South African Wine Directory 2016/17
26 August 2016
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Thanks for joining me for another episode of Old Mutual Live Wine edition, I’m Jenny Crwys–Williams . The growing market for knowledge when it comes to matters of wine is well catered for, it seems to me. There have been great reviews for this year’s South African Wine Directory 2016/17. It’s packed with wine industry details, wine industry writers, wine competitions etc. In other words, it’s a 500-page Bible. I’m joined by Edo Heyns of the South African Wine Director. Edo, thanks very much indeed for joining us.
Edo Heyns: Thank you very much.
JCW: I just want to ask you, is there a crossover with the South African Wine Directory and the John Platter Wine Guide. How different are they?
A how to guide to the South African wine industry
EH: The SA Wine Industry Directory is as the name says, it’s more aimed for people in the industry. This is a business to business directory. While we inspect listings of wines and ratings of wines. What you can expect in the SA Wine Industry Directory would be things like suppliers to the industry. Industry specifics in terms of production and whatever the winemaker or anyone who deals with the wine industry would require.
Our goal with the SA Wine Industry Directory is to make it a reference for everyone in the Wine Industry Directory. I’m happiest when I see the directory on the desk or in the cubbyhole of anyone in the wine industry. Where the Platter is more aimed at consumers; the SA Wine Industry Directory would be aimed at the industry and role players within the industry.
JCW: I was just looking at the contents of this year’s South African Wine Industry Directory and it’s like ‘who to go to’ when mummy leaves you alone. It’s got international media, a complete list of wine and industry writers. So it’s of use to people who may be not part of the industry, but are on the outside looking in as well.
EH: Yes Jenny, the SA Wine Industry Directory is now also available online as an online reader. While our readers used to be people within the industry and related industry, we also found that we’ve got an increasingly international audience. Exactly as you said, if you need anything regarding to the wine industry, it can be found in the SA Wine Industry Directory.
What’s been a challenge for us is since this is the 18th time that we’ve done this, is to be able to rejuvenate the guide and keep it relevant. For instance, this year the SA Wine Industry is going through a strategic exercise. The wine industry would be, we call it ‘wise’. All the information and the process, which is a collaborative for the wine industry, is in the SA Wine Industry Directory.
Ethical trading & wine varietals
JCW: I see that you’ve got sections on ethical trading, take us down that a little bit?
EH: Well, that’s a good example. Things change in the wine industry, as something that is relatively new in the industry is ethical trade and certification that goes with that. It’s increasingly important, not only because we need to be an example to the world in terms of our social practices that we have in the wine industry.
There’s also too many wine barriers to trade. For instance, if you need to export wine to Sweden, ethical certification needs to be done. Again, with anything that’s relevant to the wine industry, should be in that directory and ethical certification is a good example of that.
JCW: You’ve also got a section on grapevine cultivars and clones. I recently went to a wine show that was called The Unusuals. It’s dealing with varietals that up until recently have not been common in the South African wine industry. Is that somewhere else that you’re finding that you’re having to expand?
EH: Yes, Jenny. I recently went to an industry tasting of the newest clones and varieties that have been imported to South Africa. This was the first time that wine made from these clones were tasted and it’s incredible to realise how many clones there are.
Some of the varieties that we tasted that are not familiar to the average consumer would be something like Macabeo. Because of our climate, which is generally a bit hotter than for instance France. Where most of the varieties that we use come from.
We’re looking at other varieties that are best suited for the South African climate. Also if you take the longer view, it’s important to be ready for things like climate change and global warming. As mentioned earlier, the wine industry is incredibly dynamic.
Even the clones and varieties are changing very rapidly. There’s a section, as you mentioned, on the newest clone, we collaborate with them. We input most of these clones and the information that is in the directory is up to date.
Moving forward as an all inclusive industry
JCW: Look, it really looks good and I’m interested in obviously getting my hands dirty by going through these pages. But it just seems to me that in addition to the Platter Wine Guide, which as you say, gives you the ratings of the different wines that are available. This is like a fantastic overview with international media, production, cost control, also guidelines on BEE implementation which I actually haven’t given much of a thought to.
EH: The wine industry as a whole has more recently given a lot of thought to BEE. There are now, I think, 33 brands that are under black ownership and more than 55 black economic empowerment projects in the wine industry. That amounts to about 2 000 hectares.
It’s something that we as the Wine Industry Directory need to look at and the SA Wine Industry Directory is published by Winelands Media. Their parent company gives us a huge advantage because it is at the forefront of things like black economic empowerment; and research that is being done for that. Also facilitating the new up and coming enterprise.
With that advantage I get access to the information very easily because it’s in the same office building that we operate from. Things like black empowerment and that also goes hand-in-hand with ethical certification. Information that I have easy access to and the information once again, in the Directory is up to date.
JCW: Listen, it sounds like a very enticing package. How would members of the public get hold of this if they had sufficient interest?
EH: Okay, they can buy it online by simply visiting the WineLand Media website, that’s www.winelands.co.za. They also have access to the online WineLand Media App where you can also acquire the Wine Industry Directory.
JCW: It sounds fantastic and Edo, thank you very much indeed for chatting to us, I really appreciate it.
EH: Thank you Jenny, much appreciate it.
JCW: Thank you and thanks for listening to Old Mutual Live Wine edition, on mobile, on digital, on demand.