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Waitrose further supports SA wine industry

Published:  13 July, 2021

Waitrose has announced it is offering a one-off virtual tasting in order to further support the beleaguered South African wine industry.

Taking place this Thursday (15 July), the tasting will be hosted by the retailer’s South African wine buyer Victoria Mason. It aims to celebrate the “delicious and diverse” Waitrose South African wine range. 

Mason will be joined by special guests including David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg, a pioneer and visionary of the wine world, Gynore Fredericks of Great Heart Wines, who this year set up the first co-ownership winery programmes in South Africa, and Johan Reyneke of Reyneke who champions organically produced wines. 

“It’s been really hard to see our fantastic winemakers in South Africa struggle with another domestic sales ban,” said Mason.  

“We hope by discovering, buying and drinking South African wine, we can, in a small way, help support the people and families whose livelihoods depend on the wine industry.  We encourage customers to pick a wine or two to try along with us, while we speak to the people who make them.”

Jo Wehring, UK marketing manager for Wines of South Africa, added: “Waitrose has been amazingly supportive of the South African wine industry and Victoria has embraced the country with passion and enthusiasm. This tasting will be a real treat. There’s a wonderful selection of wines to try, take the chance to discover South Africa and see why it is viewed as such an exciting place to make wine”

Over the last fifteen months, the South African wine industry has been through a very challenging time, with multiple domestic sale bans and export bans have hit the industry hard. 

The latest, and fourth, alcohol ban implemented since the start of the pandemic was announced 27 June taking place from midnight that Sunday. The initial two-week ban was extended by another two weeks last Sunday.

In March, Waitrose revealed it had joined forces with South Africa’s Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines to launch its first co-ownership wine brand.