Sunday, December 5, 2010



What if she said yes? No, that was not in the script. But there was no script!

Such were my thoughts when “In Search for a South African Husband” was shot. Wishful thinking though, because there may not have been a script but there certainly was a game plan and a few questions that she scribbled down before interviewing me. Yet, as a determined suitor so did I have a few surprises in store for her.

Now who is she you may ask? Let us stick with the short answer: a French girl called Anna stuck in South Africa and needing to marry within 48 hours or she will be thrown out of the country. And where do I fit in? Simple, I was just one of the hopeful guys - number 24 to be precise - who lined up as a potential husband. Finally, where does wine get into this story? Well, as I said there was no script and I had a few notes on a piece of paper…

Oh, I have some fond memories of our encounter and believe that I must have made a good-enough impression on Anna to at least get onto her shortlist. Who knows what would have happened if we had time for a glass of wine together? For the full story have a look on

To see the actual movie you will have to get a DVD, which is going to be whole lot more difficult than just clicking onto a website. Consider this as a quest - like searching for that special vintage from a renowned French Bordeaux, Burgundy or Champagne Château; or getting back into the good books of your lover…

Lastly just a warning, that interview may be very amusing but this is the only mention of wine in the entire movie!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FMS launches website!

11th November 2010: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


FMS launches website:

Serving wine successfully for 10 years...

To celebrate ten years in business, concentrating continuously on exporting wines, FMS is proud to showcase its own website. More importantly, the relationship with our current clients and cellars date back to 2001 and 2000 respectively, with sales growing from 100 cases to 10 pallets per order in 2010.

To expand at a faster pace the focus shifted in 2008 to obtaining new clients, with FMS registering on an e-business platform. This has proved very successful - four sales in four months in 2009 - 2010 to four new clients! Momentum has increased with new clients and a cellar being added recently in rapid succession.

This website puts FMS in the perfect position to not only increase visibility for itself, but also to assist our clients and suppliers – creating a small community who can draw on each other for support and advice. The website have links to all the brands in our portfolio where you have access to detailed data for each wine, i.e. tasting notes, awards, ratings, terroir, harvesting, winemaking, technical analyses, and pictures.

We thank our major clients for their steadfast support whose links are listed on our contacts page. We will add the names of a few more importers shortly and with the website being powered by Google Search Engine Optimisation this is bound to increase their visibility.

At FMS we believe in nurturing young talent. This has expressed itself in hosting an International Marketing Trainee from a French university every year since 2007. This website design, created by Octave CLAUZEL, is proof of such brilliant talent at work.

FMS Food & Beverages SA
Reg. No. 2002/026067/23
P.O. Box 51869 Waterfront 8002 Cape Town South Africa
Tel +27.21.426.50.37
Fax +27.21.413.08.25

Monday, November 1, 2010

FMS is 10!!

FMS is TEN years old!!

Today FMS is ten years in business, focusing continuously on exporting wines. In August we started our 3rd year membership with Global Wine & Spirits. More importantly, FMS still does business with all the clients (except one who closed down in 2009) and cellars that we started with all those years ago.

To expand at a faster pace the focus has shifted since 2008 to obtaining new clients, hence the GWS membership. Fortunately it has been successful - four sales in four months in 2009 to four new clients! Momentum has increased with new clients and cellars being added recently in rapid succession.

Thanks to Octave Clauzel a website has been designed and is being launched during November to commemorate this occasion. The website will be powered by Google Search Engine Optimisation. This puts FMS in the perfect position to not only increase visibility for itself, but also to assist our clients and suppliers – creating a small community who can draw on each other for support and advice. On the website we include links to Global Wine & Spirits for most brands in our GWS portfolio. In the Product Catalogue clients have access to detailed data for each wine, i.e. tasting notes, awards, bottle images, technical analyses, vineyards, harvesting, and wine-making. Links to those of our established clients will be listed on our contacts page.

Guess the correct name for our website and you may win six bottles of the top wines in our portfolio delivered to your doorstep!

We are eager to welcome you to join our exclusive club and are looking forward to your future support.

Join us now and raise a glass to FMS for the next ten years!!

Cheers! Chin! Santé! Gesondheid! Voorspoed! Gesundheit! Prost! Kenkō! Zdrowie!

FMS Marketing
FMS Food & Beverages SA


Tel + 27 21 426 5037
Fax +27 21 413 0825

PO Box 51869
8002 Waterfront

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Proud Conservation Initiative

The Five's Reserve Range

"Empowering staff in new wine venture."

The Five's Reserve wine range launched in 2005 was developed by Van Loveren and is 25%-owned by the De Goree Employees Trust. In a two-tiered and broad -based BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) deal, Van Loveren together with 116 of its staff and pensioners, have purchased a 139-hectare grape farm in the Robertson Wine Valley, and has signed a long-term contract with the trust for the supply of grapes to its cellar (at market-related prices). The wines produced are Chenin Blanc, Merlot Rosé, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot and a Brandy. With a label depicting the ‘big five' (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), the range proudly carries the South African identity and the best it has to offer. Appellation: Robertson.

De Goree Farming is a proud partnership between the Retief family of Van Loveren Vineyards and their workers. All the grapes used to produce this Five’s Reserve range of wines come from the farm which is located in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, home to more than 10 000 species of flora and aptly so, conservation lies close to heart. Part of the profit of every bottle of Five’s Reserve wine sold, is donated to the Southern African Wildlife College, who train conservationists to protect our natural heritage. This is an initiative founded by the WWF & Peace Parks Foundation.

Merlot Rosé 2008
Flavours of cherry, ripe raspberries with hints of violets and spice, followed by a dry lingering finish demanding food. A blush-coloured wine with a fresh fruity nose. A lovely light, crispy summer wine to enjoy with seafood, salads and chicken. Screwcap. Recommended maturation potential: 2 - 3 years.

Chenin Blanc 2008
Typical varietal guava and tropical fruit on the nose with spicy bruised apple, crisp dry palate and lingering finish. Fruity unwooded wine. A delightful summer wine to be enjoyed with salads, cold meat, creamy pasta dishes, chicken, veal and shellfish. Screwcap. Recommended maturation potential: 2 - 3 years.

Pinotage 2008
A complex nose of banana, cassis and strawberry is followed by refined layers of blueberries, vanilla and spice on the palate. Toasty oak with a soft finish. A medium bodied wine to be enjoyed with red meat, rich stews, curries and smoked foods. Maturation potential 5 years.

Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008
Almond, succulent dark plums and mint on the nose, followed by ripe berry, cassis and red current on the palate. Good oaking ensures a soft, toasty finish. Has enough tannin grip for rich casseroles, roasts, smoked foods, pork or venison. Maturation potential 5 years.

FMS is a wine négociant and international trading house focusing on the export of wines. Thanks to our professional approach, our client in Japan has chosen FMS rather than dealing with the cellar.
4 sales in 4 months thanks to GWS!

Drinking during pregnancy can be harmful to your unborn baby.

L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé. Sachez consommer et apprécier avec modération.

Monday, April 19, 2010


The Four Cousins Extra Light Range

The Four Cousins Extra Light range is the only bottled wines in South Africa endorsed by the Weigh-Less Foundation and has their logo on the label. These wines give health and weight conscious consumers the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine without the guilt. With screw cap.

The Four Cousins Light Natural Sweet Rosé 2010 is the newest, slim, sexy member of the Four Cousins family. This is also the first SA wine of 2010. A deliciously fruity wine with an aromatic Muscat nose and an abundance of sweet cranberry flavours, perfectly balanced. A perfect "any-time" drinking wine that goes well with salads, fish, white meat dishes, and spicy foods.

It’s older sister, or rather cousin, is the Four Cousins Extra Light White 2009, which was launched in 2008. A pleasant dry, very easy drinkable white wine. Hints of kiwi and jasmine from Muscat compliments the spicy pear-drop aromas of Fernao Pires. Lovely wine, with racy herbaceous freshness due to early harvesting. Ideal with lightly spiced dishes, sushi, fresh fish, summer salads, duck, roasted chicken, and a wide variety of vegetarian and healthy dishes.

Slim, fresh and full of flavour - all minus the kilojoules. Perfect quaffing for the health conscious. Serve well chilled. Low in alcohol (9 % A/V), it’s perfect for restaurant dining and still driving. Endorsed by the Weigh-Less Foundation, the Four Cousins Extra Light range is proving very popular with the trend towards more responsible wine consumption, lifestyle changes, not to mention the lower kilojoules for ‘healthy-at-heart’ consumers. All in all your favourite wine… just a bit slimmer.

FMS is a wine négociant and international trading house focusing on the export of wines. Thanks to our professional approach, our client in Japan has chosen FMS rather than dealing with the cellar.
4 sales in 4 months thanks to GWS!

Alcohol reduces driving ability. Don’t drink and drive.

L'abus d'alcool est dangereux pour la santé. Sachez consommer et apprécier avec modération.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

VAN LOVEREN empowers staff in new wine venture

Black Economic Empowerment deal sees purchase of new farm

In a two-tiered and broad-based BEE deal, Van Loveren, the well-known Robertson wine farm owned by the Retief family, together with 116 (of whom 52 are women) of its staff and pensioners, have purchased a 138-hectare grape farm in the Robertson Wine Valley. The farm, which is 52% owned by an employees trust and the balance by the Retief family, has signed a long-term grape supply contract with Van Loveren Private Cellar. This will render the farm profitable within its first year of operation. Simultaneously, in a joint venture with the trust, Van Loveren has launched the Five’s Reserve wine range, comprising a white wine, a rosé, two reds and a brandy, which will be marketed locally, to the tourist sector, and internationally.

Phillip Retief, marketing director of Van Loveren, who facilitated all aspects of the new ventures, believes that the deal fulfills most of the important criteria set out by the WineBEE Charter, presently being formalised by the wine industry. He says, ‘Land ownership is an important and emotional element of any such arrangement but we are confident that with our carefully planned business model and the commensurate development of business and farming skills of our partners, we can sustain the long-term viability of this venture. Everyone involved is hugely enthusiastic and it’s a pleasure for the Retief family to share in the growth of the Van Loveren brands with our extended family, in a true sense of partnership.’

Niklaas Prins, a trustee of the De Goree Employees Trust, who has worked at Van Loveren for 20 years, says, ‘My colleagues and I at Van Loveren are delighted to be involved in this exciting development. Owning a share in the farm gives one a sense of security but we all know that making a success of the grape farming and the Five’s Reserve wine range are the most challenging and important parts of the project. We have no doubt that the ‘four cousins’ (as the two sets of Retief brothers are affectionately known) have the skills and vision to help us achieve our goals.’

Early in 2006 the De Goree Employees Trust and the Retief family took transfer of the 138-hectare farm, De Goree, in the Goree district of the Robertson Wine Valley, although they had been farming there since May 2005. The beneficiaries of the trust are Van Loveren’s 104 existing and retired staff and 12 employees who worked for the previous owners of the farm. A grant from the Department of Land Affairs assisted with the purchase of the farm.

De Goree farm presently has 49 hectares under vineyards, which will be increased over time as improved water rights are received. Van Loveren has signed a long-term contract with the trust for the supply of grapes to its cellar, at market-related prices. Hennie Retief, a viticulturist by training and Van Loveren’s production director will oversee the running of De Goree farm. The four trustees of the trust, Chrisjan Williams, Johanna Prins, Niklaas Prins and Maritsa Jansen, will all be involved in the management of the farm and the development of the Five’s Reserve range of wines.

Van Loveren has a long history of staff upliftment and development. For many years now all staff housing has been fully serviced (running water, electricity etc); farm schooling was provided until community schools proved adequate; a ‘women’s club’ run by the Retief wives has been going for 15 years; comprehensive staff training is provided, etc. At the 2006 Rudnet Awards (funded by the SA Wine Industry Trust – SAWIT) for good labour relations, Van Loveren scored 87%.

With the advent of the De Goree empowerment initiative, appropriate skills development, training and mentorship programmes will be established, particularly for middle- to senior management candidates.

Launch of Five’s Reserve wine range

The Five’s Reserve wine range was developed by Van Loveren and is 25%-owned by the De Goree Employees Trust. The range comprises a Chenin Blanc, a Rosé, a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon Pinotage blend and a 5-year old Brandy. As with all the Van Loveren wines emphasis will be on excellent value. The wine will be distributed through Van Loveren’s usual channels, and with the labelling depicting the ‘big five,’ the range will be targeted at tourist destinations, particularly national parks and game reserves. The wine will also be exported worldwide.

In 2006 Van Loveren celebrated its 25th year as a wine brand. Wynand and Nico Retief launched Van Loveren wines in 1980 with 500 cases. In 2010, with the business being run by the ‘four cousins’ (Wynand’s sons Phillip and Neil and Nico’s sons Bussell and Hennie), production of the Van Loveren and Four Cousins brands is 1 000 000 cases, making them the largest privately-owned wine brands in South Africa. Part of their success is attributed to the strong focus on the local market, with less than 25% of the wine being exported.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What we do from 9 to 5...

FMS is a wine négociant and international trading house focusing on the export of wines since 2000.

FMS offers a full CIF export service, while FOB Cape Town prices will enable you to consolidate your order with current suppliers in South Africa.

FMS has built up a portfolio covering Empowerment (both Five’s Reserve and New Beginnings are Black Economic Empowerment brands, Five’s Reserve is Fair Trade registered); the Environment (Van Loveren is a Biodiversity & Wine Initiative member, Five’s Reserve contribute to the World Wildlife Fund and the Peace Parks Foundation); and Health (Four Cousins have two wines endorsed by the Weigh-Less Foundation).

FMS exports successfully to various clients based in Europe and the Far East. Our clients trust our judgment absolutely, rewarding FMS with consistent word-of-mouth advertising, and making us their only choice when considering adding new brands to their portfolio.

Thanks to our professional approach, our client in Japan has chosen FMS rather than dealing with the cellar. 4 sales in 4 months thanks to GWS!

En français.

FMS est un négociant du vin et la maison de commerce internationale se concentrant sur l'exportation de vins depuis 2000.

FMS offre un service d'exportation de CIF complet, tandis que les prix de FOB Cape Town vous permettront de consolider votre commande avec des fournisseurs actuels en Afrique du Sud.

FMS a créé un portefeuille couvrant la Responsabilisation (le Five’s Reserve et le New Beginnings sont les marques de « Black Economic Empowerment », Five’s Reserve est enregistré à « Fair Trade »); l'Environnement (Van Loveren est un membre de « Biodiversity and Wine Initiative », Five’s Reserve contribue à le « World Wildlife Fund » et la « Peace Parks Foundation »); et la Santé (Four Cousins a deux vins approuvés par la « Weigh-Less Foundation »).

FMS exporte avec succès aux clients divers a basé en Europe et l'Extrême-Orient. Nos clients ont confiance en notre jugement absolument. Ils récompenser FMS avec publicité verbale régulière et faire nous leur seul choix en considérant l’addition de nouvelles marques à leur portefeuille.

Grâce à notre approche professionnelle, notre client au Japon a choisi FMS plutôt que faire un marché avec la cave. 4 ventes dans 4 mois remercient à GWS!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Be inspired!
Take whatever gives you goose bumps and let it move you...

Herewith are four links to the celebrated "Wine, Women and Song" waltz (opus 333) by Johann Strauss jnr. & & &
& now for something completely different

Personally, the second one does it for me. Magnificent!
So bring the girls and let's step onto the dance floor.

Champagne is for after...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Wine and women go with most things, in most circumstances and almost at any time - preferably just the two of you. When you include the movies, it becomes a date.

Sofia Coppola has won fame as director, producer and screenwriter, mostly for LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003) with Bill Murray (Bob Harris) and Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte) for which she won an Oscar for best original screenplay. Sofia is of course the daughter of film director and wine producer, Francis Ford Coppola. Taking this further, she created a range of SOFIA sparkling wines, which also contains a striking pink single-serve mini can.

Now, producing a film (a romantic-comedy) set in the wine industry is an entirely different matter.

You can take A WALK IN THE CLOUDS (1995) with Keanu Reeves (Paul Sutton) and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón (Victoria Arago), escaping on a nostalgic dream at The Clouds, the wine farm of the Arago family.

Ending A GOOD YEAR (2006) in Provençe, such as in the story with Russell Crowe (Max Skinner) and Marion Cotillard (Fanny Chenal), is certainly a much better option than drifting SIDEWAYS (2004) with Paul Giamatti (Miles Raymond) and Thomas Haden Church (Jack) in the Napa wine counties. Apart from two entirely different styles of romantic comedy, it displays the French and American lifestyles in the winelands and their different attitudes toward wine, women and love.
SIDEWAYS is the more critically acclaimed movie, however much you like the French ambiance.
This created a major cult following for Pinot Noir in the States. So, is it something to be exploited?

Since both France (but seen from an English point of view) and the US have had their version of wine and women amongst the vineyards, what about the rest of the wine producing countries? Here we already have an old world versus new world approach.

Have there been any other movies made with the winelands as a backdrop? More importantly, are they any good?

NEW BEGINNINGS WINES trade mark gets new custodian

The New Beginnings Wines trade mark has been taken under custodianship by FMS Food & Beverages SA, a trading house exporting some of South Africa’s iconic brands since 2000.

In accordance with an agreement signed on 26 August 2009 FMS SA receives exclusive rights on all exports of the NBW brand name. FMS SA has agreed to pay New Beginnings (owner of the NBW trade mark) royalties on all sales.

The aim of FMS SA is to expand the NBW brand name with integrity so as to assure the New Beginnings Farming Association a perennial and increasing source of regular income.

New Beginnings rose to fame when they became the first Black Economic Empowerment company in the wine industry in 1996 after a grant of land by Alan Nelson, owner of Nelson Estate. New Beginnings produced a Pinotage and a Cabernet Sauvignon in 2003 and a Chardonnay in 2006. The last stock of this Pinotage was sold in 2008 by FMS SA to Masuda Co. Ltd, an importer in Japan. It is mainly thanks to this company’s insistence on supporting the New Beginnings labourers plus the efficiency and vision of FMS SA that has enabled it to revitalise the New Beginnings brand name.

Once the New Beginnings labourers have re-nurtured their vineyards (2 ha Chardonnay, 3 ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 3 ha Pinotage, and 2 ha Shiraz) in Paarl the grapes will be vinified by a well-renowned cellar in Paarl. An additional 3 ha is being prepared for a white cultivar, which will be determined after tests with the aid of WIETA (Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) and WIDA (Wine Industry Development Association).

The vision of FMS SA is to extend the NBW product range, to develop the NBW client base, and to enhance the quality and the professional image of NBW. With the focus of FMS SA only on wine exports, NBW will form an integral part of its portfolio.

FMS SA has been involved in marketing New Beginnings Wines since 2002. It exports high profile brands such as Eikendal, Groot Constantia, Helder Crest and Van Loveren to select markets, including high achieving boutique wine cellars such as Annex Kloof Wines, Bizoe Wines and Domaine Grier from France. FMS SA is a company with a level 4 Black Economic Empowerment listing.

The New Beginnings brand will be market driven and aim for medium to premium level wines while retaining excellent price to quality ratios. Wines from other empowerment projects will also be considered for inclusion under the New Beginnings label, should NBW not grow its own.

A 3-star Pinotage 2009 has been selected for bottling from Azania Wines, the private label division of Robertson Winery. This, including a 3-star Chardonnay 2009, has just been approved by our client in Japan, Masuda Co. Ltd. The Pinotage 2009 has been bottled on 14 September 2009.