During September the South African wine industry took their wine and terroir talk to the Cape Town International Convention Centre with the purpose of signing new deals and cultivating established relations. For three days international trade and media had the opportunity to taste the best of what our winelands has to offer under the year theme “Hannuwa”. Hannuwa is a Khoi-San word reflecting on the connection between man and soil. An appropriate subject which Cape Whale Coast wineries supported by taking a group stand as well as many individual stands.
The three days in Cape Town were preceded by special events hosted at the cellars. Visitors had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with new wineries and reconnect with clients who already form part of their wine portfolios. Hemel-en-Aarde producers gave a tour of their three appellations and poured latest vintage releases at La Vierge, Newton Johnson and Creation to an audience representing many countries including the US, UK, Kenya, Sweden, Canada, China and Japan. Chef Rickey Broekhoven and his team at the Restaurant at Newton Johnson prepared the customary South African braai to welcome guests while Craig Wessels, Chairperson of the Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers Association, summarised the spirit of this wine region as “serious wines made by great people in a very special place”.
With wine exports forming a significant part of our wine business it is critical that winemakers and wine buyers connect for an exchange on the philosophy of wine making as well as detail about what’s in the bottle. Every bottle tells its own story and this has to be narrated to the global audience who appreciate the fruit of our vines. Feedback received was particularly encouraging and mention made of the exceptional quality of our region’s wine. Peter Ranscombe, copywriter and freelance Edinburgh based journalist, wrote of his visit “they tell you in the textbooks that Hemel-en-Aarde is beautiful but nothing prepared me for seeing this awesome landscape in the sunshine. What a treat to spend the day with talented producers making world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay”.
The wine trade was accompanied by lifestyle journalists who welcomed the visit to South Africa and Hermanus. They were on the lookout for new and exciting experiences to share with their audiences. Making personal connections with these influencers are priceless and will form an important link in communicating news about our region. Following CapeWine there will be more visits to Hermanus, Gansbaai and the rest of the Overberg.