Cape Wine Communique #4

The official post mortem on Cape Wine 2012 raises more questions than it answers. The press release kicks off: “The South African wine industry, a major contributor to the country’s agri-exports, has just hosted its ‘best ever’ international trade exhibition, according to the chairman of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), Johann Krige.

WOSA is a not-for-profit organisation mandated by government to promote South African wine exports that last year generated R350,4m in sales.” Come again? WOSA’s budget is R35 million a year or 10% of SA wine export sales? If the numbers are correct, then WOSA should be closed down immediately as it simply does not deliver this kind of value.

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But Cape Wine 2012 is not about WOSA. It is about brave producers like Elgin Ridge (above) and Chateau Beau Belle (below) who paid the exorbitant price of R18,000.00 for a stand to pour their wonderful organic Sauvignon Blanc and incredible value Shiraz, respectively.

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It is not about WOSA holding court at Bistro Bizerca or my perceived antagonism towards the show brought on by a case of Sour Grapes as some Twitter trolls tweet it. It is about Botanica Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc. It is about wine. Wines like the tangy Pinot Gris made by Pierre Winshaw (below left with Julien Schaal whose Chardonnay is tops). Pierre’s great granddad Bill started Stellenbosch Farmers Winery and I do hope Pierre’s Pinot was a guerilla entry, smuggled into the venue. If so, the wine and the way it was marketed would have made Bill proud.

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