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SA wine producer shows how the harvest is really done

South African wine producer Vilafonte is filming its 2007 harvest and putting out a daily videocast to give consumers an insight into what’s involved in getting a high-quality red wine to bottle.

General manager Mike Radcliffe told ThirtyFifty that, ‘Too many wine drinkers have a fundamental disconnect between the realities of making wine and the glamour of drinking high-end cuvees.’ Mike hopes that the harvest video diary will do something to change this as well as entertain. He said, ‘We are working hard at capturing the essence of the harvest. Although, he admitted that, ‘this, by definition, is a little grungy and rough.’

The Vilafonte team are videoing the action themselves as it happens during February and March. The footage is edited the same day into a 30-second clip, which can be viewed at

As a small team, Vilafonte cannot spend weeks in the market talking to its customers, so Mike thinks this a great way to keep in touch with fans of the company’s wine. And, judging by the response so far, it is working. In the first week, the videocasts had 29,000 hits, and that was without any marketing or promotion, said a pleased Mike. As a comparison, last year the company blogged the harvest and had only 5,000 more unique hits over the entire two months.