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Published:  23 July, 2008

Brand Phoenix has unveiled its long-awaited South African brand, FirstCape, which is being launched at the London International Wine & Spirits Fair. Greg Wilkins and Steve Barton told Harpers that the range comprises: Colombard/Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay/Semillon, Shiraz/Pinotage (all at 3.99-4.49), plus a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (4.99). Two major multiples are close to listing the brand and it is expected to be on-shelf in the autumn. Barton said that they estimated that 6.6 million cases of wine have been added to the market in the past two years from just three countries' - Australia (3.1 million), California (1.8 million) and South Africa (1.7 million) - all in the 3.99-4.99 price zone. This is South Africa's greatest opportunity,' said Barton. It can produce quality wine cheaper than other countries and the volume is now available.' The FirstCape wines are made by the De Wet co-operative winemaker Piet La Roux in Worcester, under the supervision of Gordon Newton Johnson, the winemaker at Newton Johnson.