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  #21  
Old 18.05.2011, 22:58
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

I used to live in Diessenhofen, where a CH/SA chap started out selling wines from SA, did well and it seems he's still in business.

http://www.bonhuis.ch/
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  #22  
Old 18.05.2011, 23:19
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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I think this will sound terribly ignorant, but trying to sell wine here could be like trying to sell foreign chocolate. The wine made here is too good (at least la Cote) and people like to stick to their own fav local wine makers.
Partially true, and reflective of the Swiss culture to trust what you know...but logically it cannot be 100% correct because non-Swiss wines must have 75% of the market (anyone know the actual market share of non-Swiss wines?)

Plus, Swiss red wines are generally regarded as below par.
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  #23  
Old 18.05.2011, 23:26
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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I think this will sound terribly ignorant, but trying to sell wine here could be like trying to sell foreign chocolate. The wine made here is too good (at least la Cote) and people like to stick to their own fav local wine makers.
Afraid it does. The Swiss import well over 50% of the wine they consume (I just saw an "over 80%" although that sounds a little high). As has been said already this is a competitive market.
IMO, your best chance - if and only if you have the contacts in South Africa - would be to seek out lesser known boutique style wineries and see what you can do with them. The lower end of the market is far too well covered and the margins too thin for a newbe to easily break in and even mid market the larger producers are also already fully covered.

Edit...just found the stats. Domestic consumption is 56% of white wine and 26% of red. Average 37% domestic (statistik schweiz)
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  #24  
Old 18.05.2011, 23:35
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Hello wine lovers!

We are soon moving to CH (from Cape Town) and contemplating starting a business to import South African wines. (We currently live in the SA winelands and have spent quite a bit of time getting to know the producers here.) But first, I'd love to hear from you all.

1) Do you think that people in Switzerland would have a taste for SA wines? They are bolder than European - and also very reasonably priced.

2) Is it easy to find/buy South African wine in Switzerland? If so, who are the big sellers?

3) Any advice for us as we think through whether there is a market for this?

Thank you in advance for your inputs!
Yes, there is certainly a market for SA wines here and, as you can see from the feedback, SA wines are already quite well known in Switzerland.

Yes, it is quite is quite easy to find - most supermarkets, plus specialised wine shops, and some direct suppliers (i.e. no shop)

Re the opportunity - I would give it a go, but do some proper research first. There is already a guy I know who sells me great SA wine for around CHF 25 to CHF 35 per bottle. He has a wine club and is well organised. SA wine is first class, but don't expect to make a fortune. He has been going a couple of years, but has recently taken a full-time job again.

Cheers !
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  #25  
Old 18.05.2011, 23:36
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

as mentioned coop
http://tinyurl.com/3o2c4l4
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  #26  
Old 18.05.2011, 23:58
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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You'd better written: I was unable to taste a difference.



Do you find googling difficult?

http://www.kapweine.ch
not really no, but I never googled about South African wines, I just see South African wines here and there. So that I suppose that it cannot be too difficult to find RSA wines. I about two years ago was at a degustation (sampling) event for RSA wines in Thalwil.
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  #27  
Old 19.05.2011, 09:37
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

You are coming from La Côte - that says it all They are just too fond and proud of their wineries.

Swiss white wines are really good, the red ones well ok. The main regions the Swiss are really fond of are quite generic: bordeaux, burgundy - France in general, Italy and then comes Spain and maybe Portugal.

The general annotation is that creativity is lacking a bit in the choice of wines people buy, but then again there is a group of wine lovers who can be convinced in trying out new regions.

That's why I mentioned the possibility of the business owner about "carving out a niche for business".



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I think this will sound terribly ignorant, but trying to sell wine here could be like trying to sell foreign chocolate. The wine made here is too good (at least la Cote) and people like to stick to their own fav local wine makers.
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  #28  
Old 19.05.2011, 11:58
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Swiss white wines are really good, the red ones well ok.
and all are massively overpriced.
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  #29  
Old 19.05.2011, 13:53
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

Yes maybe. But you do know that there are bottles for several hundreds of francs, dollars whatever?

Inexpensive wine - with sometimes a really good quality - can be bought at Coop. Especially when there is an additional sale.

We went once to Burgundy and the prices there are, well not really cheap.

Personally I don't really mind to pay a few extra francs for a nice bottle of wine.

And what's the definition of "massively overpriced"? Where does that start exactly?



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and all are massively overpriced.
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  #30  
Old 19.05.2011, 14:24
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Hello wine lovers!

We are soon moving to CH (from Cape Town) and contemplating starting a business to import South African wines. (We currently live in the SA winelands and have spent quite a bit of time getting to know the producers here.) But first, I'd love to hear from you all.

1) Do you think that people in Switzerland would have a taste for SA wines? They are bolder than European - and also very reasonably priced.

2) Is it easy to find/buy South African wine in Switzerland? If so, who are the big sellers?

3) Any advice for us as we think through whether there is a market for this?

Thank you in advance for your inputs!
What exactly are you thinking of doing? Having lived in the wine-producing area is not in itself of any significance.

So you've got to know some producers. Right, OK, that's good. Now what?

Without any knowledge of the Swiss wine market, import duties, transportation cost, food & drink regulations etc, or what SA wines are already available here, you seem to be putting the cart before the horse. Posting a message on an internet forum isn't the right sort of market research.

Sorry if this sounds negative or discouraging, it's honestly not meant to be. But this contemplation you've been doing sounds more like casual pub talk than a credible business idea.

To be more helpful, I'll say that yes, there is of course a market for SA wine in Switzerland. There is a market for almost anything if the research and the planning and the business processes and the salesmanship are good enough.
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  #31  
Old 19.05.2011, 14:27
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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.....The main regions the Swiss are really fond of are quite generic: bordeaux, burgundy - France in general, Italy and then comes Spain and maybe Portugal.

The general annotation is that creativity is lacking a bit in the choice of wines people buy, but then again there is a group of wine lovers who can be convinced in trying out new regions.

That's why I mentioned the possibility of the business owner about "carving out a niche for business".
If you're interested it's 34% each France and Italy, 14% Spain, 4% Germany and 3% USA. I would certainly not agree with your statement on lack of creativity - there is a considerably more active specialist wine market here than in the UK or USA for example and even at the Coop level there is at least as good a range as in a typical UK supermarket (and much better than the US).

Just take a look at the number of exhibitors and range of wines at the expovina. This is but a small fraction of the total.
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  #32  
Old 19.05.2011, 14:38
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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A) South African wines already ARE on the market here. But HERE are rather expensive
D) you have to realize that it is a small country with quite a lot of sellers and so a lot of competion. The high-price-market segment is already well served. If you however get into this market by various products ranging from low-priced wines up to expensive ones, with a certain variety, your chance to make good business are good.
Aldi has usually a big offer on "cheaper" (well... yah... as cheap as whine can be in this country ) South African whines. Some of them are undrinkable (I refused to use a white one even for cooking BLEH!)

Most restaurants I go to have mostly Spanish/ Portuguese/ South African whines, so they are relatively easy to find on a good restaurant .
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  #33  
Old 19.05.2011, 18:43
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

Hello all.

Thank you for these excellent suggestions. I'll certainly put on my research cap and get smarter about what's out there. I am more interested in the niche wines the perhaps not many folks know about (Havana Hills, Uva Mira, etc.) but ultimately, I need to better understand what's already available.

That said, it's almost 7 pm here... Time to open a bottle of Ernie Els.

Cheers, everyone!
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  #34  
Old 06.06.2011, 23:00
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

Haven't seen any Tassies here
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  #35  
Old 07.06.2011, 00:14
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Aldi has usually a big offer on "cheaper" (well... yah... as cheap as whine can be in this country ) South African whines. Some of them are undrinkable (I refused to use a white one even for cooking BLEH!)

Most restaurants I go to have mostly Spanish/ Portuguese/ South African whines, so they are relatively easy to find on a good restaurant .
Aldi....wine.

Somehow these words do not belong together...

Aldi....vinegar.

That's better.
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  #36  
Old 07.06.2011, 09:48
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

in my opinion, if you are going to do your research, you should be looking at ways to get the wine on restaurant menus rather than retail outlets. It will give you a more concentrated demand area rather than trying to get into the retailers . There are many importer suppliers to the restaurant business and there is definitely room on a menu for an alternative origin wine.
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Old 07.06.2011, 10:18
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Hello all.

Thank you for these excellent suggestions. I'll certainly put on my research cap and get smarter about what's out there. I am more interested in the niche wines the perhaps not many folks know about (Havana Hills, Uva Mira, etc.) but ultimately, I need to better understand what's already available.

That said, it's almost 7 pm here... Time to open a bottle of Ernie Els.

Cheers, everyone!
Just so you know what you are up against - both the wines you mention are already available here.
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  #38  
Old 07.06.2011, 11:11
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Aldi....wine.

Somehow these words do not belong together...

Aldi....vinegar.

That's better.
Aldi is the largest wine retailer in Germany so they must do something right; but I agree you have to be careful what you buy.
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Old 08.06.2011, 11:49
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

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Aldi....wine.

Somehow these words do not belong together...

Aldi....vinegar.

That's better.
My bil bought a bottle of Medoc in Aldi yesterday (Chateau Bonnet) for E2.99- I prefer vinegar, thanks. But the E6.99 Bordeaux was very nice Chateau du Prieuré.
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  #40  
Old 08.06.2011, 21:01
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Re: South African Wine opportunities

This is a rather late reply and perhaps you are not interested in anything else but the wine market. But if, then how about the great brandies from South Africa?

I haven't done any research, but we had a lot of different brandies with us when moving here from SA. For instance Van Ryn's 12 years is a true hit among guests or as a host present. No one of our guests knew brandies of SA before we introduced them to it - Perhaps a market there?

Good luck, I think highly of many SA wine and SA brandies and hope you'll succeed in finding a niche

By the way...if you fancy a dentist from SA, I can recommend our dentist living in Steinhausen (near Zug), just pm me...Sorry, off topic.
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