The guessing game is over. After months of attempting to predict what impact the Western Cape’s ravaging drought was to have on the wine harvest, producers’ body Vinpro laid out the cards at an informative and comprehensive media briefing yesterday (8 May). South Africa’s wine cellars landed 1 220 920 tonnes of grapes – 15% less than 2017 – a figure that was initially expected to be even smaller. The grapes should convert to 948.3 million litres of juice and wine, calculated at an average recovery of 777 litres per ton of grapes.
Tourism remains the wine industry’s brightest star. This is where South Africa has showed tangible growth and added value. Those who have experienced tourist offerings in the winelands over the past two decades can attest to this: a while back a wine-tasting tourist was lucky to be offered a Cream Cracker to accompany a pouring done in the tractor shed.
‘Tis the season to be Jolly for South African wine.
1. Abrie Beeslaar from Kanonkop was named International Winemaker of the Year at the IWSC in London – for the third time. Not only does this confirm Abrie’s undeniable talents as a great winemaker, but also recognises the world-class status of South Africa’s wines, and specifically Kanonkop. On the other hand, having been handed this recognition so many times, it is unfortunate the country is still struggling to claim an image of premier quality deserving high prices.
The seat is warmish, but not unfamiliar. Carina Gous, newly appointed chairperson of Wines of South Africa (Wosa) has spent the past two decades at the coalface of the South African wine industry. As Distell’s resident head of marketing strategy and brand management she lead the company’s wine portfolio with distinction, as well as becoming known as arguably South Africa’s leading wine marketing expert.
Rico Basson and Siobhan Thompson, CEO’s of VinPro and Wosa respectively, write about the troubled journey that is South African wine.
Recent depictions in the media of the South African wine industry as being rife with injustices are indeed disappointing. Our industry has made significant economic and social progress since joining global markets and has committed itself to achieving transformation and social development targets. There’s still a long row to hoe, but this is a journey that the industry and its stakeholders have embraced.
Variety is the spice of life, in more ways than the figurative. With the SA wine industry resorting to selling cookery books to supplement its international promotional activities in light of dwindling exports, other ways are being sought to fund promotional activities overseas. Continue reading