Tag Archives: wine trends

Going green

On Thursday, 17 November I had the fortunate pleasure of attending the 3rd Nedbank Green Wine Awards function at the Mount Nelson.

Nedbank is the apt sponsor of these awards as they were recently announced as the first carbon neutral bank.

The awards have found a happy new home at Getaway Magazine after Ramsay Media decided to no longer produce Wine Magazine. According to Getaway Editor in Chief, Cameron Ewart-Smith, this is a perfect match as the new home for the awards. He stated that the Getaway readers were environmentally conscious and were the perfect target market for green wines.

My favourite wine at the awards was the Waverley Hills Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010 that is a beautiful light, crisp and affordable introduction for the general consumer to a white Bordeaux Blend. The wine has a very low 12.9% alcohol and gained a 4-star rating from the 3-man panel headed by Christian Eedes. (Read more about the controversial topic of how many judges are enough from Edo Heyns on his blog at www.wineland.co.za)

Christian made the comment that three years earlier he said that he hoped that one day the awards would no longer be necessary once everyone adopted bio-dynamic farming methods. This dream might not seem feasible now with the current economic conditions making organic farming even more risky but it might also not be too far away.

On the same day that the awards took place the South African Government forged support for a “green accord” that is aimed at creating 300 000 green jobs within the next ten years. Many of the proposed jobs are also set to be created in the agricultural sector.

The only sad thing about the day was the fact that the entries and number of producers were significantly down from the previous two years. This is quite a sad state for the industry as we should be supporting awards like this one that highlight niche markets. And we should all try to support farming methods that promote a sustainable future.

We could all take a page from Mahatma Ghandi’s book of wisdom, “be the change you want to see in the world”.

This article was first published as a blog post on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.


Wine Packaging Trends

In doing research for an assignment on new wine packaging trends for class, I have come across a few more noteworthy trends in the wine industry and am happy to note that quite a few of them have been adopted here in South Africa.


According to an article on Business Day, the South African Wine and Spirit Board this year approved the use of an innovative PET soft bottle produced by Mondi for bottling wine. The article continues that the PET bottles are fully recyclable and have a much lower carbon footprint than glass.

Backsberg is the first winery in South Africa to adopt the use of the new plastic wine bottles. Their Tread Lightly range consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot will be the first certified wine sold in the PET bottles. Backsberg’s proprietor, Michael Back is quoted on their website as saying that “The enjoyment of a great bottle of wine should never be at the cost of the environment”. And I agree.


The Saflite pouch was developed by the South Africa company Astrapak Flexibles together with its first commercial user, The Company of Wine People. According to an article posted on PackingNews.co.uk the three-layer packs – with outside and middle layers of metallised PET and an inner layer of linear low-density polythene – come in 250ml and two-litre sizes that can be flattened when empty.

The Company of Wine People website cites sustainability as a key driver for the implementation of the pouches. It also claims that a single pouch’s carbon footprint is 80% smaller and represents 90% less waste in a landfill compared to two 750-mL glass bottles. The company currently packages its Arniston Bay range in the pouches.


According to can manufacturer Rexam, the can is the most recycled drinks pack in the world and are 100% recyclable and infinitely recyclable, with no loss of quality. This is great news for manufacturers who are continuously seeking out new ways to impress the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.

Australian company Barokes Wines are the inventors of the innovative and patented Vinsafe™ wine packaging system which enables premium quality wine to be canned with stability and longevity. They boast several awards and patents in a number of countries. Elkan Wine Company was also the first and (so far) only Chilean company to produce wines in aluminium cans. I have yet to see wine cans in South Africa, but I’m sure they’ll make their way here eventually.


According to an article on the Glass News website, Zork wine closures were introduced in the U.S. market in 2008, and since then, have won over dozens of wineries with their wine-protection benefits, practical features, and eco-friendly attributes. The Zork low-density, linear polyethylene closure consists of three components: an outer, tamper-evident cap, an inner foil oxygen barrier, and a plunger that “pops” like a cork when extracted and is easily reinserted.


I saw this at a braai the other night and had to share. A South African company Boer and Brit have come up with a new packaging design for one of their wines. The Bob’s Your Uncle Red Wine Brew, is packaged in a 500ml beer bottle with a crown cap closure. The wine is sligtly sweetened to allow for more easy drinking (straight from the bottle). Though this idea will have to grow on me, the website does boast that you can return the bottle for a deposit and “save a tree”, which is a plus point for me.

That’s all I’ve got for now but watch this space for more wine trends.

Wine trends

As a wine enthusiast, I enjoy seeking out new trends in the wine industry. You see as a Stellenbosch (part of the wine district in South Africa) local I feel it is important to be able to at least mumble a few intelligent sounding sentences at a braai so as not to seem too much out of place.


Jonathan Ray writes in his article titled, Wine Trends of the Noughties that “if the Noughties are to be remembered for anything, it’s for making pink wine acceptable. This market continues to grow both abroad (as Ray notes that the category now accounts for 12 percent of the UK off-trade and is worth some 533 million pounds) and locally as SAWIS reports a substantial growth in Blanc de Noir / Rosé produced in South Africa, with the total number of litres produced in 2009 being 6 429 240.


Ray continues in his article, that due to the high prices being charged for wine in the French regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, a noticeable trend developed which has seen a shift towards great value but lesser-known regional wines. He continues that this trend has intensified over the last several months due to the economic crisis which befell Europe.


The green movement is clearly here to stay, to the relief of many environmentaly aware consumers. An annual survey from Packaging Digest stated that nearly two-thirds of their 1,012 respondents stated that consumer demand from both retailers and customers is driving the focus on eco-friendly packaging.


In order to make wine more popular to the emerging Generation X, winemakers and wine marketers have taken to the drawing board to make wine entertaining through quirky packaging such as the Drink ‘n’ Stick Wine, which lets the consumer play dress-up with their wine bottle which features a 1950’s pin up girl dressed in nothing but lingerie.


The trend in noticeable packaging has also been carried over into naming wines. Carolyn Paluch has created a range of wines which plays with pronunciation on the wine labels. The phonetic wine range is aptly titled Vee-Noh and the cheeky packaging is definitely an attention grabber.


Many connoisseurs insist on the specific pairing of food of wines as an art form. That is why I found the trendhunter.com article on food specific wines so entertaining. The range was created for Archer & Vine’s by British graphic designer Matt Davey and features two red wines along with a white wine and a rosé. The wines have names such as “The Lost Sheep” which is a red blend meant to be paired with cottage or shepherd’s pie.


Two of my most favourite things in the world are ice cream and wine. To my happy surprize and amazement, it seems as though I am not the only person who sees the beauty in this pairing. A company in New York Wine Cellar Sorbets produces sorbet from wine. They boast on their website that each flavour is truly unique as it is based on the vintages, varietals and viticulture regions where the wines were produced. Another bonus is that the sorbets are all natural, non-alcoholic and are fat, gluten and dairy free.


A recent article posted on iAfrica.com titled, Wine wins World Cup, details the positive effect that the World Cup has had on the South African wine industry. The author writes that the wine industry is one of the sectors to have derived a tangible benefit from South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with packaged exports still on the rise, despite the continued strength of the rand and the protraction of the worldwide recession.

These are just some of the quirky trends that I found, please feel free to post a comment if you find any other noteworthy wine trends.