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Identity will be in the spotlight as South Africa’s unique strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities are explored at the 2015 Adams & Adams WineLand Seminar – from the vineyard to the consumer’s glass. 

Old Chenin, fynbos, labour issues, Pinotage, Cape Dutch heritage, leaf roll problems, burnt rubber and proteas are all part of an infinite list of elements that constitute South African wines’ story. This identity is an inseparable part of the way we make, market and consume wines, and the overarching theme of three panel discussions that will be presented at the Seminar.

Harnessing ancient soils and sunshine

“If you could change one thing about viticulture in South Africa, what would it be?”

This question was put to four top South African viticulturists, who will lead the discussion about what South African viticulturists and winemakers should do differently to produce better wines. The focus will be on amplifying South Africa’s strengths and addressing key issues that are hampering progress in the vineyards.

Francois Viljoen – chair

Francois Viljoen is the manager of VinPro’s viticultural consultation team and boasts over 30 years’ practical experience in different regions of the Cape winelands. The Pon van Zyl trophy winner offers insights into the broader picture of the South African viticultural landscape.

Stephan Joubert

As DGB’s head viticulturist, Stephan has a good grasp of the technical and commercial realities of South African viticulture. With study trips to France, Spain, Australia and the USA, Stephan brings a solid international perspective.

Etienne Terblanche

The young gun of the panel holds a master’s degree from Montpellier SupAgro on the effect of irrigation on wine aroma and is currently pursuing a PhD, focussing on Pinotage. He is Delheim’s viticulturist.

Chris Keet

As a seasoned winemaker and viticulturist, Chris Keet brings good perspective about the winemaking process, from the vineyard to the bottling line. He has consulted to many successful wineries, has his own wine label and was recently appointed as cellarmaster at Quoin Rock.

Marketing master class

Forever fighting for South Africa’s place on global wine shelves and restaurant tables, wine marketers play an invaluable role in bearing the South African flag in the international market place. 

The panellists of the marketing panel have certainly earned their stripes and will give insights into South Africa’s unique selling points, as well as the hurdles that are keeping them from selling more wines at better prices.

Mike Ratcliffe – chair

Mike is the managing director of Warwick and co-founder and managing partner of Vilafonté. An influential industry commentator, Mike values innovation, creativity and confidence.

Siobhan Thompson

Siobhan Thompson has a wealth of experience in the international wine and spirits trade and can, as Wosa CEO, provide insights into the generic marketing of South African wine.

Geoff Harvey

As the marketing director at Vinimark, Geoff heads the marketing and sales of more than 50 of South Africa’s best known wine brands.

Kobus Basson

As a qualified attorney, Kobus is the proprietor and general manager of Kleine Zalze, which has over the past two decades become one of South Africa’s most impressive international wine brands.

From free trade agreements to IP

The details of free trade agreements, non-tariff barriers, geographic indicators and intellectual property are not necessarily top of mind, but these legislative aspects are certainly crucial to the collective South African wine industry.

A panel of experts from the international regulatory environment will elucidate key current aspects that affect international trade, as well as highlight opportunities and challenges going forward.

Jonathan Steyn

The convenor of the UCT Graduate School of Business Wine Business Management PGDip programme.

Lambert Botha

Lambert Botha of HiltonLambert – Practioners of Trade Law, is the agroprocessing representative at Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and a representative to the Minister of Agriculture’s trade advisory body, the Agricultural Trade Forum (ATF).

Suzaan Laing

Suzaan is a partner of Adams & Adams, a trade mark attorney and notary, specialising in trade mark filings, assignment and litigation, anti-counterfeit work, international trade law aspects of intellectual property rights and geographical indications.

Tina Swigelaar

The regulatory analyst at Distell’s group corporate strategy department, Tina brings significant practical experience and liquor-related specialist insight.

Kurt Moore

A qualified attorney and former African Business Development Manager at Distell, Kurt is the CEO of the South African Liquor Brand Association.

Identity in a glass

Three of the industry’s top wine commentators were tasked to select wines that they consider to be South African wine ambassadors – the crème de la crème of what is currently in the market.

Michael Fridjhon

Michael is an internationally recognised wine judge, a leading South African wine industry authority and the country’s most widely published wine writer.

Cathy van Zyl MW

South Africa’s first resident Master of Wine, Cathy is an international wine judge and the associate editor of the Platter’s guide.

Roland Peens

Roland is the director and a shareholder of Wine Cellar leading fine wine merchants. He tastes widely and has a firm grasp of the economics of the fine wine trade.

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