The 350th celebration of winemaking in South Africa on 2 February 2009 provides the industry with a unique opportunity to reinforce its position as one of the New World’s oldest wine producers and to celebrate its diverse and colourful vinous heritage. According to Ina Basson, marketing manager for Boschendal, one of South Africa’s first wine estates, the marketing impact of a wine producing country’s culture and heritage should not be underestimated.
“Despite the dynamic nature of today’s global wine industry, the perceived value of a wine-producing country lies in its commitment to making quality wine through its traceable cultural heritage,” says Basson.
“This year the whole industry celebrates 350 years of winemaking in South Africa, a fact that makes ours the second oldest industry in the New World. Australia, seen as the leader of the New World wine industries, only imported its first vines from the Cape in 1788 ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ more than a century after various South African wine estates such as Boschendal had already been established!
“This year’s 350th commemoration of winemaking in South Africa can reinforce the heritage and historical track-record of the local industry in the minds of local and international consumers. With such a diverse and colourful wine industry spanning three-and-a-half centuries built-up by a variety of peoples and cultures, the industry has a fascinating story to tell, and this is the year in which to really tell it.”
As one of the country’s oldest wine estates, Boschendal has experienced the value of cultural marketing.
“The more than 180,000 local and international visitors passing through our gates each year are attracted by not only the wine-tasting experience, but by the culture that accompanies this experience through the farms old buildings, oak trees and heritage. This blend of wine and the representation of the Cape’s wine culture and history, which is found throughout the region, is one of South Africa’s unique selling points in wine terms. Hopefully this year’s celebrations of 350 years of Cape winemaking will allow the industry to proactively position itself as a well-established wine-producing country, and not just a New World Johnny-come-lately.”
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