Robertson Wine Valley judged "Best Innovative Wine Tourism Experience" by Global Wine Tourism Experts

Friday, 11 December, 2009
Robertson Wine Valley
Robertson Wine Valley (RWV), the generic marketing body that drives this dynamic winemaking region, comprising the towns of Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson, has received this prestigious award from the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. RWV are the first South African Wine Route organisation to receive this significant award.
The citation read:

"The Robertson Wine Valley organisation was founded in 1983 by a group of farm owners in the area with the aim to promote wines of origin, Robertson, as well as the region itself. Today, the Robertson Wine Valley consists of 56 members and plays host to four wine festivals throughout the year, ranging from boutique events, such as the Robertson Slow to the ever popular Wacky Wine Weekend."

Elizma Spangenberg, Manager of the Robertson Wine Valley, added that, "We are very proud of these four events all of which have wine as the central theme, and all embrace the wide diversity of activities on offer in the Valley. These events have evolved over the past six years through the intelligent use of market research and visionary thinking. This is an ongoing process that is now concentrating on attracting visitors to the area all year round, which thus far has been very successful. WINE magazine, in their latest annual reader poll, rated RWV the second most popular wine route destination in the Cape Winelands."

Clarence Johnson, Deputy Mayor of the Winelands District Municipality and President of the Great Wine Capitals organisation, said the judges were impressed by the advances made in the quality of local offerings by the RWV members. He also said, "Despite the recession, they found little evidence of cutting corners. If anything, they noticed an even greater effort by competitors (members) to draw custom in an environment of narrowing disposable income. These winners demonstrated a capacity to face down the credit crisis by offering better value. The judges were also especially gratified by the growing sense of collaboration amongst competitors (members) in building regional awareness."

The four wine events are:

  1. Robertson Wine Valley Hands-On Harvest was launched in February 2009. This boutique event offers wine aficionados and budding vintners the opportunity to experience the 'magic of harvest' for a day and much more.
  2. Wacky Wine Weekend, which takes place in early June, is an event where all member farms open up their doors for a variety of fun activities, including wine tastings, river trips, adventure sports, fishing, hiking, music etc. Last year over 16 000 visitors attended this event.
  3. Robertson Slow, an August event, is a more sedate and leisurely collection of activities at wine farms across the Valley. Robertson Slow seeks visitors who want to experience the traditional way of farming life in intimate and personal settings. Events include wine tastings, cheese making, star gazing, boat cruises, and fishing.
  4. Robertson Wine on the River, still in October, replaced the Robertson Voedsel en Wynfees, the original public wine event staged by the Valley farmers. It was modernised by changing the name and moving the venue to the banks of the Breede River. 200 wines from over 40 wineries are on show for tasting and sale. Other attractions include: food delicacies; Robertson Farmers' Market for fresh produce; and live music.
The Robertson Wine Valley lies only 90 minutes drive from Cape Town on the popular Route 62. The wine route members (90% are family-owned) offer uninhibited and generous country hospitality and, above all, world-class wines with fantastic value at all price points.
Elizma Spangenberg receiving Robertson Wine Valley's Great Wine Capitals award from Clarence Johnson
Elizma Spangenberg receiving Robertson Wine Valley's Great Wine Capitals award from Clarence Johnson

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