Hatch Communication
Hatch awarded Great Wine Capitals Global Network account

Local brand and communication agency, Hatch Communication, outperforms international marketing competitors to bring the respected wine tourism portfolio including the Best Of Wine Tourism Awards, to their home turf.

“It’s a win for our local economy, wine community and South African marketing standards,” says Hatch Communication founder and CEO, Diani Smit.

“We are thrilled that our efforts have culminated in a globally recognised association entrusting their portfolio to our team,” adds Smit. “It demonstrates that international organisations are noticing South Africa’s potential and that local agencies like us have the capability to compete at a world-class level.” Hatch Communication joined several international agency’s that trialled their strategic thinking and experience in international wine tourism. Following repeated shortlisting and reviews, they secured a three-year contract with the Great Wine Capitals Global Network (GWCGN).


The GWCGNs ultimate objective is to set the standard of wine tourism excellence and foster an ecosystem where its member capitals’ wine tourism associations and destinations are supported by and contribute to transforming the wine industry. For more than 24 years, the GWCGN has connected cities in major wine regions, supporting the growth and well-being of their wine-related industries, communities, and tourism.  Currently, its member city portfolio includes Adelaide (South Australia), Bilboa – Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Cape Town – Cape Winelands (South Africa), Lausanne (Switzerland), Mainz – Rheinhessen (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco – Napa Valley (United States), Valparaiso – Casa Blanca Valley (Chile), Verona (Italy) and Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand).


The GWCGNs annual Best Of Wine Tourism (BOWT) Awards elevates the network’s philosophy by celebrating wineries in each of its 12 member cities for the excellence of their facilities in seven different categories: accommodation, wine tourism restaurants, architecture & landscape, art & culture, sustainable wine tourism practices, wine tourism experiences, and wine tourism services. The winners are included in a year campaign financed by the network. The competition is expanded by its People’s Choice Awards, opening voting to the public.


For Hatch Communication’s Diani Smit, “meaningful connections form the backbone of effective communication”. This further strengthens the rationale for GWCGN entrusting their account to the Stellenbosch-based agency. “We focus on connecting with our clients and their target audiences. From fostering relationships within social communities to building trust through genuine interactions, each connection presents an opportunity to create something truly exceptional. Our passion for our work and the power of connection can help revolutionise businesses.”


“Managing the GWCGN account is a tremendous privilege, especially since I’ve specialised in overseeing Hatch’s wine portfolio for many years,” states Jonathan Bishop, account director. “Being actively engaged with various communication platforms of wine industry organisations has also provided us with invaluable knowledge not only about wine and destination marketing in the industry but also about the technical aspects and global trends.


GWCGN managing director Catherine Leparmentier emphasises the importance of the network and the Best of Wine Tourism Awards to endorse wine tourism and enhance economic growth through innovation: “In light of the past few years’ challenges, we are extremely impressed by the wine tourism industry’s resilience. Introducing novel programs, new services, and revamped marketing strategies has enabled wineries to bounce back swiftly from the repercussions of trying times such as the pandemic.”


Wine tourism supports local economies, attracts high-spending tourists, and raises a region’s profile. The global market size of wine tourism is predicted to reach around 29.6 billion euros by 2030, showcasing its strong demand compared to the 7.9 billion Euro value in 2020.


For South Africa, wine tourism continues to be a crucial sector for the country’s economic expansion, with the potential to substantially generate employment opportunities across the country. The January 2023 Tourism Research Overview for Cape Town and the Western Cape, published by Wesgro, the official agency responsible for promoting tourism, trade, and investment in these areas, emphasises the Cape Winelands as the top choice for domestic travellers, accounting for 64.3 per cent of local visits in the previous year. In comparison, international visits to the Winelands make up of 13 per cent of total visits with the potential to attract Cape Town’s 65 per cent total of international visitors.


For more information about the GWCGN and to enquire about membership, visit www.greatwinecapitals.com.

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