South Africas wine industry has a chance to build "brand South Africa"

South Africa's wine industry has a chance to build "brand South Africa"

Africa could be the next China for the world's wine producers, with South Africa poised to benefit if its wine industry develops its brand image internationally, according to Accolade Wines' CEO.

Speaking at the opening of Cape Wine 2012 this morning (25 September), Troy Christensen said that South Africa's wines have “great quality, great price and a great story to tell.” He admitted that it has been difficult for South African producers to get “traction in North America”. 

Christensen said the country has a “tremendous opportunity” to market the story behind South African wines, such as “the passion of the people and the beauty of the place”. 

He added: “Part of the challenge is not just making great quality wine, but to build brand South Africa.”

The African continent also has an opportunity to be “the next China”, Christensen claimed. “Africa has a growth opportunity,” he said. “We just need to get the story out there about brand South Africa.” 

Earlier, South African businessman Kuseni Dlamini admitted that there has been a “perception deficit” around the South African wine industry and that growth was still slow. 

Meanwhile, Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch said that the country's industry cannot grow physically much bigger over the coming decades, as issues including water and global warming come into play. 

On improving the image of the industry, Birch said she hoped by 2015 all South African wines will be able to carry a new ethical stamp, launched at Cape Wine this week.