Bennie Stipp (below, right), De Wetshof sales manager, wins the inaugural Pendock Prize for Wine Marketing for a Mangaung master stroke. Sitting next to an ANC functionary on a flight to China, Bennie landed the contract as exclusive wine supplier in the restaurant at the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung this weekend. After reading media reports of the expenses claims of cabinet ministers and MPs, Bennie has caught the golden goose, as Jacob Zuma is famously the only ANC member who does not drink. The price? To sponsor wine for the Saturday night banquet for 900 with tickets going for R50,000 a plate, according to the Afrikaans press. Cheap at the price, I’d have thought, as the groot koppe will be drinking Jonnie Walker Platinum (in solidarity with mourning Marikana miners) and Moet by the Magnum.
The booby prize goes to WOSA CEO Su Birch who had an annus horribilis de luxe after her WIETA creation and power base exploded last month. The last straw was a grovelling apology from Drinks Business for illustrating her as 48th Most Powerful Woman in Wine in the most sexist and inappropriate way (below). Environmentalists and producers will be wondering whether the expenses and ticket to Cape Wine 2012 lavished on the DB hackette who wrote the story, was money well spent.
Let’s hope better value is provided by Oz Clarke and Tim Atkin, currently on a WOSA-funded Christmas holiday in the Winelands. Let’s hope winemakers delay their fishing trips to Stilbaai to pay their respects.