In January, I had the opportunity to travel through South Africa’s Western Cape winelands, my second visit during the 2017 harvest season, having visited around bud break in October with Meridian Prime’s New York and New Jersey Sales Manager, Anna Zuck. This was my 7th trip to the stunning wine country and I am in awe of how the industry has grown and matured since I first visited in 2005. What I found and tasted on this trip was consistently high quality wines from entry level to premium, a focus on proper clones in the most suited sites, wines with lower alcohol, less new oak, more precision, and a youthful feel in the industry suggesting the next generation of winemakers is ready to make their voices heard. To say I’m excited about the future of the South African category is an understatement, I think South African wine is now fully prepared for the prime time and that it is the most exciting wine region in the world right now.
To fully showcase this dynamic industry, Meridian Prime has amassed a portfolio of 15 producers across 9 wine growing regions with an additional four or five new producers to be launched in 2017. Thankfully, our enthusiasm for the category is shared within the wine trade and, more importantly, among consumers. Historically, interest in South African wine has ebbed and flowed within the trade, but has remained relatively off the beaten path among wine consumers. I’m happy to report that consumer interest is at an all-time high and for Meridian Prime this translated to a record sales year in 2016. Selling South African wine has never been easy, and I want to thank all our friends for supporting Meridian Prime and our wonderful producers. Thank you so much for the continued support.
During the coming year, we will use the Meridian Prime Blog to showcase our winemakers, keep you updated on our further expansions, educate you on the amazing diversity of South African wines, and post articles we think are worth a read. So please check back frequently, follow us on twitter (@samtimberg, @anna_zuck, and @meridian_prime), and keep drinking South African wine! Cheers!