Hot topics in the spotlight, hot wines in the glass

Friday, 5 July, 2013
WineLand Magazine
FULLY BOOKED! Adams & Adams WineLand Seminar 2013
The Adams & Adams WineLand Seminar will again provide the platform to discuss topical industry matters – this time with the added benefit of having something in your glass. Two of this year's discussions will include tastings of local and international wines, relevant to the themes that will be in the spotlight.

This event takes place on 1 August at the Kleine Marie function venue, on the R44 outside Stellenbosch, and has become an annual highlight on the busy Cape winelands calendar – striving to be at the forefront of new developments and trends that affect winemakers, marketers, producers and suppliers. Now in its third year, the Adams & Adams WineLand Seminar will feature discussions that aim to challenge and encourage, while maintaining a balance between theory and practice.

The day will kick off with a session focussing on wine labels as a competitive advantage. CEO of Topaz Wine Company and owner of Hidden Gems, Tanja Beutler, is also a wine industry consultant on everything wine-related, from the barrel to the bottle on the shelf. She will start the first session of the labelling seminar, concentrating on administration and requirements with regard to labelling, including legislation, export requirements and logistical issues.

Leading South African law firm, Adams & Adams, specialises in trade marks and copyright for the wine industry. One of the firm's partners, Suzaan Laing, will elaborate on the importance of these issues. In the final session of the labelling seminar, young and dynamic Stellenbosch designers, Rohan Etsebeth and Jan Solms of Fanakalo, will concentrate on creative visual communication related to packaging, design and illustrations – aiming to inspire producers to think outside the box.

The second session of the day will focus on the New World bottle breakdown and tasting. VinPro's "bottle breakdown report" grabs the attention of all interested in the economics of wine, with realities like waiters' tips often accounting for a bigger share of the pie than the producer, particularly causing a stir. But what is the picture in other wine producing regions?

The modern wine trade is a global space, where options abound from Argentina to New Zealand – often at unbelievably low prices. VinPro agro-economist Pieter van Niekerk has delved into the value-chain of New World wine production and will give insights into the trends and challenges of selling wine at competitive price points. This informative talk will be supplemented by an international tasting of global brands, presented by Spier cellarmaster, Frans Smit.

The afternoon session will look beyond the so-called "big five" which dominates the South African grape plantings, wine lists and general consumption. Yes, marketing and understanding this handful of the most popular cultivars might simplify selling the wines, but many winemakers are now increasingly considering other varieties – based on the terroir at hand and the success of these less common cultivars at similar sites across the world.

With a willingness to think out of the box, Ken Forrester is one of the pioneers who has taken the leap of faith, planting and producing cultivars that fall within the 'other' category. He will give a winemaker's perspective on the current state of our vineyard plantings, as well as the potential that some of the lesser known varietals could hold for the industry. Vititec manager and experienced nursery man, Nico Spreeth, will give an overview of the most recent imports of clones and new varieties, while well-known wine merchant and owner of Caroline's Fine Wines in Cape Town, Caroline Rillema, will discuss the challenge of persuading consumers to try something different.

The Adams & Adams WineLand Seminar programme:

08:00 Registration 
08:30 Welcoming and word from Adams and Adams
09:00 Wine labels as a competitive advantage
Tanja Beutler
Suzaan Laing
Team Fanakalo
10:45 Tea
11:15 New world value chain analysis and tasting
Pieter van Niekerk
Frans Smit
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Looking beyond the big five
Ken Forrester
Nico Spreeth
Caroline Rillema
16:30 End of proceedings

Book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available at R375 per person and include lunch and teatime snacks. Visit for more information or online bookings.