Another marketing mystery from the Rupert stable, or not? This time I’m in the Cape winelands, where it was announced the wine brand Leopard’s Leap will sponsor the 11th annual British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) in London next week.
Big event, big sponsorship, big brand. But, when one starts looking around on the web to find out where this wine comes from and who is behind it, it turns into a bit of a struggle. Nothing. This is strange. All the more so, because the marketing-savvy Rupert family is behind it (apart from the fact that the Rupert name also has some mileage for the wines in it).
There’s a friendly, good-looking Leopard’s Leap blog, and even a page on Facebook. But, nowhere on the web could I find some basic info about the brand, such as: Where do the grapes come from, who is the winemaker, can one visit a wine estate to taste, who imports the stuff in the UK?
On the site of the International Wine & Spirit Competition, you are told Leopard’s Leap is produced by Historic Wines of the Cape. Again, nothing on the internet about this outfit.
It was only when I looked in the Platter guide that I read it’s a Franschhoek wine, the farm is “part of the Rupert Family Vineyards” but is “closed to the public”, winemaker is Eugene van Zyl and the only way to contact the outfit is by e-mail and phone.
This is clearly a brand-building exercise, which is what SA wine exports need (big volume brands the Germans can pronouce and remember and which will be on store shelves everytime they go shopping), but why this gap in the marketing effort? Should Leopard’s Leap not get a “home” in the Cape winelands, where tourists can taste, and a website? Like, for instance, Golden Kaan has in Robertson.
I think to sponsor the BIFA (for the 2nd year running) without a “home in the Cape winelands” and without some basic info on the internet, is to “span die bemarkings-wa voor die bemarkings-perde”.