So, in last week’s blog, I questioned the format of wine fairs and whether they really meet the expectations of both attendees and exhibitors.
I am delighted to say that this week’s Cape Wine 2015, restored some of my faith in these events.
Hats off to Wines of South Africa for hosting, what was in my opinion, a very successful show. Of course it is difficult not to be biased, but I always try to keep an open mind and this week, I saw an industry that has come a long way.
And I am not only referring to all the new names and interesting blends on the table – the ‘rock and roll’ winemakers, the zoo biscuits or Swartland revolutionaries – even though they add a sense of excitement and energy. It seems that the industry as a whole has matured with a sense of professionalism and a certain sophistication that we have been missing.
And I think the world has noticed. While some big names in the industry were absent, many important buyers, agents and media were there – and they actually attended the show! At previous versions of this event, I felt that after a quick walk of the room, most of our international guests rather enjoyed the wonderful tourism offering of the Western Cape… But for the three days we were at Cape Wine 2015, I did not get that idea. In fact, the audience seemed genuinely interested and the programme of talks and events were also relevant and stimulating – and therefore attracted the right crowd.
And although the success of the event for each individual winery, export agent or customer who attended is up to themselves – how well their product performed, how well they negotiated and followed-up in the days after the fair, in my opinion, the event as a whole did the South African wine industry proud. Well done, to everyone involved.