Do Wine Blogs Impact Your Brand?

I now certainly believe that blogs have an impact on your brand, both in terms of brand awareness and brand equity.

Besides the inherent following a blog may have it seems a growing trend for credible bloggers to be aggregated into major online portals. Your brand may be viewed by the blog’s direct followers – where that post gets fed into other portals, newsletters, etc the brand exposure gained becomes significantly more than the blogs followers. I believe this will become a growing trend as many of the top bloggers are experienced writers and journalists by profession and bring with them the credibility that will ensure their posts are aggregated and viewed by a larger audience.

That covers the positive impact bloggers could have on brand awareness.
Now for brand equity. The effects of a positive review or post on a brand is obvious with regards to the blog’s direct community. Furthermore as brands in the past had sought out influencers and early adopters and appealed to their brand aspirations, so brands could benefit from bloggers, which in my opinion have become the influencers and early adopters in the new media and online arenas. Thus I believe a positive brand message spread by a credible blogger not only increases brand awareness beyond what is initially thought but also builds positive brand equity. They could steer a potential customer to their initial trial or purchases. It is here however where the offline brand touch-points come into play. All aspects of the brand identity and image should be consistent and live up to its brand mantra or message.

I believe the impact of blogs can be really positive if a brand adheres to the rules. As all new media related articles or posts would say; brands in the online arena should aim to start and build a conversation and not force itself upon online users. I don’t believe “buying” a blogger would ever work or as your blog posts says; never get in an ‘online flame war’. I believe that this “honest” review of one’s brand ensures that bloggers maintain their credibility as influencers and early adopters – ultimately to the benefit to the brand. In short, wine blogs impact your brand.”

Article by Danny de Nobrega from Luxury Brands


Cap Classique at The Vineyard Hotel

You are invited you to The Vineyard Hotel Cap Classique tasting on Sunday 7th March 2010 from 4pm until 7pm. This sparkling event will take place around their fountain on the lawns of the beautiful indigenous garden. Entry is R125 per person and includes the opportunity to experience 11 renowned Cap Classique houses and a selection of delightful canapes our musicians will be provide light classical music.

Booking is essential – or tel 021 657 4500

Come and meet our winemaker Irene and Arnold our Brand Ambassador and share their delight of our award winning and simply delicious bubblies. Hope to see you then.

America’s best new restaurants – Topix

America’s best new restaurants – Topix.

Wine Online: How Wine Lovers Use Social Media – Wine Enthusiast Magazine – March 2010

Wine Online: How Wine Lovers Use Social Media – Wine Enthusiast Magazine – March 2010.

The Dummies Guide to Zef

I simply liked this piece of nostalgia that appeared in The Beeld on 2010-02-16 23:42-

By Magdel Fourie

Johannesburg – South Africa has a new export product: zef.

After an estimated half-a-million people worldwide watched the music video Zefside of the Cape rap group Die Antwoord on YouTube, there was a sudden scramble and fervent googling to determine what exactly zef is.

And although zef is truly South African, there is anything but consensus about what zef means these days.

Even the origin of zef is unclear. Over the past week Beeld has done wide research regarding the origin of the word and what it means today.

The word is presumably derived from a car which was quite popular in South Africa until the early 1970s: the Ford Zephyr.

The Zephyr later became a favourite among owners who liked to soup-up their engines and add fat tyres with shiny rims.

With these souped-up Zephyrs, men would dice and wheel spin down the streets late at night. People from that era say these were mostly rough guys – real zefs.

Singer and author Koos Kombuis describes zef as a word from his childhood which means common.

Zef takes guts
“These days it’s not necessarily negative. I like being common. It’s like wearing high heels with a tracksuit. Being truly zef takes guts.”

Die Antwoord themselves describe the word zef as the ultimate South African style.

The Afrikaans rapper Snotkop, aka. Francois Henning, feels everything that’s zef today has it’s origin in the 1980s. He also agrees that it doesn’t only have negative connotations.

He points to blue eyeliner, bleached hair, sweat bands and cars with overly powerful sound systems.

“The word gives you a mental picture of what it means and is perfect for what it means. This zef is cool.”

Singer Jack Parow, aka Zander Tyler, says the word originated decades ago.

“In the Cape we’ve been talking like that for jarre and jarre [many years], since I can remember. Both young and old use it.”

Comedian Leon Schuster’s children had to learn the word from their dad over the past weekend. “It’s an old word which has become brand new again. But you only hear it in Afrikaans,” he said.

Dr Frikkie Lombard, editor-in-chief of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT), says the word zef describes what was considered kitsch back in the day, and has been reborn to mean nouveau riche.

“Thus if something is zef, it means it’s something which is usually considered to be common, but nowadays has credibility.”

Zef lingo:
Brannewynvlekke – small dents and scratches on a car
Ching – money
Loodkettie – gun
Darkies – sunglasses
Vroetelvarkie – a sugar daddy
Karate-water – brandy
Graft – working or place of employment
Sponskind – a softie
Pyle – cigarettes

– Beeld

South Africa’s strong performance in the UK

  • South African wine achieved the largest increase in UK market share during 2009 (10.4% of market to 12.3%, off-trade by volume)
  • South African category grew by 24% in value and 23% in volume for the same period
  • South Africa’s market share is now only 0.1% behind France, which is in decline
  • Exports to the UK were up 14% by volume, maintaining the UK’s position as the leading export market for the South African wine industry (so perhaps South African journalist Neil Pendock should cease his mean-spirited crusades against WOSA and UK journalists in general?), accounting for 32% of total global exports
  • Success from South Africa’s top brands helped to drive the category: FirstCape, Kumala, Arniston Bay, Two Oceans and KWV all grew significantly
  • But it’s not just cheap wines doing well. There was an uplift of 15% by value above £5, a 27% increase above £7, and a 43% increase above £10

posted by Jamie Goode @ 12:14 PM

Hands on Harvest at Graham Beck Wines, Robertson

The Robertson Wine Valley is proud to host its second Hands-on-Harvest festival. The boutique event will take place 26th February 2010 and offers wine aficionados and budding vintners a chance to experience the magic of harvest for a day – without having to quit their day jobs!

HOSTS: Winemaker Irene Waller, Viticulturist Marco Ventrella.


Arrive at Graham Beck Wines’ Robertson Cellar just before 08h00 with your rough work clothes and closed shoes – dress lightly and bring a hat. Join Marco and the Graham Beck picking team in the vineyard. See what back-breaking work it is to cut grapes and carry a full basket to the waiting trailer. Take a quick break for a well earned breakfast, then crush and destem your grapes and start the fermentation of your own juice – guided by Irene, our Robertson Winemaker. After tasting the progress of other ferments in the winery, retire for a light lunch with a glass or two of Graham Beck Wines and bubblies to celebrate your maiden vintage harvest experience.

For more information and bookings contact:

Tel, 021 974 1258


Introducing Cuvée Clive, the epitome of winemaking craft, culture and class

Over the years Graham Beck Wines has earned a reputation as one of South Africa’s leading Cap Classique producers, while establishing a loyal following amongst lovers of this time honoured style of wine across the globe. Throughout the world our bubblies mark milestones, celebrate special moments and bear witness to memories in the making.

Undoubtedly the wines that incite the most interest in a sparkling wine range are the prestige cuvées or cuvée speciale. These wines are a result of a favourable vintage and most certainly not produced year-in and year-out. They represent stricter selection than for the normal vintage wine and reflect extreme care in the cellar and the pursuit of even greater excellence.

Lovers of fine bubblies produced in the traditional Méthode Champenoise manner are familiar with the terms Cuvée Prestige or Tête de Cuvée. Loosely translated Tête de Cuvée means ‘head of the class’. These precious bottles are nothing less than the very best of the best. As most are vintage wines, they take on the characteristics of an individual vintage and differ from previous bottlings.

The Cuvée Clive is a culmination of years of meticulous preparation and attention to detail. In 1991 Graham Beck Wines commenced the quest to produce world class Cap Classiques. Our soil is blessed with a unique limestone character which ensures natural acidity in the grapes. On our farm, Madeba, in Robertson we have been busy renewing our Cap Classique vineyards, planting better, more virus resistant material to improve the overall quality of the grapes harvested.

Since 2002 we have consistently reaped the benefits of these changes and witnessed a significant step towards different flavours and increased quality on both the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay – our Cap Classique building blocks. The Chardonnay contributes elegance and fruit finesse, while the Pinot Noir provides body, structure and length of flavour.

“When describing our prestige cuvée, Cuvée Clive, it is difficult to speak in absolutes because there are no laws specifically governing its production,” comments Graham Beck Wines cellarmaster Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira. “Only the most superior, highest quality juice from the first pressing is used, while different little parcels from the new clones are considered for this. That initial and highest quality juice is known as tête de cuvée (head of the cuvée) and brings out the minerality, elegance and finesse in the Cuvée Clive,” explains Pieter.

Cuvée Clive is a brut with a minimum amount of sugar added at disgorgement. The small dosage is possible thanks to the quality of the grapes selected and the time it spent on the lees, in our cool cellars. Cuvée Clive is produced in limited (exclusive) quantities and mostly only in vintage years which the winemaking team has deemed suitable for the production of this special cuvée. The 2003 Cuvée Clive is our maiden vintage.

Prestige Cuvées are often named after notable people with a link to that producer, for instance Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame and Pol Roger’s Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Cuvée Clive is named in honour of Graham and Rhona Beck’s oldest son, Clive, who died tragically in his 30s. As we are a committed family wine business we felt it only fitting to dub this icon wine Clive.

“How can it be so complex, so subtle, yet mature?” That’s the wonderful paradox of Cuvée Clive Vintage 2003! The wine is extremely approachable and round – young, certainly, but with the potential to age, extremely versatile with food and good from the get-go. It has undoubtedly achieved the fundamental prerequisite of that which defines a prestige cuvée: complexity.

Each bottle of Cuvée Clive is packaged in an elegant gift box. Only the finest materials have been used in these special presentation packs to complement the superior quality of the wine.

Cuvée Clive represents the pinnacle of our Cap Classique craft.

Great Wine For your Valentines

Many guys will admit they’re not the best when it comes to figuring out what women want. Perhaps it’s because women are complex beings, requiring careful time and study, and men aren’t that patient. Or perhaps it’s because men are selfish, hedonistic animals who really only care about their own needs. To help my brethren out this Valentines Day, I’m going to offer three wine suggestions that will make it seem like they understand what their ladies want, all without investing too much time, or too much money. My theme for this year’s Valentines Day wine choices is “Think Pink”, great Rose wines, one a sexy sparkler, that wont break your bank!

Now, I must admit, I had a little help to select these wines. Robin, my better half, made no bones about loving the color pink. My first clue was “Can I paint the house pink”, followed by an onslaught of pink clothes and accessories showing up on her side of the room.  However, the real giveaway was our being at a Champagne event, and her gushing “Ohh, I love pink champagne.” Ding ding, clue number one just dropped, go pick it up boys. Now, Robin didn’t actually help me make the selections, but for some reason, I knew she’d love them. We started off with a Sparkling wine from South Africa, Graham Beck’s Brut Sparking Rose – NV, from Robertson SA. Retailing at only $14, this wine delivers nice quality at a great price.

Graham Beck Brut Rose NV valentines day wine 2Graham Beck Brut Rose NV

This light and crisp bubbly had a very nice, pale pink hue in the glass. It’s made from 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir grapes, in the Cap Classique method, where the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle.  This is of course the same method used to make Champagne, the  méthode Champenoise, and is the term used in South Africa since 1992 to denote the traditional time-honoured method of making the sparkler.  Right out of the bottle, there were strawberry fruit flavors up front, with a finish of minerals that is refreshing in a Brut (dry) sparkler. There were tons of bubbles, and it was definitely the perfect way to start off our evening. Giving this bubbly a few minutes to open up is a nice idea, because the minerals and almost tart finish blows off, and you’re enjoying nice round red fruit that is well balanced and fun.  You can serve the Graham Beck Brute Rose NV bubbly with seafood, or even rare beef or lamb, and of course the traditional strawberries will be a smash hit!

If bubbles aren’t your thing, lets hop from South Africa to Provence, France and enjoy a glass of Saint Andre de Figuiere 2008 Rose Magali Cuvee. That’s certainly a mouthful, especially if your French is as bad as mine! However, it’s worth butchering the name, or saying Saint Andre Rose if you must, to enjoy this crisp Valentines Day wine. Half of the rose wine made in France comes from Provence, and at $16 this blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache is sure to delight. It’s salmon-pink color gives way to a bouquet of sweet, ripe raspberries. It has a soft palate, very light and crisp with fresh fruit of citrus and red berries, and some beautiful minerality on the finish. Dry and well balanced, this rose will go well with a host of foods, from chicken to fish, or just sipping with a nice cheese plate.

Bubbles didn’t blow her away, and dry French wine not her thing, well then lets pop over to the United States, and try a Rose from Oregon! R Stuart & Co’s Big Fire line has a number of nice wines at good prices, and their $12 Big Fire Rose is no exception. A darker shade of pink than the previous two wines, the Big Fire Rose has some cherry scents on the nose, but it wasn’t a very fragrant bouquet. However, the palate was definitely bursting with fruit, strawberry up front, with a medium body that bursts with flavor. There’s definitely some red cherry and other bright fruit on the wine, and the fruit flavors last an incredibly long time.  The Big Fire Rose is a blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Pinot Gris, each grape bringing it’s unique and interesting characteristic to the blend. Definitely a fruit forward wine, you could enjoy this with a lighter dish, whether it’s a salad, or some simple grilled chicken.

Let me know what wine you have on this Valentines Day, and how you enjoy it. If it’s one of the three discussed here, let me know how you like it. And Ladies, don’t be shy! If you want to be sure you enjoy the wine you drink on Valentines Day, select one of these and just tell him to open and pour like a good man should!  Cheers!

Posted by Matthew Horbund – A Good Time with Wine – 30th January 2010