Unprecedented industry support for Cape Wine 2015

Exhibition space for Cape Wine 2015, South Africa's triennial wine showcase to the world, has been almost fully subscribed, six months ahead of the September event, says Wines of South Africa (WOSA) CEO Siobhan Thompson.

Hosted by WOSA , the three-day exhibition gives the international wine fraternity an insight into the depth and range of current winemaking and is attended by retail buyers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, sommeliers, critics and journalists from across the globe.

Cape Wine is the largest show of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It provides a range of exhibition formats to encourage established, independent and start-ups to exhibit.

The headline sponsor of the event is leading express logistics company DHL Express. Nampak, Africa's foremost packaging company, has been confirmed as a secondary sponsor.

"We are thrilled by such affirmation from exhibitors so early on in the game," said Thompson. "Cape Wine is always extremely well supported by local wine exporters but to have such extensive commitment already, as well as funding from two key industry players, is unprecedented. It bodes very well for this year's event."

Thompson attributes the keen interest to the growing focus on South Africa as the source of exciting and original wines. There has been a spate of foreign investment in the Cape Winelands from the US, India and China, and mounting acclaim from influential international critics and tastemakers such as Jancis Robinson MW, Andrew Jefford, Tim Atkin MW and Neal Martin.

"Several high-profile investors like Barbara Banke from Jackson Family Vineyards in the US, and entrepreneurs Analjit Singh, from India and William Wu from China, have recently added their names to the growing list of mostly European foreigners involved in winemaking in the country. At the same time, prominent critics are speaking up for the industry. Each one, in their own way has commented on the growing confidence of many of the country's winemakers and their close understanding of their sites, resulting in well-balanced and intriguing wines.

"The reputation we are currently enjoying is the result of assiduous work over more than a decade across several fronts. We have accelerated plant improvement programmes, we are engaged in world-class vineyard and winemaking research and we are collaborating across a broader international front than ever before. Cumulatively, these steps have helped to produce a new generation of dynamic, focused and often visionary people in the industry and curiosity from buyers and observers is rising," said Thompson.

She confirmed that amongst the international speakers at Cape Wine, from September 15 to 17, will be Analjit Singh, founder of Max India Limited, with interests in life and health insurance. He has recently expanded his investment in South African wine and will be discussing the potential of participating in the local industry. Singh, who owns vineyards in Franschhoek, a stake in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines and a luxury boutique hotel in the Winelands, told Cape Wine 2015 organisers: "I am exhilarated to be part of an unfolding wine journey in the New World, where much value can still be added. It is far more rewarding than buying into an established winery in one of the Old World wine-producing countries."

The speaker list also includes WOSA chairman, Michael Jordaan, a former banker and now venture capitalist; Thompson, in her capacity as WOSA CEO, and Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.

More details are available from www.capewine2015.com, where delegates can also register for the exhibition. Stay up-to-date via: Facebook: Cape Wine 2015 and Twitter: @CapeWine2015