Essential Guide to South Africa

27 June, 2017

By all accounts 2017 is set to be a fi ne year for South African winemakers and consumers. When it comes to South Africa’s export markets, the UK remains number on the list as the trade and consumers embrace the energy and style of an industry that also offers keen pricing to give Cape wine a competitive edge over many other nations targeting the UK trade.

Innovation is always on the table where South Africa is concerned and we explore the burgeoning interest in wines from non-traditional varieties and lesser-known wine regions in our Off The Beaten Track and SA Styles features, where winemakers and industry experts predict which grapes and sites will shine in the future. Elsewhere, there is a focus on how South Africa is faring in the independent off-trade channel, looking at the strengths and challenges in this competitive sector, an examination of its entry-level credentials and also a take on how the premium end of the market - in both the on- and off-trades - can be tackled better. There is a consensus here that more needs to be done to educate both customers and consumers about the unique offering that South Africa has at premium level. This DRN report dives headfirst into these themes and more, and we hope you will find it an enlightening read that delivers fact and opinion - and stirs debate – on this fascinating and vibrant country.

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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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