South Africa’s wine industry has had a tough year of restrictions and limits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Cape Wine 2022, the Wines of South Africa (WoSA) aims to give the industry something to look forward to.
Siobhan Thompson, CEO of WoSA, describes the organisation as a not-for-profit meant to promote South African wines in export markets. Thompson joins us on this weekend’s podcast to discuss Cape Wine 2022.
“[WoSA] currently has about 500 producers who we work with, and the idea really is to create generic platforms for them to market and build their brands on.”
Marketing the country’s wines, especially during the early stages of the pandemic, proved to be very difficult with the alcohol bans effected by government to limit the spread of the disease. Thompson says that the decision to move the country back to level 1 has definitely relieved the pressure the industry was under.
“From a retail perspective, having retail hours returned to normal, allowing consumers to buy wine in their local retailers, welcoming people into their brand homes, and also their restaurants. Now, with the curfew being 12:00 o’clock, restaurants can remain open later.”
Thompson also says that WoSA is excited to once again have delivery company DHL Express come aboard as a naming partner for the Cape Wines event. It is the third time the company has partnered with WOSA for the event. “The relationship has been a very beneficial one and the sponsorship allows us to invest more into the show, to bring more guests to Cape Wine to experience our wines. It is an important sponsorship for us.”
The Cape Wines events are usually themed, and this time is no exception. “The theme for Cape Wine next year will be Sustainability 360 and this revolves around three pillars [which are] place, people, and prosperity. [This includes] all that we do around our environment, to support and to conserve our environment,” says Thompson.
The pillars encompass the improvement of the lives of those in the wine industry currently and those who will carry the mantle in the future, as well as innovation in the industry. “[It includes] what we do to support our people for future generations, and obviously this generation as well, in terms of skills, [and] labour improvements. And then also prosperity; that looks into ‘How do we improve our return on investment? How do we invest in innovation?’, to really make our industry sustainable going forward.”
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