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Q&A: Ken Forrester and Rollo Gabb

Published:  12 August, 2013

Rollo Gabb, managing director of Journey's End Vineyards in Stellenbosch and first chairman of the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA) and co-founder Ken... 

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Nederburg offers consumers chance to win dinner party experience

Published:  26 July, 2013

Distell-owned South African winery Nederburg is offering consumers the chance to win a 'premium dinner party experience' via promotional neck collars on its bottles of Winemaster's Reserve.

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Wines of South Africa starts recruitment drive for new chief

Published:  22 July, 2013

Wines of South Africa is formally advertising for a new chief executive to replace Su Birch (pictured) who stands down following the Beautiful South tasting in September.

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Tesco to launch South African wine through social media

Published:  12 July, 2013

Tesco and Enotria have teamed up to try and launch a wine that has been devised and created exclusively through social...

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Arniston Bay's Reef Pouch returns to UK

Published:  10 July, 2013

Stellenbosch Vineyards' brand Arniston Bay is returning to UK as an alternative packaging choice for consumers...

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The Beautiful South tasting signs up 280 exhibitors

Published:  02 July, 2013

'The Beautiful South', a new tasting featuring wines from South Africa, Chile and Argentina, in September has already signed up 280 exhibitors.

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WSET to launch Diploma course in South Africa

Published:  01 July, 2013

The UK based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced it will launch the Level 4 Diploma Online Distance...

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Liberty Wines takes on SA winery Excelsior

Published:  04 April, 2013

Liberty Wines has been appointed UK agent for South African producer Excelsior.

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South African winemakers helping to raise reputation of country's wines

Published:  03 April, 2013

The new generation of winemakers in South Africa is helping to increase the prestige and sophistication of wines coming out of the country, according to leading wine critics at last week's ProWein in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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FirstCape in Ireland push

Published:  22 March, 2013

South African wine brand FirstCape has won its first listings in Ireland.

Text South African wine brand FirstCape has won its first listings in Ireland.

 

Owner Brand Phoenix will supply its core range of full strength wines and lighter styles FirstCape Café Collection and FirstCape Light to Tesco and Dunnes stores. It will also work with distributor Classic Drinks to reach more outlets in Ireland.

 

"We are really excited to be breaking in to the Irish market. Growth in Ireland is a key part of our new global strategy and we are committed to long-term investment in the Irish market with robust plans in place for both First Cape Light and our core range of full strength wines," said Steve Barton, joint UK director of Brand Phoenix.

 

FirstCape is a global sponsor of the British and Irish Lions Tour and last year announced Irish captain Jamie Heaslip as its brand ambassador in Ireland.

 

"With the first Lions team training session being hosted in Dublin for the first time in 125 years, this is ideal timing for us to further promote the brand and our association with the Tour," Barton added.

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Premium South African wineries announce UK programme

Published:  22 March, 2013

A group of premium South African wineries have announced their programme of trade, consumer and press events for the UK in June.

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A group of premium South African wineries have announced their programme of trade, consumer and press events for the UK in June.

 

All fifteen members of Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA), which launched in January to raise the profile of premium South Africa wine, will travel to London for 10 invite only events.

 

The programme begins on Monday June 3 with a consumer and trade evening tasting with QUAFF and Henry Butler Wines in Brighton and culminates in a trade tasting and dinner on Thursday June 6. Members will also be available all week for individual meetings.

 

"This is an ambitious series of activities for our first year but we are confident that there is sufficient interest in South African wine and in the dynamism of the country's winemakers and the PIWOSA group specifically.

 

"We really look forward to meeting UK consumers and those involved in all aspects of the trade to demonstrate just how far we have come in recent years and our plans for the future," said PIWOSA secretary Bevan Newton Johnson.

 

PIWOSA plans to run further activities in Scandinavia, the US, Canada, Hong Kong and China.

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Country reports: South Africa

Published:  15 March, 2013

To purchase the full report, priced £99 (ex-VAT), go to the Harpers Shop. This could well be South Africa's year, so say its proponents and supporters in the UK trade. As do high-profile writers ranging from Tim Atkin MW to Neal Martin, both of whom have singled the country out as being the most exciting New World producer today - and they are not alone. There is a groundswell of opinion that South Africa's time has come, so long as it can now capitalise wisely on the many positive currently in its favour.

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South Africa wine collective in premium push

Published:  05 February, 2013

Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa, a collective of like-minded, independent producers, has been launched in a bid to to raise the profile of premium South African wine.

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The Guardian's coverage has potential for "unimaginable damage", warns WOSA

Published:  28 January, 2013

Wines of South Africa has accused The Guardian of potentially causing "unimaginable damage" to the industry.

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Wines of South Africa has accused The Guardian of potentially causing "unimaginable damage" to the industry.

 

The newspaper ran an article on Thursday under the headline: Don't buy South African wines: striking workers' plea to foreign consumers.

 

The article repeated a call by Nosey Pieterse, secretary general of the black agricultural sector union, Bawusa for foreign buyers to pledge not to import South African products unless their call for a pay rise to 150 rand a day (£10.65) were met.

 

It also ran a poll in its Comment is Free section asking "Will you boycott South African wine?" in which 59% of people said they would.

 

WOSA chief executive Su Birch said the coverage unfairly targets the wine industry and "has the potential to do unimaginable damage to an industry that is working hard, through its support of the Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Association (WIETA), and also Fairtrade, to ensure the ethical treatment of workers.

 

Birch said the strike action and protests the Western Cape has been carried out by workers on fruit farms - not wine farms. She also pointed out that ruling party ANC and Cosato, South Africa's largest trade union, have called for an end to the strikes.

 

"We feel the call to boycott South African wines is inappropriate and saddening. The wine industry contributes an estimated R27 billion to the South African economy and some 275,000 people are directly employed by the industry. These people will be negatively affected if sales fall - a very likely outcome when wine farms are already battling against tough market conditions and if consumers boycott our wines.

 

"We ask that consumers support the industry and farm workers by buying our wines, ensuring the efforts by WIETA, Fairtrade, Fair for Life and all our producers can continue."

 

"Whilst we acknowledge that work is still to be done, South Africa is the largest producer of Fair Trade wines in the world and the initiatives by WIETA are making real, tangible progress that puts South Africa at the forefront of ethical, social sustainability," Birch wrote in a letter to The Guardian.

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Kleine Zalze hires new winemaker

Published:  25 January, 2013

South African wine estate Kleine Zalze has appointed RJ Botha as winemaker.

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South African wine estate Kleine Zalze has appointed RJ Botha as winemaker.

 

Botha will assist cellarmaster Johan Joubert to develop new premium white and red blends which will be launched in South Africa this year.

 

He previously worked as winemaker at Nitida in Durbanville for five years and was named Diners Club Young Winemarker of the Year in 2010.

 

"We are delighted to have made this appointment. RJ's passion, and his belief in getting quality wines in the bottle matches ours," said Joubert.

 

Kleine Zalze moved its whole portfolio in the UK to Hatch Mansfield last year.

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Last chance to register for South Africa tasting

Published:  23 January, 2013

There are just a few places remaining at Harpers' upcoming Cape Crusaders - Wines for your Business tasting, which will take place on January 29.

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South Africa exports set new record

Published:  14 January, 2013

South Africa smashed its previous record to export the largest amount of wine to date in 2012.

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South Africa smashed its previous record to export the largest amount of wine to date in 2012.

 

The 417 million litres exported last year is a 17% increase on 2011 and 10 million more than the previous record set in 2008.

 

The record export year is the result of favourable currency rates, as well as a significant drop in the harvests of competitor regions including Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Bulk exports made up 59% of volumes as local producers strived to compete globally and meet market demands.

 

"Obviously we would prefer the accent to be on packaged wines in terms of job retention in the packaging industry and also to maintain sustainable profit margins for producers.

 

"We are therefore greatly encouraged by the recent growth of packaged exports to North America, Japan, China, as well as several increasingly affluent African nations, all to regions where we have been increasing our marketing investment," said Wines of South Africa chief executive Su Birch.

 

Over the past decade bulk wine exports from the New World have risen from 20% to over half of all volumes traded. "The reality we face also confronts Australia, Chile, Argentina and even New Zealand," Birch said.

 

SA Wine Industry & Information Systems (SAWIS) has predicted that the 2013 wine grape crop will weigh in at 1.38 million tonnes - the third biggest in recorded history.

 

"This is assuming that good weather conditions continue, there is a speedy and peaceful resolution to the farmworker strikes and harvests come in on time. The anticipated crop size is despite a decrease in total plantings, thanks to one of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years," Birch added.

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FirstCape reveals British and Irish Lions packaging

Published:  17 December, 2012

FirstCape has launched new packaging for its Presidents Selection wines on the back of its sponsorship of the British and Irish Lions 2013 Tour of Australia.

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Enotria partners with the Company of Wine People brands

Published:  04 December, 2012

UK importer Enotria has partnered with wine exporters the Company of Wine People in a bid to grow its South African Category in the UK.

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Cape Heritage trebles volume growth

Published:  23 November, 2012

South African wine brand Cape Heritage has made it in to the top 10 selling South African wines in the UK, with a volume growth of 198%, in less than a year after its launch.

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