Are you a South African wine exporter? With more than two decades’ experience and a streamlined strategy, you can’t afford not to tap into Wines of South Africa (WoSA’s) resources, platforms and events to create or expand your global footprint. By Jana Loots
It’s 360 years since the first vines were planted in the Cape, making South Africa the New World’s oldest wine country. But SA’s wine and brandy industry only really took off after the lifting of sanctions following the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
As a new player on the global wine scene, South Africa needed an organisation that would collectively introduce and promote its wines to the rest of the world. The South African Wines & Spirits Exporters Association (SAWSEA), which was established in 1990, was renamed Wines of South Africa (WoSA) in 2001 and recognised as the country’s official wine export board.
Today over 500 wineries export close on half of South Africa’s total wine production to countries across the globe, with the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands being the largest export destinations.
Building Brand SA
“WoSA’s mandate is to build South Africa’s brand as a producer of world-class wines,” WoSA CEO Siobhan Thompson says. “We use the industry’s core strengths to start this conversation.” These include South Africa’s rich heritage and diversity in terms of its people, culture and terroir. The country has some of the most sophisticated sustainability and traceability systems in the world and the wine tourism experiences, food and accommodation are being leveraged more effectively to promote the country’s wines.
These strengths are dialled up and down depending on the market, Siobhan says. “We emphasise tourism and traceability in Asia, diversity and terroir in the North American markets, and our environmentally friendly and ethical practices in the more traditional European markets.”
WoSA remains focused on maintaining volume and growing value in its traditional European markets, while growing both value and volume in Asia, North America and Africa as these are considered to be the future growth markets. This strategy is tweaked every three years according to trends, funding and capacity.