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South Africa prepares for World Cup 2010

The South African wine industry is gearing up for the 2010 football World Cup.

Wines of South Africa (WoSA), the local industry’s promotional body, has launched Fundi wine, which will be sold to raise funds for a programme to educate wine stewards for the 4-yearly soccer tournament.

‘We must increase general knowledge about wine and how to present it to customers,’ said Su Birch, chief executive officer of WoSA.

Run by Let’s Sell Lobster, which specialises in training staff for five-star service, the programme uses what it calls ‘bush logic’ to teach trainees.

‘It makes the courses interactive and fun,’ said training manager Rob Arnold, whose family co-owns the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch.

‘If we’re talking about Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, we describe it as being like the elephant: big structure, thick skin, dark colour.

‘This is much more meaningful – and easy to remember – than an intellectual approach that talks about yeasts and pruning techniques.’

The wines for the Fundi range were selected by the Cape Winemakers Guild, and are made by Hartenberg, Anwilka (a joint venture with former Cos d’Estournel owner Bruno Prats), Stellekaya, the Company of Wine People and Waterkloof (owned by UK merchant Paul Boutinot).

Other companies have forged direct commercial ties to FIFA. Distel’s Nederburg wine is an official supplier, which allows it to use the World Cup logo in promotional materials and on bottles.

It’s not known whether Nederburg will be the sole wine served at certain venues, the company’s global marketing manager Rudolph du Toit told decanter.com.

South African tourism authorities expect at least 3m visitors between June and August 2010, usually the low season.

Written by Maggie Rosen in Cape Town

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