The Year of the Plague has not been conducive to much direct engagement with winemakers. Lockdown meant that for many months only essential travel between the Cape and the rest of the country was permitted while the liquor sales prohibition made even the transportation of samples problematic.

Catching up the lost months has taken time. A direct engagement is worth any number of webinar hours. No discussion is required to taste what a producer has achieved in his vineyards and cellars: the conversation is more about where they think they’re going, and to discover whether the end game is driven primarily by an aesthetic vision, or by commercial pragmatism...

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