A feather or two in SA wine's cap

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There's a lot of excitement in the vineyards and barrel cellars of the Cape, following the international publication of a couple of fairly sumptuous reviews about South African wine.

The most important has been a 30-page spread in the Wine Spectator – the most widely read of America's influential wine publications. A month or two previously, one of the UK's better known wine writers published his South African report, and included a classification reflecting his views on who were the country's top producers.

While some might argue that the excitement over international recognition is a measure of our parochialism, the truth is that good publicity, in the right publications, helps to sell wine. ‘Sell’ in this context means not simply ‘persuading someone to buy,’ but rather more importantly ‘persuading someone to pay substantially more than they had intended to spend.’

The piece in the Wine Spectator sent a message to American wine buyers that South Africa must be taken seriously, that for all the antiquity of our wine industry, we are modern day players, and that although our vineyards are further from the US than almost any others, we are not another Bulgaria or Georgia to be trifled with and then ignored.

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