Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Competition aims to boost sales of South African wines in the on-trade

Published:  06 April, 2016

Wines of South Africa's triennial Sommelier Cup competition is now accepting entries as the organisation strives to boost on-trade sales.

The competition, which tests the palettes of those working in the restaurant trade, is now accepting entries.

Jo Wehring, UK market manager for Wines of South Africa, said this year organisers have their eyes firmly set on impressing the UK's sommeliers.

She said they were "vital" for increasing the market share for South African wines in the on-trade.

She said: "The sommelier community is vital to developing the reputation of our wines and their direct influence with consumers is helping to cement South Africa's image as one of the most exciting and innovative wine producing nations."

Organisers have finalised the two UK judges, which Harpers can reveal as Greg Sherwood, MW (from Handford Fine Wines) and Ronan Sayburn MS.

The competition's UK winner from 2013, Terry Kandylis, is the sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, where the competition is being held.

Ronan SayburnRonan Sayburn

Wehring explained that consumers have become familiar with South African wines over the last five years in the off-trade, but there was more potential to increase their presence of premium wines in both sectors.

"The Southern hemisphere isn't represented as much in the on-trade and there is definitely work to be done in familiarising sommeliers with our wines so that they can appreciate the wide variety the South African wines have to offer," she said.

"South African wines have been very successful coming into the UK market with consumer-friendly wines that appealed to the mass market rather than the top end. Over the past five years we've been introducing premium wines from South Africa and we feel there is a lot more potential with that."

The competition begins with country rounds in nine key growth markets for South Africa: UK, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Asia, Kenya and Ghana.

The winners of the country rounds will fly to South Africa, as guests of Wines of South Africa, in September for a week of winery visits, exclusive tastings and fine dining, before participating in the grand final, held on Friday, September 23, to determine the overall winner.

Wines of South Africa is a non-profit, umbrella organisation that globally represents the South African wine industry.

Entrants can register for the competition click here.

The participants must be available to travel to South Africa from 17 to 24 September 2016.

Jo Wehring, UK market manager for WOSA, believes Faritrade wine should be in wider distribution and should offer greater choice, including at higher price points.