South Africa’s interest group for Sauvignon Blanc – one of the country’s most grown grape varieties – has undergone a transformation, boosting its international success. The former Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG) not only announces its new name as Sauvignon Blanc South Africa, but also uses the celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc Day (May 3) to bring about a major change.
The organisation was initially set up to encourage excellence and promote the cultivar and has, among other things, appointed a new marketing and support agency; redesigned its logo and website and called on the help of a well-known expert to broaden its knowledge centre.
Sauvignon Blanc South Africa president RJ Botha says the change has been on the horizon for a long time. “The previous name as SBIG has not strongly emphasised our message. Now anyone in the world will know what we stand for and where we come from.”
“The change has strengthened our case with fresh energy. Below are talks about Sauvignon Blanc Day 2020 and Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2021 already underway, and we are very excited about these prospects,” says Botha.
Sauvignon Blanc is the third largest white grape plantation in the Cape Winelands and one of the largest in the New World Winelands. Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular grape variety in SA – a total of 40% of all white wine sales are Sauvignon Blanc, most of all grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc SA has been established with this information as a background to promote South African Sauvignon Blanc’s quality locally and internationally.
The interest group’s rebirth to celebrate International #SauvBlancDay – traditionally the first Friday in May – gives gravitas to the event.
The organisation’s task is further boosted by the appointment of Agri-Expo, the established agricultural sector promotional and marketing company, to take over the day-to-day management.
“The previous management committee has laid a solid foundation over the past eight years, supporting the invaluable value of people like promotional dynamo, Elsabe Ferreira,” says Botha. “The new team will build on this success, with the aim of creating even more opportunities for our members and for South African Sauvignon Blanc.”
Some of the members’ new benefits are access to the expert insights of Dr. Carien Coetzee from Basic Wine, who writes a series of exclusive technical reports. In addition to her PhD Agric Oenology at the Stellenbosch University, her experience includes joining the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in New Zealand and serving on the tasting panel for the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon International Wine Competition.
Sauvignon SA’s transformation also includes a redesigned website, www.sauvignonblanc.com, which integrates with social media platforms to make the most of the variety around the variety.
Anyone can become a member of Sauvignon Blanc SA, to enjoy the benefits of shared expertise. Members’ networking opportunities and information exchange include technical seminars and workshops, as well as specialist wine panel selection and training; and early marketing opportunities.
From the public, most people know the organisation through the prominent annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition, which was founded in 2007 to reward producers who make outstanding wines. The Cape wine master, Dr. Winifred Bowman, an experienced reviewer and commentator, is the panel convenor.