South African wine writer and commentator Neil Pendock wrote recently on his impressions of Shanghai and what it meant for South African wine brands. Below is what he posted to his blog Pendock Uncorked.
“Welcoming drinks at the Whispers Hyperspectral conference at Tongji University in Shanghai last night turned out to be Montes Alpha Pinot Noir 2010 and Montes Malbec 2008. Chile is certainly making the running in China’s financial heartland and that Chile (and New Zealand) pay 20% less tax than SA on wine imports means Chinese scientists are unlikely to enjoy Hamilton-Russell or Bouchard-Finlayson anytime soon. Lucky SA is a member of BRICS! and exactly what are SA wine marketers doing about this crazy situation?
“Hein Koegelenberg, whose Leopard’s Leap sells one in every two bottles of wine in the Middle Kingdom, plans to bring 800 of his 1 million person sales force out to SA next year to thank them for this achievement and to encourage them to do even better. If SA wine marketing ever gets into gear, Shanghai would be the obvious place to open an office.
“It is BRAND CITY with 23 million citizens with plenty of cash to pamper themselves as they are limited to one child per couple. Dana Buys, from Vrede en Lust, has been visiting for over a decade. “I love the place and you won’t believe the changes in a decade.” It should be easy to attract SA marketers as on Sunday night we ate Sichuan on the fifth floor of a shopping centre devoted to food: deli’s on the ground floor, fast food above that and then multiple floors of restaurants. All that’s missing is The SA Wine Shop.”