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Tale of Two Cities With just a few days to go to Nelson Mandela Day, a group of South African wine producers packed their bags and promotional material, shipped their wine samples and traveled to Nigeria and Ghana on the WOSA West Africa Tour 2017, in celebration of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s birthday to showcase their wine.
Wines of South Africa proposed a South African Seminar in Sweden during Spring to Focus on development and Transformation in the South African Wine Industry. It was felt this activity was of critical importance for managing the ethical integrity of our South African wine brands, the progress of transformation in the industry as well as for the overall image of the South African wine industry following the damage from the Tom Heinemann documentary, “Bitter Grapes”. The funding for this project was approved at the end of January 2017 in South Africa and the project was actioned. It was decided to then include an importers’ meeting in Amsterdam to add to the delegates’ programme. The WOSA representative in The Netherlands, Sara Channell made the arrangements to incorporate this event to the programme.
South Africa was ubiquitous at this year’s VINITALY and SOL&AGRIFOOD from 9-12 April in Verona, Italy.
If you speak to most of SA’s wine producers, they’ll tell you that ProWein is the show to be at if you’re seeking any kind of representation in any of the overseas markets or even if you merely want to build any kind of meaningful professional relationships with existing contacts.
On the 6th of February WOSA hosted the second Platter 5 Star tasting in Stockholm. The weather was dreadful and rough winds blew all over the city. I must confess that I had some worries as to whether this weather would affect the number of guests visiting the tasting. But I shouldn’t have worried at all. Even though the wind almost blew us off the roof, we had over 40 distinguished guests walking through the doors. Amongst our visitors we had media from the top magazines, sommeliers from Michelin star restaurants and also our new buyer from Systembolaget, Nikita Nordström. Even the Ambassador H. E. Faith Radebe paid us a visit and tasted through the range of wines.
Wines of South Africa participated with a user-pay stand at Wine Professional in Amsterdam in January 2017 with around 12 brands (tasting list available). The wine themes were: MCC, Unique Terroir, Unusual Suspects and Organic . Showing organic wines and interesting grape varieties fits in with a key market trend. Sparkling wine is also a growing category in The Netherlands.