Sino-Savvy SA Wine

One of the main attractions of China as export destination for SA wine is the fact that last year, 90% of the wine exported left Cape Town in bottles, rather than bulk.  The Chinese bulk market is dominated by Spain and bulk imports are often blended with Chinese wine with national identity lost in the process.  I had lunch with a French winemaker at Bizerca Bistro yesterday (salmon trout ceviche followed by pink lamb and Antebellum Chenin Blanc 2012 that tasted distinctly Cartological).  My guest, in town for a week to bottle his SA 2012s (showing better than 2011 even though the grapes were worse with some rot) had also exported bottles of Côte du Rhône to China at €1 a litre in 12 bottle cases.  The purchaser repackaged the bottles into individual cartons and sold out at €25 each.

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A trick L’Ormarins are unlikely to miss when they launch in China later this year.  L’Ormarins CEO Gary Baumgarten (above) showed us his new bubbly which was launched at the Queen’s Plate earlier this month.  A launch that most might have missed as Die Burger seem to have been the only organ to cover it.  Rupert Wines are on an Eastern Wavelength and will be one of the 8 brands featured at our upcoming Cape to Canton Chinese New Year Festival at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Newlands.

Watching Never Say Never Again on DSTV last night as part of the James Bond Festival it was quite appropriate that villainess Fatima Blush killed off the US president’s ocular impersonator by throwing her pet snake into his car.  For Sunday week sees the start of the Year of the Snake.

For tickets to Cape to Canton: