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Cape Wine 2012 a great success: well done WOSA

September 27, 2012 2 comments

A busy Cape Wine 2012 underway on day three of the event

Thursday 27, 2012

Well it’s official. Cape Wine 2012 is a roaring success if the comments from exhibitors are anything to go by.

Wandering around the exhibition hall at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, I’m struck by how well organised this event has been, from the surprisingly sturdy cardboard exhibition stands, to the neatly arranged overhead banners.

The floor is abuzz with people, tasting, spitting, talking and at most every table, people are sitting in huddles, clearly talking business, and for an industry that is feeling the pinch of declining consumer spend, both locally and overseas, that is truly a God-send.

Glen Carlou’s Georgie Prout pretty much summed it up when I spoke to her this morning before the doors officially opened on the final day of the exhibition. “It’s been really well organised, from the stands themselves to the delivering of wine from store for our daily use,” she said. “it’s been slick and professional.”

Wine industry guru Ross Sleet told me that this year is even better than Cape Wine 2008, and that it provided a platform for producers to showcase their products. “It’s been great. Well organised and professionally done, and Su Birch and her team at WOSA need to be congratulated.”

Norma Ratcliffe of Warwick and Vilafonte observed that the association with food and wine was far better managed this time around. “You can’t really talk about wine without food, because they go together. This Cape Wine has really done well to emphasise that link. Every event I’ve attended that’s involved food has been so well done with the food pairings working beautifully.”

And Waterford’s Kevin Arnold was equally complimentary. “I’ve looked at the numbers, and this has been a great opportunity for exhibitors to engage with both buyers and the wine media. The WOSA team have done a great job, and deserve to be complimented.”

Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf, was full of praise when I spoke to him on Wednesday morning. “I had a busy day yesterday, and today I have a number of appointments lined up. It’s shaping up to be a great event.”

Aside from the exhibition itself, the lectures and seminars have been very well received. I arrived at the door of the Old Vines Seminar addressed by Rosa Kruger and Prof Alain Deloire yesterday, and was unable to gain access, as it was hopelessly oversubscribed.

The Soapbox enclosure next to the vibey Swartland Independent corner, built cleverly from empty wine boxes, is also immensely popular, with a tasting or discussion happening pretty much every half hour.

So it is indeed a case of hats off to Su Birch and her team, for a well-organised and productive Cape Wine 2012.

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Is the grass really greener?

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Does it make sense to pursue potentially problem-fraught off-shore markets for South African wine,  when one of the largest US wine producers is entering our local market aggressively?

The Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, which is expected to retail at R49.95 per bottle.

About 100 people, mostly from wine estates in the area, sat and listened to a Wines of South Africa (WOSA) organised seminar in Stellenbosch last Wednesday about export opportunities into Angola and Nigeria. Neither of these markets is particularly large at present, but growth over the last couple of years appears to have been substantial.

Angola for instance, with an estimated population of around 19 million, has seen annual per capita wine consumption grow from 2.3 litres in 2003 to a projected 12.2 litres next year. Compared to most of the rest of the world, including South Africa, that’s pretty attractive growth. Even France has seen a dramatic decline in wine consumption, from a high of around 55 litres in 2006 to an estimated 48 litres in 2010. South Africa has seen a decline from 7.94 litres in 2008 to an estimated just under 7 litres this year. Whilst the numbers do differ significantly, the magnitude of consumption decline is pretty much the same at about 12-13%.

The picture gets more interesting when one looks at retail wine prices in Angola, which have risen from €1.23 in 2003 to €2.19 in 2009. At current exchange rates, that’s from around R12 (2003) to R20 (2009) a bottle. Now, with the excises, imposts, duties and “back-scratching” amounting to 60% – according to one of the speakers at the WOSA conference – of the cost of the wine, that makes the landed cost around R8 per bottle.  Not terribly much in there from the producer, now is there? Read more…