PIWOSA – United by quality, committed to South Africa

At first glance it’s hard to pin down what draws together the participating members in the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa (PIWOSA). They are, after all, a hugely diverse bunch.

There are wineries with a heritage that goes back centuries and others that have been making and selling wine for less than 20 years. There are estates with hundreds of hectares under vine, and winemakers who take fruit from the same growers every year, but own next to no vineyards themselves. There are statement-making operations with grandiose restaurants and guest rooms, and others that are modern, minimalist, tin-roofed buildings with not much more than coffee-making facilities for the winemaker.

Geographically, too, they span much of the Cape’s winelands: from Constantia and Durbanville Hills, near to the zing and bustle of Cape Town, through the heartlands of Stellenbosch and Paarl, via the cool heights of Elgin and out to Robertson and the Overberg, perched on the very tip of Africa.

Coming soon:

In-depth profiles of all PIWOSA producers and
and overviews of their social responsibility and sustainability efforts

But spend some time talking to the members and a key thread emerges, as slowly and surely as the first vine shoots of spring: this is a group absolutely dedicated to making great wines, whatever the cost. If that means not releasing a wine one year, or spending considerable time, investment and resources in securing particular barrels or amphorae – even more expensive now, with the weakened Rand – then that’s what they do.

These are wine companies where decisions are made for long-term benefit, rather than short-term gain. Those difficult decisions are easier to make for the PIWOSA wineries, since many are family-run businesses, rather than companies with shareholders or outside investors.

And they tell the world about their mission, too – PIWOSA’s members, chaired by Journey’s End Vineyards’ Rollo Gabb,  are heavily export-focused. They spend a lot of time on the road together, presenting their wines and conducting tastings with the drinks press, sommeliers, importers and the wine-drinking public. They have done tastings on trams in Toronto and boats in Dubai; it’s no coincidence that at four of the wineries visited for this report the owner or winemaker was off on their travels.

By showcasing their bottles and telling their story, PIWOSA’s members are promoting not just their own wines, but the whole of the Cape. Fully committed to sustainability in the vineyard and social uplift beyond it (more on both of these later), they are very much standard-bearers for premium South African wine all over the world.

PIWOSA producers – get to known them:

profiles coming soon! – stay tuned

Discover more about PIWOSA

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Join PIWOSA producers at Decanter’s Fine Wine Encounter – Saturday Nov 11th
A great opportunity to taste the wines and hear from the producers first-hand
Buy your tickets now!

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