The Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival proudly celebrates its 30th anniversary when it takes place at Summer Place in Johannesburg on May 5 and 6. According to its founder Juliet Cullinan, it is now the world’s oldest wine event under one owner.
Cullinan is regarded as one of the first female trailblazers in the local wine industry, and this year she will be paying tribute to a host of women winemakers in a dedicated area at the show.
She explains: “The prequel to the Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival began 31 years ago when I hosted my first wine tasting in Hermanus. Norma Ratcliffe, the first wine lady of Warwick, was among the cellar masters that served their flagship vintages to my 40 guests.
“Today women around the globe are playing an increasingly influential role in the wine industry, once a male-dominated domain. It’s become so much more diverse and inclusive. There are now more than 100 female winemakers in South Africa and I am delighted that stereotypes have been broken and boundaries conquered. Take two examples: The Platter’s 2020 Wine Guide Top Performing Winery of the Year award went again to Mullineux which is headed up by the supremely talented Andrea Mullineux. And Bonang Matheba has become the first black woman to become a member of the Cap Classique Producers’ Association and has wowed audiences with her House of BNG MCC.
“This year I am proud that I will be showcasing some of the country’s leading women winemakers and their wines and demonstrate how far we have come in the past three decades.”
At a launch at The Peech Hotel in Melrose, some of the wineries who will be participating were revealed including Bruce Jack and his Heritage Range Boer maak ‘n Plan Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2018 as well as Buitenwerwachting, DeWetshof and De Grendel.
Said Michele Blundell, Corporate Investment Banking/Marketing /Senior Marketing Manager for Standard Bank: “Standard Bank remains a committed sponsor of arts and culture and we value our sponsorship of The Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival in its 30th year. We salute Juliet, an industry icon in her own right, making the wine industry an art form for all, while inspiring both seasoned and young South African wine devotees to embrace all that the wine industry has to offer.”
Glasses for the festival have again been provided by Ambience Hospitality Brands who will also showcase their lauded Schott Zwiesel wine glasses at the show.
The last word to Cullinan: “Our boutique collection is as uncompromising as ever. As always, we’re showcasing fewer than 50 exclusive boutique wineries, which allows guests a tasting from each. We’re still offering unparalleled opportunities for collectors to discover and purchase some of the rarest, most exceptional wines from several regions at special show prices.”
SOME INTERESTING CONTRIBUTIONS BY JULIET CULLINAN TO THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD OF WINE:
2005 – launched the first wine images to depict the flavours of different grapes with a wine glass filled with the distinctive flavours of a New World vintage with bouquets of fruit, flowers, foods and the natural aromas of each grape variety.
2005 – designed wine symbols to visually describe the structure of wine, without having to write tasting notes out in longhand. These were launched at Gourmet Voice in Cannes.
2006 – launched the first bespoke bread and wine pairings using deconstructed wine-flavour profiles to make up some of the ingredients at the Bread and Wine Tasting Festival at Decorex.
2009 – launched the first Google virtual tours of South African wineries in which wine lovers could enjoy virtual wine route tours, plan regional visits and buy online.
2011 – launched one of the first QR codes on a wine catalogue – with links to the wineries – at the Monte Carlo Wine and Business Club.
2016 – launched the first virtual tour of wineries using Google 3D glasses.
2019 – designed and printed red and white wine wheels and flavour profiles for guests to slip around the stem of their wine glasses.
The 30th Standard Bank Juliet Cullinan Wine Show – the country’s oldest wine show – takes place at Summer Place in Johannesburg on May 5 & 6, 2020.