Place in the Sun wines are warming up icy climes

Sunday, 2 December, 2012
Place in the Sun
The Fairtrade-accredited Place in the Sun wine brand is making very pleasing progress in markets both locally and abroad with year-on-year sales rising by significant double digits, says global marketing spokesperson, Dè-Mari Kellerman.
The big-hearted brand was launched in 2010 and from the start has succeeded in earning good shelf space and consumer attention, despite the intensity of the competition.  It has been warmly received at home, she says, but also in Europe and North America, where there is a thirst for socially and environmentally conscious brands.

"Now export volumes have been given a significant boost, thanks to recent listings in Canada and Iceland."

In Canada, the brand is carried by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, billed as the world's largest retailer of wines, while in Iceland it is stocked by Vínbúð.  Both are state-run monopolies.

"In addition to being Fairtrade-accredited, we have wines that were amongst the first in South Africa to earn the right to carry the new Ethical Seal. The seal is fully traceable from soil to bottle and is backed by a rigorous auditing process to confirm fair labour practices."

Kellerman said that according to Fairtrade Label South Africa's most recently distributed data, over R145m in Fairtrade development premiums were earned by African Fairtrade certified communities in 2010. "Fairtrade contributions are derived from a range of consumables, including wine that plays a substantial role.

Referring to Place in the Sun's eco-credentials, she confirmed that from the 2012 vintage, bottles have been lightened by 27%, to come in at 410 grams. "The per bottle drop of 155 grams means we are saving 220kg of carbon equivalent emissions for every 1 000 bottles produced."

She said the brand marketing's obvious references to warmth and sunshine were appealing to consumers in the Northern Hemisphere, where winters were long and hard.  "Place in the Sun accents the almost 300 days of sunlight a year, enjoyed by Cape vines and projects a strong sense of optimism.

"In our communication we demonstrate how by harnessing the sun's energy we are able to create generous wines that are refreshing, smooth on the palate and mouth-filling. They brim with sun-ripened flavours and they offer excellent value for money.

"The appeal isn't confined to cold countries, though, and our gold and silver medals earned at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards, as well as at the 2012 International Wine & Spirit Competition, have been an important quality endorsement."

Sales were also growing in neighbouring African states and in Asia Pacific, she added.

Locally the brand's single white, a Sauvignon blanc sells for around R35, and the reds - a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Shiraz and a Merlot, for around R45 each.