So, what’s the Wines of South Africa team been up to?
How does one encapsulate a full year of activity across more than 10 markets successfully and succinctly in a few paragraphs? Well, simply put, you can’t. But what I can share is that while 2017 has proved a challenging year with political road bumps and forex see-saws, it has also presented numerous exciting opportunities for our wines overseas.
Opinions on South African wine remains exceptionally positive and while we still have a long way to go to try and eradicate our image of being the middle-of-the-road-wine-suppliers-of-exceptional-quality at a more than affordable price, we are starting to be recognised for our innovation, uniqueness and higher tier offerings. So, the road ahead is widening. We are however still faced with the ever-burdening low profit margins, which prove challenging for those lower down in the value chain to make ends meet.
So, what has been happening out there in the East, West and North in terms of marketing Wine Brand South Africa? Lots, when one reads the market report-backs and listens to feedback from the ever-travelling wine exporters.
The year started off at a gallop (as usual) with shows, tastings and masterclasses, which received great reviews from media and exhibitors alike. Some worth noting were the 5-star Platter tasting in Stockholm, the Discover South Africa month-long promotion in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai (which recently won the Drinks Business Asia Award for Best Trade Campaign) and the SA Pavilion at ProWein, Dusseldorf, buzzing with 85 producers generating many fruitful business connections.
Generic tastings, roadshows and educational programs formed a strong focus for most of our markets with Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and UK all running generic tasting events in early September. This was closely followed by the inaugural Mission #CAPEable bloggers’ immersion into the Cape Winelands, which proved very successful, generating great digital and social media coverage for South African wine globally.
Finally, we have tried to keep you as informed and updated as possible on key markets with seminars being run on the UK, Germany, Canada, China and Mozambique along with publishing very useful guides on doing business in some of these very tricky markets on the WoSA online library.
Now I hear you say, what will the team be up to in 2018?
My answer…. More than I can say in a few minutes read! Looking ahead for 2018, the Wines of South Africa team are gearing up for another very busy year with the focal point being CapeWine 2018, the industry flagship business showcase which gives international and local trade and media the opportunity to meet producers, share their stories and taste their wines. Some 350 wineries will showcase over 5 000 diverse and exciting wines, from iconic garagiste and boutique bottlings to distinctive estate offerings, black-owned brands, Fairtrade labels, and value and volume ranges. This flagship event is presented at the Cape Town International Convention Centre every three years only, so please diarise 12 to 14 September 2018 as anyone who’s anyone in the wine industry should be there.
To read more about what the team achieved this year and what we plan for 2018, please visit the WoSA members library on the WoSA website where detailed market reports, plans and the AGM 2017 feedback presentation is available: http://www.wosa.co.za/home/