Quick-fire Q&A with industry veteran Carina Gous

by | Mar 26, 2020 | Article

Kleine Zalze’s new head of international sales and marketing, Carina Gous.

Kleine Zalze wine estate in Stellenbosch has made a key appointment in line with its premiumisation strategy with marketing and sales specialist and industry veteran Carina Gous joining its team. In addition, Carina is also the non-executive chairperson of Wines of South Africa (WoSA) and she’s served as a wine strategy advisor to various businesses within the industry. We catch up with Carina to find out what’s shaking.

Q: What’s your new role at Kleine Zalze? And why did you decide to take up this position?

I will be responsible for global sales and marketing at Kleine Zalze. I believe that the industry needs more premium but sizeable brands to build the image of South African wine globally. Kleine Zalze definitely has the potential to be one of those brands that can lead the category. I’m confident I can contribute and help drive this as part of the amazing team that Kleine Zalze already has in place.

Q: What are some of the challenges facing SA wine exports?

Well, with COVID-19 dominating headlines, everything else seems to fade in significance.

Q: What should be the strategy going forward in promoting SA wine abroad?

The strategy for the past number of years has been to build a more premium image for the category. This remains the guiding light for everything that we do. The SA category is creating some real interest and excitement among key international press and trade with novel and exceptional wines. The main next step is to bring equally exciting wines to the market but in sizeable quantities that can achieve wider distribution and recognition.

Q: What are some of the global trends for wine in 2020?

It’s interesting that two of the main trends are in fact not new at all, but actually has been driving growth over the past fifteen years. Rosé, especially in very light dry styles, has exploded and sparkling wine is still growing ahead of the category. The trend is mainly driven by Prosecco but also by Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and sparkling wine from French regions other than Champagne. Then, in line with wider global trends is the whole cluster of trends around sustainability, organic, biodynamic and vegan. In the next main trend “bucket”, you can group together the consumer need for products that are authentic, craft, unique, niche and something new to discover.

Q: Young wine drinkers want innovation, but there’s also a move back towards traditional wines. How do we as an industry strike a balance?

Wine is a diverse category and the needs of consumers even more complex. The category comfortably caters for the whole spectrum from pure safe commercial wines to trendy new offers to the classics that stood the test of time but that are quietly continuously improving through innovation – maybe of a different kind. Consumers in South Africa are spoiled for choice.

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