When you think about it, Nederburg is incredibly well positioned to play the Chinese market given that red is the house colour and the Andrea Foulkes-powered new restaurant in the manor house is auspiciously named The Red Table. Mega feng shui.
The current issue of the Spectator reviews China’s Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who are Remaking the World in Beijing’s Image by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araújo and makes a couple of points. For SA wine marketers, the revelation that Africa is home to 750,000 Chinese traders “who have set up retail businesses all over Africa selling the flood of consumer goods that pours out of China’s factories” should be of interest. Now that Nederburg’s owner Distell has recently bought a controlling interest in a Chinese liquor distribution company, perhaps this distributed pipeline can be stocked with wine and spirits from the Nederburg cellar in Paarl. CJ Wines & Spirits is based in Zhongshan in the Pearl Valley Delta of Guandong province in southeast China and has operations in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.
A century ago, Jewish smouse (traders) from the Pale of Settlement rolled out the future to the Boland. Their synagogues, now redeployed as pastel painted museums, still stand as poignant memorials to a hardworking generation who built SA in the days when it was bicycles and not BEE that delivered. After a few generations of gentle urban gentrification, their place has been taken by Chinese merchants and Bruce Lee lookalikes with waving golden cats beckoning profits into Platteland shops stuffed with low price “made in China” treasures.Read More…
The darling of French philosophy, Alain Badiou, declared back in 1977 “there is only one great philosopher of our time: Mao Zedong.” Mao is most famous for three things: the declaration of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October 1949; the cultural revolution and as the subject of an Andy Warhol portrait (below). Mynhardt Joubert, the chef who revolutionized Swartland cuisine at Bar Bar Black Sheep has managed to wittily combine all three elements in CROC - Cultural Revolution on Kasteel. This croc is a Sunday dim sum lunch in De Oude Kerk in Riebeek-Kasteel on 30 September (the day before China’s national day) along with Swartland wines carefully matched to local ingredients following a blind tasting of 80-odd Swartland W.O. terroir wines last month for our Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013.
Korean-style dim sum (rice not wheat) for lunch today at I Heart (love) My Laundry on Buitengracht and a couple of Swartland discoveries at R28 a pop. Unpaid for export orders to China made by Sakkie Bester at Riebeek Cellars in Riebeek-Kasteel, their loss, our gain. A sublimely elegant Carignan from the comet 2009 vintage at a roadblock-friendly 13% alcohol and a lightly wooded Chenin from 2010 that cries out for food. The brand name is Cape Weaver, confirming that a bird in the hand is indeed worth two in a bush.
Paarl, the pearl of the Boland, has a glistening natural landmark that wows tourists. Shanghai, the financial capital of China, also has a pearl – the Pearl Tower – that looks more like that other Paarl attraction, the language monument, lovingly nicknamed die taalpaal by locals.Read More…
Welcoming drinks at the Whispers Hyperspectral conference at Tongji University in Shanghai last night turned out to be Montes Alpha Pinot Noir 2010 and Montes Malbec 2008. Chile is certainly making the running in China’s financial heartland and that Chile (and New Zealand) pay 20% less tax than SA on wine imports means Chinese scientists are unlikely to enjoy Hamilton-Russell or Bouchard-Finlayson anytime soon. Lucky SA is a member of BRICS! and exactly what are SA wine marketers doing about this crazy situation?
Perhaps the most valuable takeaway for SA wine from VinExpo is that the way to market wine in China is via the Internet with the Apple iPhone the most popular device. Stellenrust winemaker Tertius Boshoff found out the hard way when his Blackberry was pickpocketed on the MTR subway last night. The offer of a $500 reward bore no fruit, but the thief should be easy to catch being the only person in Hong Kong with a Blackberry.