In September, I got the chance once more to join wine connoisseurs, traders, media and industry players from around the world at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for a 3-day event, experiencing the best of wines from South Africa. Cape Wine 2018 aimed at creating an ideal opportunity for the key players to interact, do businesses and share experiences. The event is the flagship business showcase of the South African wine industry, presented by Wines of South Africa (WOSA).
A total of 2,414 guests registered their attendance for the show that showcased wines from 352 producers under one roof. There were a host of seminars, tastings and producer events where attendants could swirl, sniff and sip at some of South Africa’s top wines and learn more about the regions and varietals that make this country’s wine so unique.
The theme this year was ‘Hannuwa’, which describes the harmony between man and the land from which is harvested. The Opening Seminar saw a range of speakers highlight various issues that surrounds the industry, but also the myriad of programs and organizations that work together to create a sustainable future for our people and our vineyards – a relevant topic for an industry which employs roughly 289,000 people in South Africa.
This seminar set the scene for the 1,345 local and 1,069 international trade and media who had registered. With many groupings creating elaborate stands that highlighted their regions and styles, from a 3D creation highlighting the Simonsberg to a rather funky throwback to the fashion of the 80’s, producers went all-out to stand out from the rest in order to garner the attention and ensure that their stands were popular stops. Those who opted for more traditional stands oozed class and sophistication, which truly echoed the current state of the South African wine industry.
WoSA CEO, Siobhan Thompson, comments, “South African wine has come along in leaps and bounds over the past few years and with that the confidence of our winemakers to stand tall next to their international counterparts. This confidence further boosts a drive to produce wines that are elegant, show great complexity and finesse as well as stylistic qualities that reflect a true South African identity.”
So what more can top tasting fantastic wine for 3 days? Well, the experience and learnings that came with it. The evening parties and events at Cape Wine 2018 provided intimate settings for interesting wine pairing with food, music, art and charity. Here are some of my highlights
Provenance: The Story of Wines from Robertson Wine Valley
I experienced the rich history behind authentic and quailty wines from the Robertson Wine Valley. It was an evening of bold tastes, of culinary masterpieces and award-winning wines hosted in the historical setting of the Castle of Good Hope.
The Robertson Wine Valley association was formed in 1983 to cohesively improve the local wine industry, promote the valley as a tourism destination and uplift the community. The association proudly represent over 50 wineries and tourism establishments from the towns; Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson. Our valley is situated a merely 2 hour scenic drive from Cape Town on the renowned Route 62 and nestled between the majestic Langeberg and Riviersonderend mountain ranges with the graceful Breede River running through the valley.
Seafront starlight soiree
We went to the V&A Waterfront for the Seafront starlight soiree at Harbour House. It was an exquisite night of pairing the best wines from Accolade Wines, over a 5-course dinner. Each unique in style, flavour and personality. Accolade’s international presence now includes Fish Hoek as a celebrated member of the South African wine portfolio. Fish Hoek joins key brand Kumala and the much decorated Flagstone Wines as a wine brand attracting international attention as well as tenders, particularly in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
Pebbles Project fundraiser #tankreloaded party
The Pebbles Project in conjunction with Cape line held the #tankreloaded fundraising party to close cape wine, at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Pebbles Project is a humanitarian project located in the Stellenbosch area outside Cape Town in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. The main scope for Pebbles is to support children with special educational needs as a consequence of alcohol-related dysfunctions for example like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The project aims to support children to increase the chance for them to be well adjusted and have a fruitful education by giving them extra support before they enter regular school.
The project especially target children of land workers at the wineries in the Stellenbosch wine district. These wineries also support the work done by the Pebbles project. The children are staying daily at so called Crèches where they develop through games and playing in a structured way. Pebbles Project also train crèches-workers, teachers and parents having children in their close environment in the Pebbles target group. The project also establish new locations, often in cooperation with the wineries, and renovate already existing locations. The Pebbels Project is financed through donations from companies and private persons, government support, sponsorships, fundraising activities etc. The project is currently managed by Sophia Warner.