Stellenbosch Wine Routes rakes in international Wine Tourism Award
Warwick Wine Safari
South Africa’s first and foremost wine route, the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes, has reaffirmed its standing as a premier wine tourism organization, by clinching the title as Best Promotional Body at the Wine Tourism Awards 2014 of the authoritative Drinks International magazine – one of the most trusted and respected global drinks journals.
Now in its fourth year, this coveted competition serves as an industry benchmark for excellence in the field of wine tourism and the Stellenbosch Wine Routes was lauded for its comprehensive efforts in implementing innovative tourism initiatives to promote the region and the myriad of events and activities it has to offer.
“The establishing of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes in 1971 was seen as the start of wine tourism in South Africa. Not only did it herald the first co-operative venture between a corporate entity and a wine region, but it also enabled a specific wine region to approach the whole topic of wine tourism on a level that had until then not been seen in the South African wine industry. Today we are recognised as the leader in South African wine tourism and the country’s foremost wine route in terms of quality wines, tourism offerings, professionalism, reputation, innovation and community involvement,” shares Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.
This prestigious award follows shortly after the birth of the wine route’s dynamic 2014 marketing campaign, Stellenbosch Experience, which was launched in conjunction with Stellenbosch 360 (aka Stellenbosch Tourism) to expand the region’s wine tourism footprint locally and aboard.
The Stellenbosch Experience aims to position the Stellenbosch Winelands as Africa’s wine tourism capital and one of the top wine tourism regions in the world and invites wine and tourism entities to join the campaign as preferred marketing partners to elevate the region and their brands nationally and internationally.
“Aiming at maximum international recognition, the region and participating marketing partners will be represented at ITB, Berlin in March for the international launch of the Stellenbosch Experience to the world's top travel trade and media, followed by the Tourism Indaba in Durban in May,” explains Bolton.
As part of the campaign, the wine route recently launched its new, inter-active blog, StellenBlog, which shares and celebrates the latest success stories, communities and rich culture of this historic Winelands destination with daily updates on the latest Stellenbosch attractions and achievements through various categories featured on the catchy blog wall.
Other campaign elements include an enhanced digital presence across all social media networks and an innovative wine tourism blogger campaign with top international and national travel, lifestyle and food bloggers between April and September.
The Stellenbosch Wine Routes currently boasts more than 150 wineries as members, which have been divided into five sub-routes (Bottelary Hills, Greater Simonsberg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Stellenbosch Berg). Besides its reputation for wine tourism excellence, the route also leads the way in transformation and empowerment endeavours. These include wine appreciation courses for farm workers and educational visits to Stellenbosch by BEE travel agents and hospitality students.