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First Cape

Hello and welcome to First Cape Wines, we are the best-selling South African wine brand in the UK and have been for some time. We have been supplying Tesco with a range of our South African wines for almost a decade and are now a key wine supplier to the Tesco business. Below you will discover more about who the people behind First Cape are and what the First Cape brand stands for.

Perfectly blended from three British expert wine traders and 38 South African passionate growers, First Cape was formed as a joint venture in 2002 between the UK based agent and the South African based winery and it quickly became the UK's best-selling South African wine brand. Cultivated throughout the Breede River Valley in the Cape lands, approximately an hour's drive from Cape Town, today over 280 neighbouring farms grow First Cape Wines under five Co-operative shareholders. The core principle of our South African growers being a joint partner in the First Cape brand is integral to ensuring the consistent, long-term quality of the wines and is a unique business model for a South African brand of this scale.

At First Cape, we believe that we are one of the most dynamic and agile wine brands in today's ever-changing market. This was exemplified when we launched First Cape Cafe Collection in 2010, a lighter style drink at 5.5% ABV, perfectly suited for the consumer's modern day lifestyle. In collaboration with the UK government's announcement of the Responsibility Deal, in 2011 First Cape pledged to remove 50 million units of alcohol from the industry every year for three consecutive years. After only two years since its launch First Cape Cafe Collection had sold more volume than the 20th largest wine brand in the UK. Demonstrating that there was a clear demand for this type of product, the success of First Cape Cafe Collection led to the evolution of a second generation of lighter style in First Cape Light; a 5.5% ABV drink made with the consumer's favourite and most popular grapes of Italian Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Californian White Zinfandel.After establishing itself as the number one South African wine brand in the UK, based on this solid foundation, First Cape's mission is to become an internationally recognised wine brand. With the collaborative assistance of Tesco, First Cape hopes to be introduced into European and Asian markets that Tesco already have a presence in.

  • First Cape First SelectionThe First Cape First Selection wines are a range of premium wines crafted from the finest grapes that our First Cape growers can produce and are specifically selected by our master wine makers. Both the First Selection red and white wines are produced from single varieties of grapes. This is to showcase the unique, rich and vibrant aromas and flavours that are characteristic of those particular individual grapes.
  • First Cape Limited ReleaseThe First Cape Limited Release range is a collection of wines created from specifically selected parcels of grapes sourced from within our family of First Cape growers. The wines selected for our First Cape Discovery Series are sourced from specially chosen vineyard sites around the globe. Each wine is hand-crafted from traditional grape varieties to offer a delicious drinking experience typical of the region, and has been created to take you on a journey of discovery within the world of wine.
  • First Cape Lighter StylesIn 2010 First Cape pioneered the lighter style market launching Cafe Collection, a 5.5% ABV, refreshing and lower alcohol alternative to full strength wine. First Cape have since become the market leaders in this exciting new and developing category. In 2012 the next evolutionary phase of lighter styles was presented to the market in First Cape Light. Made with the top consumer favourite varietals of Italian Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Californian White Zinfandel, First Cape Light boasts fabulous flavours and aromas while providing a lighter, healthier and more refreshing alternative to full strength wines - perfect for all drinking occasions.

Winemaker : David Smit For David Smit; the First Cape winemaker, no two days are ever the same. David works tirelessly, continuously tracking back and forth between First Cape's Head Office, which is located almost equidistantly between Stellenbosch and Paarl, and all of the five Co-operative cellars that all work together to produce First Cape's wine. With long cold winters combined with bright and warm summers, the Breede River Valley which is wedged between two mountain ranges creates near perfect growing conditions.

The First Cape winemaking process is a harmonious marriage between art and science. David will determine when each particular grape variety should be picked by continuously examining and tasting the grapes around harvest time. Once David has made the decision to harvest, the industrial production process is implemented consisting of the picking, pressing, fermenting, aging, separation, chilling and finally bottling. David keeps a watchful eye over the entire process ensuring that quality is maintained at the consistently highest achievable level. Through a delicate but perfect balance of scientifically measuring critical levels of residual sugar, titrate acidity and pH levels combined with artistically observing colour, aroma and taste, David is able to fine tune the First Cape wines to deliver exceptional quality and taste to every consumer.

In 2009, First Cape Wines sponsored the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. The tour was a tremendous success both on and off the pitch. The entire squad from coaching staff to players were involved in many charitable programmes helping develop local communities. Sir Ian McGeechan, head coach at the time, saw that the ethos of both the Lions and First Cape were synonymous with one another and has since become First Cape's brand ambassador.

In 2013, First Cape Wines are again proud to be sponsoring the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia and look forward to helping the most revered rugby team on the planet stamp their giant paw print on Australian soil. Sir Ian said, 'Lions tours are tough and challenging especially in Australia but First Cape will bring their special blend of fun and celebration during the build-up and on tour - so prepare for an eventful journey.' First Cape and the Lions have teamed up to form The Lions Wine Club to take the hassle out of finding a great wine in our extensive, high quality range and give you feeling of having front row seats to all the action by bringing you the latest news and fixture details as they happen. Full details of the Lions Tour of Australia 2013 can be found at www.lionsrugby.com.Follow this link for a little taste of what to expect from the tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKQdoMd_diQ

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