Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is a fully inclusive body, representing all South African producers of wine who export their products. WOSA, which was established in its current form in 1999, has over 500 producers on its database, comprising all the major South African wine exporters. It is constituted as a not-for-profit company (sec21) and is totally independent of any producer or wholesaling company. It is also independent of any government department, although it is recognised by government as an Export Council.
WOSA's mandate is to promote the export of all South African wines in key international markets. Traditional markets include the United Kingdom, Germany Sweden and the Netherlands. More recently, WOSA has also been developing markets for South African wines in the United States, Canada, Russia, and Asia.
WOSA is funded by a levy per litre on all bottled natural and sparkling wines exported.
Michael Jordaan, venture capitalist and former CEO of First National Bank (FNB), was appointed chairman of WOSA. He succeeded Johann Krige, CEO and co-owner of Kanonkop Estate, who was chairman of the marketing body for the past five years.
WOSA's CEO is Siobhan Thompson, who was appointed in November 2013. An international marketing specialist, prior to this she was Distell's global head of marketing for Amarula and the company's other liqueur brands from 2010. She was previously Distell's group general marketing manager for brandies and cognac, including Bisquit. She also worked for several years marketing the company's sparkling wines and was responsible for the launch of the luxury Pongracz Desiderius Cap Classique. Before joining Distell in 2001, she was responsible for the UCT Graduate School of Business’ marketing and public relations.
WOSA's mandate is to promote the value growth for the South African wine industry abroad. WOSA exhibits regularly at major wine shows including ProWein in Germany, the London Wine Trade Fair and Vinordic in Stockholm. WOSA also works closely with the tourism authorities to advance Cape wine tourism. In addition, WOSA holds regular marketing seminars for members, bringing international wine buyers and marketers to the country to communicate changing international market needs, demands and opportunities.
WOSA also brings wine and lifestyle journalists to the Cape on an ongoing basis. The visiting groups are exposed to the physical beauty and cultural heritage of the region's winelands.
WOSA also holds the Cape Wine trade exhibition, the flagship business showcase of the South African wine industry. The first show was held in 2000. The latest, Cape Wine 2015, September’s three-day showcase to the international wine fraternity, proved to the most successful exhibition of its kind to date, with the number of visitors rising by 27% on the previous show. Held every three years, this year’s trade fair drew 1 900 visitors from a total of 58 countries.
The entire South African wine industry worked together with WOSA to create an innovative top quality wine brand, Fundi, and ensure that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this wine were used to train more than 2 010 previously disadvantaged people as wine stewards by 2010, when South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup.
To contribute to the global success of the South African wine industry through building Brand South Africa.
Enhance the image and reputation of the South African wines in key international markets.
Assist with the development of new export markets.
Assist with capacity building among exporters.
Facilitate the development of SA wine tourism.