Cape Classics Goes From Cape to Coast

NEW YORK, NY (May 12, 2015)—Vintners of South African wines within the Cape Classics portfolio recently concluded Cape to Coast, an unprecedented grand tour of the United States, covering more than 3,000 miles from New York City to California, in just over three weeks. The visiting winemakers and owners included Abrie Beeslaar and Deidre Taylor (Kanonkop), Judi Dyer (Morgenster), Lars Maack (Buitenverwachting), Bruwer Raats (Raats Family Wines and Indaba), Nicolas Bureau (Glenelly), Peter de Wet (Excelsior), Rose Jordaan (Bartinney) and Carl van der Merwe (DeMorgenzon).

The coast-to-coast tour served as an opportunity to make some noise in the burgeoning U.S. market. “This year we launched an aggressive grand tour concept and put together a cross-country road trip,” explains Molly Choi, Cape Classics’ EVP of Sales and Marketing. “The traveling army of South African winemakers and owners was a great chance to secure buyer attention and selling opportunities with customers.”

With a combination of trade and consumer events, the tour made stops in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia and California, and hit all the major cities within those regions. Each destination was selected based on Cape Classics’ major markets and where the company has dedicated regional sales managers.
One of the highlights of the tour was the Cape Classics 2nd annual New York City Braai, a traditional South African BBQ, held at Saxon Woods Park Pavilion on April 13. The Braai was a key part of the Cape to Coast Tour and served as an innovative way to showcase the importer’s diverse portfolio.

“Whenever we take clients back home with us to South Africa, they always remember the braais,” said Cape Classics’ President Robert Bradshaw. “Braai is a noun, a verb, a spirit and a way of life in South Africa. It is how people come together, share their time and enjoy amazing food, all cooked over an open fire. We wanted to bring that feeling of togetherness to the U.S. and let everyone experience how special and unique it is.”

Key figures who were present at specific stops on the tour included David Hunter from Chelsea Wine Vault, Brian Mullaney and Andrew McMurray of Zachy’s and Steve Kaiden from Winfield Flynn at the NY Braai. Roger Berkowitz from Legal Sea Foods, Laura Dadonna of L’espalier and George Shubie of Shubie’s attended the Boston event, while Debbie Allison from Red Lobster and Jason Cha Kim from Disney were present in Orlando. Alan Wollenschlaeger from Nando N Restaurant Group, David Schwartz from Southwest Liquors attended the Washington D.C. event and Paul Ozbirn from Parkside Projects, in Dallas.

Additionally, the Cape to Coast tour served as a unique educational opportunity for the South African winemakers to gain a better understanding of the U.S. palate, on- and off-premise accounts, and the American wine industry as a whole.

“We’re already seeing orders from the markets we visited during this tour,” explained Bruwer Raats, Raats Family Wines cellar master and Indaba winemaker. “One can’t help but be pleased with how positively the wines were received.”

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About Cape Classics
Cape Classics was co-founded by Andre Shearer in 1992 with a mission of bringing the crème de la crème of South Africa's then-fledgling boutique wine industry to the American market. In 2013, Cape Classics expanded its portfolio to include wines from France, and now proudly represents 26 of the finest estates and labels from the regions. Cape Classics’ mission is to provide a unique range of selections that are exciting and delicious and that offer outstanding value.

Contact 

Shanika Hillocks, shanika@bevologyinc.com