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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Blind get a taste of Braille wine
South African winemakers are to put Braille on some bottles to allow blind drinkers to select their own wine.

The 10 producers from the Worcester winemaking region near Cape Town said the initiative would help their wines stand out in a crowded market.

Five million bottles carrying Braille are expected to be produced next year, some going for export.

Bottles containing a shiraz and a sauvignon blanc will have Braille embossed on the glass.

Part of the sale price will go to Africa's largest braille resource centre.

"Just because people are blind, it does not mean they do not enjoy their wine," said Worcester Winelands Association marketing manager Bridget Zietkiewicz.

Technical difficulties

Ms Zietkiewicz said that "technically it was quite difficult" to produce the bottles embossed with the patterns of dots that make up Braille script.

"Braille cannot be read on a curve," she said, but added that intervention by a glass manufacturer had allowed the idea to come to fruition.

The various wine-producing regions of South Africa's Western Cape province compete for tourism and for recognition.

The Worcester region, 100 km from Cape Town, the provincial capital, is less well known than the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek regions closer to the city.

"We are making this initiative as part of trying to set Worcester apart as a wine destination from the rest of the country," Ms Zietkiewicz said.

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