Original Article: The Cape wine business gets some bad financial press By Vrede en Lust (Posted on 01 July 2010)
Link: The Cape wine business gets some bad financial press
There have been a number of blog articles following from a frontpage story by Stafford Thomas in the South African Financial Mail. Neil Pendock was one of the few who made positive comments re the article in his blog. He expanded on his thoughts on wine.co.za today.
The article has been on my mind for a few days and following today’s article felt compelled to put down some thoughts based on our own experience at Vrede en Lust. I bought the estate nearly 15 years ago and can relate to a lot of the comments. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt…
I think the point that many new entrants miss is quite simple: Ask most why they enter the wine business and they will tell you it is because of a ‘passion for wine’ or something like that.
The problem is that there is no shortage of wine and esp. very good wines out there. There is however a shortage of passion and the authentic stories that builds smaller brands.
There are many wine factories out there, corporate affairs focused and with economies of scale. They have the distribution, buying power and marketing budgets to flatten all. Think Distell and Two Oceans.
The only way a smaller winery, no matter how beautiful or impressive, can compete, is by being a family winery in the true sense of the word. That means you need to be involved deeply as a family, close to the customers, close to the business and with a great deal of passion. Obviously one needs to make very good wines too, but as we all know there is a lot out there!
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