PIWOSA promotes top SA wines in the UK market

Looking to boost the deserved reputation of premium South African wines, top-notch independent wineries in the Western Cape are collaborating through PIWOSA, Premium Independent Winemakers of South Africa, to boost their wine sales in the UK; SA’s leading wine export market.

In January 2013, PIWOSA was formed to promote premium quality wines from this country. Through inventive marketing, this collective of independent winemakers aims to put the spotlight on the flourishing wineries of the region, as well as showcase its diversity of wine-making.

Mike Ratcliffe, owner of distinguished Warwick wine estate in Stellenbosch, says that that the generalised perception of South African wines as lower-quality is mainly due to their cheaper pricing, compared to other wines on the global market – and this is what PIWOSA aims to combat.

In its efforts to promote premium South African wines in the UK, PIWOSA has conducted various wine-tasting events in London, including an International Press and Trade dinner at Quo Vadis in Soho, and been a partner in the “Beautiful South” tasting event, a collaboration of three wine-producing countries – Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

The “Beautiful South” is a generic showcase of wines from the three regions, sporting well-known South African names and wineries like Journey’s End and Paul Cluver. In fact, the wines produced at the Paul Cluver Estate near the coastal region of Elgin, particularly its Ferricrete Riesling, have made their way to the UK and are distributed exclusively by the UK’s leading retailer, M&S.

Jo Mason, Wines of South Africa UK market manager, says that British consumers aren’t looking for wines exclusively from Europe and that they’re increasingly acknowledging that the quality of South African wines is among the best in the world – entrenching the UK market one of the strongest for South Africa’s wine exporters.

South Africa continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing wine suppliers in the UK, and the seventh-largest wine producer in the world, with 22% of its wine exports reaching Britain. Already back in 2010, South Africa overtook France, for the first time, in wine sales in the UK, according to market analyst AC Nielsen.