A year in South Africa's wine industry

Monday, 17 December, 2012
Shante Hutton, wine.co.za
Looking back at the year that was, we pick our most interesting and poignant moments from South Africa's wine industry.
It was the year of the Chardonnay
Danie and Lesca de Wet played host yet again to a fabulous celebration of World-class chardonnays on the De Wetshof  Estate. The afternoon was a delight with special contributors from around the World giving their view on the direction and current status of chardonnay.
There may have been a time when the ABC club stood for ‘Anything But Chardonnay’ but we are now seeing a new era of ‘Always Buy Chardonnay’, the King of White wine.

The people had their say at the Klink awards

Monika Elias is known for being the editor and creator of the Wine Tourism handbook and recently added the Klink Awards to her repertoire. Created to be an award system based purely on the input and suggestion of the consumer, the wineries honored were those at the top of their field who offered something more than just a beautiful setting but also knowledge, personality, history and a package that could appeal to a range of consumers from the Wine boffins, to families, to those devoted to food. The categories included the award for Most Green Wine Farm which went to deserving champions Villiera, and award for Best Child-Friendly Venue on a Wine Farm was awarded to Blauuwklippen. We hope to see this competition grow from strength to strength.

Unrest in the wine lands

November was quite a tumultuous month for the wine lands with Eastern Cape ANC spokesperson Mlibo Qoshiyane calling a boycott of SA wines as a protest against poor wages. The strikes turned violent with some vineyards being burnt and wine estates being barricaded. Peace has since prevailed with The Coalition of Farm Worker Representatives giving the government until the 4th December 2012 to uphold their demand of a wage increase to R150 a day.

Weltevrede continue to wow
It was in 1912, 100 years ago, that Klaas Jonker first started establishing Weltevrede and through his hard work and that of three generations, Weltevrede Wine Estate has grown phenomenally. Their dedication to making a difference shows itself socially too with them donating 50c for every bottle sold to the Edge of Life fund.
They have also looked towards the lighter side of things with their Cherry Choc Merlot video featuring De’ Canter (played by Steyn Fullard their droll marketing manager) becoming a viral hit, bringing about a more accessible approach to wine.
Steyn also brought his jovial personality to our December Spotlight, providing us with an insight into Weltevrede's Methode Cap Classique techniques as well as the terms and history around bubbly. Watch our awesome videos here.

Cape Wine 2012
Having been absent for four years, WOSA put together a slick event with the only slight being the lack of internet access. The set-up and aesthetics were outstanding and there was a constant flow of engaged buyers and media professionals.

Happy Christmas
The year isn't yet over though and although there is the Mayan prophecy looming over our heads, Wine.co.za is determined to see 2012 out with a bang. We look forward to seeing you next year when we will be looking at these new exciting Spotlight themes:

January - Budget Buys
February - Lovin' the Winelands
March - U.D.O - Unidentified drinking object
April - Olives and Festivals
May - Wish you were here
June - Who's your Daddy?
July - Pinotage and Chocolate
August - In the Pink
September - Spring into Action
October - Sponsor a month
November - Going Green
December - Top of the Pops

Intrigued yet?

Enjoy the festive season everyone and thank you for your continued support.