FM Wine Business Awards

This from a Wine survey in the Financial Mail on last month’s FM Wine Business Awards:

Delarey Brugman, great grandson of General Koos de la Rey of the Bok van Blerk banned Loftus anthem fame, was the first person to attempt to calculate the mathematical value of a rugby player. John Woodward is equally pioneering – his Jo’burg wine show was the first to offer retail sales to punters, an innovation quickly copied by the competition after their cynical attempts to get him busted for selling liquor without a license failed.

So it comes as no surprise to report that these two entrepreneurs of the vine are the driving forces behind the FM Wine Business Awards, the first of which were handed out at a gala dinner at Gallagher Estate in Midrand at the end of June.

dj FM Wine Business Awards

Wine competitions and awards are booming with over two dozen dishing out medals to wines and certificates to the people who make them. The latest competition is the first and so far only one to concentrate on the business aspects of the Bacchus business.

Kleine Zalze are the big corporate winners, trousering the trophy for Wine Company of the Year plus the Exporters Award. Which is great news for consumers as Kobus Basson’s Stellenbosch winery makes some of the best value wines with their old bush vine Chenin Blanc a particular feature.

Among individual Oscars awarded, Bruce Jack of Flagstone and now Constellation, the King Kong of global wine producers, is a worthy Personality of the Year while Inke Gouws is an up-and-coming newcomer with a future as bubbly and bling as the French champagne she imports.

That Makro were voted Retailer of the Year is thanks to the passion of national wine buyer Carolyn Barton and her teams of in-store experts on hand with a taste. Likewise Alan Pick, On-trade Personality of the Year is the total antithesis of the Bruce Jack wine “Wallflower.” Proprietor of the Butcher’s Shop & Grill in Sandton and most successful bidder at the annual Cape Winemakers’ Guild Auction, Pick doesn’t sell a bottle of wine, he “sells the moment.”

The FM Wine Business Awards hit the spot that other competitions just can’t reach, rewarding efficiency over ego, financial viability over fickle fashion and give traction to terroir. They are just what the consumer ordered.