14 July 2003
South Africa has increased its share of the global wine market from six percent to 7.5 percent over the last year, and is now ranked sixth in the world. Andre Morgenthal, the spokesman of Wines of South Africa (Wosa), attributes the growth of South Africa’s wine industry on increased focus on branding and quality.
Wosa is a member of Proudly South African. The wine sector is well represented in the campaign, with estates and wine companies as members.
France has shed seven percentage points of market share and has lost its number one position to Australia.
One of South Africa’s wines, the Bergsig Chardonnay 2002 vintage, was named one of the three top white wines at the Monde Selection in Brussels, Belgium. It received the Grand Gold prize, together with wines from Hungary and Portugal. They were the only three selected for top honours from 600 entries from around the world. Nine wines were awarded gold prizes.
South African wines are performing better than ever at competitions around the world.
At the recent 2003 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, South Africa proposed that it be presented as the theme country at the event in 2005.
This year more than 17 000 people attended the festival and Morgenthal said the local wines made their presence felt through their sheer quality.
However, because of the cost of participation at trade shows, he said Wosa had decided to initiate a series of tastings in North America focusing exclusively on local wines.
“The objective of these tastings will be to enhance the image and increase awareness of South African wines among the United States media and the trade.
“The acceptance of South African wine in the US is growing, as shown by recent statistics indicating a growth of 31 percent in 2002 from 2001,” said Morgenthal.
Wosa regards the growth on the international arena as paramount to success, but the organisation has decided to invest within the country as well. South Africa’s first ever “township tasting” was recently held at Mandalay on the Cape Flats.
Mzokhona Mvemve, the winemaker at Cape Classics, conducted the tasting and a group of 30 incipient wine-lovers attended.