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SA Wine Voted 'Best Buy'in China
——from Cape Times Monday, May21,2018


A SOUTH African Pinotage was crowned the Best Buy Award winner at a prestigious event in China, while the Western Cape’s Thandi Wines secured a contract with a Chinese distributor to export their range of premium wines.

Totus Limited Release Pinotage wine was crowned in the Still Red Wines category at a competition that took place during the 19th edition of the SIAL China International Trade Fair for Food in Shanghai on Saturday.

Trajan Wines, producers of Totus,was part of a 23-member business delegation taken by the Department of Trade and Industry to China, through the government’s incentive scheme, to showcase local agro-processing products and services.

The Export Marketing and Investment Scheme provides South African exporters with marketing assistance to develop new export markets and grow existing markets, and helps to identify new markets through research.

Managing director of Trajan Wines Mark van Schalkwyk said Totus Limited Release Pinotage was chosen unanimously by a panel of Chinese Wine experts as the Best Buy wine in the category of Still Red Wines valued between €4 to €8 (R60 to R120) on show at the trade fair.

“I think what makes this award so special is that the Totus Limited is a Pinotage which is made from a 100% South African grape. I hope that this vote of confidence from the Chinese will translate into growth in exponential value for this particular wine. This award definitely means we are on the right path if you look at the style of wine we produce for this particular market,” said Van Schalkwyk.

He added that he had since secured a contract with a Japanese importer and distributor to export his range of wines to Japan.

“I met a distributor while exhibiting at Japan Foodex during March this year. As soon as we have covered all the requirements we will commence with our first shipment. It is my hope and wish that my product will progressively grow into the Asian market and I will incorporate this accolade that I have won at SIAL into my marketing strategy going forward.”

Thandi Wines secured a one-year contract with a Chinese distributor to export their range of premium wines to China. Thandi Wines managing director Vernon Henn said the contract value was more than R700 000.

“We will commence the contract with a shipment of two containers that will be having more than 26 000 bottles. We will then follow that up with another two containers. Thereafter the contract will be renewed on an annual basis,” said Henn.

He said their main export destination is Europe which accounts for more than 85% of their sales. “Recently, we started experiencing saturation in Europe and a stagnation in growth. This compelled us to repackage our marketing strategy and explore other markets, in this instance the Asian market. That decision has presented us with some welcomed rewards, more especially because this is a growing market with a lot of potential customers. The main ingredient required is timing and the Department nailed it on the head by bringing us here at this stage. The timing is impeccable, because people are already looking to make purchase in preparation for the Chinese new year which will be during the end of February next year.”

Thandi Wines was established in 1995 as South Africa’s first agricultural black economic empowerment project. It is owned by 250 farm worker families who hold 62% shares in the company. The families are involved in almost all the stages of its wine-making processes: from working in the vineyards, to managing the farm and marketing the wines.

The trade fair for food is regarded as a leading platform for international producers and manufacturers of food products, wines, spirits and food service equipment.

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