Predictions for the Cape Wine Industry 2020

The crystal ball has been gazed into. My personal witch-doctor cast his impressive selection of dry mammal bones, the arrangement of their falling allowing vast insights both spiritual and practical. And hundreds of blogs, tweets and perceptively penned missives, anticipating what 2020 shall hold for the wine industry, have been read. Here’s what we are in for, amigos:

The Year of Green

The origin of every bottle of wine is going to be scrutinised to determine the extent of the carbon footprint said vino has left in its wake. Retailers and customers will be demanding information on the wine’s contribution to global ecological sustainability to an extent that has never been seen before. Yes, this has been spoken of for some time ever since Wines of South Africa launched the Biodiversity&Wine Initiative in 2004 and woke producers such as Backsberg began punting the merits of treading lightly during the processes of viticulture and wine-making, as well as in the packaging in which wine is presented.

But 2020 is the year. Greta Thunberg has had her say. Australia has burnt down. In protest, the youth of London glued themselves to buildings in order to raise an awareness of the heated future of Planet Earth.

The public, aka wine consumers, are now seeing and experiencing the effects of climate change, as well as at last understanding it after having its impact explained to them by a 17 year-old Swedish girl who talks funny and grimaces dramatically, perfect visuals for Instagram sharing. Of course, South Africans take a few years to catch-on. But those exporting wine are truly going to be up against the wall in the international market-place if their carbon footprint cannot be detailed and their commitment to farming sustainably is questionable.