COVID-19 has affected everyone around the world and these unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Remote working, the advent of online communication tools and technology, live virtual shows from artist’s living rooms, homeschooling and e-learning… these are just some of the new or accelerated changes that have taken place to help with the coronavirus pandemic.
Certain industries are also more affected than others but that doesn’t mean we don’t all have a part to play in fighting the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Brave and innovative people are coming up with creative ways to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in their industries. Locally, we’ve looked for ways the South African wine industry has reacted to the crisis.
Here’s how South African wineries are helping during the coronavirus pandemic:
Food Parcels for the Vulnerable
Wine estates and farms in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and other wines regions around Cape Town have been putting their agricultural abundance and collective energy to good use and spreading the love (not the virus!) through food distribution programmes.
In addition to its Growing For Good initiative already in progress, Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch managed to arrange the distribution of 450 food parcels to vulnerable families in the area that would be affected by the national lockdown. Aspects like public transport and the closure of small businesses would see families cut off from their usual networks and sources of food and supplies. A great initiative of how many South African wineries are helping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Supplying Soup Kitchens with Fresh Produce
In the Franschhoek valley, Boschendal has also rallied to the cause and is working together with local churches, communities, schools and other organisations to facilitate the distribution of food parcels and fresh produce throughout the region.
Harvesting and delivering fresh vegetables, eggs and meat as well as baking bread for a number of soup kitchens in the area are part of the efforts being instituted by Boschendal. The wine estate has also been conducting weekly deliveries to the Pebbles Project Kitchen and Foliage Restaurant (listed as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants in the world) which have been providing healthy and nutritious meals for families in the region.
Virtual Wine Tastings & Cooking Demos
Much like the many live virtual concerts taking place on Instagram, Facebook and Zoom platforms (amongst others), virtual wine tastings and cooking demos have become the new norm during this unprecedented time. Many of the chefs that are used to cooking for guests in the fantastic restaurants of the Winelands have opted to share their skills from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual wine tastings from the winemaker’s living rooms are now par for the course and allow one the opportunity to interact directly (well, virtually directly) with the person hosting the experience.
Special Discounts for Doctors, Nurses & Others Helping on the Frontlines
Doctors, nurses and other medical and support staff are some of the real heroes during this crisis and deserve all the support they can get. Rascallion Wines gets a special shout out for their support strategy aimed at members of “SANDF, SAPS, the medical profession, paramedics, ambulance drivers, firemen and women, social workers, or any other vital service provider who has helped to keep our country and people safe during the time of COVID 19 and beyond”.
Lockdown Period Discounts
With the future of South Africa’s wine industry at risk and the reality of wondering which wineries will make it through this tough time, wine producers are calling on the help of their customers throughout the country. Offering discounted rates and free delivery options, benefiting both consumers and the producers themselves. With the government suspension on all alcohol exports from South Africa, our local wine industry is in peril. From daily discounts that run out at midnight to discounts on full case lots ordered now but delivered later, wine brands and wine estates are using every discount strategy in the book to promote sales. Now would be a good time to contact your favourite producer and place an order to help keep the industry afloat.
How Can You Help?
While these are just a few ways South African wineries are helping during the coronavirus pandemic, the list of heroes during this time is endless. If you would like to get involved in some of the above initiatives feel free to get in touch with someone from the estate or producer to see where or how you can make a difference. Otherwise, do your bit and take advantage of the many discounts to help the industry stay afloat.