On February 2 the wine industry hosted its annual celebration commemorating Jan van Riebeeck’s first grape harvest in 1659 — a date noted in his diary and therefore recorded with far greater historical accuracy than the sack of Troy or the moment when the legendary champagne-producing monk of the Abbey of Hautvillers first "tasted the stars". It’s no secret that since that auspicious day 359 years ago all has not been plain sailing for SA’s producers. Nowadays, in particular, things are tough: prices remain low and most producers are losing money. This is not the kind of industry that should attract people who have been smart enough to make money elsewhere, yet much of the new investment comes from cash-flush outsiders. Many of these newcomers do well, either because there was synergy between what they used to do (Ken Forrester was a restaurateur) or because their business skills matched the requirements of their new work environment. Wendy Appelbaum (DeMorgenzon) and GT Ferreira (T...

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