No news is good news, the saying goes. And it seems that good news is no news. Especially when you look at the headlines in South African newspapers over the last few weeks. From corruption to kidnapping and murder… there is little, if any, column space available on front pages for anything positive.
It was a big news week for the South African wine industry. And luckily a bit more positive!
The big news of course is the introduction of a new wine or origin demarcation. Wine of Origin Cape Town. From a wine tourism perspective this is great news. For a long time already we have been battling with how we can get Cape Town as one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations, more involved with wine tourism. In 2016, Cape Town International airport welcomed a total arrival of 5 028 430 passengers , a 7% increase year-on-year. International arrivals accounted for 891 945 of these – a 16% increase. (Read more) With wine tasting and visiting award-winning wine estate restaurant favourites on many itineraries, the Winelands definitely adds to the overall offering of Cape Town tourism.
I think the Wine of Origin Cape Town has been a good suggestion and I am delighted that it received the support of those involved. My hope is that this new initiative will contribute to the success of wine tourism in South Africa. It is one of the industries that is so underrated. Other than creating income and jobs, with the way it shares the culture and lifestyle of the Winelands, it does a wonderful job of marketing South Africa.
And while not necessarily seen as news, wine industry leader, Michael Fridjhon’s article on the state of the South African wine industry, also received wide coverage. While it applauds the industry’s passion and initiatives, it focuses on how as a business, it is not a profitable concern. How will Cape wine survives when it is not making money?
As clearly shown through the Cape Town wine of origin initiative, our problem is not quality, innovation, passion or dedication. A lack of business savvy, wine prices that do not keep up with the times and a government without insight are the big issues facing South African wine.
And to end the week, as a lover of Shiraz and Shiraz blends, I was delighted about the Top 12 Shiraz wines in South Africa being announced for 2017. Tasting them all will be something positive to look forward to!