MICHAEL FRIDJHON: Pandemic-induced crisis in Cape wine industry has been years in the making
Loss of more than 2,000 growers and full extent of uncontracted stock cannot be blamed fully on the lockdowns
The year of the pandemic has tipped the Cape wine industry into the crisis it had been skirting for several years.
The ban on domestic wine sales wiped out 40% of the trading year. A complete prohibition on exports during lockdown level 5 cost about 80-million litres of sales. Restrictions affecting the hospitality sector caused restaurants to be unable to trade; the number of foreign visitors slowed to a trickle. By mid-2020 the volume of uncontracted bulk inventory in the industry totalled almost 300-million litres...