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Shamwari' joint-venture

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Tim Atkin MW in Stellenbosch

BRL Hardy and Stellenbosch Vineyards, who formed a joint-venture company in May 2002 (see Harpers, 7 June), have announced the name of their South African brand. Shamwari, taken from the Shona word for friend', will be launched later this month in three target markets - the UK, Holland and Denmark. In future, Stellenbosch Vineyards' managing director Hermann Bohmer told Harpers, the joint-venture's export strategy will depend on where we get the breakthroughs. Our strategy is not to place set volumes with one client,' he said, but to use the sales and marketing talents of BRL Hardy International and the company's access to distribution channels. This is a global joint-venture. The emphasis will be on Europe to start with, but we aim to have a global presence.' The initial releases, all from the 2002 vintage, will be a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon (60,000 cases), a Chardonnay (60,000 cases) and a Shiraz (30,000 cases). The Chardonnay, which will retail in the UK at 3.99, was sourced in Robertson, while the Shiraz and Merlot/Cabernet (both priced 4.99) are from Stellenbosch. The Shiraz will be aimed at specialists and the on-trade, while the other two labels are being targeted at the multiples. The wines will also be distributed in South Africa, unlike some major export brands (e.g. Kumala) which, until very recently, were not sold on the domestic market. It is very important that Shamwari has a home here in Stellenbosch,' said Bohmer.