SA shipments of bottled wine to its largest market, the UK, are in serious trouble according to new figures from SAWIS. Exports tanked from 38.2 million to 30.7 million litres between January and June, a period in which the SA wine category received unprecedented publicity thanks to the World Cup. Imagine what the figures would have been without the Fifa hullabaloo!
Clearly marketing SA wine in its largest market needs an urgent rethink. For instance, was the plan to give away 300 copies of André Morgenthal’s braii book Cape Wine Braai Masters to readers of The Telegraph really the most effective way to spend SA wine marketing moolah?
The whole premise of whether an industry funded body like WOSA should be in the business of commissioning, producing and distributing books on SA wine is moot to writers like Michael Olivier, Erica Platter, Andrew McDowall, Elmari Swart, Izak Smit and yours truly who struggle away without industry funding. Level playing fields would be nice to those of us competing with a secretive organization that does not even issue tenders.
Still, as I told WOSA chairman Johann Krige last month over a fantastic piece of braii’d snoek, I try to keep a positive perspective and am even prepared to smoke a Pinotage peace pipe with Jamie Goode at the Veritas Awards this Friday. The best wine blogger in the universe will surely be there as the industry paid for his ticket (no jokes about the class, please) and Veritas is the premier wine competition on the national calendar.
In fact the whole Pinotage blow-up earlier this year could have been avoided if WOSA had brought Jamie along to the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Competition which coincided with that visit and Jamie could have explained that his infamous Pinotage polemic was a joke. He he!