Wine Stories

Wines of South Africa

Written by Veronica Lavenia

Wines of South Africa (WoSA) represents all South African wine producers. Founded in 1999, WOSA is a non-profit company aimed at promoting the export of South African wines to major international markets and improving their reputation.

Not only. WoSA is regularly present at major wine fairs and works closely with tourism authorities to promote Cape wine tourism.

Sustainability, dissemination of the local wine culture, enotourism, courses, WoSA is this and much more, as Maryna Calow, communications manager explains.

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Since the birth of your Foundation, what goals have you achieved and which ones remain to be achieved?

Wines of South Africa (WoSA) is the export marketing body for the South African wine industry. Our mandate is therefore to promote and position South African wines in key export markets. One of the key factors we’ve tried to achieve for our producers is to increase the value and perception of our wines internationally and this has definitely been something where we’ve seen major changes, especially in the European market where, for a long time, South African wine was considered to be ‘cheap and cheerful’.

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Today, our wines are globally recognised for top quality. We will however continue to position South African wine as good value and quality in all our efforts whilst also adding in that we are industry leaders in both environmental and social sustainability practices.

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What are the peculiarities of the South African territory and its wines?

Our viticultural soils date back over 500 million years, which has given us a very diverse terroir. Each of our 27 wine producing regions have unique qualities that lead to unique expressions of our wine. We have two varieties that we feel best represent the South African wine industry internationally, being Chenin Blanc (we have over 17,000ha) and the proudly South African variety, Pinotage, a marriage between Pinot Noir and Cinsault.

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These two varieties are broadly used to position South African wines, however it must be said that we have stunning varietals and blends and each region has a unique focus in terms of their offering.

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What services/activities do you use to promote the wines of the Region?

Due to limited funding we focus on key markets, within which we mainly do B2B activations and engagements with wine trade professionals, generic events and shows such as ProWein, etc. This year also happens to be a CapeWine year, our triennial showcase of South African wine. Due to the pandemic we’ve had to skip a year, but we’re very excited to invite and host wine industry professionals and media from around the globe at CapeWine in October 2022.

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Could you briefly describe the areas of cultural and wine tourism interest of South Africa?

Wine tourism plays a major role in the South African wine landscape and our offering is second to none with a strong focus on hospitality, family and culture-rich activities, covering all budgets and backgrounds. Most wineries have a tasting room with additional offerings including restaurants, play areas, delis, accommodation and activities such as mountain biking, hiking, etc.

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What are the goals set for the near future to spread your excellence more and more both nationally and internationally?

Our future goals are to grow our international footprint and for South African wines to become the go-to wines of choice for consumers around the world. For consumers to appreciate that they will enjoy quality and the diversity of our offering with every sip and for more international visitors to come and experience our wonderful winelands for themselves, in doing so, no doubt returning home as ambassadors for South African wine.

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Why are Wines of South Africa so special?

There are many reasons why South African wine is special, but I believe that over and above the quality of our wines, our unique terroir and the diversity of our people shines through in every bottle of South African wine.

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Our wines have a true sense of place and showcase the passion and commitment that our industry has for sustainable winemaking practices that feed through to an environment of inclusion, tolerance and care. That is what you get when you buy a bottle of South African wine.


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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

PhD.
Italian based writer and magazine contributor.
Author of six books, some of her works have appeared in the most popular International Food magazines.
Her scientific papers have been published in some of the most renowned international literary academic journals.
Writer| Translator| Communications manager at "The Wolf Post", since the birth of the platform.

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