brand. A total score was achieved by multiplying a brand’s weighted volume by its brand score within a defined range. This results in a ranking of the world’s most powerful alcoholic drinks brands.
“We are delighted* that Kumala has climbed the ranks with a six percent increase in overall brand score this year,” says co-winemaker Bruce Jack. “It is a strong endorsement of South African winemaking talent, as well as a consolidation of Constellation Wine’s faith in the local industry.” Constellation Wines are the owners of Kumala.
“Interestingly, only one ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ Torres of Spain – of the top 15 wine brands is from the traditional Old World wine country,” says Ben Jordaan, Jack’s co-winemaker. “Seven were American (Gallo, Robert Mondavi ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ owned, by Constellation Brands, Beringer, Sutter Home, Blossom Hill, Kendall Jackson and Inglenook), five Australian (Hardy’s – also owned by Constellation Brands, Yellowtail, Jacobs Creek, Lindemans and Wolf Blass) while Chile has a sole representative.”
Overall, Constellation came in as the seventh biggest brand owner, while South Africa was considered only the 21 most powerful country of origin, making Kumala’s achievement even more remarkable.
Kumala Zenith Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2008 and Kumala Zenith Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2008 are both available from R25.99 to R29.99 from leading stockists.
*WineGoggle takes no responsibility for the frustration caused by the word “delighte”d. For fuck’s sake, Bruce.

Distell Goes Green(er)

Green fingers - Jacques Rossouw
Green fingers - Jacques Rossouw

In its efforts to minimise its carbon footprint, Distell is prioritising the measurement and management of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has appointed Jacques Rossouw as its new environmental manager, says Dr Gert Loubser, the company’s director of quality management and research.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
Rossouw, who comes with international expertise having worked in the Australian environmental regulatory industry, was previously the manager of the South African wine industry’s environmentally-sustainable Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) programme, considered the most progressive of its kind in the world.
In this role, he worked extensively with Distell on an international project to establish a globally accepted basis for wine producers to calculate their GHG emissions., Called the International Wine Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol and Calculator, the system identifies and provides a universally accepted basis for quantifying CO2 emissions throughout the grape growing, wine production, packaging and transportation processes.
He worked with Distell and Winetech as part of the South African team involved in the project., They collaborated with representatives from the wine industries of California, Australia and New Zealand in developing the new system, which has since been tabled with the World Resource Institute, the body that sets GHG protocols for manufacturing industries worldwide, as well as with the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV). The system has also been formally endorsed by the International Federation of Wine and Spirits (FIVS).
“With the methodology for carbon footprint calculation now at our disposal, we can begin to record our emissions and develop strategies to lessen still further our impact on the environment,” says Loubser. “Although intended for wine producers, the protocol and calculator can be modified and applied to measure Distell’s impact on the environment in other areas of production, such as spirits, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs).”
The company has already received international praise for its recycling of CO2 released during the fermentation of its ciders., The gas is captured and then purified for use in carbonating its ciders.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
Loubser adds that Rossouw’s former role in administering the IPW programme on behalf of the South African wine industry will give further impetus to Distell’s progress in achieving ISO 14001 accreditation for more of its production facilities., “As it is, the IPW programme is based on the principles of the ISO 14001 environmental management system. To date, Nederburg, Bergkelder, Durbanville Hills and Plaisir de Merle are already ISO 14001-certified but our current focus is on achieving accreditation for our Adam Tas and Green Park production and bottling facilities.”
In his new capacity, Rossouw will remain on the steering committee of the recently launched co-operative project between the South African fruit and wine industries which is seeking to develop a comprehensive response to climate change.
Rossouw, previously at the Western Cape Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, believes that for the wine industry, water is the most critical natural resource associated with climate change., “As far as Distell is concerned, the focus on water management will be applied throughout the business., In addition to the recycling of waste water for vineyard irrigation, already underway at Durbanville Hills, Stellenzicht, Neethlingshof and Le Bonheur, Distell is also looking into expanding this practice where possible to its other cellars.”
The company is also working with the University of Stellenbosch and other research bodies to develop strategies to curtail water usage and wastage elsewhere in its wine production operations, as well as in the production of its spirits, ciders and RTDs.
Rossouw says an important feature of Distell’s water management programme includes the removal of water-thieving alien vegetation across its farms., The eradication of invasive vegetation is also a practice closely linked to the local wine industry’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) that is involved in protecting the abundant biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom and setting aside areas where indigenous habitat can be conserved or re-introduced.
Rossouw holds a masters degree in microbiology from the University of Stellenbosch.