South Africa’s wine industry, a cornerstone of the nation’s heritage and economy, initiated a grand celebration at Groot Constantia in the Western Cape, the country’s oldest wine estate. The event marked the commencement of a campaign dedicated to honouring the industry’s rich legacy.
Employing around 269 000 individuals and supporting nearly a million dependents, the wine industry stands as a robust contributor, boasting a GDP value exceeding R55 billion. This vital sector traces its roots back to 2 February 1659, making South Africa the sole nation in the world aware of the exact inception date of its wine industry.
A festive Feb on the cards
The vision driving this initiative is to establish an annual, month-long celebration throughout February, emphasising the distinctive heritage that forms the backbone of Mzansi’s dynamic wine industry.
“We invite the entire spectrum of stakeholders – wine industry affiliates, tourism sectors, local and international partners, South African trade, and retailers – to actively engage in this celebration,” urged Rico Basson, CEO of South Africa Wine.
“This campaign aims not only to amplify global awareness of South African wine but also to spotlight the essence of our industry, characterized by diversity, innovation, and leadership.”
The primary objective extends beyond revelry; it’s about fostering responsible consumption and creating additional employment opportunities.
Raising a glass to SA’s wine industry
Basson eloquently encapsulated the essence of the celebration: “In the heart of South Africa, where tradition intertwines with innovation, we raise our glasses to commemorate our nation’s wine industry – a legacy dating back to the 17th century. Our celebration honours not just the vineyards, but the passionate individuals breathing life into every grape, propelling us toward a future where excellence and diversity converge.”
The overarching sentiment conveyed echoes a profound appreciation for the cultural heritage embedded within the industry, celebrating not just its products but the people who meticulously craft each bottle.
As preparations gear up for a month-long jubilee in February 2024, anticipation builds for a vibrant celebration that promises to spotlight the enduring beauty and legacy of the country’s wine heritage.
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