Tony’s diary: How you can help rebuild South African wineries

Watching the news you will already know that South Africa’s winemakers have had a particularly dire 18 months.

The country became one of the only to introduce a total alcohol ban in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. On four separate occasions the country outlawed the sale of alcohol, and in addition winemakers were even unable to send any wine overseas in Summer 2020 due to a five-week ban on exports.

As well as having to deal with the same illnesses and grief that the rest of the world was struggling with, draconian rules brought in by the Government had wine producers on their knees.

And….Even before that, in 2019 the country was hit by the worst drought in 90 years.

But they’re resilient, strong and in spite of everything have kept at what they love, producing amazing wines – the most delightful and the best  value for money on the planet right now.  

And when we talk to them, ask them how they’re coping and if we can help in any way, they always say the same thing: ‘Just Keep Supporting Us … keep buying our wine’.

So let’s throw them a lifeline. It’s no hardship for us to order extra from the likes of Bon Courage or Journeys End.

Heroes in the Cape

“The last 18 months have been very hard for a lot of people in their own ways,” said Becca Reeves, our South African wine buyer.

“Our wine-producing friends in South Africa have been especially affected by the domestic wine sales bans. Furthermore, many of the wine producers we work with provide essential services to whole families and communities which they have continued to do despite facing their own financial difficulties.”

Enter our Heroes in the Cape South African Showcase. We’ve put together a collection of 12 of our best-selling whites from some of our favourite winemakers, and are throwing in another three for FREE to help you discover some new gems.

It includes Fire & Foal Sauvignon Blanc from Henry Conradi’s Appelsdrift winery in Robertson. Despite the odds, they have continued to pay all their staff a salary, as well as making contributions to health and childcare, but only by the owners forgoing any wages themselves.

Gerhard Swart and Willene Bester of Flagstone Wines

Then there’s the delicious Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc from the team at Bon Courage who have worked with the health department this year and opened up the winery as a vaccination centre. There’s also a special limited edition version of the Gooseberry Bush for you to try.

Also in the case is juicy, tropical scented Comeback King Sauvignon, crisp and aromatic Lobster Shack and the Gabb family’s Chenin/Viognier Bees Knees.

Finally there’s The Huguenot Chenin Blanc from Franschhoek, Excelsior’s full-bodies, lushly spiced Viognier and Journey’s End Wines St Sebastian Bay Sauvignon.

Our hope is that this offer will encourage you to support our South African winemakers by trying some wines you might not have had before.

Support our South African winemakers and order your case at laithwaites.com.

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About Laithwaite's Wine

We’re wine nuts, not wine snobs. We’ve been exploring the world on a mission to find great wine for the last 50 years. If you love adventure as much as we do, you belong with us. We know our winegrowers like family – and in some cases they actually are. Expect to hear from these legends of the soil, see behind the scenes access into vineyards and wineries and get news on fresh finds from our travels on this page. Drink responsibly. Visit drinkaware.co.uk for further health information. You must be aged 18 or over to follow.

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