For the fifth time, Nederburg features on the esteemed World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list this year, in 34th position. It’s the highest place of just two South African wine brands to appear on the list, voted for by an academy of over 200 global industry experts. Known as the definitive list of the world’s best wine brands, it’s compiled annually by UK-based trade publication Drinks International.
Nederburg was included in the list in 2016 (49th position), 2017 (36th position), 2018 (41st position), and again in 2019 (47th position). According to the organisers, to make it into the international line-up of the top 50 wine brands demands consistent or improving quality; a reflection of region or country of origin; a responsiveness to the needs and tastes of target audiences; excellent marketing and packaging; and a strong appeal to a wide demographic.
The Paarl winery’s managing director, Niël Groenewald, says: “Such continued high-level affirmation for Nederburg is a huge boost as we build the brand’s global presence. We’ve already taken the brand to a new level and continue to do so, thanks to continued local and international demand for our wines.”
Dating back to 1791, Nederburg has successfully maintained its leadership through many of South Africa’s economic peaks and valleys. “Obviously we are operating in a vastly changed landscape, brought on not only by the pandemic but also global economic turbulence, and we have to be sure to hold our own,” he explains.
The brand is currently on a roll with a significant global update and re-energised approach to communication that’s more accessible, but also more intriguing. It covers a whole range of aspects, from simplified brand architecture, pack makeover, and improvements in wine styling, to a new look and feel advertising and promotions, an ongoing line-up of novel and appealing digital, influencer, in-store and on-consumption activations, a renewed focus on e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM), and a revamped restaurant and tasting facility now called The Manor, situated in Nederburg’s iconic 1800 manor house in Paarl.
“The overall brand update seeks to amplify the brand’s pre-eminent position and pay tribute to its long-standing history, while meeting changing buying and consumption trends,” Groenewald continues.
The goal, he says, is to encourage wine lovers to taste, learn and discover. “Our message is that Nederburg, a household name in South African wine, remains relevant, current, and exciting. In terms of wines, we truly have a treasure trove of options that people can explore as they expand their repertoire across a spectrum of price points, all representing exceptional value.”
These updates are also intended to reflect a refreshed styling of the wines. “The wines, particularly those in the core range, have been tweaked for greater freshness and fruit concentration, better balance, a more appealing texture, and improved weight on the palate.
“Take our well-loved Cabernet Sauvignon as an example. In the silky-smooth new version, you’ll find on the nose and mouth, lingering layers of black and red fruits, some spice, nuts, and traces of leather and cigar box. In all these core range wines the changes are nuanced but noticeable. They’re also vegan-friendly. So far, wine lovers are relishing what they’ve encountered.” Groenewald emphasises that the refreshed styling of the wines is the result of a continually improving understanding of the vines and their location that deepens with each succeeding vintage.
Moreover, firmly cementing its pedigree as one of South Africa’s most consistently awarded wineries, Nederburg has in the past few months been highlighted on a number of local and international awards platforms. These include Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2021, Winemag.co.za’s 10-Year-Old Wine Report 2021, Top Wine SA 2021, The Drinks Business Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2020, and SAWi (South African Wine Index) 2020.
The Nederburg farm in Paarl also earned WWF Conservation Championship status in 2020, as a result of its focused and far-reaching water stewardship measures.
“Through everything we do, we want to show that familiarity doesn’t have to breed contempt. On the contrary. As with any relationship, you have to remain invested to keep it vibrant and enticing. That way familiarity becomes reassuring. It can also offer an often-needed safety net for greater exploration. A great way to taste, learn, and discover,” he mentions.