Prowine China 2019: The first-timers of the show

Lammershoek Winery


Also hailing from South Africa, Jonathan Ralph, head of global sales and marketing, and Schalk Opperman, general manager and winemaker, from Lammershoek Winery held a different viewpoint. Located in the sheltering valley of the Paardeberg Mountain in the Swartland district, the 20 hectares of farmland has vines up to 60 years-old. Opperman strives for minimal intervention in his winemaking and is striving to creating something new, for example, a red blend with Viognier and Chenin Blanc, and a Pinotage in an elegant Pinot Noir style.

Focusing on the varieties Chenin Blanc, Syrah and some blends, the family-owned estate produces 140,000 bottles each year and exports around the world, including to China already. Despite the sales in the China market is approaching their fifth year, this is the first time either has been present at the show. “We want to make a big push in China, but the market is not easy at all, largely due to the language barrier and pricing – we don’t produce entry-level wines and the maintenance of our vineyard is expensive,” Ralph said.

He continued, “this year, since the HKTDC and Prowine China fair are taking place one after the other, we decided to join both fairs the first time. In Hong Kong, we were looking for importers as we don’t have one yet; as for Shanghai, we are here to support our importer in the explanation and story telling of our winery to the Chinese visitors. In this fair, we are convinced that Chinese drinkers are not ignorant, some of them came to us straight away to look for Pinotage. We are so interested to learn more about what they want too, for example their palate and packaging that appeals to them.”

Speaking of the perception of South African wines in Chinese market, Ralph said, “South Africa is a new concept for not only China, but also the world. It definitely takes time to grow but I see the Chinese market is picking up fast.”

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