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Published:  23 July, 2008

Western Wines has formed a partnership with new company Origin Wine to consolidate the sourcing and production of its South African brands, including the UK's leading South African wine brand, Kumala. The managing director of Origin Wine is Bernard Fontannaz, who recently left African Terroir (Sonop). Western Wines, which accounts for more than 30% of all the South African sales in the UK, will work in partnership with Fontannaz in a move that sees the sourcing of their brands co-ordinated by Origin, which will become the service company for Kumala. The way we operate currently with contracts, sourcing as needed, has been fine,' explained Western Wines South Africa's director, James Reid. But given our ambitions for Kumala, we need a formalised plan to ensure consistency of quality and supply. The partnership with Origin is also good news because it anchors us more firmly in South Africa by providing a "home" for Kumala, as Origin has taken out a lease on the Bottelary Winery in Stellenbosch. The facilities at the winery will include bulk and barrel storage and pressing capacity for the Kumala Premiums, while the Kumala range will be available for sale at the cellar door.' It should be emphasised that this agreement does not affect our current agency and bottling agreements,' said Reid. We remain committed to these relationships.'