What a September for Siobhán Thompson, queen of Amarula. It started off with her marula marvel being listed as the only SA brand to feature in Impact Databank’s list of the world’s top 100 premium spirits brands in terms of volumes sold. #81 is quite an achievement in a market dominated by Smirnoff, Skyy and Stoli and divers flavoured whiskeys and whiskys. Today sees the announcement that Siobhan will take the helm of troubled WOSA, the SA generic marketing body.
With spirits outperforming wine in sales growth and profits, little wonder the WOSA board dipped into the spirit still for inspiration. The never-ending expansion of Distell’s James Sedgewick Distillery in Wellington and the recent purchase of Burn Stewart Distillers confirms that the largest SA wine producer, Distell, believes in the spirit world.
The rest of SA wine will be hoping that Siobhán can turn the rudderless supertanker of SA wine around and avoid the squalls and shallows that plagued her predecessor Su Birch. Let’s hope she is as sharp as Siobhán Sharp, “Head of Brand” for the London 2012 Olympic Games in the BBC comedy, Twenty Twelve. The omens are good for if SA engineer Nick Sloane can re-float the Costa Concordia this week, costly Chenin should be a doddle for Siobhán. What an abundance of “S’s!” there are in the Spiritus Mundi.
Pedants and conspiracy theorists may be interested to know that Siobhán (Joan in English) is the feminine form of Johann with Johann Krige of Kanonkop fame, chairman of the WOSA board.