Cape Winemakers Guild- The Guild has received a lot of press lately from around the world. They achieved very good results for most of the entries in international competition 90/100 and more and had a record wine auction, which saw more international buyers showing an interest.
What a pity then that the local news channel, on reporting on the auction, end up only showing the private labels of the individual farms and not the traditional white and red label of all auction wines. Look out for these wines on the Makro wine shelves soon, as far as I know they are one of the few retailers brave enough to stock these wines.
The lack of sales and interest from retailers is partly the fault of the CWG, and partly that of retail. The CWG concentrates too much on attracting buyers to the auction instead of trying to familiarise local wine consumers with the wine and the huge investment potential in these wines.
Retailers for the most part, are ignorant on what the CWG wines have to offer, or simply do not have sufficient educated staff to promote the wine during peak wine buying seasons like Christmas.
I still believe that you can pick up any bottle of wine with a CWG label and be assured of quality. And yes, maybe the wine is not necessarily better than the farm's flagship wines, it is not because you are getting ripped off but merely because the quality of the individual farms are exceptionally high.
One has to however, remember that the CWG is all about individual achievement and not so much about terroir. As the winemaker moves on, the CWG label moves with him. Definately not the French way of doing things. There is merit in this though, as it should inspire winemakers to achieve great results no matter where they are and what the terroir has to offer. The individual will be required to bring the best out of any terroir.
Be brave this Christmas, and go for some of the best, albeit fairly unknown wines of South Africa.