Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cape Site Specific Wines - Who, Why and more...

This concept has been a dream of mine for at least the past eight years. I have had many discussions with industry colleagues, local trade, agents around the world about this. It stems from working for a family estate for seven years, knowing how tough it is to sustain and grow a family business. That passion and drive is shared with my friends who either started their own business or took over their family estate.  

After multiple meetings and talks a couple of us came together and decided that Cape Wine could be and should be the launch of something. Cape Site Specific was born with Wilhelm Pienaar (Hermanuspietersfontein), Johann Fourie (Benguela Cove Estate) and myself. I am the only NON-Winemaker, so therefore I am the manager/convenor to drive the project and share information amongst the group.   

So why, who and what exactly is Cape Site Specific? In short from our website :

“A collaboration of like-minded producers who share a common vision of creating wines from specific vineyard sites across the Cape Winelands. The focus is on crafting wines which reveal the typicity of each site, rather than the simple manufacturing of commercial styles. The wines are produced exclusively from:

   • Single Vineyards – Max 6 hectares
   • Estates
   • Ward specific sites”

We are NOT another forum, board, association or group trying to swim upstream. In fact it is the total opposite as we see CSS as a platform for like-minded producers to work together. 

The group consist of a really good mix of producers ranging from new & small to family estates spanning multiple generations. This also allows us to have a very diverse offering in CSS.

A few of us do not have an active operational Cellar Door or own their own vineyards, but their focus and philosophy aligns with all of us.

Quality is non-negotiable, but we embrace different styles rather than conform to it. We believe that the producer next to me has to present their wines with their integrity & honesty intact. The end goal is to showcase the differences and diversity of our wines rather than a style. 


Absolutely! Cape Wine will only be the launch of the platform. There are many producers who will definitely add value and speaks the same language as we do. We will take stock after Cape Wine and plan the next steps from there. Unfortunately the stand size doesn’t allow for more producers at Cape Wine, but we are definitely keen to grow. Our statement is clear:

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” - African Proverb


I have been asked this question so many times in the past fifteen odd years. My simple answer is:
If you don’t think your consumer cares, well then I think you are targeting the wrong market. The industry have been hiding behind this ‘who cares’ tag for too long. It is time that we start educating the right market about who and what South African Wine is.
The term “lack-of-confidence” have been mentioned for years.

Individual confidence can be seen as arrogance, collective confidence is BELIEF.

A big goal for CSS is educating, informing and changing perceptions without competing with one another. Finding synergy in the whole value chain of your product i.e who is your importer, who is their market, how are they perceived as supplier in their market. Who are the other producers in their portfolio, not just from South Africa but from other countries. Are we all complimenting each other or competing directly? You should ask that same question about our local market. We want to grow our business’ collectively through sharing information, contacts and markets. An agent with a group of like-minded producers in his portfolio has a lot more content and tools to sell South African Wines than a mix match of various brands. We want to change this and go around the world together!

Regionality in South Africa is very important and we need more regional identity growth & confirmation. You can read more here:

We all have our own USP’s but together the stories just get better and better!


12 – 14 September:         Cape Wine @ Cape Town International Convention Centre
                                         Book your tasting slot with any of our producers during this time

13 September:                  Cape Site Specific Wines in the Speakers Corner @ 11h00

15 September:                  Luncheon @ Overgaauw Estate, Stellenbosch 11h00 – 15h00
                                         30 Pax - please send booking request to

The luncheon at Overgaauw Estate on Saturday 15 September is open to the Trade & Media who would like to meet, interact and enjoy our wines in a relaxed yet typical South African style. It is important for us to build relationships on a personal level whilst tasting the wines and learning more about each other. Hopefully after a busy formal week of meetings and tasting you would be keen to enjoy a fun relaxed day with a ‘home cooked’ meal and some epic wines and conversation!

Please visit our website and follow our social media platforms to learn more about us and staying in touch. If you are planning to attend Cape Wine, be sure to set up a meeting with the producers of interest to you or just pop in. 
It would be wonderful if you can join us on Saturday 15 September as well!

We are excited and look forward to take the first steps at Cape Wine 2018!