SA hosts top fine wine conference as local wines capture global attention

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SA hosts top fine wine conference as local wines capture global attention

Bruce Whitfield interviews Mike Ratcliffe, Chairperson of Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

© belchonock/123rf.com
  • The Money Show
  • Bruce Whitfield
  • Stellenbosch
  • Wine industry
  • Visit Stellenbosch
  • Mike Ratcliffe
  • Stellenbosch Wine Routes
  • Fine wine
  • ARENI Live
  • Areni
  • Wine exports

Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands is hosting the 2022 edition of the global fine wine conference ARENI Live.

The event is ARENI Global’s annual think tank, held once each year in a different part of the world.

“It gathers top minds to collectively think about the future of fine wine.”

It’s a huge honour for South Africa to be hosting an event of this stature comments Bruce Whitfield.

© belchonock/123rf.com

The Money Show talks fine wine with Mike Ratcliffe, Chairperson of Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Ratcliffe says the amount of progress South Africa has made in a short time is “remarkable”.

It’s really an honour for the South African wine industry and Stellenbosch specifically, just to be given a seat at the table.

Mike Ratcliffe, Chair – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

What about complaints that wine exports are dominated by bulk exports and you “can’t get a decent price for a good bottle of local wine anywhere”?

This is changing as some wine brands enter the global market independently.

It’s a development that’s come rather quickly says Ratcliffe, but he wouldn’t describe it as standard in the industry.

There are probably five to ten producers in South Africa that are starting to approach the definition of ‘fine wine’ around the world… but I would say that a large proportion of South African wine still does go out in bulk.

Mike Ratcliffe, Chair – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

The best way to change is to start changing and we are seeing change coming at a very fast pace.

Mike Ratcliffe, Chair – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Ratcliffe says the definition of fine wine is an international one and something that gets debated at conferences like ARENI Live.

“It is wine as art.”

In general, it’s wines that are worth talking about… They’re serious, they have a story behind them… The entry point would probably be around $100 – R1 700 or R1 800 a bottle… $10 000 a bottle is not uncommon!

Mike Ratcliffe, Chair – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

We think here with a South African rand mindset, but actually what might be expensive in this country is considered exceptional value elsewhere.

Mike Ratcliffe, Chair – Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Right now, local wines are catching the attention of the world’s top media he says.

Listen to the conversation about South African wine below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SA hosts top fine wine conference as local wines capture global attention

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