South African Wines Gaining Traction In U.S.

Shanken News DailySource: Shanken News Daily

South African wine may still be a relatively small category in the U.S. market—with bottled shipments up 11% to 954,000 cases last year—but its expansion has accelerated lately, and key players are bullish on growth opportunities, especially at the premium end.

“Where South Africa is showing the most growth is not under $10, but in the $10-$15 and $15-$20 tiers,” says Johann Meissenheimer, managing director of Indigo Wine Group, whose South African portfolio includes the Robertson, Rustenberg and Groot Constantia labels. “It’s safe to expect 10%-15% growth for the category the next five to 10 years.”

Jerry Neff, president of Vineyard Brands, which imports the MAN Family Wines, Fairview and Goats Do Roam brands among others, agrees. “We’re seeing quite a bit of activity for wines over $20. That’s probably the most encouraging thing,” he says.

Meanwhile, South Africa-centric wine marketer Cape Classics has shown recent success with its Bayten label ($14.99 a 750-ml.) “In the last six to eight months this category has changed gears,” and is gaining momentum, says Cape Classics president and CEO Robert Bradshaw.

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