After two consecutive nominations, South African and French wine importer, Cape Classics, has been named the 2018 Wine Star Award winner for “Importer of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Cape Classics was co-founded more than 25 years ago by André Shearer and his brother Gary, shortly after trade between the U.S. and South Africa resumed following the end of apartheid. André was driven to introduce the U.S. market to the finest South African wines with a focus on premium, independent producers. “We’re thrilled to receive this incredible award,” says André Shearer, Chairman and CEO of Cape Classics. “We share it with everyone who has touched our business from shareholders, staff and partners in South Africa, France and the U.S., this award validates all our hard work and commitment to social responsibility and education.”
Today, the Cape Classics seal is stamped on 25% of all South African wine available in the U.S., and is the largest player in the South African wine import business. In 2013, Cape Classics expanded its portfolio to include wines from France, a natural extension due to the many historical and stylistic synergies the two regions share. In addition, Cape Classics produces its own wines under the Indaba, Jam Jar and Braai labels. A portion of all global sales of the Indaba Wines brand support the Indaba Foundation (IF), a fully accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation established by Cape Classics to provide early childhood AMI Montessori teacher training, learning materials and educational infrastructure to young, at-risk children living in the South African Winelands
In announcing the nomination, Wine Enthusiast conveyed that Cape Classics has a focus on quality and are meticulous in their portfolio selection, choosing to work with family-run farms that embrace sustainable, ecological and social practices. Robert Bradshaw, President and COO of Cape Classics shared, “there is so much to celebrate in this moment. From the gifted and committed families that produce the wines we sell from both South Africa and France, to our incredible team, to our deep commitment to authentic relationships, and doing things the old fashioned way – this win is a validation of our corporate values.”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine was founded in 1988 and has grown to become the world’s largest periodical for wine and spirits. Each year the magazine honours the individuals and companies that made outstanding achievements over the past year in the wine and alcoholic beverage world, across 16 categories including Innovator of the Year, Winemaker of the Year and Wine Region of the Year. This is Wine Enthusiast’s 19th Annual Wine Star Awards. Winners will be honored at a black tie gala in Miami on January 28, 2019.