Celebrate 363 years of the South African wine industry

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RAISE a glass and celebrate 363 years of South African wine heritage on 2 February 2022 at 8pm. This momentous day marks the start of our winemaking industry, and calls for everyone with a passion for South African wine to come together, wherever they are in the world, and join in the celebratory online event.

This annual Wine Harvest Commemorative Event is free and open for all to attend and can be accessed on the day through this virtual link.

South Africa is the only country in the world that can accurately pinpoint the date of origin of its wine industry, thanks to Jan van Riebeeck’s diary entry on 2 February 1659 which read: “Today, praise be to God, wine was made for the first time from Cape grapes”.

“This occasion has become a significant and truly memorable day for both wine appreciators and wine makers. It honours the birth of the wine industry in South Africa, it asks for a blessing on the new harvest, and pays tribute to the trailblazers in the industry,” says Jean Naudé, CEO of Groot Constantia.

During the event, the wine industry gives due recognition to individuals for their exceptional contribution in the following categories: Visionary Leadership (1659 Visionary Leadership Award), Diversity and Transformation, Wine Appreciation and Wine Advancement and Viticulture and Wine Creation. This ceremony has been hosted since 1974 to honour individuals who have made great strides in the industry. Past recipients include Nelson Mandela, Unsung Wine Workers, Norma Ratcliffe, Beyers Truter and Charles Back.

“We are excited by the upcoming harvest season and look forward to celebrating it with the rest of the industry, and wine lovers across the globe,” says Naudé.

The blessing of the 2022 harvest will take place in the vineyards of Groot Constantia by Rev Desmond Meyer of the Uniting Reformed Church Koelenhof. Groot Constantia is South Africa’s oldest wine-producing farm established in 1685 by the then Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, and is considered the historical birthplace of the South African wine industry.

“We encourage you to support participating wineries in their harvest festivities by sharing your news, stories and enjoying a glass of South African wine on Wednesday 2 February 2022. A case of exceptional South African wines can be won courtesy of wine.co.za when you post on social media using the hashtag #sawineharvest2022,” adds Naudé.

The Wine Harvest Commemorative event is made possible by the financial support and partnerships of Ninety One, Groot Constantia, Standard Bank, Vinpro and Die Burger.

Chat on social media at @sawineharvest and remember to use the hashtag #sawineharvest2022.

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