More than ever, South African wineries have to rely on exports

Thursday, 18 March, 2021
Jean Vincent Ridon
Considering the consequences of the prohibition the wine industry faced repeatedly, local producers need to fight fiercer than ever for a share of the global market.

The wineries who could maintain a stream of exports during the prohibition’s periods are realising their survival depends on consolidating their presence on export markets. Thanks to the support of campaigns like #SaveSAWine led by sommelier Erica Taylor, the global wine drinkers are positively supporting our national industry.

In the past, export managers and winemakers would start travelling the world as soon as the harvests are completed in order to win over buyers and consumers around the globe. In 2021 the game is completely different, with most of the big wine trade shows like Prowein being cancelled, while Vinexpo and Vinitaly may face a similar fate. Travelling to your clients is almost impossible.

WOSA’s CapeWine has been postponed until 2022 so the only current way to grab wine consumers' attention is to make sure South African wines receives valuable international awards.

The Concours Mondial of Bruxelles has always been a great platform for South African wines since they probably host the most international jury of all, an efficient blend of journalists, sommeliers, winemakers and wine importers. The CMB2021 was supposed to take place in China, however the organiser decided to play the safe card of moving the event to Luxembourg on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May 2021.

The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB2021) is a long-time partner of the South African Wine Tasting Championship, and decisively supported Team South Africa in its trips to the world championships. Once again, the CMB2021 will try to incorporate our best national tasters to the international jury. Last edition Team SA members Jolette Steyn and Nkululeko Mkhwanazi were invited to taste alongside Maryna Calow, Dr Winifred Bowman (CWM), Jean Vincent Ridon; Michael Crossley and Edo Heyns. This year may be the turn of Anita Streicher Nel and Anton Swarts CWM to represent South Africa in the jury if travels are allowed from South Africa.

CMB Tasters: Michael Crossley, Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, Jean Vincent Ridon & Maryna Calow

Part of the partnership signed between CMB2021 and Team South Africa is that the organisation of the South African Wine Tasting Championships (SAWTC) will facilitate the shipping of samples from SA wines producers, under the supervision of Jean Vincent Ridon, the local ambassador of the CMB.

The registration deadline is on the 20th of April and Vineyard Connection will try to organise a shipment consolidation to reduce the cost of sending the samples to Belgium. In these hard days for the wineries, every rand counts and export campaigns have to be cost efficient.

For SA wineries not holding stock in Europe, it is now the time to register on the online portal to make sure they can send samples on time. Brand managers can also contact the local ambassador on for further details.

The support of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is very important for the South African Wine Tasting Championship 2021 that will be announced very soon under an adapted format. Hopefully South Africa will be able to send a team of fabulous wine lovers to the World Championship that is to be held in Chateauneuf du Pape on the 2nd of October 2021. is the long standing media partner of the SAWTC and TeamSA.

CMB Taster
CMB Taster

Nkululeko Mkhwanazi
Nkululeko Mkhwanazi

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