At the PDAC in Toronto, an annual mining conference that this year has attracted 1,000 exhibitors and 30,369 attendees from 125 countries. Exactly a month after the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, this show confirms what a missed opportunity mining is for SA wine. For mining is perhaps the most lucrative exploitation of non-renewable resources while making wine is perhaps the least viable form of farming renewable resources – in SA at least. Surely the time has come to form a Mines and Wines Forum for promoting SA wine to miners? It’s all a question of terroir, you see.
For starters, Anglo American – who still have something of a reputation in mining – own Vergelegen, one of the crown jewels of SA wine. The late Graham Beck was a coal miner while Gerard Holden is a mining fiancier who owns Holden Manz, one of the rising stars in Franschhoek.
Executives at Hochschild Mining, one of Peru’s major players owned by the billionaire grandson of a Bolivian tin baron, are planning to import half a container of SA wine this year after the success of December’s import of several Cape icons chosen by geologist Andy Rompel. Their rule is: Peter-Allan Finalyson’s Crystallum for the ladies, dad Peter’s Galpin Peak for men. Which sorts out Pinot Noir and comes as music to the ears of Hemel & Aarde wine marketers.
A call to the Department of Trade & Industry needs to be made.