Wine district to boost ex­ports

Cape Town sell­ing point to put SA tip­ple in the spot­light

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - KABELO KHUMALO

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.

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