After four years the time is ripe for another Cape Wine. During this week of tastings and visits, the South African wine trade is meeting with buyers, delegates and journalists from Europe, the UK, USA, Africa, Latin America, Hong Kong, China and Japan, showing how far SA wine has come with regard to quality and meeting consumer demands.
“We are thrilled at the better than ever response from Asia and Africa, in particular.” says Wines of South Africa CEO, Su Birch.
SAWIS statistics show that in 2011, 43% of the South African wine production was exported and with natural wine in the same year amounting to only 13.8% of the market share for alcoholic products in SA, the importance of the export market cannot be underestimated.
Speaking at the Opening Seminar of Cape Wine on Tuesday, Troy Christensen, chief executive of Accolade Wines said that he believes SA wines to have the quality to make it in the USA and China, but that we have to create stories around brand South Africa to work in these markets: “We need to build brand South Africa because there’s a great brand story there, from the passion of the people and the beauty of the landscape to the fantastic quality to price offering”.
Capitalising on this opportunity of influential visitors to the Cape, Cape Wine 2012 this year runs alongside a wine tourism exhibition, called Vindaba, emphasising the importance of wine tourism for the SA wine industry. Presented during the same period and also at the CTICC, the initiative involves SA Tourism as well as the various Wine Routes, Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Routes Unlimited and the Department of Finance, Tourism and Economic Development of the Western Cape.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has identified wine tourism as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market, “Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa’s tourism product as it helps improve the country’s competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.”
The wine industry will be glad to hear South African Tourism’s global manager for events, Sugen Pillay, say that the wine industry should be supported by the tourism industry, “The Winelands bring a further degree of competitiveness to our industry. At the same time, local and international tourism can help to augment the revenue streams of the wine sector.”