Wine district to boost exports
Cape Town selling point to put SA tipple in the spotlight
THE Western Cape’s wine producers cheered the announcement made by the Ministry of Economic Development this week that wines produced in the surrounds of the City of Cape Town would be marketed under the “Wine of Origin Cape Town” banner as the province aimed to unlock further value in the sector.
The province said it hoped to grow jobs in both the tourism and wine industries. The move was endorsed by the South African Wine and Spirit Board.
Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said that a new destination marketing organisation representing Wine of Origin Cape Town would be rolled out over the next few months. “This is exciting news for our wine industry. Cape Town’s brand as a leading, quality tourism and investment destination is already well established. Bringing our wine offering under this same banner is a natural fit, and one which will dramatically accelerate global market recognition of our produce,” Winde said.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the wine industry in the Western Cape (excluding tourism) supported almost 256 908 jobs in 2012. The wine industry contributed R14.2 billion to the Western Cape economy between 2008 and 2012 or nearly 7.3 percent of the total provincial Gross Domestic Product.
When assessing the contribution that was made to the national economy’s GDP, an amount of R26.2bn was made to the economy.
Rico Basson, the chief executive of wine producers’ organisation, Vinpro, said the collaboration between the various wards and wineries to form the new wine district was a huge step forward for the wine industry.
“It is an example of innovative co-operation in harnessing producers to market their respective regions under one name, the name Cape Town being much-needed for South African wine to present itself as a global player,” Basson said.
The initiative would regulate how wine areas are defined. The term “Wine of Origin Cape Town” is designed to appear on wine labels as an advisory to consumers that 100% of the grapes used to produce the wine come from the demarcated area.
Duimpie Bayly, the chairperson of the Wine and Spirit Board’s demarcation committee, said from a wine produc- tion side, the wards of Constantia, Durbanville, Philadelphia and Hout Bay are meant to be together. “We considered the various wards in the new proposed district and found great similarity in territory as well as clear boundaries in a district that at its furthest point is 36km from the Cape Town City Centre,” Bayly said.
The region’s industry was last year thrust into the lime- light after South African wines were of Danish shelves after a documentary claimed that slavery practices were practised on the vineyards. The documentary was screened in Denmark and Sweden.
South Africa is the second most popular country of origin for wine sales in Sweden. In Denmark, imports have soared 78 percent over the past 10 years. The Scandinavian region consumes 50 million litres of South African wine a year.
The industry denied the allegations that included low pay, poor living conditions and workers being exposed to toxic pesticides without protective gear or training how to use the chemical.
Siobhan Thompson, chief executive of Wines of South Africa said that the new designation would boost the profile of the country’s wines and winelands internationally.”
“As a destination, Cape Town has long been a firm favourite among international travellers and has a strong reputation for not only its beauty, but also its flavours, be it wine and food and, of course, its people. This new appellation will not only hold positive rewards for the region, but also for South African wine as a whole as it will surely draw instant recognition due to the popularity Cape Town enjoys abroad.”
Vineyards at the Groot Constantia wine farm.