S auvignon Blanc is one of the most planted vines in South Africa, and has drawn attention from international markets due to the new methods and new tastes that have emerged from the different wine regions of South Africa. This experimentation of South African producers has brought flavour and variety to the wine resulting in more being exported from South Africa than in previous decades.
Given this innovative culture of South African Sauvignon Blanc producers, it’s no surprise that the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG) has partnered with the most innovative bank in the world* again to bring about the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition. This collaboration is in its fourth year.
At FNB we see Sauvignon Blanc as having a significant market share and potential for growth. When approached to be the sole sponsor of the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 we saw it as a straight forward decision to back a winner. The competition firstly highlights the wine type amongst competitors, locally and overseas. Secondly it provides a platform for winemakers to stack up their wines against the best in the country, i.e. it promotes the pursuit of excellence and for the winners it gives recognition to the winemaker, the brand (label) which provides for a marketing edge locally and overseas.
FNB is proud to sponsor this competition. Our sponsorship philosophy rests on 3 pillars, namely; we support structures and institutions in agriculture by ploughing back some of the money we make back into those communities who support us with their business. Secondly, we support the promotion of excellence and innovation in the agricultural sector; this improves efficiencies and competitiveness and ensures the sustainability of the sector. Thirdly we employ sponsorships to promote brand awareness to solicit new business to grow our investment in the agricultural sector. By sponsoring the SBIG we comply with all three of these pillars. FNB as part of FirstRand Bank Ltd is arguably the biggest financial institution in agriculture and the wine industry is seen as a growth industry where we would like to grow our market share. By sponsoring the SBIG Top 10, the wine industry, the wine makers and FNB all come out winners.
Sauvignon Blanc is a great example of the complexity and diversity that South African wines are capable of achieving, and likewise FNB offers innovative financial services and tailored loans that assist producers with developing new vineyards and increasing production. The FNB expansion loan is a good example, perfect for financing infrastructure with a productive lifespan longer than a year, for instance establishing a vineyard.
The FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition will be held in September under the auspices of the SBIG with an independent auditor involved in the evaluation process.
* FNB was named the most Innovative Bank in the World by the 2012 BAI-Finacial Global Banking Innovation Awards.