The big theme at the 2018 The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference was innovation. The conference was recently held at the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. In line with the theme, several speakers focused their discussions on the role of big data. US-based big data wine specialist Cathy Huyghe was this year's headline speaker this year.
Other speakers at this year's conference included online storyteller Chris Joubert, and Spicer de Villiers, who owns A Single Thread, a boutique communications agency that is active in local wine; Dr Donovan Kirkwood, an ecologist and biodiversity conservation specialist; as well as chef and foraging specialist Kobus van der Merwe, who with his intensely local and seasonal focus has developed a cuisine that completely embodies and evokes the wild and dry West Coast.