“Capitalize on Chenin” was the message this morning from Nederburg Auction guest speaker Joe 1winedude Roberts. This is a timely message for SA wine as it currently searches around for a new CEO for WOSA, the generic SA wine marketing body. Asked whether the product to be sold Stateside was SA or a particular varietal, diplomatic Joe said “keep the story simple” and advised SA wine to focus on Chenin and to a smaller extent, Pinotage, and trashed Wall Street Journal Lettie Teague for her unprofessional Pinotage prejudice (below). “Lettie is a great girl and I’m not having a go at her” said Joe. His advice to SA producers comes as a contradiction of the current WOSA strategy of punting diversity of the SA wine offering. A message which is far from simple.
200 applications for the WOSA CEO position were received and the board considered 80 with three on the short list at the moment. Sources say the three are very ordinary, so perhaps some thought needs to be applied to the very future of WOSA. Perhaps the time has come to redistribute the annual R35 million honey pot to industry bodies such as the Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Producers Associations. After all, the generic route has been tried for many years and it didn’t work. Looking back on recent SA wine marketing strategies, Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind “insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”