South Africa’s first and foremost wine route, the Stellenbosch American
Express (r) 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,”
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.