The most WINEderful Wine Show in Jozi

Monday, 24 June, 2019
TOPS at SPAR Wine Show
Attracting a record-breaking number of wine-loving visitors, the 2019 TOPS at SPAR Wine Show at Montecasino in Johannesburg was the most successful show in the event’s 13-year history.

Guests were treated to an exceptional pour-formance by just under 100 exhibitors and the wine industry’s leading role players, who provided valuable edutainment throughout the three days of the show.

Described as “superb” by CliffCentral’s Alan Ford, the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show has achieved impressive year-on-year growth. Andrew Douglas, Owner and Producer of The Wine Show, says the Joburg Wine Show, the second in the seven-city 2019 tour, was a resounding success. “We were delighted with both the exhibitor and consumer turn out at this year’s instalment of the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show in Johannesburg. We believe the event is now undoubtedly making a meaningful contribution to furthering the wine industry’s efforts to convert more consumers to the wine category. Our ‘fun friend’ approach appears to resonate well with all stakeholders to create a safe, educational and inclusive environment for consumers to broaden their wine horizons – be it the occasional quaffer or connoisseur.”

The net promoter score (NPS) of 68 indicates that 84% of the participants would recommend the event to a friend or colleague; 92% bought wine at the show, with 84% buying three bottles or more; and 92% felt they got value for money. The visitor profile shows that 81% were under the age of 40, 67% earn R20,000 or more per month, and 55% spend R200 or more on wine per month.

The convenient Sip n Ship service, which delivers cases of wines bought at the show free of charge, scored an NPS of 63. A total of 521 cases of wine were shipped via this innovative service, clearly indicating the quality of visitors as a wine-buying audience. The highest number of cases purchased by one visitor was 24 cases.

Exhibitor Jana Cloete of Rainbows End Wine Estate near Stellenbosch says the free Sip n Ship service worked very well. “Many people used the service, which made my work after the show a lot easier than it has been in the past. I was also highly impressed with the quality and range of farms that participated this year; there were many really good farms, and it was great to have farms ranging from large and commercial estates to some small and high valued boutique farms. Altogether, the show was very well organised.”

Debbie Combrink, CEO of TOPS at SPAR Wine Show, says the Joburg event underlined the overwhelming support of both established and boutique wine farms for the show. “The participants all came together to present the largest and most successful show in its history, with the content partners contributing tremendous value to the status and positioning of the show.”

Apart from the 80+ wine farms tempting palates at the show, key industry role players who participated include Core Catering, the Restaurant Association of SA, the Old Vine Project, SA Sommeliers Association, Platter’s Wine Guide, Stellenbosch Vineyards, the VinPro Foundation, Proudly South African, and the DTI, which brought five new wine farms to the show to promote cultural diversity in the industry. As a direct result of their participation in the Joburg show, one of the black-owned brands supported by the DTI is currently in negotiation with a large international importer.

A hot favourite was the Jon Meinking #SAwineshowcase theatre experience, which offers fascinating insight to people wanting to expand their South African wine horizons. Meinking exposes attendees to a variety of off-the-beaten-track wines from diverse regions and varying vintages, presenting them ‘blind’ to avoid bias towards varietal, region, farm and price. He says, “Each session lasts for about 30-40 minutes, and is a perfect opportunity for the South African palate to be refreshed and surprised, gaining sound knowledge that helps to demystify some of the stereotypes that are found in our wine-loving society.”

Thys Burger of Imbuko Family Vineyards, the Joburg winner of the POURformer Award for the highest number of cases sold, says of the Johannesburg Wine Show, “This city is quite something to experience and the enthusiasm for wine is overwhelming amongst the locals. The show was exceptionally well organised and ran smoothly.”

The WINEderland Tour now moves on to Cape Town from 11 to 13 July, Port Elizabeth from 25 to 27 July, Pretoria from 3 to 5 October, East London from 7 to 9 November, ending off in Nelspruit from 28 to 30 November. Stands are sold out in Cape Town, PE, with limited opportunities still available in Pretoria, East London and Nelspruit.

For enquiries about bookings, wait-listing or registering interest for 2020, go to