Seen on Facebook: The South African wine industry is in dire straits

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Lindie Koorts writes on Facebook:

To all my international friends: as many of you know, I’m a lover of wine. When I travel, I love discovering new wines from around the world, but when I’m home, I’m a wine patriot. I love our South African wines.

This particular bottle is an exception to my travel-adventure rule: Willie and I discovered this South African wine when we visited my parents in Switzerland in December 2013. We had never heard of it before and found it ironic that we came upon it so far from home. It is one of those lovely, well-priced South African gems, and Christmas 2013 will be remembered for all the special times shared around a bottle of Simplicity, and for talking about all the things that truly matter – “simplicity” being the overarching theme.

Now, our South African wine industry is in dire straits. As part of our lockdown regulations, the sale of alcohol has been forbidden. There are many valid reasons for this. We are a country with acute socio-economic problems and high levels of violence. Alcohol-induced trauma takes up scarce medical resources that we are conserving for COVID-19 patients.

These extremes, however, do not define our wine-culture, and in many respects, the ban is a very blunt instrument at a time of crisis. And the crisis now threatens the livelihoods of our wine farmers and their workers. Many wineries face closure, and many farm workers face unemployment, with little to no socio-economic safety net.


So, I want to add my voice to those of many of my fellow South Africans, and I want to ask you to please buy South African wines. You will be helping to save livelihoods, and you may discover new hidden gems, with all the good memories that accompany them.

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