“I grew up in Zimbabwe and Botswana,” shares Alexander. “So a long way from the Cape Winelands, but wine has been my passion for the last 20 years.

“I grew up in Zimbabwe and Botswana,” shares Alexander. “So a long way from the Cape Winelands, but wine has been my passion for the last 20 years.

Evan Alexander, Director of Exports for Vinimark

We catch up Evan Alexander, Director of Exports for Vinimark – a special focus of his is our range of Krone Vintage-only Cap Classique. Alexander has been tasked with taking our uniquely African product to the world. Read more for an insightful interview on why the export market is becoming increasingly important for Cap Classique, particularly for the African continent, and beyond.

“Although I have warm memories of my first visit to Twee Jonge Gezellen as a 7-year-old boy; the development of the farm over the last 10 years has been remarkable to watch. This is mirrored in the quality of the wine, where currently the Kaaimansgat Blanc de Blanc is my favourite Cap Classique from Krone. 

“I believe the Site Specific range of Blanc de Blanc showcases the heights that Cap Classique can achieve, and the mercurial Kaaimansgat Vineyard in the Elandskloof Valley is a great example of this.”

Why is Krone growing their export market? 

Generally speaking, the last 10 years has seen a meteoric rise of Prosecco, globally. This gave consumers the option of a relatively inexpensive glass of bubbly that still conjured up a certain romance and allure. At the same time Champagne, as a category, reinforced its position as the established high-end leader when it came to bubbly, which left Cap Classique occupying an awkward position in between the two.

In the last few years, a re-focus of the Cap Classique Association, coupled with a noticeable step up in quality of certain key brands has seen the world start to take notice of what we’re doing in the Western Cape. Krone has played a significant role in this, with the investment in the vineyards, and cellar facilities allowing volumes to grow to a level where we can drive an export strategy based on supply consistency without compromising on quality.

The African market is an important one for Krone - why the focus here?

The African market is hugely important for Krone. Largely because there is an incredible loyalty shown to aspirational brands grown on the continent.

Not only is Krone is also getting poured in some of the top Safari experiences in Africa, where we work with a selection of partners in countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana; but the success of the Night Nectar range in South Africa is being emulated in other markets such as Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Namibia. Consumers from these countries, and others, spend time in South Africa, and are in tune with the dynamic brands that are shaking up the South African market.

Adding on to that, which SKU is most popular in the African market? Please can you give me an anecdotal example?

The Night Nectar range is very popular in the on-trade sector, with an array of influential artists, musicians and thought leaders choosing it as their drink of choice. We plan to launch the Night Nectar Blanc de Blanc in these environments later this year, and are confident that it will be well received.

One of the notable listings that Krone Borealis enjoys is with the Serengeti Balloon Safari Group, where thousands of people every year get to make life long memories with Krone while floating over one of the most spectacular places on earth.

In terms of how Krone is enjoyed in other countries - can you share some examples?

Very similar to how it is enjoyed here in South Africa, largely for celebrations and bringing people together. Krone Borealis is listed in the top wine bars in countries like Estonia and Japan, and this week we shipped our first order to France, so quite soon it will be filling glasses in Epernay and Reims!

Cap Classique is a uniquely South African product - how is it being received in the world, do people understand and appreciate it? Especially in the context of Krone being a vintage-only product.

The world is slowly waking up to the remarkable quality of Cap Classique, not only as an incredible value for money proposition, but as something that can stand proudly next to the finest traditional method sparkling wines from around the world.

With Krone being a vintage only Cap Classique, the subtle differences between vintages are to be celebrated, as it shows a genuine authenticity in a category where commoditisation of the big global brands can take away the excitement of one’s wonderous adventure in the journey of wine!

Photography by: 

jonathan kope

This website uses cookies. By continuing
to use it you accept our use of cookies.