In this episode, we’re turning our attention to one of the greatest wine-producing countries in the world: South Africa.
A lot has happened in the South African wine industry over the past year-plus. The first Covid-19-related restrictions there came in March 2020, with the government arguing that alcohol consumption leads to increased strain on the country’s hospitals. Since then, there have been multiple starts and stops to alcohol sale, transport and export. Figures have estimated billions of dollars of revenue lost, as well as hundreds of thousands of drinks-industry jobs.
But simultaneously, the country has maintained international relationships, improved global standing and further honed-in on its own brand and messaging, leading to improved quality overall.
Managing Editor Lauren Buzzeo catches up on the current state of affairs for South African wine with Jim Clarke, Marketing Manager for trade group Wines of South Africa USA as well as author of the book The Wines of South Africa. They discuss how there’s been a lot of change to the industry. Some is good, some bad and some yet to be fully determined. At the end of the day, however, their takeaway is that there’s truly never been a better time to drink South African wine.
To dive deeper into South African wine, check out this primer for where to find the best South African wines, or learn more about the South African wine industry’s initiatives on social responsibility and community development here. For another episode featuring South African wine, check out this one highlighting the insane appeal of the country’s Chardonnay, or read this article about why your next glass of Cab should be from South Africa.