For South African wine lovers, February offers even more reason to celebrate as it is the month that officially marks the birth of the SA wine industry (363 years ago this year) as well as the month when the grapes are harvested to begin the process of making the next vintage of spectacular South African wines.
If you ever needed a reason to enjoy a glass of wine (responsibly), it is definitely the month of February!
“South Africa can accurately pinpoint the birth date of our wine industry, which is the 2nd of February,” says Dr. Ernest Messina Chairperson of Groot Constantia, the oldest wine-producing farm in the country. “To celebrate this significant date the wine industry holds an annual event at Groot Constantia called the Wine Harvest Commemorative Event. At this inclusive evening the new harvest is blessed and the dedication of each and every wine worker and other role players is acknowledged – those who have contributed to the success of the industry by giving of themselves, their time, their talent, experience and wisdom.”
Some of the industry greats that were honoured this year include Denise Stubbs, who received the Diversity and Transformation accolade; Christine Rudman who was the recipient in the Wine Appreciation and Wine Advancement category; Francois Viljoen, this year’s Viticulture and Wine Creation receiver; and Carmen Stevens, who was honoured with the iconic 1659 Award for Visionary Leadership. “I am proud to accept this Award, not only for myself, but for all people of colour that have made, and are continuing to make, a contribution to the success of the South African Wine Industry,” says Stevens.
“February’s celebrations are important ones on the wine calendar, and we want to rally all lovers of wine to come together and join in the festivities by opening a bottle of wine for Open That Bottle Night on 26 February and say cheers to the humble grape, and how the planting and harvesting of this small fruit on SA soil gave rise to our wine industry 363 years ago,” says Dr. Messina. “One way of making lasting memories is to enjoy a glass of South African wine with family and friends, and to toast the energy and talent that goes into producing the fruit of the vine year after year.”
This Open That Bottle Night is again the perfect opportunity to watch the Wine Harvest Commemorative Event at www.sawineharvest.co.za. The initiative is made possible through the financial support and partnerships of Ninety One, Groot Constantia, Standard Bank, Vinpro and Die Burger. Please continue supporting the wine industry on social media using #sawineharvest2022 and @sawineharvest.