First an Argentinian Pope with Italian roots called Francis. And at 10am today, an Argentinian Queen of the Netherlands (below). Her name is most appropriate: Maxima, which will be the effect on Argentine wine sales in the Netherlands, a country with strong historic connections to the Cape. Heck for some months, Somerset West is home to more Dutch people than Amsterdam. Is SA wine really wise to partner with Argentina on a roll together with Chile in the upcoming Beautiful South Show in London in September, or is this another WOSA marketing flop in the making?
Anyway, in honour of the accession of Prins Pils to the Orange Throne, we had a bottle of Ansela van de Caab, the Bordeaux blend from Muratie, at Societi Bistro last night. For two reasons: the über-retro Flying Springbok orange label and the fact that it was Dutch Huguenots who drained the marshes of Bordeaux to start the wine industry, around the time their co-religionists were directing the planting of vineyards in Franschhoek.
While WOSA hunt desperately for the missing millions of Dutch tax payer’s money entrusted to them as business support organization for transformational projects in the Winelands, I’ve been thinking about the future of WOSA and whether SA wine would not be better off disbanding it altogether and dividing the R35 million annual honey pot among mini-WOSAs like Piwosa (premium independent); Bewosa (bulk export); Tewosa (terroir expressive) and Rowosa (Rupert owned).
As Alex Dale said on the membership of his Winery of Good Hope in Piwosa: “critter labels, bulk bottled for supermarkets in Europe and the seemingly eternal focus on cheap SA does little to provide a profitable let alone sustainable future for our industry, so we are rolling-up our sleeves and making it happen for ourselves -and for our entire category. We hope others will do the same.”