#WINEFORGOOD: Freedom Day - we celebrate how far we've come

Monday, 27 April, 2020
wine.co.za, Trudie Webb
Today South Africa celebrates Freedom Day, commemorating the first democratic elections held in 1994. It's been 26 post-apartheid years. Change and transformation might not always seem to be happening fast enough, but in a country that has become almost indifferent to bad and negative news, we hope to rather inspire by all the positive changes that have taken place in the winelands.

In 2016 a Danish documentary threatened the reputation of the South African wine industry. The documentary was a one-sided biased approach comparing farm workers to "slaves". The documentary made no mention of the significant strides that have been made in terms of improving the plight of farm workers, with substantial investment and effort from both collaborative industry groupings, government and particularly, individual wineries and grape producers. In response, wine.co.za created the WINEFORGOOD website to be a central space to host all the positive stories of upliftment in the winelands.

Today, we celebrate all that is good in our South African wine industry. We celebrate how celebrated winemakers like Ntsiki Biyela, Carmen Stevens and Natasha Boks are. It's not just a cool trend to write about a black female winemaker, but finally, in this day and age, they are recognised for true talent and yes, also pure perseverance in overcoming challenges that their white winemaking peers didn't have to face.

We celebrate that the winelands has become a place of mentorship, where knowledge and opportunities are shared. We celebrate that successful black empowerment enterprises aren't just pipe dreams, but a reality with examples like Compagniesdrift and Thokozani. We celebrate that we are taking care of our people, children, animals and environment.

If you are part of one of the #wineforgood stories, thank you. And if you want to be part of something great, share these stories and find something that you would like to be part of. Contribute in any way you can - time, knowledge, financially, donate things you don't need. Be part of the change.

Here are some of our top #wineforgood stories:

Transformation and integration - read here

Compagniesdrift - Empowering women and the next generation in Stellenbosch - read here

A little mentorship goes a long way - Siwela Wines and Denzel Swarts - read here

South African Wine Industry Invests in Black-owned Wine Businesses - read here

PIWOSA Women In Wine Initiative - read here

Saving African Wild Dogs, one bottle of wine at a time - read here

There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. The #wineforgood website, launched by wine.co.za in June 2016, hosts all the positive stories from the winelands, of which there are plenty. wine.co.za has made April a focus for #wineforgood stories. Share them far and wide and spread the good news about South African wine.