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Flying high with Piwosa – A unique first for South African wine in Asia

By April 13, 2018November 11th, 2019General
Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (Piwosa), a collective of like-minded, privately owned premium wineries, is about to grab the attention of Asian markets by working together to raise the bar for the reputation of South African wines, when a first of its kind roadshow by an independent group kicks off in Asia this April.

Aiming to combine resources through strength in numbers rather than on an individual basis, this group of ten wineries use their combined energy, contacts and financial resources to mutually and collectively build the premium South African category in the strategic export markets they identify as priorities.

Fully supported by Wines of South Africa (Wosa), Piwosa exists to raise awareness of SA’s premium wines, to develop sales internationally and to increase market share for all premium SA wines. They believe the halo benefits of their investing in marketing SA in this manner and in targeting key media, trade and knowledgeable consumers in the countries where they run their programmes will positively impact sales from all fellow South African wineries.

Across each of their activities, Piwosa targets premium on-trade as a priority, working with Sommelier Associations, Michelin Star establishments, hip wine bars, quality hotel and restaurant groups, quality wholesalers, importers with excellent international portfolios and the most relevant media for the markets segments they aim at.

With South Africa currently only having 1.5% market share in China and with dynamic economies such as Hong Kong and Singapore as hubs of fine wine trading, this according to Piwosa, is the place to be. Says Alex Dale, founder and co-owner of The Winery of Good Hope and one of the ten members of Piwosa, “Asia is developing economically and demographically at an impressive rate and far beyond the moribund economies of our core traditional European export markets. China alone is very rapidly emerging as one of the greatest wine markets in the world and our competitors such as France & Australia have identified this strongly, with for example China becoming in 2016 Australia’s top export market. There lies a great opportunity for our wines in Asia and Piwosa exists precisely for this type of challenge. To bring together a team of great producers to collectively capture the attention of these markets and to prize open opportunities, re-set opinions and build a positive reputation and increased demand for SA’s wines.”

The Piwosa roadshow in Asia will include a visit to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and involves focussing specific activities on particular segments of the premium market – the media, on-trade, off-trade and the consumer. This they do with innovative programmes to engage openly by challenging perceptions and people while showcasing some of the amazing premium wineries SA has to offer. And with a good measure of fun to boot.

“By developing market share for premium wines in Asia, we will enable sustainable sales at viable margins to underpin our economic and financial sustainability. We will be able to reinvest in the sector, create employment, grow equity for our owners and investors and to allow a decent way of life to all in our teams and our communities.

“We are working for the greater good of the premium SA category. We believe that in many markets South African wines have a limited reputation, often confined to entry-level, and therein lies a great opportunity and potential to reposition our region as a source of world class wines, to rival those of more internationally-established premium wine-producing regions. By working together, we can achieve infinitely more than individually.”

The Piwosa roadshow to the East kicks off in April with a visit to Singapore from17-18 April, Hong Kong 19 – 22 April, Tokyo 24 – 25 April and Shanghai 27 – 28 April. This is followed by another roadshow to Dubai from 29 April – 1 March, Canada in June and one in the planning stages for the USA in 2018.

More about Piwosa

Piwosa is a stand-alone, self-funded collective of 10 Wineries (De Grendel, Glenelly, Jordan, Journey’s End, Ken Forrester Vineyards, Klein Constantia, Paul Cluver, Raats Family Wines, The Drift, The Winery of Good Hope). Piwosa is entirely premium-focussed. The members are ambitious and innovative with their programmes and commit meaningful resources to each project they undertake, in both time and money.

Their membership is quite specialised. Each member is a sufficiently established business, with an understanding of the realities of the international wine sector, they possess the financial wherewithal to invest in a common strategy, and are capable of reserving sufficient energy and time to support the common cause. They are team players with a solid bond and a spirit of camaraderie which binds the team to one purpose; the common good of growing international market share for Premium SA wines.