We Rise Together: All the good from #wineforgood 2020

Friday, 8 May, 2020
wine.co.za, Trudie Webb
Bragging about wine awards is a skill the wine industry has learned, although it probably took more convincing for some. Bragging about good deeds doesn't come quite so easy. But DOING good deeds does. wine.co.za is happy to do the bragging about all the good work being done in the winelands and dedicated April to our second #wineforgood campaign, sharing a positive wine story every day.

I think it is safe to say that April 2020 was undoubtedly one of the hardest months we've ever experienced, personally, as an industry and as a country. Starting our planning for the 2020 campaign, in February this year, we never anticipated how April would play out. We chose April to center the campaign around Freedom Day, celebrated on April 27th. On Freedom Day, and for the whole month of April, we found ourselves under lockdown, with many fears and uncertainties. Our daily good news stories couldn't have come at a better time. It made us start each day on a positive note, remembering all that's good about South African wine.

Truth be told, wineries don't have to build, run and sustain daycares and schools or donate to conservation. It's their choice. They want to play an active role in the transformation of society and create a better and more sustainable life for the people in their employ and take care of the environment. They deserve recognition and support for their efforts and in supporting these wineries, we can help them make an even bigger difference in the lives of their beneficiaries. 

Bethchen Zaayman from Robinson Sinclair recently wrote an article titled To Russia, with love where she  reported on 35 South African exhibitors that attended WorldFood Moscow in September last year, 10 of the 35 being wine producers.

She writes  " the Rhino range produced by Linton Park Wines in Wellington caused a sensation because of the fact that the winery contributes a portion of its sales of the wine to rhino conservation in South Africa. Robinson & Sinclair received orders for two containers of Linton Park wines directly after the WorldFood Moscow show, and more orders have followed". Linton Park's conservation story sealed the deal, showing how important it is to share these stories. 

When I look back at our campaign this year, I keep thinking of Rozy Gunn from Iona's honest and sincere words: 

"I’m not really in the business of blowing trumpets so I’ll get straight to my point. South African farmers* are at the receiving end of a lot of criticism with regard to working conditions,  remuneration, and treatment of farm labourers. I am of the opinion that there is seldom smoke without fire, or the subject would not raise its ugly head quite so often.

So before we all curl up in a fetal position on the kitchen floor in hurt denial, or make a long list of all the good we do** or calculate the untenable circumstances under which        farmers operate and the lack of government support, let me cut this unproductive paragraph short. Perhaps we should take the punch and own our sorry history.  And by this, I  simply mean acknowledge and remember it. No sackcloth or ashes needed.

Our energy is needed elsewhere. We live in a country where selective amnesia with regards to Apartheid belongs in the dustbin of quaint old ideas. Acknowledgment has an uncanny ability to breed understanding and in turn compassion. These are the valuable tools we need to help those who work the land for us, (and ourselves in turn), not only to overcome this partisan agricultural legacy we have all inherited – but to thrive."

Gunn went back to the basics, showing us ways to instill dignity, beyond the payroll. Read her full story HERE

In total, 28 #wineforgood stories were published for the month. Our Top 5 most read stories ranged from educational to environmentally focused articles.

Our TOP 5 read #wineforgood articles:

  1. Saving the world through drinking wine: 5 wines you can buy to make a difference- READ HERE
  2. A dignified life at Iona Wine Farm - READ HERE
  3. Spier supports the launch of the wine industry's first black-owned, independent wine lab - READ HERE
  4. High quality wine meets low environmental impact at Backsberg - READ HERE
  5. Pebbles Project and local partners continue to change lives in Hemel en Aarde - READ HERE

Our goal was to share our stories of upliftment, transformation and conservation as far and wide as possible and we're happy to report that a good 20 533 #wineforgood pages were viewed in April on our #wineforgood website. Wineland community newspaper, Die Bolander featured our campaign on the 29th of April ( READ HERE) and we are grateful to WoSA for again supporting the campaign and sharing all the content on their platforms.

Together we will raise the image of South African wine and show the world the generosity and compassion in our wine industry.