The South African wine industry has been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. The virus and subsequent lockdown came in the middle of the southern hemisphere’s wine harvest – said to have been one of the best vintages in years – and although winemakers managed to largely complete the harvest, it was followed by a government ban on wine exports for more than two weeks during April; domestic alcohol sales were also stopped.
Exports have resumed but the UK is the biggest overseas market for SA wine – around a fifth of all wine exports – and so the closure of all UK bars, restaurants and commercial catering, as well as the general restrictions which the wine trade has been forced to endure, has been a further hammer blow.
Fortunately, our supermarkets and online retailers have managed to continue and the latter, in particular, have adapted their delivery protocols to suit consumers. So there are plenty of South Africa wines out there and now more than ever is the time to buy and enjoy them, whether it is their individual takes on European white grapes or big, meaty reds that are some of the finest in the new world.