Wine industry toasts a changing SA

Monday, 13 December, 2004
Ronnie Morris, Business Report
Cape Town - The year 2004 will be remembered as the year when the historically white wine industry not only embraced the new South Africa but led the march to give a meaningful ownership stake to all through empowerment.
While the KWV model is seen as the template for broad-based empowerment, the Thandi project, a farm in Elgin where 134 black farm workers took ownership of a wine and fruit business, has been seen as a successful model of land reform and has been replicated in two other provinces. The model is being studied by US and Russian observers. Another successful BEE initiative in the wine industry was when Boschendal, the multiple award-winning wine estate outside Franschhoek, changed hands in a deal valued at R323 million. According to its managing director, Franco Barocas, this placed it in the forefront of BEE. The marketing of wine locally was treated as a priority and followed that of the generic marketing of brands over the past 20 years. Van Rooyen said local consumption had to increase and South Africa had to become known as a wine culture and not something that stopped at the Du Toits Kloof mountains. Even with a global glut of wine and the strength of the rand, South Africa has become increasingly attractive. Andre Morgenthal, the communications manager of Wines of SA, said the fact that the industry seemed to survive the strong rand showed it was buoyant. The other positive development was the rise in quality of South African wines every year. "Our wines are really getting better and better every year. There's a real understanding of international quality standards." Read the complete article at: