Spier repositions and expands its portfolio

Tuesday, 5 October, 2004
Spier’s four-range ladder brand now covers the entire premium-wine market.

In a major realignment of its wine portfolio, Spier has announced the release of its first entry-level premium wine, the Spier Discover range. The 'classic' single-varietal wine range, simply called Spier, has been re-released under new packaging, as part of the realignment. The completion of the repositioning will see a packaging upgrade of the ultra-premium Spier Private Collection range and the launch of the super-premium Spier Winemaker's Vintage range.

The move comes at a time of change at Winecorp, owner of the Spier label, commencing with the appointment, earlier this year, of Vernon Davis as CEO. He looks forward to the next phase of Spier's growth, 'I am confident that the Spier name will become one the Cape's most recognisable wine brands, both locally and internationally. We now have a fine range of wines, and with its stronger link to the wonderful Spier resort, we are set to expand our markets here and abroad. It is a very exciting challenge.

The design theme of the Spier wine ranges now recognises the farm's 300-year old heritage and its history of involvement in arts and culture. This is expressed in the phrase 'Discovering the Art in Wine Since 1692', encouraging consumers to discover the art in wine, and indeed to view wine as a work of art in the same manner as a fine sculpture or painting. This theme creates a crucial link to the 'Spier Experience', which undoubtedly the most unique development of its kind in the wine world. The Spier resort, situated near Stellenbosch on the banks of the Eerste River, offers breathtaking scenery, beautiful Cape Dutch architecture, fine food, luxurious accommodation, golf, and arts and culture. But the pleasure Spier has been most closely associated with for three centuries is, of course, wine.

The Discover range includes a white blend, comprising 60% Chenin and 40% Columbar, a red blend of 70% Pinotage and 30% Shiraz, and a sweet wine comprised of 85% Chenin and 15% Weisser Riesling. Discover White retails for R20, Discover Red for R28 and Discover Sweet for R20. The existing Spier classic range retails between R32 and R48.

The key feature of Spier's winemaking philosophy is its dedication to making wines of the highest quality, across all its ranges. Its large modern custom-built winery is designed to enable Frans Smit's winemaking team to make the terroir-specific Private Collection wines through to the Discover and Spier classic ranges. The Spier winery processes fruit from Spier's own vines and from other carefully selected vineyards. Spier's dedicated viticulture team supervises its own and managed vineyards that are situated in the prime wine-growing areas of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Darling on the West Coast.

Group Winemaker Frans Smit has been the driving force behind the development of Spier's vineyards and the refurbishment and upgrade of the Spier cellar, in 2001, into one of the most modern of its kind in the Cape winelands. All winemaking and operational procedures are in line with ISO 9001, for which Winecorp was recently certified.

The numerous local and international wine awards that Spier have won over the past decade highlight the superior quality of its wines and affirm the quiet revolution that is taking place in the Spier cellar.

Winecorp's Spier Shiraz has claimed this year's SA Champion Young Wine title at the 2004 SA Young Wine Show, placing first out of more than 2,000 entries to win the coveted General Smuts Trophy. The wine also won the trophy for SA Champion Shiraz (Wooded).

These are the latest in a string of awards won by Winecorp, owner of the Spier brand. This year alone, Winecorp has claimed more than 25 medals at prominent competitions, including:

- The Grand d'Or Double Gold at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards for the Spier Private Collection Merlot 2002
- Two Gold Medals at the International Wine Challenge in the United Kingdom for the Spier Private Collection Pinotage 2001 and 2002
- Five Gold Medals at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles for Longridge and Spier wines
- A Gold Medal at Chardonnay du Monde in France for the Longridge Chardonnay 2002, attaining second place in the competition overall.

Contact:  Linda-Louise Roosenschoon
Tel 021 881 3690
Cell 082 820 3349
E-mail linda@winecorp.co.za