Things I Learnt About The South African Wine Industry During Lockdown

Writer: Emile Joubert

  • Our Wines are Brilliant. And I can’t live without them. During levels one and two I made a fair dent into my stash of French, Italian, Australian, New Zealand and Portugal offerings. Very exciting, indeed, with some great wines. Yet, I always found myself going back to that Cape dimension I found lacking. The bright citrus and chiming diversity of our Chardonnay. The muscular refinement of Cabernet Sauvignon with that hit of fynbos not found anywhere else. Life-affirming Sauvignon Blanc offering texture and complexity along with zingy freshness. With more time to ponder, reflect and appreciate without distraction, I have become an even greater patriot of Brand SA than before.
  • Logistics Fail. When the sluice-gates opened, wineries now had to get those hard-won on-line orders to customers nation-wide. Yup – it was great to see the local public finally settling into the groove of ordering on-line. But a lot of wine brands got dinged in the reputation stakes on account of courier services unable to do what they are supposed to do: Deliver. As I am writing, my wine order to Gauteng – which has still not arrived after two weeks – has now been put out for another week. This is 2020, folks. If a wine is ordered, and the customer has paid the delivery-fee to boot, we really don’t care about your excuses of “overwhelmed couriers”, “unexpected demand” and so forth. The simple reality is, your name is Winery X, and you failed to deliver. Finish and klaar. The South African industry cannot expect to grow its commercial on-line presence on this kind of service. The state of this aspect of logistics needs to be addressed. Pronto.

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