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Global appetite for Great British Braai Off

Published:  29 May, 2020

The Great British Braai Off over the UK May Bank Holiday (23 to 25 May) is to become an annual event after what founder Nik Darlington described as a “hugely successful” first event.

Conceived to raise awareness of the plight of South Africa’s wine industry, the weekend-long celebration of South Africa’s unique BBQ-ing style pulled together wine importers, merchants, chefs and restaurateurs to share Braai tips and demonstrations, all accompanied – of course – by South African wines.

Harpers columnist Joe Fattorini took the plunge too, highlighting both the Great British Braai Off and Wines of South Africa’s concurrent Spectacular South Africa promotion on the Wine Show at Home, showcasing a diverse range of wines available from independent merchants across the UK.

“The first Great British Braai Off took on a force of its own greater than I ever imagined,” said Graft Wine Company director Darlington.

“The aim was to get people in Britain and hopefully around the world firing up the braai, learning new skills and celebrating great South African wine. The social media notifications were pinging non-stop with thousands of people reached globally by the campaign throughout the weekend.”

The campaign reached 65,000 people around the world on Twitter alone, with braai videos by South African winemakers, UK wine merchants and the public watched nearly 3,000 times, including some 200 people braaing in Shanghai.

“I would love to say we are aiming for the same Bank Holiday weekend in May 2021, but we will just have to wait and see how things pan out and what might become possible,” said Darlington.

“Whatever happens with the pandemic, rest assured that the Great British Braai Off will return bigger and better in a year’s time, virtually or physically. As they might say in South Africa, ons braai weer, we will braai again!”