MICHAEL FRIDJHON: The Mentors range shows KWV is out of the woods after upheaval
Latest releases are evidence the winemaking team that replaced the crooks and charlatans is alert to smart production strategies and the market’s expectations
The KWV has come a long way in the past two decades. For most of the 20th century it served the interests of politicians and producers, rather than wine drinkers. As the national wine co-operative, it enjoyed untrammelled statutory powers, partly because it was obliged to act as the buyer of last resort.
Deregulation enabled it to convert to a commercial enterprise but shackled it to the rules of the marketplace. Like a long-term prisoner released from the routine of institutional incarceration, it wandered around in something of a daze for several years.