A few weeks ago I attended a superb luncheon at the 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town. The event, hosted by Stephen Towler, Senior Beverage Advisor Emirates Airline, and several other representatives of Emirates SA, showcased a few of the exceptional South African wines that the airline has introduced into their onboard wine lists.
Since 2005, the airline – the world’s largest – has invested US$7 million in South African wineries and the offering incorporates blue chip labels such as Ken Forrester, Porseleinberg, Klein Constantia, Waterkloof and Boekenhoutskloof, all of which are associated locally and internationally with excellence.
Proposed wines go through a vigorous selection process and there are several people involved in the wine selection, including the President of the airline, Sir Tim Clark and an expert buying team.
Stephen Towler said: “We are very proud of how our relationships with South African wineries have developed. South Africa has evolved dramatically as a quality wine producer offering many outstanding wines that we are delighted to put before our customers across the globe. We will continue to work hard in sourcing the finest South African wines to be enjoyed onboard. We offer a wide selection of drinks to enhance the dining experience of our customers. The addition of Amarula liqueur, which we serve exclusively as an airline, is a great example of the commitment Emirates has to the region.”
At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is its unique approach to purchasing exceptional wines en primeur, years before they are released to the market, then allowing these vintages to mature and reach their potential before serving on board. The majority of wines however are not available en primeur and for these, Emirates’ own team of wine connoisseurs has built direct relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards. This enables Emirates to handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare labels for its customers and is a markedly different approach from other airlines who source their wines through brokers or tenders.
Emirates purchases from the main wine-producing regions of the world including Australia, New Zealand, France, Argentina and South Africa to feature in their regionally tailored wine lists. It serves over 200 wines and 80 different champagnes, wines and ports on its flights on an average day, in all classes across its international network of over 150 destinations.
Emirates has won numerous awards and accolades for its wine selection and prioritises partnering with the right suppliers to ensure their passengers receive the very best wine and champagne selection globally.
In September 2018, Emirates launched its own Food and Wine Channels to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at how it creates its onboard menus and works with its global partners. The channels give an inside look into Emirates’ multimillion-dollar investment in fine wines and its regional and seasonal food menus prepared by award-winning chefs. Both the Emirates Food and Wine Channels can now be viewed on all flights.
Emirates flies four daily flights from Johannesburg to Dubai. There are three daily flights between Dubai and Cape Town and a daily flight between Dubai and Durban. To book, or for more information, terms and conditions, please visit https://www.emirates.com/za/english/ or visit the local Emirates office or your travel agent
Emirates is the world’s largest international airline with a global network of 162 destinations in 86 countries across six continents. Emirates operates 270 modern aircraft and is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 family of aircraft. The airline’s luxurious amenities, regionally inspired gourmet cuisine, award-winning in-flight entertainment system – ice – and unmatched hospitality provided by its iconic multilingual Cabin Crew from over 135 nationalities have made Emirates one of the world’s most recognized airline brands.