The Cape wine industry doesn’t do a great job of celebrating its heroes. There are no “lifetime achievement awards”. The closest thing is a gong awarded annually on February 2 — the date, in 1659, when Jan van Riebeeck recorded the first crush of Cape-grown grapes.

The recipient of the 1659 Medal of Honour “should have demonstrated … a pioneering, positive and significant contribution to the wine industry”. Laureates over the years (and there have been many deserving ones) have been almost exclusively male, white and Afrikaans-speaking. This alone should suggest that if there have been any trailblazers among them, they followed fairly well-trodden paths...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now