Our wine industry is experiencing one of its most exciting phases in its history. South Africa has seen international recognition for its world-class wines at an all-time high, our wine quality is only increasing and there’s just so many amazing wines to choose from, we’re now spoilt for choice! So what wine trends can we expect from the next year? We spoke to Roland Peens, director of Wine Cellar, about his top five predictions for wine trends in 2018:

1. Premium Rosé

Rosé, once considered a low-brow, poor quality, girly alternative, is now all the rage. The growth of Premium Rosé is continuing around the world and SA is finally catching up with the trend. With more focus on quality, rather than a by-product of red wine or a blend of red and white wines, it’s fast being seen for its freshness, crispness and depth. More SA producers are focused now on creating some exciting rosés so this will definitely be a trend in the new year. Rosé all day anyone?

2. Sauvignon Blanc is back

Sauvignon Blanc has been overtaken in recent years by Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc as the leading white varieties in SA. Sometimes seen as too acidic and watery, it’s taken a bit of a back seat to the smooth, bold flavours of Chardonnay and Chenin. But now there’s a bit of a resurgence in appreciating the old Sauv Blanc for its tropical pepperiness, especially since 2017 is being regarded as the best vintage in the last decade. Come 2018, Sauv Blanc will be back in full force!

Rose wine

3. Drought will affect prices

The severe drought in the Western Cape, along with harsh water restrictions is severely impacting yields and the vines are struggling to keep up production. Not only do volumes decrease, but costs will increase as well. From next year you can expect entry-level wines to become more expensive as stocks are low. But, lower yields and smaller berries means more concentrated, better quality wines to come. How’s that for a silver lining?

4. Buy the great vintages En-Primeur

With relatively small volumes for our top wines and with an increase in international attention, demand will be higher than supply. The model of ‘En-primeur’ or buying pre-release, will become more popular for the highly-demanded great vintages. Buying pre-release not only allows you to secure your purchase early but also speculate on the price if you think it may appreciate later. As the quality of the fine 2017 vintage is being realised, expect there to be strong demand to buy 2017 ‘En-primeur’ in 2018.

5. Online Retail Boom

As with most of our e-commerce, SA is still behind in the online retail wine market. In comparison, the US and UK are buying five times more goods online than we are. This is changing though, as our e-retailers become more efficient and trusted, you can expect to buy more of your wines online. While it’s still great to go out and peruse shelves or cellars, online buying means costs are lower, there’s more information available and of course, it’s more convenient.

For more wine information visit the Wine Cellar website.

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