Blind World Magazine

South Africa.
South Africa launches Braille wine bottle.

July 12, 2005.

Consol Glass, South Africa's premier manufacturer of glass packaging, has teamed up with the Worcester Winelands Association (WWA), Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and the Institute of the Blind to launch a unique Braille wine bottle, a world first for the industry.

In an innovative effort to put Worcester on the world map of wine producers, WWA spokesperson Bridget Zietkiewicz and Consol Glass' Wine Business Manager, Louise Farquharson developed the idea of a Braille bottle. This idea stemmed from the fact that Worcester is the South African support and skills development centre for the disabled, with the blind being an integral part of the local community.

"A portion of monies raised from the sale of wine in Braille bottles, which carry the legend "Product of Worcester, 100% South African" in Braille, will go to the Institute of the Blind and Pioneer Printers," said Farquharson.

Consol Glass has invested over R590 000 to tool-up operations in the Cape to produce the Braille bottle. Pioneer Printers, Worcester's dedicated blind translation, print and production house, helped with the design and layout of the Braille imprint on the bottle.

The first bottles will be produced at the end of August, with an initial run of 400 000 this year.

"We want to put Worcester on the map as a serious wine producer. Already we supply major stock to labels that are winning top awards. Now we are beginning to brand ourselves and use our produce to gain recognition and demand for our own winemakers.

"This way we also have the privilege of being involved in the starting phase of a program to promote the use of Braille and provide equal access to product information for all consumers, including the blind and partially sighted," said Zietkiewicz.

In an "eye-opening" awareness drive to launch the new Braille Bottle, the stakeholders will be hosting Captain's Tables for the media in Worcester and Cape Town, where they will be treated to a gourmet meal, where they can sample the best that Worcester has to offer and blind taste some of the region's best kept wine secrets.

There will also be an "Amazing Rally Race" for Worcester's producers, which is being organised with the assistance of the Crank Handle Club and the Porsche Club.

The rally will feature ten teams, with a blind navigator, a driver and a celebrity in each car, who will race from Worcester, through Franschhoek, Durbanville and through to Cape Town selling cases of wine in Braille bottles to top restaurateurs along the route.

The race concludes at a stand at the Winex Show, which will showcase Worcester and its special brand from the vine.

Winex takes place at the International Convention Centre in Cape from 21 to 23 September. South Africa's premier wine event moves to the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 25 to 28 October.

Another leg of the race will see the Braille bottles being whisked across London in time for the Mega Tasting in Billingsgate in October, championed by Wines of South Africa.

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