Pendock Predicts

It’s on with the Mystic Meg bifocals, give the crystal balls a shake and out with the divining rod to stir the SA Wine spittoon. Pendock’s predictions for Mondo Vino Afrika Borwa 2008:
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1. The story of 2008 will be continued corporate turmoil at KWV. With disasterous financial results in 2007, the status quo is untenable. Watch KWV Beleggings, the JSE listed vehicle for KWV’s shareholding in Distell, and Zeder. The three-legged riempie stool ownership structure of Distell (KWV Beleggings/Remgro/SABMiller) is also ripe for a shake-up.

2. Overhaul at Platter’s. With a producer boycott snowball gaining momentum and widespread dissatisfaction with 2008 ratings, Platter’s publisher Andrew McDowall bows to the inevitable and introduces blind tastings. Once again, the status quo is untenable.

3. Verdelho becomes the hot new grape, adding exotic piquancy to white blends which continue to make the running in fashionable cuvées.

4. SA wine is rocked by a Wither Hills scandal – a highly rated show wine turns out to be not the same as the stuff on the supermarket shelf.

5. Corkamorimcork Pendock Predicts
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becomes sexy.

6. SA supermarkets get serious about imports, hugely expanding the array of wines available to SA wine lovers. Foreign players will expand their SA offerings.

7. Exports of SA bulk wine soar as multinationals and foreign supermarkets increasingly decide to bottle the stuff closer to markets.

8. Matching wine with food continues to expand as SA consumers increasingly reject wine only shows and food show proprietors seek to expand their wine offerings.

9. The myth of burgeoning brands gets exploded. While notoriously error-prone Tom Stevenson’s Wine Report 2008 breathlessly reports a new SA cellar opens every week, no one subtracts the number of boutique wineries that no longer make wine. The expanding balloon of new brands pops as distribution chickens come home to roost.

10. Big SA wine brands increase market share at the expense of small producers.

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