It is anybody’s guess what impact – if any – the World Cup will have on South African wine. Probably the most useful legacy of the event may be a much stronger recognition of “brand South Africa”. Lack of this awareness is often pointed out as a major barrier in getting consumers to pick a “Product of South Africa” amid a myrriad of wine choices in the world’s supermarkets and wine shops.
,A single swallow does not a summer make, but the following story from the weekend edition of the San Francisco Cronicle is a good example of the kind of press local producers should pray for. Incidentally, the country in which the most World Cup tickets were sold outside South Africa is the United States of America. They are also the biggest consumers of wine in the world:
“Even in lean times, people don’t necessarily stop drinking wine, but they do want to be certain they’re getting a good value.
“That’s good news for South Africa, which is getting a boost in visibility from World Cup 2010 just as the country is polishing its reputation for an impressive range of wines that are long on quality and affordability.
“South African winemakers are producing notable Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. These South African selections are finally starting to break through onto Bay Area wine lists at such diverse spots as Eos Wine Bar and Gary Danko.
“South African wines are great wines and great values,” says Hector Osuna, wine director at Eos Wine Bar in Cole Valley. “South Africa has beautiful terroir.”
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