South Africa a hit at ‘Davos of Wine’

5 November 2010

South Africa a hit at ‘Davos of Wine’

The beautiful Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy was the venue for the 2010 World Wine Symposium (Photo: Brand South Africa


Brand South Africa’s John Battersby (centre) with Francois Mauss, host of the South Africa-sponsored lunch (left), and Andre Shearer, CEO of Cape Classics (Photo: Brand South

5 November 2010

South African wines were the toast of a South African-sponsored lunch attended by many of the world’s leading wine producers, estate owners and critics during the prestigious 2010 World Wine Symposium – dubbed the “Davos of Wine” – at Lake Como, Italy.

The 200 Davos du Vin delegates assembled in the verandah dining-room at Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como on Friday, 29 October were exposed to five of South Africa’s top wines.

The place settings included a stunning brochure on South Africa – focusing on the wine-growing region of the Western Cape – which was jointly branded by the World Wine Symposium, Villa d’Este and Brand South Africa.

Andre Shearer, CEO of Cape Classics, the major importer of SA wines into the United States, presented the wines, speaking glowingly about the attractions of South Africa as a tourist and investment destination.

The guests were presented with a statement of support from President Jacob Zuma, who underlined the importance of the wine industry in attracting tourism and investment to South Africa.

The delegates were also presented with an exquisite booklet on the DNA of South African wines produced by Wines of South Africa, while videos with information about SA wines and visuals of the country provided by South Africa Tourism were played in the delegates’ hotel rooms.

John Battersby, UK country manager for Brand South Africa, described the three-day conference as top-end wine investor event offering “a prime opportunity to showcase South Africa as a prime tourist and investment destination.

“The South Africa lunch ensured a major focus on the country, and South Africa remained a central talking-point throughout conference, Battersby said.

“I cannot think of a more conducive atmosphere to position South Africa’s wines among the finest in the world and to showcase the excellence of South Africa and its attributes as a prime destination for tourism and investment.

“The most gratifying part of the lunch was the spontaneous endorsement of the host, Francois Mauss, of the excellence of the wines on offer and how favourably they compare in value with French and other equivalent brands.”

According to Battersby, Mauss proposed that a high-level wine-tasting event involving members of Davos du Vin’s ‘grand jurie’ be held in Cape Town in 2011, while Andre Shearer of Cape Classics had “mooted the possibility of an SA wine showcasing and investor event in Paris in the second quarter of next year (focusing also on New York and Hong Kong).”

The lunch was also attended by renowned wine-writer and blogger Kelly Walker, who said the wines on offer “had dispelled his preconceptions about South African wine, and that he had been hugely surprised by their outstanding quality,” Battersby said.

SAinfo reporter

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