Friday, March 14, 2008

South African wines are becoming more authentic and less pretentious. How must wine brand managers act on this?

South African wines are becoming more authentic and less pretentious. This is the opinion of Lisa Griggs of the little Wine Shop in Kalkbaai. She was the guest speaker at the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s wine auction.

Lisa further stated that in the next ten years wine will become the symbol of people who knows how to enjoy life. The South African wine industry is in essence a recreation of French wine styles in the South African climate and context. She used examples of icon wines like Meerlust Rubicon and Kanonkop Paul Sauer which is Bordeaux style blends.

Other excellent wines in this Bordeaux wine style includes the Stellenrust Timeless 2004 and Rustenberg John X Merriman 2005 and the Simonsig Tiara 2005.

Griggs concluded that South African producers are becoming more authentic and less pretentious. Producers are moving away from purely award driven wine styles and they are more philosophical and individualistic about there styles.

These new trends will make South African wine brands more interesting and the consumer’s individual feel, experience and taste will eventually replace awards as the prevailing factor for wine brand preferences

South African wine marketers must embrace these new branding trends. In the past some wine marketers were guilty of strategies that did not effectively differentiate their brand. Some SA wine brand managers are currently looking at new brand communications angles and the pioneers in these alternative branding approaches will reap the bottom line rewards.

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