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Stellenbosch Wine Routes to Showcase Wine Tourism in France

The Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair in France will host Vinidivio, for the first time, from Thursday 31 October to Monday, 4 November 2013 and the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes will be in the spotlight.

The Fair is an annual event held since 1921 and every year one country is hosted as a guest of honour. This year, for the first time, it has narrowed its focus by making the Western Cape, South Africa’s wine-growing region, the official Guest of Honour of the Fair.

The 2013 Fair’s highlight will be the South African Cultural Pavilion coordinated by South African Tourism in Paris, which will promote the country’s gastronomy, art and crafts, culture and tourism infrastructure.

In addition, Vinidivio will showcase a total of 26 South African wine brands and wine regions like the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes, South Africa’s oldest and premier wine route.

South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, expressed his support of the event: “France remains an important source market for South Africa and is one of the top ten export markets for Cape wines. South Africa’s wine tourism offering is unprecedented, complimented by the excellent wines being produced, award-winning cuisine and a genuine warm hospitality.”

The Fair, selected to be part of the South Africa-France Cross-Cultural Seasons 2012-2013, will be widely advertised all over France and South Africa.

2013 also marks 11 years of close cooperation between Burgundy and the Western Cape Province and 13 years of an active wine-growing and wine-making cooperation with a skills exchange programme.

An international wine competition of the Western Cape will be organized on the basis of a blind tasting at the Fair. The panel, chaired by Eric Goettelmann, head sommelier at the Bernard Loiseau group, will assign the best South African wines at the Fair with silver, gold and diamond medals.

Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes will run a competition at Vinidivio, in association with South African Tourism, giving two lucky winners the chance to visit Stellenbosch and South Africa and experience the incredible wine tourism offering and hospitality of the country first hand.

“We look forward to participate at Vinidivio with fellow wine regions and the wine industry and hope to attract a lot of interest for Stellenbosch as a top wine and tourism destination,” said an enthusiastic Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

The Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes is in the running for the Wine Enthusiast magazine’s prestigious Wine Region of the Year title, reaffirming its standing as a world class wine destination. It hopes to succeed against tough competition, which includes Portugal’s Douro Valley; Paso Robles in California; Spain’s Rías Baixas and the Walla Walla Valley in the south-eastern region of Washington.

The Stellenbosch wine region also boasts some of the country’s best restaurants, recently clinching no less than nine out of the 20 nominations in the running for the 2013 Eat Out DStv Food Network Top 10 restaurants. This is the best ever performance by the now firmly established ‘Gourmet Capital of South Africa’.

Visit www.wineroute.co.za  or contact Tel: (+27)21 886 4310 for more information on the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes.

Image: Annareth Bolton, CEO and Ken Forrester, Chairman.