Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Building a Brand with someone else's Wine??!!

Is it just me or are anyone else also concerned with what is going on in our market regarding the bottling of Wine of Origin wines???
Excuse me Perdeberg for using you as an example, but I cannot understand that you go buy in grapes from Durbanville to improve the perception and profile of your brand? There is really NO logic or common sense in this, but maybe I am wrong. It is like Kia that releases a car BMW actually built? Choosing Riesling as a varietal makes it even more difficult to understand why don’t you do it with a varietal that is performing very well in Perdeberg and source your grapes from there? In their defense, they are not the only one’s doing it and not the only brand that is built on WO Western Cape rather than true Region specific wines. In fact, go and have a look at your favourite brand and see what is the Wine of Origin. If it’s Western Cape, then there’s your answer and similar to Coastal Region…of which Tulbagh is actually also a part of, is my geography that bad?

The consumer doesn’t know what these regulations are and the detail around it, but in South Africa you are not allowed 1% to come from outside of your Wine of Origin to still bottle it like that. For example, if your winery is in Durbanville you cannot bring in wine or grapes and bottle it under WO Durbanville, then it must be Western Cape or Coastal Region depending on where you got the wine or grapes from.

In Napa Valley you can bring in 30% from outside Napa and still call it Napa Valley Wine, anything bigger than that is California Wine (I’m pretty sure this % is correct). Don’t you think we should strive towards more WO specific wines to show our true diversity in South Africa? If variety is in our nature then surely Western Cape is just not going to crack the nod for us because it doesn’t carry weight. Sourcing wine from all over does not make you a good winemaker. Working with what harvest gives you every year takes skill and craftsmanship to turn out consistent quality per vintage! This is what makes Estate Wine unique or at least should because we are not allowed to bring in grapes or wine to blend or bottle under our Estate Label.

Too many brands are being built in the world market on Western Cape rather than Stellenbosch or Elim. Too many times we take the easy way out by blending wines from various regions because we think that makes us different and unique. Well I disagree. If you really want to put unique, different and diversity on your back label then prove it with the wines that YOU actually make. I agree blending is an art, because i know thats what a lot of you think now, BUT blend with what is in your barrels and tanks. South Africa need to compete on quality and NOT volume and if want to tell stories tell it with what happened and happens on your proporty. Not some old ladies farm in the kalahari that still has some old Hanepoot left and you making Late Harvest from it.

Colyn "The Leg" Truter
Twitter:   colyntruter

1 comment:

  1. Hope to debate this one over some good wine sometime, Colyn! :)