VinExpo kicks off

Neil Pendock May 29, 2012 6

A lack of government funding for SA wine marketing was fingered by Dana Buys (below, with Gary Baumgarten from Anthonij Rupert Wines) as a major limiting factor for SA wine exports. “Italy gets €500 million a year for marketing. WOSA applied to DTI for funding and was turned down. A booth here costs R55K, which we’re paying ourselves.”. Some urgent fence-mending between WOSA and the DTI is indicated after an acrimonious public slanging match some years ago


A tasting of the unreleased maiden vintage 2007 flagship Bordeaux-style blend from Anthonij Rupert, put together by Michel Roland from equal parts Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with some Petit Verdot plus Merlot, showed there is a new kid on the ultra-premium block. “Its been submitted to Wine Spectator” confided Gazza “and we’re waiting for a rating.”. Hopefully even better than the ninety two and threes the Cabernet and Merlots collected. Meanwhile the entire vintage of 2007 Optima – three containers – has been sold to China and SA wine lovers will have to settle for the 2008 which is good value at R125 a bottle.


  1. Dana Buys May 29, 2012 at 7:51 am -

    Just for context re goverment support, wine as an agricultural product is either a commodity with no national link or a nationally branded product.
    As such, many governments put in a lot of investment into such nationally branded products. In a market such as China, this is esp important. Its an emerging wine market where they drink either cheap (commodity) or prestige (brand) wines.
    DTI provides some individual grants, but does not help fund a grander national pavillion, which makes it hard to establish SA wines as prestigeous vs the competition.
    Btw, the Italian wine marketing funds come from both government support as well as from the producers & exporters.

  2. Fred Barnes May 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm -

    Help me understand this. If I understand your article you are suggesting that Govt. is expected to fund an ultra expensive and generally mediocre lifestyle product on behalf of some of SA’s wealthiest individuals ( Rupert, GT Ferreira,Buys, Wiese et al). Wines that in general are only remarkable for their owners ego qoutient,
    and taste wise might square up with a fifth growth.
    No amount of spin will ever convince me that Optima 2007 is in any way shape or form remotely representative of the “South African wine industry”.
    If Rupert wants his wines promoted, tell him to foot the bill. Just like the rest of us do.

  3. Dana Buys May 30, 2012 at 2:19 am -

    @Fred you seem to be playing the man vs the ball!
    Put the wine industry in perspective: South Africa’s largest processed agricultural export industry with more than 250,000 jobs in Cape wine industry. Add at least 4x that in dependents.
    Hardly an ‘ego’ industry.
    In order to compete properly with the likes of NZ, Aussie, Chile, Argentina and the EU countries, the bar has to be raised ito marketing funds & support. That should come from the industry (say R10 per ton of grapes at producer level & 10c per L at winery level, which would raise R110m ito 1012 harvest), plus at least some reasonable level support from the government.
    All grape growers and wineries will benefit from a more competive & dynamic export market, so all should contribute.
    BTW, the EU total subsidy for their wine instry last year was Euro 24billion!
    Otherwise its like Border trying to play in the Super Rugby league…

  4. logic June 4, 2012 at 10:25 am -

    I agree with Dana, Fred you are missing the point here.

    But more importantly- it really does not take rocket science to figure why no subsidies or assistance is forthcoming.
    The wine industry is simply located in the wrong provence! Last time I checked the national government makes a rather substantial profit from all the taxes, levies etc charged against the wine industry. Why exactly you would expect them to pay for a industry that is 99% located in the only provence they do not control while they are making money from it is pretty much business 101. Milk the neighbors cow as you dont have to feed it.

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