I had a lovely chat with South African Drinks International‘s Rick Beaumont earlier this week, about the devastating fires in Cape Town, and the latest results of the 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards, which had not yet been posted on their website.
The Cape Winelands dominated the Awards, winning four out of eight category Awards, against the UK, the USA, Spain, Italy, Greece, Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.
South Africa won: Continue reading →
Billed as a three-day event but stretching over a week, the Stellenbosch Wine Festival presented by Pick ‘n Pay draws to a close today, with a feast of events offered. It is the largest wine festival in the country, and the oldest. The media blurb proudly brags that the Stellenbosch Wine Festival presents the best of Stellenbosch’s ‘great wine, gourmet food, breathtakingly beautiful nature, and performances by some of South Africa’s most popular musicians‘.
Held at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds since Friday, 200 wines of 148 wine estates that make up the Stellenbosch Wine Routes are available to taste, creating a ‘virtual wine route‘. The Pick ‘n Pay Wine Shop will sell Stellenbosch wines to drink at the Festival, to take home, or to ship back to one’s home destination. Winemakers from Waterford Estate, Spier, Kleine Continue reading →
* From 1 February wine estates in the Cape Town municipal area, which applies to Somerset West too despite the wine estates there belonging to the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, may no longer sell ‘bottled wines’ on Sundays. Wine farms may apply to sell bottled wines from 11h00 – 18h00 on Sundays.
* Former American Vice-President and climate activist Al Gore is to visit South Africa in March, to spread the word for the Climate Reality Project about climate change and to train volunteer ‘climate leaders‘ to spread the word locally, reports The New Age.
* The IMF has forecast global economic growth at 3,7%, upping the rate from its October 2013 forecast. South Africa’s growth rate is forecast to be 2,8% this year. Weaknesses in our economy are highlighted as labour issues, the disparity between employed and unemployed, and increasing government debt.
When I see any writing by Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of tourism consultancy Destinate and former ineffective Mommy-Tweeting CEO of Cape Town Tourism, I have to hold back the urge to laugh, not only because of her poor writing skills (despite English being one of her BA majors!) but also because of her lack of marketing skills. Helmbold has just launched the ‘Stellenbosch Wine Experience’ for the Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Stellenbosch 360, as a joint venture between the wine and tourism elements of the second oldest town in South Africa, with the goal of becoming ‘the leading wine tourism destination in Africa‘. Helmbold adds in her document that Stellenbosch should be positioned as ‘amongst top in the world‘ too, and become ‘Africa’s wine tourism capital’!
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes is the first wine route in our country, having been established in 1971 by Spatz Sperling of Delheim, the late Frans Malan of Simonsog, and the late Neil Joubert of Spier. Its mandate is to market the wine estates and wines of the 150 or so wineries in Stellenbosch, with its CEO Annareth Bolton having mainly run a PR campaign to date. Previously sponsored by American Express, it no longer appears to have the backing of the credit card company. Credit card companies appear to be all over the seemingly lucrative wine industry, Diners Club appearing to have a head start. Stellenbosch 360 is the new name for the Stellenbosch Tourism Bureau, and is run by a very competent Annemarie Ferns, long the SA Tourism Country Manager for Germany.
Helmbold spent nine years at the helm of Cape Town Tourism, never being able to rise to the level of the marketing done with close to zero budget by her predecessor, the vivacious Sheryl Ozinsky. Helmbold did formula marketing, if one can call it that Continue reading →