MySwartland campaign launchedDecember 14th, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: beverages, industry, products, tourism
Wine innovation is an ongoing task for any winemaker as market conditions change at a much faster rate than winemaking and viticultural practises can maintain. Andries Blake, cellar master at Swartland Winery, has more than 16 years winemaking experience at the estate and the drylands wine growing region. He has access to over 3 000 hectares of prime vineyard in the Swartland region.
Blake says: “Any winemaker worth their salt should say that good wines begin in the vineyards, but in the Swartland this is absolutely true. No amount of massaging in the cellar can hide the impact of Mother Nature on the crop in difficult years as the Swartland can be merciless weather wise. This is the reason why so many interesting and expressive wines have emerged from the region in the last five to ten years as winemakers have come to grips with the vagaries of the region.
“To be successful in such a competitive industry and market, wineries must continuously innovate, and Swartland Winery is no exception. To this end, we have created the MySwartland campaign, which is about telling people about the cellar’s range of wines, as well as showcasing the Swartland region’s many jewels including the culture, food, events, and other lifestyle elements that exist in abundance in the area. Swartland Winery, which was established in 1948, is inextricably part of the Swartland wine region with its undulating hills and moderate Mediterranean climate, its fascinating history and numerous tourist attractions and we are proud to illustrate what makes us different to other wine regions.”
Blake says Swartland Winery is entering a new era with the MySwartland campaign, which launched in November 2011. Part of the execution is the re-branding of the Swartland wine ranges to help align the brand correctly. The winery’s three wine ranges include the core Swartland Winery range, the Swartland Bush Vine range, and the limited release Swartland Winemaker’s Collection range.
“We are very excited because we have the right wines at the right prices, and our plans for 2012 and beyond are to make Swartland Winery a household name with wine lovers across South Africa and internationally as well,” he adds.
The Swartland Winery range is aimed at people looking for easy-drinking and affordable wines. The wines include chenin blanc, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc for the whites, a blanc de noir, and tinta barocca, merlot, shiraz, pinotage and cabernet sauvignon for the red varietals. For the sweeter tooth, Swartland produce Bukketraube, Hanepoot, and a Vintage Port.
The flagship Bush Vine range consists of barrel matured chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinotage, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon varietals. A bit more serious, these are wines that prefer food and perhaps a bit more contemplation, according to Blake. These wines will also only be bottled in years in which conditions are deemed appropriate for each varietal.
On the innovation front, from time to time Swartland Winery will release wines under their Winemaker’s Collection label. These are wines from specially selected barrels of various single varietals or unusual blends which Blake regards as exceptional or interesting enough to set aside as “special cuvees”. The first experiments with Viognier and Barberra were sold out at the Cellar Door in little over a month and next on Andries’ list are an aromatic white, and an unusual red blend that he has been working on for release early in 2012.
He joined the Swartland Winery from Rooiberg in 1996 and looks to combine “Old World classicism” with “New World fruit-driven” style.