About Us

Sustainable Wine South Africa is an alliance between the Wine and Spirit Board’s Wine of Origin and Integrated Production of Wine schemes, WWF-SA Conservation Champion programme and Wines of South Africa.

In accordance with the provisions of the Liquor Products Act 60 of 1989, which replaced the previous Act of 1957, the control functions regarding origin, cultivar, vintage and environmental sustainability is administered by the WSB. The Board is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and consists of 12 members. Of these, eight are persons with the relevant knowledge, skills or expertise in viticulture, oenology, distilling, regulatory environment of the liquor industry, liquor production, food safety or microbiology; three are Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development officials; and one person is nominated by the Agricultural Research Council. An independent chairperson is also appointed.

The Board’s primary functions are:

  • Advising and making recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture on any matter relating to the Liquor Products Act and its subordinate legislation.
  • Administering the schemes for Wine of Origin (WO), Estate Brandy and Integrated Production of Wines (IPW).

The Board has many committees, including:
The Demarcation Committee investigates applications relating to the definition and amendment of origin areas (geographical units, regions, districts and wards), and registration of units for the production of estate and single vineyard wine, and makes recommendations in this regard to the Management Committee.

The Label Committee considers and scrutinises all labels for use on certified wines (wine claiming origin and/or vintage year and/or variety) and estate brandies.

The Technical Committee is responsible for handling requests from participants in the scheme which are of a technical nature, evaluating technical reports from inspectors, judging the analytical data of wines for certification, advising the Board on all technical matters concerning certified wines, and evaluating wines for final certification and wines which were rejected by the Wine Evaluation Committees.

The Wine Evaluation Committees are responsible for the preliminary certification of wine by means of sensory evaluation. They also evaluate wines destined for export. Wines which are rejected by this committee are automatically re-evaluated by the Technical Committee.

The Decentralised Evaluation Committees are responsible for the preliminary and final certification of wines from a designated area by means of sensory evaluation. They also evaluate wines for export from the specific area.

The Management Committee is tasked to manage the day-to-day matters for the Board and also co-ordinates the work of all the other committees.

The Integrated Production of Wine Committee is responsible for offering expert advice to the scheme for Integrated Production of Wine. They make use of the latest information and technology available for all aspects of production, in order to allow the wine industry to produce quality fruit and wine in an environmentally friendly manner.

Composition of Committees: The Technical, Wine Evaluation and Decentralised Wine Evaluation Committees are made up of experts who have in-depth knowledge of wine judging and are representative of all sectors of the wine industry. The Wine Evaluation Committees, for instance, comprise 60 members who judge the wine on a rotation basis.

SAWIS is responsible for the day-to-day application, running and functioning of the Wine of Origin scheme on the premises of participants. It entails on-site inspections, drawing samples, reporting irregularities, receipt and processing of applications and notices, and the issuing of certification seals.

Biodiversity & Wine (BWI) was a programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA), which is part of the global conservation organisation, WWF.

Now concluded, it was a pioneering partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector. The goals were to minimise the further loss of threatened natural habitat by protecting places of outstanding value or iconic species, and to ensure that the industry maintains sustainable and productive living landscapes through the implementation of biodiversity guidelines set out by the South African wine industry.

From 2016, WWF’s extension team will focus on expanding relationships with the environmental industry leaders – now known as WWF Conservation Champions – to support them in their long-term conservation commitments, as well as spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation. Based on rigorous environmental criteria, WWF welcomes new Conservation Champion applications.

WOSA is a not-for-profit association owned by the South African wine industry and funded by a levy on all wine exported. It promotes the export of all South African wine in key countries, and has as its vision that South Africa should be recognised worldwide as producing premium quality, interesting and distinctive wines in the world’s most beautiful biodiverse winelands in an environmentally sensitive and ethically responsible manner.