The SA wine industry has been roundly shafted by nonsensical Government regulations since the Covid-19 outbreak began. First of all there is the ban on alcohol sales in South Africa itself – which is still ongoing. Added to that was the fact that for the first couple of weeks, winemakers weren’t even allowed to go into the wineries. Thankfully the harvest went ahead, but then there was a ban on transport and export of wines, which has only just been lifted.
The South African wine industry is “in freefall”, losing millions a week since the lockdown began, and commentators at all levels have excoriated the government for its handling of the crisis.
According to some sources the industry has lost ZAR650m (£27m) since late March. Wines of South Africa puts the figure in lost exports at R175m (£7.49m) a week.
And that why wine producers around the world are pulling together and supporting an initiative by trade body Wines of South Africa (WOSA) with a new social media campaign to show solidarity with the country’s winemakers.
#SpectacularSouthAfrica encourages trade and consumers alike to open a bottle of South African wine on Friday 22 May to support the country’s embattled wineries.
To get involved in the campaign, share a photo of yourself on social media enjoying a bottle of South African wine on Friday 22 May, tagging #SpectacularSouthAfrica.
I don’t do social media campaigns often, but I’ll certainly be doing this one. And I’d encourage you to do the same, please: wherever in the world you may be.
My orders for local wine have been sitting at the appropriate distributors just waiting for governmental permission before they can be released, but fortunately, The Stash is still in decent enough shape that I can support this. Even if it wasn’t, I’d certainly make a plan.
And let’s face it: there must be many worse ways in which you could help out a struggling industry. You will enjoy this one.