Wine competitions play an important role in developing the economy. While they nudge vintners to focus on superior products, Koos Nel of Old Mutual Personal Finance believes competitions also raise the profile of local wines.
Non-profit association Vinpro recently found that wine tourism contributed R15 billion to the economy. While it’s easy to get annoyed with tourists clogging estates during summer, they play a valuable role in promoting South African wines internationally.
Local wine sales are estimated to be about R13.2 billion, according to Vinpro. Not only does this mean there’s agricultural stability, winemakers and estates are finding ways to create wines and tourism-related products that help build the industry even when faced with challenges like drought.
“In terms of state revenue we’ve seen consistent increases in the amount paid to government via excise and other taxes,” says Nel.
“In 2017 this amounted to R6.7 billion, an 8% increase on 2016. That could not have been achieved without a commitment to progress, skills development and transformation.”
For the 2018 edition of the Trophy Wine Show, 455 bronze, 136 silver and 40 gold medals were awarded by nine judges. These accolades lead to a type of trust where consumers can make choices without much knowledge or effort. That makes it easier to buy that bottle you might not have.